This Lemon Mug Cake is light and ultra-plush, with a burst of tangy lemon in every bite. It cooks in less than 2 minutes, using just 6 ingredients, and is the fastest way to satisfy a sweet craving!
Lemon mug cake is perfectly moist while still being fluffy with full of flavor, and is the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
The best part about this lemon cake is that it comes together in only a few easy steps, so you can whip it up whenever you crave it! If you like lemon desserts, try my lemon drizzle cupcakes or zucchini lemon muffins as well!
There's no need for any lemon glaze! However, if you like a glaze, then stir together some confectioners sugar with a dash of fresh juice, and finely grated lemon zest, until smooth and reached the consistency of thick glaze.
Why you'll love this recipe?
The lemon juice adds a bright citrusy flavor, and also works to activate the baking powder, when combined with milk and oil, to create an extra soft lemon mug cake!
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- All-purpose flour - Make sure to sift your flour before measuring. Sifting aerates it, creating an overall fluffier lemon mug cake.
- Milk - Just plain whole cow’s milk! Low-fat does work too but compromises on the richness.
- Baking powder - Use double-acting baking powder and make sure it's fresh and not expired.
- Sugar - White granulated sugar makes it extra soft. Please do not attempt to substitute brown sugar or any sugar substitutes.
- Oil - For a touch of extra moisture and tenderness. Any neutral oil works fine here – vegetable or canola oil.
- Lemon juice - Fresh lemon juice has a brighter flavor than bottled lemon juice.
Tip: No zest! I experimented with various amounts of lemon zest, but I found that the small portion size of the cake tends to introduce bitterness. If you desire a stronger lemon flavor, I suggest adding a tangy lemon glaze on top of the completed lemon mug cake.
Feel free to mix and match these variations or get creative with your own additions to make a lemon mug cake that suits your taste!
- Dried lavender adds a floral aroma.
- Top with a tangy cream cheese frosting from the eggless carrot cake recipe.
- Mix in shredded coconut to give the lemon mug cake a tropical twist and add a hint of texture.
- Stir poppy seeds into the batter for a subtle crunch and visual appeal.
- Top the cake with fresh raspberries before baking.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a microwave-safe coffee mug. Stir well with a spoon or fork, and then mix in fresh lemon juice, milk, and vegetable oil, until smooth. Cook in the microwave for one minute and 45 seconds.
Pro tip: Cooking time depends on the size of mug used. It takes 1 minute + 40 seconds if using a wider mug and 1 minute + 45 seconds if using a narrow mug.
How to serve?
Some microwave mug cake recipes might get a little dry if left at room temperature for a long period of time. So I like to dig in hot with a big scoop of sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
If you like to pair it with a lemon glaze then, stir together 2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar, about ½ teaspoon of lemon juice, and a pinch of zest, until smooth and drizzle over the hot cake.
- Make it vegan - Use plant-based milk like almond milk.
- Stir batter until lump free – Using a spoon, stir the batter until smooth and no lumps remain.
- Measure the flour correctly - Adding too much or too less is the most common mistake in a baking recipe. The best and easiest way to measure flour is to fluff the flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off. If you scoop the flour straight from the bag, you overpack the measuring cup.
- Microwaves differ – This recipe was tested in two different microwaves and it took 105 seconds in one and 125 seconds in the other.
- Best eaten hot – Enjoy this hot! As with microwave desserts, some might dry out a little when left at room temperature.
Made from lemons, extract is a concentrated oil that packs a lemony punch. However, it will overpower the small, single-serve recipe. Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds enough tanginess and flavor.
Blueberries and lemon are a magical pairing like lemon blueberry muffins.
However, I found that most of it sank to the bottom because microwave cake batters are much thinner than normal batters.
More fruity mug cakes
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Lemon Mug Cake
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Add all dry ingredients into a microwave safe mug, stir well with a spoon or fork. Add all wet ingredients, mix well until smooth and lump free.
- Cook in microwave for one minute and 45 seconds (longer might make the cake dry) for a standard coffee mug and one minute and 40 seconds for a wider mug.
- Serve hot topped with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream and fresh blueberries.
Nutritional information is based on third party calculations, should be considered estimates and not be construed as a guarantee. Varying factors such as product types, brands purchased, produce, the way ingredients are processed and more change the nutritional information in any recipe.
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No lemon listed in ingredients. ???
Hi Diana, The recipe has been corrected, thanks for bringing this to our attention, Maria
Hi! I'm wondering if something is missing in this recipe? There's nothing to make it a LEMON cake...
Hi Melinda, The The recipe has been corrected, thanks for bringing this to our attention, Maria