While this isn't your fastest mug recipe, it certainly is the tastiest! With fresh lemon curd, a powdered sugar glaze and this lemon mug cake work together to create an incredible tangy dessert.
I have a huge love for all things lemon flavor. It's such a tangy and awesome sweet fruit that leaves you craving more. This individual lemon cake is a big favorite of mine too.
This lemon mug cake recipe satisfies my lemon cake cravings and carries that extra burst of tanginess that I was looking for. From the cake to the curd and icing on top, this treat is perfect.
Adding the powdered sugar glaze to the top helps to add a little extra creamy sweetness to the dish, and when all 3 components are combined, it tastes exactly like a lemon bar (but in cake form!)
I can't be any happier with the way that this microwave lemon cake turned out, and I hope you all enjoy the lemon curd mug cake just as much as I do.
Why This Recipe Works
- Curd for now and later. This makes a small batch of microwave lemon curd to make enough for 3 mug cakes! Or one mug cake and some sampling.
- Perfect serving size. If food portioning is a problem or you simply don't want a large dessert to go to waste, having a treat for one is an ideal compromise.
- No oven is needed! One of the best reasons to make this recipe is that you can use your convenient microwave and avoid heating the house by turning on the stove.
Flour- You will need some all purpose flour for the gluten structure and base of this recipe.
Baking powder- To help the cake rise as it bakes, you'll need some baking powder.
Salt- This is a natural flavor enhancer.
Sugar- Use granulated sugar for added sweetness and a more tender crumb.
Coconut Oil- To give the cake some necessary fats, use coconut oil (butter or shortening will work fine too).
Milk- This is needed to hydrate the mix and add a richer taste.
For the Lemon curd, you will need:
Egg yolk- You'll need an egg yolk for the curd as that's what gives us the custard-like consistency.
Lemon juice- For added tangy flavor, use fresh lemon juice.
Lemon zest- Adding in lemon zest will make the curd taste fresher.
Butter- Adding in some butter makes the curd richer in taste.
For the Icing, you will need:
Powdered sugar- You will need some powdered sugar to make the icing smooth and sweet.
Water- Add in a little water to get the icing to the perfect drizzling consistency.
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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Check out how to make lemon mug cake with these simple step-by-step instructions:
Using a microwave-safe bowl mix the ingredients for the curd until the sugars look dissolved and everything looks well combined.
Microwave for 2 ½min to 3 minutes stopping 2 or 3 times to stir. Keep a close eye at the end. If it piles up on the back end of a spoon like a little peak (think whipped cream) then you can stop cooking it as it's good.
Let the curd cool while you prep the lemon mug cake.
In a microwave-safe mug combine the dry ingredients and mix.
Add in the wet ingredients and mix until well combined and no chunks remain.
Top with a tablespoon of lemon curd and then microwave for 1 min 30 seconds to 2 minutes. My microwave takes a full 2 minutes but is a lower wattage.
While the cake is cooking, mix together your glaze in a small bowl.
Let the cake cool for a minute or two and then drizzle your icing on top. Enjoy.
🍴 Recipe Tips
As all microwaves run differently it is important to keep a close eye on this lemon microwave mug cake as it cooks. This includes both the lemon cake and lemon curd. A few seconds can easily ruin whatever is cooking and cause you to start over.
After about 2 minutes the lemon curd's egg yolk should reach over 160F degrees making it officially cooked thoroughly enough for anyone to enjoy without the fear of raw egg yolk. It's also cooked a second time in the make batter, so you can be doubly sure.
Also in case the 160F degrees didn't give you enough of a warning, please use caution as you remove things from the microwave as they will be HOT HOT HOT.
If you don't have coconut oil on hand then you can switch it out for canola oil or melted butter. I recommend using unsalted butter if you go that route, or if you use salted butter then omit the requested sats in this recipe (this includes the curd and cake itself).
⏲️ Oven Method
You should be able to cook this one in the oven if using an oven safe coffee mug. Make as directed and place it on a baking sheet. Bake 350F degrees for 10 minutes.
If you use plant based butter and dairy free milk then it will be! Unfortunately, I don't know how to make it vegan because the curd has egg in it. But the lemon mug cake has no egg, so you can swap it out for a vegan option if there's one available.
Yes, absolutely. While it makes sense to grab some juice from a lemon you're zesting, if you don't have one handy you can remove zest and just use lemon juice. The flavors may not be as lemony as expected, but it should still taste good.
Adding fresh blueberries to this cake would help to give it an added burst of color, flavor, and sweetness. Go ahead and use a couple, but put them in just before adding the curd and stir them in quickly and then proceed with the next steps fast too so that the blueberries don't settle to the bottom of the cup.
Lemon filled recipes you'll enjoy
- Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake
- Strawberry Pink Lemonade
- 2 Ingredient Lemon Cake Bars
- 3 Ingredient Lemon Popsicles
Lemon Mug Cake
- 4 Tablespoons All purpose flour ($0.02)
- ¼ teaspoon Baking Powder ($0.01)
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt ($0.01)
- 3 Tablespoons Milk ($0.04)
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (softened/melted) ($0.05)
- 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar ($0.01)
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice ($0.24)
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest ($0.04)
- 1 Egg Yolk ($0.08)
- 2 Tablespoons Granulated sugar ($0.01)
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice ($0.48)
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt ($0.01)
- 1 Tablespoon Butter, Melted ($0.09)
- 1 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar ($0.01)
- ½ teaspoon Water ($0.00)
Making the Curd
- In a microwave safe bowl combine your cooled melted butter with the other ingredients needed. Whisk until everything is well combined and the sugar looks mostly dissolved. No chunks.
- Microwave for 2-3 minutes, stopping every 30- 40 seconds to stir. Keep a close eye towards the end. Stop cooking it as soon as you notice it "pile up" on the back of your spoon and create little peaks that don't slide right off. 15 seconds too long can make or break this and cause you to restart.
- Once the curd has finished cooking, let it cool on the counter or place it in the freezer for a few minutes while you prep your mug cake.
Lemon Mug Cake
- In a microwave safe mug combine your flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well and make sure there are no baking powder chunks.
- Add in the sugar, milk, coconut oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix until combined and no chunks remain. If the coconut oil chunked up as a result of the cold milk, that's a different story and fine. Just note that we aren't looking for lumpy pancake batter here.
- Top with 1 tablespoon of your lemon curd. There should be enough curd in the bowl to make 2 or 3 muffins.
- Microwave for 1 min 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Microwaves vary and my small cheap one takes a full 2 minutes for this cake. It will still look slightly wet on top, you can use a fork to pull up cake from the bottom to ensure that it's fully cooked.
- While cake is cooking mix together the ingredients for the glaze. This makes enough for topping a single cake, so double or triple as necessary.
- Pull the warm lemon cake from the microwave and top with the glaze. Let cool slightly and then enjoy.