Our microwave lemon mug cake is in celebration of  THREE April birthdays among our McDaniel Nutrition Therapy dietitian team! For all of those times, you needed a quick celebratory recipe on the fly, this is it. Personally, I love all things lemon, and I love how citrusy flavors balance out the sweetness.

What’s the Short-Cut?

The short-cut in the recipe is the tool we use to cook our mug cake: the microwave! It reminds me of my 80’s days, when I popped out a chocolate cake from that Easy Bake Oven! If you’re not as affectionate towards lemon as I am, search “microwave mug cakes,” and you’ll find chocolate, vanilla…the list goes on.  While we don’t believe birthday cakes require any element of “health” in it, we did use olive oil + kefir milk. But, pretty sure the quick microwave cook kills off any gut-health promoting bacteria found in kefir milk. So, feel free to use any milk of choice!

Happy Micro-Baking + Celebrating!

lemon mug cake

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lemon mug cake

Microwave Lemon Mug Cake with Lemon Glaze

  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Prep Time: 2 min
  • Cook Time: 2 min
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 1-2 serving 1x


In the mood for dessert? Right away! Just whip up this sweet lemon mug cake. The recipe takes just 4 minutes start to finish & voila – instant dessert!


  • 4 T. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • ¼ t. baking powder
  • t. salt
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • ¼ c. lemon (or plain) Kefir milk
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • ¼ t. lemon zest
  • 2 t. lemon curd


  • 2 T. confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ t. lemon juice


  1. In a very large mug, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, Kefir milk, olive oil, extract, lemon zest and lemon curd. Stir well.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients in mug and whisk together until smooth.
  4. Bake in microwave, on high, for 2 minutes 15 seconds.
  5. While cake is baking, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice for glaze.
  6. Carefully take mug out of the microwave and drizzle with glaze.


  • Use a large enough mug so that there is no overflow to mess up your microwave. The mug should only be half full prior to baking.
  • To check for doneness, just touch the top. It should be firm and bounce back slightly. If it appears doughy, put back in microwave for another 5-10 seconds.
  • Your mug cake will sink after it is taken out of the oven. It is supposed to do that!
  • The mug cake will not be brown on top like a regular oven-baked cake. The brown on a traditional cake is caused by the caramelization of sugar which occurs at 320 degrees. A microwave reaches a high temperature of only 212 degrees.

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.