This gluten-free lemon mug cake is the perfect, easy dessert for one. It mixes up in just 3 minutes and bakes in the microwave in less than 2 minutes. It’s a moist, fluffy cake with no egg and can easily be made dairy-free.
Be sure to check out more of my easy gluten-free cakes including my gluten-free vanilla mug cake and fluffy gluten-free apple mug cake. If you’re a lover of lemon cake, you must try my gluten-free lemon drizzle cake.
Baking a cake in the microwave is not the ideal way to bake a cake but definitely can be done. It is the ideal way to bake if you are as impatient as I am!
If you eat a mug cake hot and straight out of the microwave, the texture of the cake will not be as tender as if you can wait 30 minutes to an hour. However, I am very impatient so I usually want to dig in right away. It still tastes yummy and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how delicious a microwave cake can be. But let it cool and it will be even better.
Gluten-free flour blend – My go-to gluten-free flour for baking is King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour. It works well in almost all of my recipes and is the most affordable of the gluten-free flours I’ve tested.
This mug cake will also work with my DIY gluten-free rice-free flour blend recipe.
Oil is my preferred way to add moisture to cake recipes. It also does a better job than butter (especially in gluten-free baked goods) of making them airy and fluffy. Sunflower, avocado, canola or any other neutral flavored oil will work.
I am mostly dairy-free so I use a milk substitute like coconut, almond, soy or hemp milk. Regular milk will work too.
Both lemon juice and lemon zest assure that there is tons of lemony flavor in this mug cake. If you need a quick tutorial on zesting, chef out my my blog post How to Zest a Lemon.
The rest of the ingredients are just the basics – sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder and salt.
Mug Cake Toppings
You’ll probably want to devour this mug cake as soon as it comes out of the microwave. But since the cake will be piping hot, a topping that turns to liquid (like frosting) is not the best option. So here are a few toppings you can use on a hot cake.
Simple lemon icing – Mix two tablespoons powdered sugar with 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and a little bit of lemon zest. Drizzle over the mug cake for an extra pop of lemony sweetness.
Rainbow sprinkles will melt a little bit but are a fun and easy topping.
White chocolate chips, either melted or whole, are excellent on a lemon cake.
Easy, 5 Minute Gluten-Free Lemon Mug Cake
- 1 lemon
- 3 Tbsp oil, avocado, sunflower, canola or other neutral flavored vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp milk or dairy-free milk substitute
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla homemade gluten-free vanilla extract
- 2 pinches salt
- ⅓ c +1 Tbsp gluten-free flour blend
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- ¼-½ tsp lemon juice
- Remove the zest from half of the lemon using a microplane. Check out my post How to Zest a Lemon for a quick tutorial.
- Juice the lemon to get 2 tablespoons of juice.
- Place the lemon zest and juice, oil, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt into a mug. Beat with a fork until well combined.
- Add the flour and baking powder and mix until it is smooth.
- Microwave on high for 1 minute 50 seconds.
- If the cake is not completely set on top, heat an additional 10 seconds.
- Let it sit in the (closed) microwave for ten seconds after the time is up.
- Ideally, this cake, or any cake, is better once cooled. If you can stand it, let it cool for 5 or ten minutes before eating.
Make the Lemon Icing
- Make this icing immediately before topping the cake.
- In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and 1/4 tsp of the lemon juice together until smooth. If it's too thick add the remaining 1/4 tsp lemon juice.
- Drizzle over the baked cake.
June Marie says
This is a delicious recipe and a quick sweet treat for me. I plan to try many more of your recipes. Thank you Chef Janet
Janet Harlow says
You’re welcome! So glad you enjoyed it!
Isabella Ava says
I am a big fan of your gluten-free recipes. Tried some of them at my home and my husband loves them a lot though he is not a big loved of gluten-free foods.
Anyways, I have a question. Yesterday I went to a grocery shop near to my house. And noticed a product labeled as Non-Gluten. Is there any difference between non gluten and gluten-free products?
Janet Harlow says
Hi Isabella, I’m so glad to hear that your a fan of my recipes. Thank you! I have never seen a product labeled “non-gluten” and am not sure what that means. I would be skeptical. Definitely read the label carefully.