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Microwave Lemon Cake

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I was never big on lemon-flavored desserts.
(Hmmm, might it have something to do with the fact that lemon doesn’t exactly pair well with chocolate?)

But, after reading the Single Lady Cupcake post, a few commenters asked about a lemon version of the single-serving cake. Enter Meg L. to save the day! On Sunday, she left me a comment about a lemon-olive-oil cake that, I had to admit, sounded good even to this lemon-shunning chica. I wanted to try it!


The results were fantastic: lemony, cakey, and so moist. One of the best aspects of the blogging community is that someone (in this case, me) might come up with a basic idea, but then others expand upon the idea, taking it to much yummier levels than the first person could have dreamed up. So thank you, Meg, for taking the time to share your recipe variation.




Single Lady Lemon Cake
(Or muffin, loaf, cupcake, whatever)

Based off of Meg‘s idea

  • 3 tbsp flour (30g) (spelt, ww pastry, Bob’s gluten-free, or all-purpose flour)
  • heaping 1/16th tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or sub 1/2 with applesauce (or use all applesauce for an added-fat-free version, but it won’t be as buttery!)
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp liquid (milk of choice or water)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract or lemon juice
  • pinch lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Sweetener (I hate giving specific amounts, since tastebuds are so different. For normal tastebuds, 1 to 1 and 1/2 tbsp of sugar, or 1 to 1 1/2 packets of stevia should be about right. If you use liquid sweetener, cut back a tiny bit on the other liquid.)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 330 degrees. Mix the ingredients and pour into an oiled (or sprayed) muffin pan. Smooth top of batter. Cook for 12-15ish minutes. Alternatively, you can cook in the microwave, in a greased mug or ramekin. (Microwave times will vary, depending on the flour you use and the strength of your microwave.)

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This cupcake (muffin, loaf, cake, whatever) would be lovely with some lemon glaze.


Easiest-Ever Lemon Glaze

  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1 part sugar or coconut sugar
  • optional: a few drops lemon extract

Microwave for 30 seconds, or warm in a saucepan on low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I used to be just like you: I hated citrus in my desserts! But this year I have begun to enjoy lemony desserts 🙂!

  2. Valerie says:

    I do love the photos! Thanks for showing some restraint and not gobbling the cupcake right away. 😉
    (Although I would have!)

  3. Sarahishealthy says:

    Lemon merengue pie = yuck! It looks all creamy and delicious, but the cream isn’t even cream! I’m with you: give me chocolate :).

    1. Christina says:

      Lol, that’s because the “cream” is meringue (whipped, baked egg whites and sugar), not cream!

    2. Anonymous says:

      oh-no! Lemon meringue is so, so yummy! Chocolate it’s not, but still…I’d love to see a ccKatie version (hint hint)

  4. Sarah P says:

    I am DEFINITELY a lemon dessert person. I’m a chocoholic, but citrus desserts still beat chocolate for me almost every time.

  5. Lisa C. says:

    I’m not big on lemon desserts either, but there is this one bakery near my house that makes the most AMAZING lemon bars you would ever want to try. They would make even you a lemon convert, I’m betting. So soft and chewy, with powdered sugar on top. Mmm I’m craving one now!

  6. I used to hate lemon desserts as a kid, but I’ve grown to love them, especially well made lemon bars. Mmmmmmm.

  7. eatandrun says:

    I don’t like lemon desserts, but I do love a squirt of lemon in my tea :).

  8. abby says:

    i actually DO love lemon desserts! i’ve made your raw cheesecake before and added lemon extract even above the lemon juice it calls for. so this recipe is another one right up my alley. but really, katie, what recipe of yours isn’t up my alley? 😉

  9. Inspired says:

    I guess, for me, it depends on what the lemon dessert is. I love lemon cakey type things, such as poppyseed muffins. But I could do without the lemon pudding.

  10. Caitlin says:

    I love lemon cake! Seriously, like true love! I’ll have to try this one :). I’m already a big fan of the pumpkin single-lady cupcakes, so I’m excited for another flavor :). I’ll let you know how it goes :).

  11. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE LEMON! I’ve gotta see about this doughnut!

  12. Yummy! I’ve always loved lemon desserts. I’m definitely going to try this with the lemon glaze!!

  13. Emily says:

    Thanks Katie, this sounds perfect!
    I might even use just a pinch of sugar and try them as savory muffins. Maybe even with some rosemary?

  14. Emily says:

    Although, the lemon glaze sounds good too. Might just have to try both ways ;).

  15. Wow, this cake looks awesome! I have made microwave chocolate or vanilla cakes, but have never thought to do a lemon version. I guess I don’t think of lemon desserts all to often, either, but thanks for the great idea!

  16. tangy says:

    I love lemon desserts but they have to be really lemon-y. I like a strong lemon taste, and I feel the same way about my lime desserts.

  17. Sarah says:

    It’s so funny your writing about this. Growing up I couldn’t stand any lemon flavoured dessert! Every dessert or sweet had to include chocolate. My mom and grandma would love lemon squares and vanilla this or that, and I could not understand it! Until, that is, I, AGED! Now I’m in my late thirties and think lemon and vanilla dessert are great! Was there a sense of panic when I made this discovery? YES, sheer panic to think I am joining the aged group of people who enjoy lemon and vanilla! Then, calm, cause they taste good, and aging ain’t so bad…
    So be sure to track back to this idea in another 10-15 years. I’d love to know if it’s an acquired taste that comes with age ! Thanks for writing about it! 🙂

    1. Valerie says:

      I love seeing how my tastes have changed over the years! And it helps me with my kids too. Like, I know not to worry that my little one doesn’t like ANYthing red, be it peppers or tomatoes. Because who knows? Maybe twenty years from now, she will! And if not, that’s ok too.

  18. Aghhhhh! I have to say Katie, that although I BELIEVE you that the lemon cake turned out to be good.. I have to agree with you – I’m not a lemon-y dessert person either … Enough that I can’t even try this lol. I’ll just take your word for it – I’ll stick with my chocolate or coconut!m Though… I don’t really like lemon anything, so oh delish cupcake, please don’t take the spurning personally! 🙂

  19. Jess says:

    I’m not big on lemon either, but I think it’s mainly because I don’t like meringue. But maybe I’d like this!

    1. Valerie says:

      Ick, meringue. Me either! Who invented that stuff? 😉

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