Gluten-Free Lemon Mug Cake - Danielle Walker

Mug cakes are a spectacular good invention. A personal-sized cake? In just a few minutes? That I can eat warm with a spoon out of my favorite mug? Yes, yes, and yes! Because of my devotion to the idea of them, I have tried making nearly every variety I can think of. But this Gluten-Free Lemon Mug Cake is special — bright and lemony with the slightest hint of crunch from the poppy seeds sprinkled atop the frosting. It tastes like the lemon cake of your dreams, but gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and with the lightest, fluffiest texture. Best of all, you can go from dreaming about it to eating it in less than 5 minutes!

image of two gluten free lemon mug cakes on a table top with spoons on the side

Mug Cake Mix

The ridiculous ease with which these mug cakes come together is thanks to just a few ingredients and use of a baking mix. I tested this recipe using a grain-free flour mix. If you’re a student of mine, you can use my grain and gluten-free flour mix from my gluten-free cooking course for this recipe!

image of two gluten free lemon mug cakes on a counter one with a spoon scooping some out

best grain-free cake mix

If you don’t have access to that option, you can choose another grain-free baking mix. You’ll just want to check the ingredients on whichever one you choose. Some — like the Simple Mills Vanilla Cupcake Mix — are already sweetened. So if you use one like that, omit the maple sugar from this recipe.

Other options — like Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour — are unsweetened and don’t have a leavening agent. If you select a mix like this, be sure to follow the recipe and add 2 tablespoons of maple sugar, PLUS add a 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder when you mix all your ingredients.

image of two gluten free lemon mug cakes one with a spoonful taken out

Dairy-Free Icing

You can of course tuck into your cake immediately — it’s delicious that way. But, if you’d like to ice or frost it, you have two options. Personally, I’m loving the drippy, dreamy cashew butter glaze recipe that I came up with. It is perfectly creamy and uses a little more lemon juice which makes the flavors pop even more. Or, you can frost your mug cake with a little bit of melted dairy-free vanilla frosting. I like the ones from Simple Mills and Miss Jones.

close up image of gluten free lemon mug cake bite on a spoon

5 Minute Dessert

Now that I have you deep in a sweets craving, here are a few more of my favorite quick and easy dessert recipes!

Paleo Chocolate Dipped Bananas 

image of chocolate covered frozen bananas with coconut and almonds laying on a table

Dairy-Free Dole Whip

image of a glass bowl of dairy-free pineapple whip

Dairy-Free Pot de Creme

image of a bowl of dairy-free chocolate pot de creme with a spoon


Watch me make my Gluten-Free Lemon Mug Cake on Instagram!

Shop the recipe



Gluten-Free Lemon Mug Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Danielle
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 egg
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons maple sugar (omit if using a sweetened baking mix) 
  • 1 teaspoon zest of Meyer lemon
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/3 heaping cup Grain-Free All Purpose Flour Mix (use the one from my course if you’re a student!) OR any paleo, almond-flour-based flour mix like Bob’s Red Mill or Thrive Market*

*Check the back of the packaging for ingredients. If your mix has no baking powder (Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour does not), add 1/2 teaspoon of that. And, if you use a sweetened baking mix like Simple Mills Vanilla Cupcake Mix, omit the maple sugar from this recipe. 

Cashew Butter Glaze Option:

Or 1 tablespoon melted dairy-free frosting (Simple Mills or Miss Jones) + 1/4 teaspoon poppyseeds OR my cashew butter glaze + 1/4 teaspoon poppyseeds


  1. Whisk the egg, lemon juice and zest, oil, sugar, and flour together in a mug. Omit sugar if using a sweetened baking mix and add baking powder if your mix does not have any already in it. 
  2. Microwave on high for 1.5 min or bake in an oven-proof ramekin at 350F for 15 minutes.
  3. To make the glaze, mix together all ingredients except poppy seeds. Drizzle across the cake. Or use store-bought frosting. Sprinkle poppy seeds on top once you’ve frosted your mug cake.


Gluten-Free Lemon Mug Cake

image of gluten-free lemon mug cake in a mug with a spoon on a table


  1. Nikki O says:

    Hi Danielle!

    I am new to your community but so happy to have found you! I was walking through Books-A-Million and “Food Saved Me” was there. I can’t explain it, but my “spidey sense” knew I was buying the book before I even picked it up off the shelf! I read it over the weekend and…the right words are escaping me here. I am very upset at Google for never steering me in your direction for all these years, but so happy to have found you! I have since returned to good ol’ BAM and Barnes and Noble so I could get whatever cookbooks of yours they had! I have so much I want to say and gush out to you, but I am going to just leave it at THANK YOU! You don’t know me, but you mean a lot to me!
    Now…about this mug cake 🙂 I am craving lemon and blueberry combos lately. So I was wondering how you would approach adding blueberries to this? Fresh ones right in the mix, or making them all “jammy” first and marbling them in? Just curious.

    • Danielle says:

      First – Hello and welcome!!! Thank you so much for your kind words and support. I’m thrilled that you’ve found me and I hope you enjoy my recipes! Now, as for this mug cake, I love the idea to add blueberries! I would recommend adding a few fresh ones; I’m not sure on how many. This may depend on your mug size – keep in mind that this will rise as it bakes. Enjoy and let us know how it turns out with your modifications!

  2. NATALIE KEMP says:

    I know it’s got grains, so my pardon for asking, but any idea if a gluten-free flour, like King Author GF Measure for Measure flour, would work as a substitute?

  3. Michelle Gerardot says:

    Is there an egg free alternative? Would love to make this recipe but my daughter has an egg allergy.

  4. Isabella says:

    I just found out I’m highly intolerant to almonds, which is ruining all of my Paleo dreams. What would you recommend for this recipe?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi! There are some nut-free multi-purpose flour mixes that are cassava based – I haven’t personally tested this recipe using a nut-free flour mix but it should work as a sub. Let us know how it turns out if you decide to give it a try; another reader might have the same question and they’ll find your modifications helpful. Enjoy!

  5. Holly says:

    Danielle, I can’t get Meyer lemons here, can regular lemons work? You didn’t mention that or any sub in your post so I’m thinking they might be too tart as I know Meyer lemons are not as tart. Please help! Thank you!

    • Holly says:

      Also, I’m one of your students in the course and I can’t find the recipe for your flour blend when I log in. Where do I go for that in there?

      • Danielle says:

        Hi! Thank you so much for being a student! You can find the multi-purpose grain-free mix under Module 3: Quick Breakfasts, it’s the same mix used for pancakes & waffles. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

    • Danielle says:

      You can use regular lemons here, but you’re correct that it will have a more tart taste. Enjoy!

    • Tricia Bittinger says:

      Hello! I’m wondering if you ended up trying this with regular lemon juice and if you changed the amount at all? Results? Tx

  6. Andrea Lyman says:

    Can I assume that the same oven baking option works here as in the chocolate mug cake? Would there be any differences? I don’t do microwaving. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star