Just Desserts

Luscious Double Lemon Cake

By Charlotte on February 28, 2014 1:30 AM

A few weeks ago, I whipped up some delightful Red Velvet Mug Cakes. Talk about speedy! Those perfect-for-two morsels were ready in less than 6 minutes because you cook them in the microwave.

I couldn't wait to try another quick mug recipe. So I was thrilled to find this single-serving, spring sensation in Camilla V. Saulsbury's 250 Best Meals in a Mug (Robert Rose Inc., Jan. 16, 2014, $24.95). Superfast and easy, this tart lemon treat packs a zing sure to please any citrus fan.

This moist, chewy mug cake bursts with lemon flavor.

DoubleLemonCakeMealsMug 600.jpgFresh-squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest enhance the taste. (Figure one lemon per mug cake.) All the other ingredients are pretty basic so it's a great spur-of-the-moment dessert option.

This mug cake gets its zing from fresh-squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest. Figure one lemon per mug cake.

Lemons-600.jpgAnd the preparation couldn't be simpler. You just put the cake ingredients in a large coffee mug (think Starbucks Grande), forget your mixer and beat the batter with a fork. Then microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes. Imagine that! It takes longer to measure and mix the ingredients than it does to bake this luscious lemon goodie.

Let the cake cool for a few minutes. Afterwards, combine powdered sugar (no sifting required!) and lemon juice, again mixing with a fork, and pour the glaze over your cake.

Besides having a heavenly aroma, every bite of this moist, chewy dream bursts with zesty lemon flavor. Just remember, the recipe makes O-N-E cake. So if you're anything like Bob and me, you better double it. This is one dessert even those who love sharing (guilty!) will want all to themselves!

Double Lemon Mug Cake

Serves 1

Heaps of citrus zing, minimal ingredients, delicious, ready in minutes -- what more could you want from a lemon cake?

Lemon Mug Cake - 300.jpgTips

16-ounce mug, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray




In the mug, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using a fork, beat in egg, sugar, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice until very well blended.

Microwave on High for 11⁄2 to 2 minutes (checking at 11⁄2) or until risen and center is just set. Let cool slightly or entirely in mug. Eat directly from mug or gently remove to a small plate.

Icing: In a small bowl or cup, use a fork to stir confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Prep Ahead Option

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in the mug; cover and store at room temperature. Whisk the egg in a small airtight container, then add sugar, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice; cover and refrigerate. Prepare the icing in a small airtight container; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipe* from:

250 Best Meals in a Mug: Delicious Homemade Microwave Meals in Minutes

FinalCoverMealsinaMug 350.jpgAuthor: Camilla V. Saulsbury

Other Works: More than a dozen cookbooks published by Robert Rose, Sourcebooks and Turner Publishing. Camilla is also the creator of the healthy food blog, Power Hungry, and has been featured on the Food Network, Today and Good Morning America Health as well as in publications ranging from the New York Times to Cooking Light.

Publisher: Robert Rose Inc.

Penned: Jan. 16, 2014

What's Inside: 250 satisfying, single-serving recipes that can be ready in a flash.

Perfect when you're dining solo or short on time, these budget friendly shortcuts include everything from yummy breakfast breads (think Raspberry Blintz Mug) to hearty main dishes (Philly Cheesesteak Mug, anyone?) and delectable desserts (Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, oh my!)

There's even a chapter devoted to super-fast, cheap and easy recipes (like Creamy Blue Cheese Pasta) with 4 ingredients or less. And, as a bonus, most of these healthy, home-cooking ideas can be made from scratch in less time than it takes to defrost a processed, store-bought meal. Who knew you could bake Eggplant Parmesan in less than 5 minutes?

Time Out: 312 pages

Available: $24.95 at Amazon and most book retailers

* Courtesy 250 Best Meals in a Mug by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2014 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.


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4 Skin-Kind Finds Under $30

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Finding the right skincare routine can be like walking a tightrope. I've gotta have beauty products strong enough to do the job without sending my sometimes sensitive skin over the edge.

That's why I like to play it safe with skin-kind finds like these. They're designed to deliver powerful results with no fear of unpleasant side effects. You can pick up these budget-friendly buys at your local Target, one of my regular haunts. (I shop Friday mornings to miss the crowd.) And now to the end of October, Target is offering special discounts on these and other fan favorites from Neutrogena, Aveeno and RoC. (Check the end of this post for details.)

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Playing Favorites


When Charlotte and I aren't hip-deep in period dramas (Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge) we love a good crime story. Film Noir is my favorite genre (anybody up for Maltese Falcon, Diabolique or Elevator to the Gallows?) so we're always on the lookout for a new movie or series to scratch that itch.

Over the summer we hit the jackpot, by finding two gritty noir-ish series that satisfied our cravings. First we got hooked on the Netflix original series Bloodline. Then, we capped off our summer with the terrific Rectify from The Sundance Channel.

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