Rachel Cooks

Meyer Lemon Mug Cake – Low Carb and Gluten Free

I’m bringing you all something a little different today! Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food is here to share a gluten-free goodie. When I was asking for guest posts, Carolyn asked if I was okay with a low-carb recipe. I said yes! I love providing my readers with new ideas and recipes that they don’t usually see here. So whether you’re looking to change your lifestyle, planning to cook for someone else, or just wanting to try something new, I think this easy Meyer Lemon Mug Cake is the perfect place to start! 

Make sure to check out Carolyn’s site, you’ll find great things such as her Homemade Gummy Fruit Snacks, Low Carb Brownie Cheesecake, and Brie, Ham and Green Apple Panini


Low Carb Meyer Lemon Mug Caek

Hello, lovely Rachel Cooks fans. I have to confess, I wonder what you think, coming to Rachel’s blog and seeing a low carb, gluten-free recipe with a few odd-sounding ingredients. I always wonder, when someone asks me to guest post for them, what their readers will think of my recipes. Will they think Rachel is crazy for inviting me? Like, who is this chick and why does she think I want to even look at a low carb, gluten-free dessert recipe? Where are the yummy regular recipes for us normal readers!??!

If you are thinking such a thing, I get it. I swear I do. But give me a few moments of your time, if you don’t mind, and I hope I can convince you that this dessert, along with many of my others, is worth a try. See, here’s the deal. I like to say that I didn’t choose the low carb lifestyle, it chose me. In the form of pre-diabetes, a somewhat shocking diagnosis for a petite, fit and healthy woman. Whatever, no use crying over the proverbial spilled milk. Although I did for bit. I did cry, because as a die-hard baker, I thought my baking days were over. The more research I did, the more I became convinced that I had to go low carb for my health and I thought that relegated me to bacon and eggs and lots of salad for the rest of my life. I love bacon and eggs and salad, but I also love cake and cookies and muffins and scones.

Low Carb Meyer Lemon Mug Cake

I love food in general, and my blog is aptly named All Day I Dream About Food. Because I really do dream about it all day, and sometimes I dream about it at night too. Food rocks. Food makes the world go round. Food is community, heritage, love, family, friends, creativity and history, all bound up together in one little bite. Do I put a lot of expectations on my food? You bet I do!

So you can imagine how crushed I was to discover I had to limit my carb intake, and hence my food options. On the flip side of that, you can imagine how delighted I was to discover that all was not lost, that there were so many wonderful options still available to me, with a little ingenuity. It’s astonishing what you can do with a bag of almond flour, a stick of butter, and a willingness to experiment.

So, for those of you unfamiliar with low carb, gluten-free baking, I thought I’d go easy on you a bit and whip up a very simple recipe that you could easily recreate in your own home in about 10 minutes flat. Mug Cake is delightful in the fact that you throw some ingredients together, pop it in the microwave, and about a minute and half later, you have a tasty treat. And Meyer Lemons give mug cake a light, airy, spring-like feel. It’s not light and airy, though. This mug cake is rich and satisfying and a touch on the decadent side. And shockingly good for you!

Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Mug Cake

And the ingredients aren’t completely foreign, I promise. Almond flour is just finely-ground, blanched almonds (you can usually pick some up at your local grocery store) and erythritol, my favourite sweetener, is sold in most stores as ZSweet or Truvia. And it’s not some man-made chemical, in case you are leery of that. It’s actually a naturally-occurring substance found in fruits and other fermented foods.

I hope I’ve convinced you to give me and my crazy low carb recipes a chance! And many thanks to dear Rachel for having me over to share this Meyer Lemon Mug Cake.


Meyer Lemon Mug Cake

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

You'd never guess that this lemon mug cake was low carb and gluten-free! It's 100% delicious.


  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp erythritol
  • Zest of one Meyer Lemon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • Juice of one Meyer Lemon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk almond flour, erythritol, lemon zest, baking powder and salt.
  2. Add lemon juice, melted butter and egg, and stir until well combined.
  3. Divide mixture between two microwave-safe mugs and microwave each separately for 1 minute and 20 seconds.
  4. Remove and top with whipped cream.


Thanks again, Carolyn!

When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
I love to see what you're creating!

76 Responses to “Meyer Lemon Mug Cake – Low Carb and Gluten Free”

  1. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan — March 1, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Yum! things in a mug are always better! : )

  2. Jennifer Eloff — March 1, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Haha, lately we are on the same wavelength. Besides the brownie cheesecake you made recently which looked amazing, I have something similar to this lovely recipe space banked to try next – a cup cake made in a mug with frosting.

    Rachel, all the best with your little ones. It’s hectic and I can’t imagine how you can find time for your great blog! Find time for you where you can just relax and close your eyes – even if it is 10 minutes here or there. It does help. I used to lie down with baby on my chest after feeding him and give the toddler some toys next to me so that I could hear him playing….then just closed my eyes for a brief moment. When I made the food, I’d put baby in a snuggler and once again made sure the toddler was busy. It was actually easier for me with two than with my first one.

  3. Shannon — March 1, 2013 at 10:17 am

    I love this idea so much but I don’t have a microwave. Do you have any idea if this can be done in an oven?

    • Carolyn — March 1st, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

      It can be done in the oven, but I don’t quite know the times. I’d bake for 10 to 12 minutes, and then add time in 3 to 4 minute increments. It should be just a tiny bit “wet and gooey” still in the center when you take it out of the oven.

  4. Jana — March 1, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Can you substitute erythritol for sugar, honey, agave? I am not one for artificial sweeteners.

    • Carolyn — March 1st, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

      Hi Jana,

      You can use sugar in the same amount as the erythritol. As an aside, erythritol is NOT artificial. It is found in fruits and fermented foods. It has to be processed out of them but it is no more processed than sugar from sugar cane. 🙂 I do not use sucralose and other artificial sweeteners at all.

      • Hindsfeet — July 20th, 2013 @ 2:59 am

        lt “occurs naturally” just as MSG can occur naturally, but the version sold on shelves is not naturally derived. It is a sugar alcohol just like xylitol, sorbitol, etc and can cause nausea and gas. Xylitol, etc are also “occuring in nature”, but I don’t plan to ingest them. Truvia is made by Cargill, and that in itself makes me wary of it… and there simply isn’t enough data on the long-term safety of Truvia for humans, since it’s so new. I would rather wait a few decades for more data before using it.

        • alison — February 1st, 2014 @ 5:23 pm

          Hindsfeet, sugar is not without its dangers either. If you can eat it without health issues, fine, but for those of us who care about our glucose levels, things like erythritol and stevia are miracles.

          • kandy omalley — February 14th, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

            Raw Stevia has no sugar alcohol.

  5. Diane — March 1, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Thank you for a sugar/wheat free dessert that makes me wanna bake right now!! Curious if you’ve tried baking these in the oven?! Temp? How long?? They look delicious, but I just love the way the oven warms the house up, and makes it smell SO so good!!

    • Carolyn — March 1st, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

      In the oven, I’d do 350F and only bake for 10 minutes or so, then check and bake in 3 to 4 minute increments until done. It should be a little underdone in the center.

  6. Sarah W. Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) — March 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    That looks really good! I love the ease and simplicity of mug cakes.

  7. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Mmm!! This sounds awesome!

  8. Cat Davis | Food Family & Finds — March 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Is there anything better than a Meyer lemon? I just love those when they’re in season. This looks simply divine.

  9. Erika — March 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I’m not usually a lemon person, but this looks amazing! And I am ALL about the low-carb…ever since doing a detox, I’ve found that my body doesn’t do too well with gluten. So thanks for a great recipe–can’t wait to try!

  10. Jennifer Sikora — March 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    That little cake looks delish! I have a 6 year old friend who just found out she has celiac disease and diabetes so this will be a great treat for her.

  11. Carolyn — March 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks for having me, Rachel!

  12. Paula - bell'alimento — March 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Meyer lemons make me swoon.

  13. veronica — March 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    How many net carbs?

  14. Jess — March 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    This looks like heaven! Wow! Pinned for later! 🙂

  15. Amy Morris Shalosky — March 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    These looked irresistible. Except I don’t have any lemons. But I have LIMES! I’m happy to report they taste amazing with lime, especially if you drizzle some extra sweetener on top. Or a splash of sf vanilla Torani syrup!

  16. Kate@Diethood — March 2, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Carolyn, I love your recipes… low carbin’, gluten-freein’ 😉 …love it all! You don’t have to convince me about nothin’ – I WANT THIS CAKE! STAT! 😀

  17. Coco Venice — March 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Yum this looks delicious – and it’s low carb and really easy to make, sounds perfect!!

  18. Amber — March 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    This is a great recipe for a low carb/low sugar diet! I’ve been making a version with ground flaxseed instead of the almond flour. But I’ll give this one a try.

  19. Taryl — March 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Just made this and it was phenomenal! I subbed in 1/4 cup coconut flour and two additional eggs for the almond flour, as it was all I had on hand. I also added a little butter flavoring extract and some extra liquid sucralose to the batter, which made it sweeter and richer. But they were really small tweaks and the cake is quite possibly the best mug cake I’ve ever had!

  20. Diana — March 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I might have missed it but what is the net carb count for one of these delicious mugs of goodness?

  21. Sue — March 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I just made these and they were fabulous! I don’t have erythritol on hand but used a mix of splenda/stevia and they had no artificial sugar taste at all (yippee). I am also curious about the net carbs.

  22. Sue — March 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I just used a carb calculator on Spark People for this recipe.
    For the whole recipe:
    Calories 326
    Carb: 23,8
    Fiber: 4.0
    Sugars: 1.4
    Net carbs = 9.2 carbs each if I calculated right.

  23. Buttoni — April 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    This is BEAUTIFUL! And sounds so good! I’ll be trying this soon, that’s for sure.

  24. Meredith K — April 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    This sounds delicious! Is there a way to eliminate the butter, or sub something else?

  25. Marian — May 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    This looks delicious. When I put the recipe into Mastercook it gave me these amounts for the net carbs:
    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 146 Calories; 14g Fat (80.9% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; The recipe makes 2 muffins.

  26. amy — May 9, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Do you have a suggestion for a substitution on the almond flour? Food allergy! I used to love almonds…always stay away from anything that calls for almond flour because I’m not sure what to substitute it with, texture/flavor, this recipe looks too good to pass up though!

    • rai — July 12th, 2013 @ 11:59 pm

      Did you see the post by Taryl above?
      This is what she said..
      Just made this and it was phenomenal! I subbed in 1/4 cup coconut flour and two additional eggs for the almond flour, as it was all I had on hand. I also added a little butter flavoring extract and some extra liquid sucralose to the batter, which made it sweeter and richer. But they were really small tweaks and the cake is quite possibly the best mug cake I’ve ever had!

  27. Meighan Taylor — May 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Has anyone subbed coconut oil for the butter?

    • Meighan Taylor — May 30th, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

      I went ahead and subbed in coconut oil and it was AH-MAZING!! Topped it with some fresh blueberries and it was the perfect Paleo dessert 🙂

  28. Colleen Thompson — June 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I would find alternative sweeteners. Other than that, the recipe looks great!

  29. Phyllis Ramsey — June 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Meyer lemons in the local grocery stores. In Canada. Can I substitute a regular lemon? Also can I substitute Xylitol or Splenda for the erythritol ?

  30. Judith — July 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I didn’t have Meyer lemons so I made this yesterday with regular lemons and it was DELICIOUS!! I bought erythritol at Whole Foods a long while ago but didn’t really know what to do with it, so that was a bonus. I baked it in the toaster over @ 350 because I don’t really like nuking food. The texture is super nice, kind of like a spoonbread. Thank you. I love, love this recipe.

  31. rai — July 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    I am so excited to find this post and recipe. Why? Well so far it has nothing to do with the recipe (although I will be trying that very soon). But I am just excited to read and hear the story and truth behind the author. I appreciate you putting to words how I feel about food and the power of it. I also appreciate you sharing your story and I trust that it will encourage and bless the readers just as much as it has blessed me!

  32. Yanni — July 26, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    OMG!! Thank you so much. If I ever see you in person, I HAVE to hug you. I thought that I would never get to eat cake again. This is so good I almost cried!
    I tossed some poppy seeds into my second mug and I’m in heaven.
    Thanks again, this was EXCELLENT!!!


    • Rachel Gurk — July 27th, 2013 @ 8:48 am

      Glad you liked it!

  33. Donna — August 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Just tried this, and it was delish, and I will definitely make it again & again! Thanks for another fantastic recipe for those of us eating and living gluten free!

  34. Emily — November 7, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Thanks for a great recipe. I used coconut oil, 1 egg, 5 tbs almond flour, 2 tbs flax meal, 1 tbs chia seeds, a little Morton Half Salt, and 3 tbs of Meyer lemon jelly. Microwaved it for 2 minutes. Gorgeously delicious. I have limes, so that is my next adventure.

  35. Emily — November 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Just made it with lime. Added a personal size container if cream cheese. Got distracted and forgot salt and sweetener. Still delicious especially after adding a little maple syrup to the finished product.

  36. Emily Boronkay — November 14, 2013 at 12:11 am

    I love this versatile recipe. Since 3/4 cup equals 12 tablespoons, I always have one of chia seeds, 4 of almond flour, some of flax meal, and tonight I tried adding potato flakes. It always is delicious.
    I never use the salt or baking powder. I’ve done lemon and lime. Tonight I subbed in 2ish tablespoons of maple syrup and added walnuts. I love that I can change it and as long as I follow the proportions of egg to dry to liquid it turns out. Also, I mix and cook it all in a soup mug and increase the time to 2 minutes.
    Again, thank you for a wonderfully versatile recipe.

  37. Kc — January 4, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Can you substitute truvia or Kal stevia for the 2 tbsp erythritol. Do you know how much? Thanks! Looks really good!

  38. Sara — January 5, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks for the great recipes. You say “thin and fit” and yet you are prediabetic. It is possible you are not a type 2, but rather an LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults). Have you been tested for GAD antibodies?

  39. Sara — January 5, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I just made this…actually squeezed a little additional juice over it (and cooked for only 1 minute) and it is tart and delicious!

  40. fadwa davis — January 15, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Can u do raw honey instead of truvia. It acts up with my arthritis.

  41. Angie — February 9, 2014 at 12:07 am

    I’m not sure what I did wrong but I used Truvia powder instead of erythritol and it came out extremely bitter with that strange aftertaste you get with that sweetener sometimes. I was really looking forward to it too 🙁

  42. Andi — March 9, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    I prepared this today & it was great! I find most mug cakes to be dry yet this one is light & moist. Thank you!

  43. teresadarnell — June 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    OMG! just made this so good refreshing best mug cake to date I added a little cocnut to mine and small scoop low carb vanilla ice crream I plan to have the other half with coffee tomorrow for breakfast Thanks for the wonderful recipe Who new loseing lbs could taste so good

  44. Vivian — June 8, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Tried this tonight with a regular lemon (couldn’t find a meyer lemon) It is fantastic! Thanks so much for the recipe. I like it much more than the reg. old chocolate one… We are not much on chocolate!

  45. Lorraine — July 3, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Made these again for dessert when having my daughter and her husband for dinner. Knowing that she wouldn’t eat such a big dessert (she’s pregnant and has hyperemesis :(), I split the batter between 4 4-inch ramekins and microwaved two at a time for 1:30. Perfect! Served with whipped cream, they are the perfect size for a light dessert. The guys liked them too.

    They were also the perfect ending to a fabulous meal of Carolyn’s Deep Dish Pizza (which I had promised my son-in-law) and a spinach/arugula salad.

  46. Lori — July 5, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I’m so confused about the calorie count. When I put the ingredients in SparkPeople (leaving out the lemon and baking powder, and adding in powdered sugar) I got almost 700 calories. Even if I used a sugar substitute, the calories would still be WAY higher than the other people got. Am I missing something???

  47. Tracey Fish — April 14, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    This looks so yummy! I want to try it now for dessert but think I will save for breakfast or a snack, mainly because the calorie count is so high! 480 cals just in the almond meal. I know we don’t count calories on THM but that is a little heavy for dessert unless in maintenance. If you ever try this with lighter flours will you please share?! 🙂

  48. Vara — October 26, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    How much sugar would you use? I can’t use any kind of sweeteners or substitutes, and I don’t know how erythritol compares to real sugar on sweetness. Can you give me an estimate on how much it would be in sugar?


    • Rachel Gurk — October 26th, 2015 @ 4:05 pm

      Hi Vara,
      Great question! For this recipe, you can substitute with a 1 to 1 ratio – so use an equal amount of sugar. Hope you love the mug cake!

  49. Reesa K — January 8, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I whipped these cakes up, and they are delicious. I ate one with fresh whipped cream with a pinch of Stevia, and it was heaven. Thank you so much for lifting me up out of the doldrums of a low carb diet. Great recipe!

  50. Sharon — January 9, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Wow! I have just made and eaten this little cake with my daughter and it was amazing! I didn’t have any almond flour or erythritol, so substituted with a tablespoon or so of coconut flour and a teaspoon of sugar. We topped it off with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream. It was so light and moist, and the lemon flavour of the cake was divine. Thank you!


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