I read a recipe a while back about a chocolate cake that was cooked in 3 minutes in the microwave. I didn't really believe it, but I tried it out and then proceeded to alter it to suit my own tastes because I thought it was too heavy and the texture was a bit wonky - if decent for an instant chocolate fix at 12:00 in the morning. Still, the unpleasant texture just became more pronounced as I experimented with vanilla variations. At last, here is my 5-minute lemon-poppy seed cake that rises beautifully and is light and airy - unlike the chocolate cake.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
2 mins
cook:
3 mins
total:
5 mins
Servings:
2
Yield:
2 servings
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Ingredients

2
Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk flour, sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, baking soda, poppy seeds, and lemon extract together in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the egg. Pour batter into a large microwave-safe glass or ceramic mug or cereal bowl.

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  • Heat in the microwave on high until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 3 minutes.

Cook's Note

Want a totally vanilla cake? Strike out the poppy seeds and lemon extract and use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract instead.

For years my mother made buttermilk for homemade Southern-style biscuits by curdling milk with some vinegar. This seems like a bit of work for this recipe; if I did not have store buttermilk on hand I think I would try plain nonfat yogurt in place of buttermilk.

Nutrition Facts

407 calories; protein 6.3g 13% DV; carbohydrates 39.2g 13% DV; fat 25.2g 39% DV; cholesterol 93.9mg 31% DV; sodium 374.7mg 15% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (10)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
06/25/2010
The texture is a bit wierd but it might be because I used Splenda Egg Beaters and fat free buttermilk. The taste is right on for a lemon cake. I thought I had poppyseeds but alas I didn't and already had the rest made. So cooked in my microwave for exactly 2 1/2 minutes worked perfect. I put a little glaze on top of powdered sugar skim milk and lemon extract. Thanks for a great idea and I'll buy some poppyseeds for sure to make this again. Read More
(10)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
07/03/2010
I had high hopes for this recipe and really really wanted to like it but for the life of me I can't get this to turn out. I've tried several times each with an oversized 2c. ceramic coffee mug. It always looks great from the outside but it keeps burning on the inside. I've reduced the cook time to 2 minutes with little success. The inside just wants to change colors to an unappetizing burnt brown and is very chewy. Flavor wise the cake is great especially when topped with lemon glaze. Read More
(15)
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 2 stars
07/02/2010
I had high hopes for this recipe and really really wanted to like it but for the life of me I can't get this to turn out. I've tried several times each with an oversized 2c. ceramic coffee mug. It always looks great from the outside but it keeps burning on the inside. I've reduced the cook time to 2 minutes with little success. The inside just wants to change colors to an unappetizing burnt brown and is very chewy. Flavor wise the cake is great especially when topped with lemon glaze. Read More
(15)
Rating: 2 stars
06/25/2010
This was a fun experiment but not one I'll repeat. While not exactly inedible there was just something offputting about the texture and taste. I added a lemon glaze to top it off which definitely helped. Read More
(11)
Rating: 4 stars
06/25/2010
The texture is a bit wierd but it might be because I used Splenda Egg Beaters and fat free buttermilk. The taste is right on for a lemon cake. I thought I had poppyseeds but alas I didn't and already had the rest made. So cooked in my microwave for exactly 2 1/2 minutes worked perfect. I put a little glaze on top of powdered sugar skim milk and lemon extract. Thanks for a great idea and I'll buy some poppyseeds for sure to make this again. Read More
(10)
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Rating: 4 stars
06/24/2010
I used a large cereal bowl and it turned out quite well at 3 min. The middle looked different/soft at first but cooled to the same shortly. I reduced the sugar to a bit over half but then ended up sprinkling it on top. Not as lemony since I used lemon juice. The milk/vinegar substitute for buttermilk seemed to work doesn't take long. Used a bit more poppy seeds and ground them for more flavour. If I'd thought of it wonder if soaking them in milk like in some other poppy seed recipes would have improved it? Also I used whole wheat flour. For a microwaved cake I was impressed. Read More
(8)
Rating: 4 stars
06/23/2010
If you're at high altitude like me better split it between two mugs... mine spilled over during the cook time. I didn't have lemon extract so I used juice and grated peel... probably would have been more flavorful with the extract... not bad overall especially if you sprinkle it with more sugar. Read More
(7)
Rating: 4 stars
05/09/2012
The taste was okay but I'm reviewing to say DO NOT use yogurt as a sub for buttermilk as suggested in the Cook's Notes. I did & it was horrible!!! It came out rubbery & chewy ick! But I will try it again I just didn't want anyone else ending up with the mess I did:o) Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/07/2011
I've had the microwave chocolate cake many times and I've never once gotten it to turn out. I tried the vanilla option for this and for a microwave cake it was fantastic. I'm out of eggs so I tried it without an egg and a little extra buttermilk and hoped for the best. I microwaved it for 45 seconds and sampled it then it was very moist and dense.. But with a much much better texture than microwave chocolate cake. Read More
(4)
Rating: 2 stars
06/22/2015
I was expecting it to be a Little more lemony but the texture was pretty good for a microwave cup recipe. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
10/11/2013
I tried this and it would just burn and change colors in the middle. I tried changing the cook time because of the high wattage my microwave has. It still burned on me. It was a good experiment but I won't be doing this again. Read More
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