Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Recipe: Orange and lemon cheesecake mug cake

Dig for victory! Orange and lemon cheesecake mug cake
As someone who moved into a proper house with a garden for the first time six months ago, I have a new found interest in gardening. Our lives have changed - Sundays are now all about garden centres and organic slug prevention - suddenly I cant get enough of gardener's question time. I was fortunate to meet Lyndsey from garden accessories company, What You Sow, last year, as a fellow fan of cake and a Pinterest addict, Lyndsey drew my attention to the world of mug cakes. Self-contained, single serving cake-desserts, baked in a mug. Wonderful. We both fell in love with the idea so much, that Lyndsey sent me a lovely gardening mug, solely as a vessel for cake.

Most mug cakes out there are 'baked' in a microwave. This will sound crazy to many of you, but here goes: there is no microwave in my kitchen. This is not a mistake. I don't like microwaves; it's not entirely rational, but something about the way they work gives me the heebie jeebies (simultaneously exciting the water molecules throughout your food? It just doesn't sound right.). Saying this - it's important you know that I will use a microwave if it's there. Massively hypocritical, I know - but I'm lazy - and that's the bottom line (somehow the heebie jeebies turns a blind eye when it comes to enabling laziness). Also, I'm not sure there are many things which taste better if microwaved, but have an inkling that owning one would probably tempt me to microwave pretty much everything. What I'm trying to say is that this is a recipe for a mug cake which is genuinely baked, not zapped (no simultaneous excitement of molecules occurs in this recipe, more the gradual transfer of heat via conduction, I think...).

Luckily Lyndsey sent me an enamel coated camping-style tin mug anyway - far more oven friendly than microwave appropriate. These mugs produce very generous cakes - they'd be ideal to share one cake between two (to make just one mug cake - halve this recipe).

Orange and lemon mug cake topped with candied orange peel
This recipe is for an orange and lemon cheesecake mug cake. A zesty sponge, hiding an orange and lemon cheesecake filling inside, topped with a lemon drizzle, a dollop of cream cheese frosting and finely sliced candied orange peel. A bit of a decadent gardening snack, or maybe your reward for a hard day's weeding?

This recipe makes two mug cakes (mugs sized 10cm x 9cm)

240g self raising flour
200g caster sugar
240ml milk
80ml rapeseed oil
2 eggs
4tsp finely grated orange zest
4tsp finely grated lemon zest

For the cheesecake filling
100g cream cheese
25g caster sugar
1/2tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2tsp finely grated orange zest

For the drizzle:
4tbs lemon juice
2tbs caster sugar

To finish:
Finely sliced candied orange peel

Pre-heat the oven to 160C (fan) and stand two enamel mugs (10cm x 9cm) on a baking tray.

To make the cheesecake filling, mix the cream cheese, caster sugar, orange and lemon zest together until evenly combined. Set to one side.

To make the cake mixture, add all of the ingredients to an electric mixer (sift the flour in to avoid clumping) and mix on a medium setting until combined into a smooth batter.

Half fill each mug with cake batter, then scoop a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the centre of each. Top with the remaining cake mixture, leaving approximately 2cm space at the top of each mug.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 50 minutes, or until cooked through. The top should be golden-brown and the sponge should spring back easily when compressed.

To make the drizzle, heat the lemon juice and sugar in a pan until dissolved into a syrup - pour over the mug cakes while they're still warm.

Leave the cakes to cool completely and top with a teaspoon of the remaining cream cheese mixture and a few finely sliced pieces of candied peel. To enjoy these as a dessert, chill them until you're ready and serve with a spoon.

I love that the mug What You Sow sent me says 'dig for victory' on the side - digging into this cake you'll be rewarded with a citrusy cheesecake hidden within the sponge :) You can buy the Dig for Victory mug here.


  1. I don't own a microwave either and haven't done for nearly two years - I don't miss it. But I was a bit sad about missing out on mug cakes.....not any more after this! YAY for mug cakes! Can you please do a chocolate one too? x

    1. Thanks Philippa, a fellow non-microwaver! There's something so lovely about a self contained single serving cake... I'm a big fan of chocolate cake too :)