This Lemon Cake Recipe For One Person Is Adorable & Easy To Make

Lemon cake served on a small plate with a fork
Kirsten Nunez

In the world of baked goods, lemon cake is a refreshing alternative to the typical chocolate or vanilla cake. And while I'm always down for a slice of this delicious treat, it simply doesn't make sense to bake a full cake just for myself. I mean, why would I want to create a huge mess in my kitchen when all I want is a tiny bite? That's why I set out to make a a lemon cake recipe for one person — also known as my new favorite recipe.

However, I totally get that lemon is one of those controversial dessert flavors. Think about it: Most people either love it or think it tastes too sour. As for me? I'm all about the citrus flavor. In this particular recipe, I added poppy seeds to make a mini lemon poppyseed cake, a classic favorite. But of course, you can add whatever you have on hand, or keep it plain and simple. This is the beauty of homemade dessert recipes, people.

To make something that is more reminiscent of pound cake, add a tablespoon of melted butter to the mix. You can also just slather it right on the warm cake... because butter. For an exceptionally decadent dessert, why not enjoy this with a side of homemade butter coffee? Yeah, I went there.

Regardless, you can be sure that lemon cake for one will hit the spot. Here's how to make it from scratch.

Lemon Cake for One

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon curd (or lemon zest)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)
  • Butter for greasing
Kirsten Nunez

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

1. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

You can use white whole wheat flour or your favorite gluten-free flour instead. However, these flours tend to soak up more moisture, so you might have to add a little extra liquid later on.

Kirsten Nunez

2. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Kirsten Nunez

3. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Mix well.

If you're using lemon zest instead of lemon curd, you can add the zest during this step.

Kirsten Nunez

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix frequently.

Kirsten Nunez

5. Grease a small oven-safe container. For reference, the container I used measures just under 4x4 inches.

Pour the batter into the container.

Kirsten Nunez

6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Kirsten Nunez

Tell me this isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen.

A single serving recipe wouldn't be complete without ideas on how to customize the treat. I mean, the mini portion size is perfect for experimenting and using up random leftover ingredients. So, why not have fun with it?

I brainstormed some possibilities you didn't have to. Here's what I came up with:

Chopped Fruit

Instead of letting those leftover fruits go to waste, chop 'em up and throw them in the batter. A single strawberry would literally be enough for this recipe.

Coconut Flakes

Lemon and coconut go so well together. To enjoy this tasty combination, add a tablespoon of coconut flakes to the batter. You can also sprinkle on some flakes right before baking.


To please your sweet tooth even further, make a single serving of frosting. It'll be the perfect amount for this tiny pound cake. Feeling lazy? Just slather on some cream cheese and call it a day. Done and done.

Make It Vegan

Use non-dairy milk. Instead of an egg, use a flax egg, powdered egg replacer, or even mashed banana. The finished lemon cake will obviously have a hint of banana, but something tells me it would be pretty good. For reference, 1/4 cup of mashed banana equals one whole egg.

Gluten Free

Instead of all-purpose flour, try this recipe with your favorite gluten-free flour. Your best bet is to choose a flour that has a 1:1 substitution ratio. But remember, most gluten-free flours tend to soak up more liquid, so keep an eye on the batter. If it seems too dry and thick, slowly add more milk in one teaspoon increments.

Kirsten Nunez

Be still, my heart.

Check out more Single Serving recipe ideas here for when your speed is less “entertaining my crew” and more “watching Netflix alone on my couch.”