This is a super simple mug cake that cooks in just 3 1/2 minutes and is really delicious! What’s more, it celebrates Australian native bush tucker ingredients. (Oh and it’s also sugar free, gluten free and dairy free!)
Bush tucker is plant, insect and animal foods found in Australia. The Indigenous Australian peoples have an incredibly long history of appreciating and using these items in a myriad of ways. In using these ingredients in our recipe, we wish to honour the Traditional Owners of this land, show our respect for the Elders and celebrate the cultures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
You Will Need:
- 1 tbsp ground lemon myrtle leaves (fresh is best, but dried is fine)
- 1 tbsp crushed macadamia nuts
- 3 tbsp almond meal
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- 2 tbsp macadamia milk
- 1 heaped tbsp honey
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
How to Make Lemon Myrtle and Macadamia Mug Cake
Mix all the ingredients together with a fork. Then pour into a mug.
Cook in the microwave for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, until the cake has risen well and is light and fluffy, without wetness. (Avoid opening the microwave as much as possible during cooking or the cake may deflate). For decoration, you may wish to sprinkle the top with icing sugar and some extra lemon myrtle.
Then enjoy! It is lovely with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of cream. If you wish to hero the bush tucker ingredients more, we recommend a lovely macadamia cream.
For Macadamia Cream, You Will Need:
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
- 1 tsp agave nectar or rice syrup
- 2 drops vanilla extract
- 5–6 tsp water
How to Make Macadamia Cream
Soak the macadamia nuts in water for at least 4 hours.
Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Make sure you add the water teaspoon by teaspoon till you get the consistency you desire. For a fairly thick cream, we found 5–6 teaspoons worked well. Just add more if you prefer a thinner cream with a pouring consistency.
Bush tucker Ingredients
Lemon myrtle is a native Australian tree that grows on the east coast of Australia from Mackay to Brisbane. The leaves have a beautiful lemon scent and flavour with a hint of sweetness, like lemon sherbet. Indigenous Australian people have long used lemon myrtle, both in cooking and medicine. One lady told us that her mother used to tear a leaf and put half in each of her pockets to keep away mosquitoes! The flavour is so versatile that it goes with anything from fish, seafood and chicken to ice creams, biscuits and cakes. It is also great as a bush tucker tea. Lemon myrtle is also known for its health benefits. It contains antioxidants and is believed to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-virus properties.
Where to Find Lemon Myrtle
If you are in or around Brisbane, there could be a lemon myrtle tree growing very near to you. If not, why not get a plant from a nursery and grow one at home? You can also buy lemon myrtle leaves in fresh or dry form from several online bush tucker retailers. The fresh leaves will always give the best flavour hit, but the dried leaves make an awesome pantry item, both as whole leaves (used like bay leaves) or in crushed form.
Macadamia is another tree that is native to Australia, growing from central Queensland to northern New South Wales. Macadamia nuts have many health benefitting nutrients. For example, they are rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, thiamine, vitamin B6 and iron, and also contain antioxidants. (However, they are toxic to dogs, so keep them away from your furry friends.)
Where to Find Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are readily available in most supermarkets and food shops. If possible, it is best to source products locally. We recommend heading to local farmers markets or food swaps, or checking with local community groups to see if there are any growers local to you. You can also buy macadamia nuts online from bush tucker retailers.
How to Open Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are notoriously difficult to open. If you buy them in their shells, you will likely find it impossible to open them with traditional nut crackers. We found the easiest way to open them was to hold the nut firmly with pliers and give it a few sharp taps with a hammer. We also bounced them pretty hard on concrete first, to loosen the nuts from the shells. This made them much easier to remove from the shells whole — and the kids loved this crazy step!
For more great bush tucker inspired recipes, why not try these super easy wild rosella biscuits or saltbush and mountain pepperberry crackers?
Learn about bush tucker in Brisbane and how to grow your own here. You can also visit the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha to see an awesome example of a fully stocked bush tucker garden, or walk the bush tucker trail at Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate.
You will also find bush tucker plants at some of the community gardens in Brisbane. Find out more here.