Molten Lava Cakes

Molten Lava Cakes

So we couldn’t help ourselves. We don’t make a lot of desserts in our household. BUT, with a special holiday coming up next week, we thought a lot of you might be. Plus, we’re all for a celebratory treat once in a while!

We liked the challenge of trying to come up with a treat that uses local and natural ingredients, that also sits well with my stomach (living gall-bladder free makes it hard for me to digest fatty foods, so I stay away from most typical desserts these days!). However, Alex was determined we could develop a molten lava cake that met all these criteria.

lavacake1

And did he ever!  This cake is ultra delicious, using nothing other than local honey as a sweetener, and a small amount of coconut oil as the fat. It also includes whole wheat flour, which gives it a nice robust taste. (Sorry to all the low grain friends out there – we weren’t up to that challenge just yet!)

If you make the full recipe for four servings, it’s decadence at a minimal calorie count. But more importantly, it’s a quick and easy treat to throw together using natural ingredients that you might already have in your pantry.  Give it a try for an upcoming special meal – and try to use local eggs and honey if they are available to you!

lavacake3

Thanks to:

Schacht Farm for the eggs
Wildflower Ridge Honey for the honey

both at the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market

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Molten Lava Cakes


1 Star (No Ratings Yet)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4

Description

We’ve made this recipe using either 2 8-ounce ramekins or 4 5-ounce ramekins; you’ll just need to adapt the baking time (see below). The trick is to bake the cakes so that the outside is baked but the inside is still liquid. The timing is hard measure since all ovens and ramekins are different, so you’ll have to give it a try and adapt accordingly to your oven! You’ll want to remove the cakes when they have just solidified, but before they are cooked through. The liquidity of the honey also affects the runniness of the dough, which in turn affects the cook time.


Ingredients

  • 2 8-ounce ramekins (or 4 5-ounce ramekins)
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup honey (local, if possible!)
  • 1 egg (local, if possible!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil (or substitute 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. Then whisk in 1/4 cup milk, 1/3 cup honey, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Liberally grease the inside of the ramekins with oil or butter, especially the bottoms (don’t forget this part – it helps the cakes will easily slide out after baking!). Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins.
  4. Here’s the hard part: bake the ramekins until just hardened on top, but still liquid in the center – between 12 to 15 minutes for larger ramekins, and around 10 minutes for smaller ramekins. The top should be just solidified (not jiggly); you can test with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked but that there is still liquid on the inside. When you remove the ramekins from the oven, let them cool for a bit, then run a knife around the edge and carefully invert them onto a plate (using hot pads, as they’ll still be quite hot!).Tip Don’t worry if you overbake or underbake on your first try – we had to play with it a bit to get the right timing with our oven, but in either case they are still delicious! (Underbaking will end up with a lot of liquid (delicious!) whereas overbaking will have very little “lava”.)
  5. Serve immediately, sprinkled with powdered sugar. If desired, serve with ice cream, crème fraiche, or sweetened whipped cream.

 

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

28 Comments

  • Reply
    erin
    February 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Love this! Just out of curiosity, did you find you had to adjust your liquid ingredients to make up for using honey? I’m trying to use more natural sweeteners but I’m never sure how to adjust for using liquid or dry sweeteners!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      February 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Good question! We developed this recipe specifically for using honey, so we didn’t adapt it from an original recipe with sugar.

      But yes, I think you generally have to adjust the liquid in a recipe for adding honey (try this link: http://www.ehow.com/how_2110342_substitute-honey-sugar-recipe.html). Let us know if you give it a try!

  • Reply
    Kate
    February 13, 2012 at 4:38 am

    It looks very delicious and elegant.
    Simple things (with honey) are the best :)

  • Reply
    Denise
    February 13, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I love a good lava cake, especially when it’s made perfectly like these. Great how you turned it into a healthier version, can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    February 13, 2012 at 6:02 am

    This sounds sooooo freaking yummy!

  • Reply
    Simply Tia
    February 13, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Beautiful lava cake. Those things are sinfully delicious and yours look like no exception!! Yum.

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living
    February 13, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Simply fantastic! This is my kind of dessert: whole wheat flour, unrefined sweeter, low fat… can’t wait to make these molten lava cakes!

  • Reply
    Mara @ Elemental Custard
    February 13, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Wow delicious! I was just looking up a recipe for molten lava cakes and clicked on your blog to check the newest posts and voila! Perfect timing!

    • Reply
      Alex
      February 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Funny! Anything else that you need us to make for you?

  • Reply
    Brooke (The Flour Sack)
    February 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I opened my e-mail, died, went to heaven, and now I’m sitting here STILL staring at these gorgeous cakes! I love, love, love that you’ve made these lava cakes with whole, natural ingredients. I’m anxious to get in the kitchen and give them a go! Thank you for the wonderful inspiration. I appreciate your approach to food – it’s much like mine – and adore your blog. :)

    • Reply
      Alex
      February 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Haha. Thanks! You’ll have to let us know if you try them — we are hoping that our recipe works for anyone’s oven…

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    February 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Beautiful! I love this healthier version of a molten lava cake!! And I really love that you put special emphasis on using local eggs and honey – both of which I use regularly and love. I’ll be trying this recipe for sure!

    • Reply
      Alex
      February 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks! Of course, healthy is a relative term, but you can never go wrong with fresh local ingredients :)

  • Reply
    Heather@Kids in the Sink
    February 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    My husband and I used to go to a local restaurant and enjoy this dessert when we were dating! I’ve thought of making it at home but haven’t gotten around to it! It gives me a great idea for Valentine’s Day though!

  • Reply
    Sonja
    February 14, 2012 at 5:50 am

    All – I have updated the recipe to correct a typo and add a note about substituting butter, based on some reader feedback. Just a note in case you’d already looked through the recipe! :) Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  • Reply
    Meg
    March 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Do you happen to know the calorie count/nutritional facts on these delicious little cakes?

    • Reply
      Alex
      March 28, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      You can punch the ingredients into this calculator if you like: Recipe Analyzer

  • Reply
    Jacqueline
    May 11, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Those look wickedly amazing. The photos with the chocolate oozing out nearly finished me off :)

  • Reply
    Jacqueline
    May 11, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Those look wickedly amazing. The photos with the chocolate oozing out nearly finished me off :)

  • Reply
    sharfaa
    July 7, 2012 at 7:14 am

    is there any risk of salmonella?

    • Reply
      Alex
      July 7, 2012 at 9:22 am

      This is the standard procedure for making molten lava cakes. The internal temp gets quite warm, but I’m not sure if it reaches a full 160 degrees. So, I’m not sure if there is a small risk or not.

  • Reply
    Shukri
    November 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    A very good alternative recipe for the health concious. I made some chooclate sauce to go on top using some dark chocolate chips and coconut oil. Ate these molten lava cakes with ice cream and they tasted great. Every one in my family including kids loved them. Thank you for this great recipe!

  • Reply
    Barbara
    December 17, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    This looks and sounds so delicious. It makes me want to make it today. To bad I need to go to the store to get some of the ingredients before I make it!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    February 16, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Are these made with unsweetened cocoa powder?

  • Reply
    TG
    February 11, 2015 at 6:43 am

    OMG, I just discovered your beautiful site. And I had no idea this blog existed . I hope my blog name doesn’t sound ripped off from yours, coz its not :(

    On an aside, what a beautiful blog. I am drooling on my laptop! :)

  • Reply
    HP
    May 21, 2015 at 11:43 am

    These look fantastic – any idea if they can be made ahead and cooked from chilled or even frozen?

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 21, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      Hi! I think you could make the batter ahead (and then bring to room temperature when ready). I wouldn’t try baking them until you are ready to serve, because getting the molten chocolate just right is a little tricky.

  • Reply
    Trina
    March 7, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Oh yeah! Get into my belly! This is on the top of my to-bake list! Thanks!

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