Chocolate Lava Cakes are super easy to make at home and pure chocolate heaven.
Chocolate lava cakes are one of the best desserts (don’t you think?!)…the warm chocolate center with the perfectly chewy cooked outside, topped with creamy cold vanilla ice cream. It’s like dessert perfection and dangerously easy to make at home. They are also a great make ahead dessert too. Mix up the batter and store them in individual ramekins in the fridge until you are ready to bake them. They can be made up to two days in advance before baking. You might think you are seeing double, since we just recently shared an instant pot version of this same recipe, but you are not. This is a follow up post to the last one…keep reading.
I’ve been making a bunch of these chocolate lava cakes over the last few weeks…four batches now. I recently got an instant pot, and have been excited to try all the things!…like these little chocolate lava cakes. You can see the outcome of the Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cakes here. Here’s the thing…using the same chocolate cake recipe, I prefer chocolate lava cakes baked in the oven vs. cooking them in the instant pot, and here’s why:
Baking vs. Cooking Chocolate Lava Cakes in the Instant Pot
1. Cook Time: You can preheat your oven while you mix up the cake batter, which makes for less overall wait time compared to the instant pot. With the Instant Pot you have to put the little ramekins inside the instant pot, close it up and seal it, and then wait for the instant pot to come to pressure before the actual cook time countdown begins. So technically it is less “instant” than baking.
2. Quantity: You can bake more individual cakes at one time compared to the instant pot. With the instant pot you are limited to cooking four to six ramekins depending on if you have a second wire rack to stack three on bottom and three on top at one time. With baking, you could bake as many as you’d like…well I guess it depends on how many ramekins you can fit onto one sheet pan.
3. Overall Texture: The overall texture on the finished cakes is better when baked verse cooked in the instant pot. When baked the outside has a little bit of a crust, and the center is warm chocolate lava. The Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cakes have more of an overall sponge like texture. After three attempts in the instant pot there was never an actual chocolate lava flow. The first batch was so undercooked, then I upped the bake time and there was still no chocolate flow. I even tried adding a few chocolate chips to the center of the batter and that didn’t work either.
When it comes to desserts cooked in the instant pot we’ve also made a cheesecake (a chocolate cheesecake!), and it turned out awesome, so I guess it really depends on the type of dessert you are making. Things like cheesecake or puddings or custards all work great in the instant pot!
Okay so onto the recipe…let’s BAKE a cake! The perfect little cake just for you…that you don’t have to share, because everyone gets their own! Make sure that the ice cream to chocolate cake ratio is right, which if you are my husband it’s like 2 scoops of ice cream to one little cake.
Chocolate Lava Cakes
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter cut into pieces, + more to grease the ramekins
- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- *optional 1 teaspoon of semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Butter the bottom and sides of four 6 oz ramekins. Sprinkle granulated sugar inside each one and tip the sugar around to coat all sides. Dump out excess sugar.
Melt the butter and chocolate chips in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute or more until melted. Stir together until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Stir in the powdered sugar.
Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk and vanilla.
Stir in the flour and salt.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared ramekins.
If you'd like, add semi sweet chocolate chips into the center of the ramekin to guarantee the chocolate flow after cooking.
Place all ramekins onto a baking sheet and move them all into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Use oven mitts to remove the sheet pan from the oven.
Let the cakes cool for a minute inside of the ramekins.
Gently run a knife around the rim of the cakes inside the ramekins. Flip the ramekins upside down onto plates and let gravity pull the cake out of the ramekin. Lift the ramekin off the plate.
Dust the chocolate cakes with powdered sugar. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
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I’d love to know, what’s your favorite dessert?