Even though chocolate lava cakes look super fancy, they are easier to make than you think! Just a handful of ingredients are all you need to make this impressive decadent dessert, and being flourless means you can enjoy this if you're gluten-free!
I used to assume that chocolate lava cakes were difficult to make.
I would happily enjoy them at a restaurant where someone else made them for me, but trying to make it at home seemed like it might be too much work.
Boy, was I ever wrong.
AND I discovered that traditionally, lava cakes do not use much flour at all...which only made me determined to figure out how to make them gluten-free!
You can't have chocolate lava cakes without chocolate! In this case, I am use chocolate bars. You could use chocolate chips, but I find that chocolate bars melt faster and create a smoother texture.
Then you need butter, an egg, an egg yolk, some sugar, a pinch of salt, almond flour, and coconut flour. Don't forget a bit of cocoa powder for dusting the baking dishes.
Dark or Light Chocolate?
I have used either 60% or 72% bittersweet dark chocolate for this recipe, both yielding delicious results. Keep in mind that different brands of the same percentage can taste different, so I would suggest using a dark chocolate that you like, opting to go slightly more bitter in taste because there is already sugar in the recipe. I would not recommend using milk chocolate because it will be too sweet.
Preparing the Baking Dishes
I use 3-inch tart dishes to make my lava cakes, keeping the servings small since the dessert is so rich. Generously grease the tart dishes with softened butter and then dust with cocoa powder so that the cakes release easily.
Can you dust the dishes with almond flour or coconut flour?
Yes, almond flour or coconut flour will also work. However, because they have not been blended into the cake batter, their light color will show when you unmold the cakes. If you plan to cover the cakes with icing sugar or ice cream, then it won't matter!
What about using ramekins?
Ceramic straight-sided ramekins are often used for lava cake recipes and they can certainly be used for this recipe as well. If using ramekins, I would use a small 4-ounce size ramekins to keep the cakes small. Because ceramic ramekins are thicker than the dishes I use for this recipe, the cakes may take longer to bake. (See the Recipe Notes below for more details using ramekins.)
How To Make the Cake Batter
The chocolate gets melted with some butter, and if you aren't familiar with melting chocolate, this is the perfect time to read my post on How To Melt Chocolate! My method of melting chocolate doesn't involve the stove, a double boiler or microwave, doesn't require constant watching, and most importantly, it's EASY.
In another bowl, combine the egg, egg yolk, sugar, almond flour, and coconut flour and whisk until the mixture is thick.
Add the luscious melted chocolate and butter to the egg mixture and stir well using a rubber spatula until you have a cohesive batter.
Ready to Bake
Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared dishes and place them on a baking sheet for easier transferring in and out of the oven.
Bake for 4-5 minutes to keep the chocolate inside soft and flowy when you dig into it! The edges should look crusty and the center should look slightly wet and uncooked.
Let the cakes cool for a minute, loosen the edges by running a toothpick around the outside of the cake and then invert onto your serving plates.
How To Serve the Lava Cakes
Serve them immediately after getting them on your serving dishes so that the soft chocolate inside is warm.
Top them with icing sugar, a generous scoop of your favorite flavored ice cream or a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Drizzle melted chocolate over the whole thing or add a dusting of cocoa.
Looking for More Chocolate Desserts?
I've got you covered! Check out these chocolate treats...all delicious and all gluten-free!
Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cookies
Decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake
Fabulously Fudgy Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies
Flourless Chocolate Swirl Blondies
Chewy Chocolate Mochi Bread
Flourless Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins
This lava cake recipe is so easy, there is no reason for you to not make them and deny yourself this decadent chocolate treat! They're also impressive once plated, looking like they required way more effort to make than is true! Add on the undetectable bonus that they are gluten- and grain-free and making this dessert is a no brainer!
Flourless Chocolate Lava Cakes
For Preparing Baking Dishes:
- Room temperature butter
- Cocoa powder
- Preheat oven 450F/230C.
- Grease dishes with room temperature butter, making sure to coat surfaces thoroughly. Dust with cocoa powder. Set dishes on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Melt unsalted butter and chocolate, stirring well to combine. Once completely melted, set aside to cool slightly.
- In a mixing bowl, combine egg, egg yolk, sugar, almond flour, and coconut flour. Whisk together well until mixture is thick.
- Add melted chocolate and butter to egg mixture and use a rubber spatula to combine well.
- Divide chocolate mixture evenly among prepared baking dishes.
- Transfer the baking sheet with the cakes to the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes. Watch them carefully...edges should look crusty, middle should look slightly wet and underdone. (See Recipe Notes below regarding using ceramic ramekins.)
- Remove from oven and let cool about 1 minute.
- Use a toothpick to gently loosen the edges of the cake from the dish.
- Carefully invert cake onto a serving dish or serve directly from the baking dish.
- Dust with icing sugar and top with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and serve immediately.
- 2 tablespoons sugar = 25 grams
- 1 tablespoon almond flour = 5 grams
- Dust the buttered baking dishes with either cocoa, coconut flour, or almond flour. Coconut or almond flour, however, will be visible when you unmold it from the dish.
- Be sure to use unsalted butter for the lava cakes. The saltiness from salted butter will not suit the cakes well.
- You can serve the lava cakes directly from the baking dishes if you do not want to invert them onto a plate.
- Gently loosen the cakes from their dishes using a toothpick.
- If using ceramic ramekins: since the ceramic ramekins are thicker than the dishes I use in this recipe, the cakes may take a bit longer to bake. It is important to watch the cakes as they bake, in this case, and when you see that the outer edges look baked and the middle looks slightly wet and underdone, that's when they should be removed from the oven.
- Refrigerate any leftover cakes and either warm them in the microwave for 20 seconds or in a 375F/190C oven for 5 minutes.