I don’t know about you all, but I always thought that lava cakes were super challenging to make…until I made this recipe! This easy vegan chocolate lava cake recipe is foolproof, simple, and takes under an hour to make. These vegan molten lava cakes for two are the perfect dessert for a stay at home date night, Valentine’s Day, or Galentine’s day!
why we love this vegan lava cake
This vegan chocolate lava cake is so incredibly easy! It takes just a few minutes to bake but feels so fancy. The chocolate cake is tender & moist and the molten center is rich & decadent.
Topped off with fresh berries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar it’s the perfect chocolate dessert.
the molten lava cake ingredients
These vegan chocolate lava cakes are made with cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate in the cake batter. This helps provide a more stable base that helps support the molten center.
Chocolate ganache filling
For the ganache filling you only need two ingredients:
- Dark Chocolate Chips
- Coconut Cream
the cake batter
The cake batter only has 9 pantry friendly ingredients. They are:
- All-purpose Flour
- Cocoa Powder
- Instant Coffee
- Baking Powder
- Almond Milk
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Vegan Butter
toppings for the lava cake
This lava cake is great paired with non-dairy ice cream or dusted with powdered sugar. Top it with some sliced strawberries or a few raspberries, and you have yourself a perfect dessert!
molten lava cake molds & pans
The best pan or baking dish to use for this recipe is ramekins. Ramekins come in lots of different sizes, but I’m using 4″ ramekins today.
The ones I have are from IKEA and they’re super affordable, plus the cakes released perfectly from them.
If you don’t have an IKEA near you, you could also order these 4″ ramekins online for similar results.
baking the vegan chocolate lava cakes
The bake time for this cake recipe is 17-18 minutes with the 4″ ramekins. If you are using a different size, the bake time will need to adjust.
With larger ramekins, bake the cakes for 19-20 minutes. If your ramekins are smaller, bake for 16-17 minutes.
Here are a few tips to knowing if your cakes are done or not.
- The edges are firm and but the center is still a little wiggly.
- The cakes do not look sunken in the center.
- The entire top of the cake is matte, appears baked, and no longer looks shiny like batter.
- Note: if it looks like your ganache filling is poking through the top a bit, this is okay. The cake is still cooked through and will transfer to the plate just fine. There may have not been enough batter to cover the ganache filling.
how to get the best molten center
While some non-vegan lava cakes are essentially undercooked cakes, this dairy-free lava cake recipe uses a molten chocolate ganache center. Because this is also an egg free lava cake, under-baking or undercooking doesn’t work.
Eggs typically provide structure and can hold the cake together even with short bake times.
Since we’re not using them, the cake needs to bake for longer, around 18 minutes instead of the usual 10 minutes non-vegan recipes call for.
This means our vegan cake isn’t just an undercooked cake. Instead, this luscious vegan chocolate lava cake has a rich ganache center that is ooey-gooey and decadent.
releasing the lava cakes from the ramekin
The first step to making sure the cakes release cleanly is prepping the ramekins. This step is crucial, so don’t skip it! I greased my ramekins with some cooking spray prior to filling them.
When the cakes are done baking, it’s best to let them cool on a wire rack for about 2-3 minutes. This is important so you don’t burn yourself when trying to transfer them to a plate.
Before transferring the cakes, gently take a knife and run it along the edges of the cake to help loosen it from the ramekin.
Place a flat plate on top of the ramekin. I found it helpful to scoot the ramekin close to the edge of the counter, so I could get my hand under it. Next, gently flip the cake upside down.
You may want to tap the bottom of the ramekin a few times to make sure the cakes release. Then, gently wiggle the ramekin off.
vegan lava cake tips & tricks
Vegan buttermilk is very easy to make. All you need to do is mix together dairy-free milk, like almond milk, and a little vinegar.
The ganache should freeze for at least 4 hours or until it is firm to the touch.
I recommend making these vegan lava cakes right before you’re ready to serve them. Because the lava center is melted chocolate, the texture is the best right after removing from the oven (or within 30-45 minutes).
This is honestly such a rich, decadent, and luscious cake. If you’re looking for a fun date night dessert, this is the best vegan molten lava cake for two! This simple vegan lava cake recipe is easy, delicious, and will have you wanting one more bite.
If you’re looking for more delicious vegan desserts, check out these recipes!
- Classic Vegan Apple Pie
- Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Danishes
- Spiced Orange Bundt Cake
- Pomegranate Crumble Bars
- Italian Pear Almond Cake
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Leave a rating and comment below!
- 2 oz dark chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp coconut cream
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup of cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp instant coffee or espresso
- Pinch of salt, about 1/16 tsp
- 1/2 cup vegan buttermilk, ½ cup almond milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 1/2 tbsp vegan butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the ganache center:
- Melt the dark chocolate chips and the coconut cream together in a medium-sized bowl. To do this, microwave on high for 45 seconds, stopping halfway to stir the mixture.
- Once melted, stir them together until the mixture is uniform, and freeze for at least 30 minutes, up to 4 hours. The ganache should be firm to the touch yet scoop-able for the best results. See the photos in the post above for reference!
To make the cake batter:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prep your ramekins by placing them on a baking tray. Grease them with cooking spray.
- Make the vegan buttermilk by combining the almond milk with the apple cider vinegar. Set aside for 5 minutes to curdle.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, instant coffee, and baking powder. Maker sure no large lumps are in the mixture.
- Make a well in the center. Pour in the vegan buttermilk, melted vegan butter, and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Don’t overmix, doing so will result in a less tender cake. The batter should be thick yet pourable.
- Pour the batter into the bottom of the ramekins so they are ¼ of the way full.
- Remove the chocolate ganache from the freezer. It should be set up now. Scoop 1 1/2 tbsp of the ganache and place on top of the batter in each ramekin.
- Pour the remaining batter on top, so the ganache is completely covered and the ramekins are ¾ of the way full.
- Bake the cakes for 17-18 minutes. They should be firm around the edges yet slightly jiggly near the center.
- Remove them from the oven, and let the ramekins cool on a wire rack for 2-3 minutes.
To Serve the Cake:
- Gently wiggle a knife around the edges of the cakes. Place a plate on the top of the ramekin and gently flip it upside down. Tap the bottom of the ramekin a few times to help the cake slide out. Be careful since the ramekins are still hot.
- Serve by dusting the tops with powdered sugar, or with a scoop of non-dairy ice cream and berries.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 238mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 3gSugar: 27gProtein: 6g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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