Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Ali Segersten Aug 25, 2016 18 comments

If you are in need of a chocolate fix or are looking for a dessert to impress your guests, then try this easy recipe for flourless, grain-free molten chocolate lava cakes! They are so simple and so tasty. You can even store the batter in the refrigerator and then cook one or two at a time, as needed. I like to serve them with crushed, freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries for an appealing presentation. Crushed, freeze-dried fruit also makes a great replacement for colorful sprinkles on children's treats (like cupcakes or birthday cakes)!

I tested this recipe many times last winter using different types of chocolate chips with varying levels of cacao content. I found that organic 55% chocolate chips (semi-sweet) worked best. The darker chocolate produced a very strong chocolate flavor.....too much for me (and too much of a buzz). You can of course test this recipe with darker chocolate and then report back here in the comments on how it turned out if you'd like!

The batter for these cakes can be made ahead of time and then baked just before they are ready to serve, in fact, that is the only way to make them as they need to be served warm for the "molten effect." I bake them in small glass Pyrex custard cups set on a cookie sheet or baking pan. You should be able to find them at your local grocery store or kitchen store, if not you can order them here. You will need six custard cups for this recipe.


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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Thanks so much Amber for your feedback! I'm so glad the jam jars worked and everyone enjoyed the cakes. I will have to give it a try sometime. 😊

I should clarify that I did not invert them into plates. We just all ate them straight out of the jars. I'm not sure they would've successfully come out of the jars despite oiling them well.

I made them today for a family birthday. I used the jelly size mason jars (8 oz), and they turned out great! I had to cook them a little longer...16ish minutes, but they were a hit! Great recipe, thank you!

You need six of the 1-cup size ramekins (8 ounce size), otherwise you will need 12 of the 1/2-cup sized ramekins (4 ounce size). Just wanted to clarify, because most folks have the smaller size! :)

I tested this recipe last year in ramekins and it worked well.

Hi Amber,

That might just work! Be sure to oil them generously with coconut oil.

The other thing that can work are ceramic ramekins. Do you have any of those? If could always ask your friends or neighbors if they have 6 you could borrow. :)

Please report back and let me know how the mason jar method works if you end up doing it.

I don't have custard you think it would work to bake these in 8 oz mason jars and just serve in the jars with a spoon?

Thanks Sheryl for leaving some feedback! It helps others who are making the recipe to read about how it worked out. :)

I is all about that timing! Every oven is slightly different. Getting that lava effect is really about finding the perfect amount of baking time for *your* oven. Glad you enjoyed the recipe! :)

Awesome! I should have pulled my batch out at 10 minutes instead of 12; there wasn't very much lava filling, but it was still super delicious. Going to try again tonight. Thank you Ali!

Hi Sue,

Thanks so much for your feedback! So glad you enjoyed them. Coconut cream and fresh raspberries.....yum! ❤️

Made these last night - they were a big hit !!! Served them in the ramekins with coconut cream and raspberries.

Hi there,

I'm sorry, I don't think this recipe could be made egg-free. Chia "eggs" work wonderfully in certain recipes with less eggs, but not so great in recipes calling for more than 2 eggs.

Thank you Lisa! So glad you loved the lava cakes. :)

Is there any way to make this recipe without eggs? Could I use chia eggs as a replacement?

LOVED, loved, loved this recipe. I served them with chocolate chip mint coconut ice cream. Thank you so much! Oh, and I used organic semi-sweet chocolate chips. I thought they were nice and chocolatey the way they were.

Hi Annie,

Thanks so much for your sweet feedback. I'm happy to hear that you are enjoying my new eBook! I think you will enjoy this's perfect for the holidays! :)

Hi Georgia,

Thanks for your feedback. Oven temperatures can vary. I suggest getting one of those cheap oven thermometers to see what temp you are actually cooking at. My brother tested this recipe for me last winter and found that his cakes turned out quite runny. He found that cooking them longer worked perfectly. I think more like 16 minutes. You might have to experiment to see what the perfect cooking time is. I don't think the runniness factor has anything to do with ingredients, just cooking time! Let me know how your other cakes turn out! :)

Thank you Ali! So glad to see your recipes in my inbox again. I already pre-ordered your new book and received my free ebook, and love it! It's so beautiful. I've already made the carob-avocado pudding twice. Yummy! So looking forward to trying this cake recipe when the weather cools. Just wanted to thank you for sharing your recipes with us! -Annie

Hi Ali!

I made these tonight but only baked one since I am single. The flavor on the outside of the cake was quite yummy.

It came out a bit runnier than your photo though. Any tips? Did I do something wrong? I used all ingredients as specified by your recipe.

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