Molten Caramel, Chocolate, ooey gooey lava goodness, who could ask for anything more? There is nothing better than lava cake with a silky runny caramel center. Bookmark this recipe for anytime you have a sweet tooth!
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Homemade Caramel Lava Cakes
Lava cake with its runny rich saucey center has been a favorite dessert in my family for years and will become a staple in your family when you see how easy it is.
If you have never made lava cakes before you are in for a treat. They are easy, fun, and have a really impressive result whether you’re looking to impress dinner guests or your kids. Lava cakes are a popular dessert in Europe and often have the center filled with different flavors. Once you master this recipe feel free to experiment with different fillings. See tips and tricks section below for ideas.
How To Make Caramel Lava Cakes
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips – chocolate chips are a great inexpensive way to give these lava cakes the rich creamy chocolate flavor without breaking the bank.
- Salted butter – butter will give the cake a loose consistency before baking and a very rich flavor. I use salted butter here since we have caramel in the recipe which is extremely sweet so a little extra salt helps balance the flavors.
- Eggs – eggs are critical to add structure to your lava cakes. They also are the leavener in this case since we won’t be using baking powder or baking soda. Use high quality eggs if you can for the best cake flavor.
- Egg yolks – egg yolks, in addition to whole eggs, are essential to make the cake dense and rich since they are high in protein.
- Sea salt – salt is an important ingredient in any recipe since it brings the flavor out of the other ingredients. Use a fine grain sea salt so that it will distribute evenly throughout the cake.
- Powdered sugar – Because we are not using baking soda or powder it’s important to keep things light where you can so I always use powdered sugar that has been sifted in my lava cake.
- White flour – you can use all purpose white flour but if you have the option use cake flour since it is very light in texture and low in protein
- Caramel sauce – any liquid caramel sauce will work for this recipe. Buy a high quality caramel sauce since it is a key flavor in your caramel lava cakes.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:
- Step 1 – Melt the chocolate and butter. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl melt the chocolate chips and butter.
- Step 2 – To avoid splitting the mixture make sure the eggs are at room temperature and the butter chocolate mixture is just warm enough to be liquid. Add the eggs and sea salt. Mix the ingredients until completely combined and smooth.
- Step 3 – Sift the powdered sugar into the flour and add the dry ingredients to the bowl gently.
- Step 4 – Butter up a large muffin tin and fill each cup half full with the chocolate mixture. Then add a spoonful of the caramel and finish off with more chocolate mixture. You are trying to get the caramel in the center.
- Step 5 – Bake the cakes immediately for 9 minutes and serve immediately. They will be wobbly when you take them out of the oven. Remove the cakes from the tray immediately after baking and enjoy them warm.
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Caramel Lava Cakes:
Making lava cakes, especially if you are doing it for the first time, can be a tricky business. See the tips and tricks below to ensure a good end product.
Dark chocolate chips. For a stronger richer chocolate flavor you can use dark chocolate chips instead of semi dark chocolate.
Soft caramel candies. If you want the caramel more isolated to the center of the lava cake you can use soft caramel candies and just set them in the center before baking. The candies will melt in the oven. You can also freeze the caramel sauce in an ice cube tray and just add a cube of it to the center to consolidate the caramel.
Keep the chocolate mix ingredients at the same temperature. Just like when you bake most other cakes you don’t want your chocolate mix to split so make sure the eggs are at room temperature and the warmed chocolate and butter are just melted and not super hot.
Butter up the muffin tins. If you don’t butter the muffin tins really well the lava cakes will stick so make sure you take a minute to do it well.
Yes! My favorite alternative is peanut butter. You just need to add a spoonful of smooth peanut butter to the center in place of the caramel. You can also add different jams for a fruit flavor or just some unmelted chocolate chips for a chocolate filling.
Unfortunately, this is a recipe that does not keep well as leftovers. The residual heat from baking will harden the center as they cool so only make as many as you want to eat warm. If you do have some that are cooled they will be basically just a rich cake and you can wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
What to Serve With Caramel Lava Cakes?
To see more of our recent desserts, see our newest below:
Caramel Lava Cakes Recipe
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- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup salted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup white flour
- ¼ cup caramel sauce
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the chocolate chips and butter. Microwave the ingredients for about 1 minute, or until all the ingredients are fully melted.
- Add the eggs and sea salt. Mix the ingredients together until smooth and homogenous.
- Whisk in the powdered sugar and flour gently until it is fully incorporated into the cake batter.
- Butter down a large muffin tin and fill each section of the tin up halfway. Pour a spoonful of caramel sauce on top of each cake and finish filling up the tin with batter.
- Bake the cakes for 9 minutes and serve immediately.