Vegan Lava Cake

This vegan lava cake recipe is the pinnacle of any chocolate lover’s life! Served warm, this tender cake reveals melted chocolate in the center. Serve your cakes with fresh raspberries, coconut whipped cream, and more!

A vegan lava cake sits on a plate with molten chocolate coming out. There are fresh raspberries on and around it. There's another one on a plate in the background and a bowl of raspberries.

Besides, the single-serving vegan lava cake is so elegant and yet simple. Everyone loves it!

What I love about this recipe is not just the dark chocolate “molten” center, but also how easy the cakes are to make. That’s saying a lot when you’re talking about a cake that is so soft and tender, and yet firm enough to hold its own.

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Plant-based creamer — I used a vegan half and half but you can substitute full-fat coconut milk.
  • Dairy-free Chocolate — You’ll need one cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips or 4 ounces of vegan chocolate.
  • Flour — Use all-purpose flour. Make a vegan gluten-free lava cake by substituting an equal amount of gluten-free baking flour.
  • Sugar — I  use granulated sugar for this recipe.
  • Cocoa powder — I use natural cocoa powder, but you can substitute dutch-process cocoa powder.
  • Vegetable oil — I used canola oil, but any neutral flavored vegetable oil will work.
  • Vinegar — I used apple cider vinegar, but you can substitute lemon juice or white vinegar.
  • Toppings — Top your individual lava cakes with powdered sugar, fresh raspberries, chocolate syrup, or coconut whipped cream.

How to Make Vegan Lava Cake

  1. Heat vegan cream in the microwave and add vegan chocolate. Stir until creamy and smooth. 
    A hand holds a bowl of chopped chocolate, pouring it into a bowl with heated vegan creamer.
  2. Cover the melted chocolate and refrigerate (or freeze) until firm enough to handle, at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. When ready, make 6 chocolate balls. Place the shaped chocolate balls in the fridge.
    Chocolate ganache balls sit on a white plate next to a bowl of chocolate with a cookie dispenser in it
  4. In a mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.
  5. In a smaller bowl stir together vegetable oil, water, and vinegar.
  6. Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture.
    A hand holds a glass measuring cup full of liquid ingredients and is pouring it into a bowl with a flour and cocoa powder mixture.
  7. Spoon half of the batter equally amongst the prepared ramekins.
  8. Place a chilled chocolate ball in each dish and cover with the remaining batter.
    Looking down on three ramekins with batter and chocolate balls in each.
  9. Place the baking sheet with filled ramekins in the heated oven and bake until the tops are set.
  10. Run a knife around the inside edge of slightly cooled ramekins.
  11. Place a dessert plate on top and invert the ramekin to release the cake onto the plate.
  12. Dust with powdered sugar and top with your favorite fresh berries, like raspberries, and serve immediately.

Marly’s Tips

Don’t have a ramekin? You can make vegan lava mug cakes by baking them in a coffee mug instead of ramekins!

A vegan lava cake has powdered sugar and raspberries on top.

Storage Tips

To store, let the cakes come to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 7 days. They can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight. Always serve them warm, so pop them in the oven or microwave until heated through.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Can you serve lava cake cold?

Lava cake should never be served cold. The whole idea of the lava cake is the melted chocolate in the center of the cake. If your cakes have been stored in the fridge, heat them in a microwave or stove until heated through. I recommend serving it with additional melted chocolate as some of the chocolate may absorb into the cake as it chills.

Can you make lava cake gluten-free?

Make your vegan lava cake gluten-free by substituting high-quality gluten-free flour and making sure the rest of your ingredients are gluten-free as well.

Can you make lava cake vegan?

It’s actually easier to make vegan chocolate lava cake because instead of separating eggs, you make chocolate ganache centers that are baked right into the batter. It produces the same molten chocolate center that we all know and love.

Looking down on a lava cake with melted chocolate pouring out. It has fresh raspberries on top. There's another plate and a bowl of raspberries in the background.

Serving Suggestions

Top your easy vegan lava cakes with any of the following:

Vegan Chocolate Cake Favorites

This vegan lava cake is amazing, and here are some more vegan chocolate desserts to try:

A vegan lava cake sits on a plate with chocolate coming out. There are fresh raspberries on top and beside it. Another plate is barely visible in the background.

Vegan Lava Cake

Make this Molten Lava Cake with a gooey center for your next gorgeous dessert. This cake is also gluten-free and vegan!
5 from 2 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 501kcal

Ingredients

Chocolate Center

  • ½ cup plant-based creamer (or full-fat coconut milk)
  • ¾ cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips

Preparing Ramekins

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, softened
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Lava Cake

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Toppings: powdered sugar, fresh raspberries, chocolate syrup, or coconut whipped cream. and/or fresh raspberries

Instructions

For the Chocolate Center:

  • To make the ganache center, place creamer in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for one minute. Add chocolate chips, stirring to ensure all are coated. Then cover with a plate and set aside for up to 3 minutes. The chocolate chips should be melted. If not, heat in 30-second increments until the chocolate is melted. Stir until creamy and smooth.
  • Cover the melted chocolate and refrigerate (or freeze) until firm enough to handle, at least 30 minutes to an hour. When ready, make 6 chocolate balls. Place the shaped chocolate balls in the fridge while you make the cakes.

For Preparing Ramekins:

  • When the ganache is set and you've prepared the chocolate balls, proceed to this step. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
  • Grease 6 ramekins with coconut oil then top with cocoa powder. Tilt the ramekin back and forth to spread cocoa powder across all edges. Tap over the sink to remove any excess. Place these on a baking sheet and set aside.

For the Lava Cake:

  • In a mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.
  • In a smaller bowl combine the vegetable oil, water, and vinegar. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until combined.
  • Spoon half of the batter equally amongst the prepared ramekins. Place one of the chilled chocolate balls in each dish and cover with the remaining chocolate batter.
  • Place the baking sheet with filled ramekins in the heated oven and bake for 20 minutes or so, until the tops are just set. Let cool 2 to 3 minutes.
  • When the ramekins are cool enough to handle, run a knife around the inside edge to release the cake from the ramekin. Turn the ramekin over onto a dessert plate, and dust with powdered sugar. Top with your favorite fresh berries, like raspberries. I suggest serving these immediately, but they do well the next day, too.
  • To store, let the cakes come to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 7 days. They can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 501kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 380mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 45g | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 4mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2013 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2022.

16 Responses to Vegan Lava Cake

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRachel @ Bakerita Reply

    Molten chocolate cake is my dad’s favorite, but since going GF he can never get it at restaurants!! I’ll need to make this for him, for sure!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlydarin Reply

    Any suggestions of a substitute for the peanut butter (allergies)?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Sure, you can replace it with another nut butter if you aren’t allergic to almonds, almond butter could be an option. Alternatively, feel free to replace it with two tablespoons of oil or apple sauce. Those should work well too. Let me know how it goes!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRidgely's Radar Reply

    These look delicious and I am so glad to find a gluten free version!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKaren Wiens Reply

    Those look delicious and the photography is absolutely stunning! I really love the bottom one where the background is mostly white and the cake just pops out with the raspberries. Incredible! I can’t wait to try this!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKiran @ KiranTarun.com Reply

    Oh my gosh! Gluten free and made with tofu? Sign me up!!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyYasmeen @ Wandering Spice Reply

    No joke, my husband just leaned over and said “that. when are you making that?” 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Oh, how fun! I love making and baking food that my family swoons over. This is definitely in that category. I hope your hubby loves them just like mine did!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for Marly[email protected] Creekside Cook Reply

    I have a friend who after ending treatment for breast cancer, hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, which is the east coast version I guess. It was healing for her.

    These cakes look sublime – I want to make some right away, they look so good!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Who knew that pushing yourself to such extremes could have such a healing impact on a person. I mean, it makes sense if you think about it. We live such lives of comfort. I took a little hike once. I think it was 3 or 4 days in its entirety. I just remember that after it was over how incredible it felt taking a shower and how truly amazing a plate of hot food was. It made me realize that sometimes it’s the rough patches that help us truly appreciate how good we’ve got it.

      I hope your friend recovered from her cancer treatment and hike. Maybe she should write a book about her experience!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyGemma Reply

    Absolutely delicious! 🙂 This looks very similar to the ‘coulant au chocolat’ I use to bake for New Year’s Eve and other parties. I’m a true chocaholic, this kind of lava cakes are my favorite desserts.
    Great job! No one will ever guess they are vegan.
    Btw, I published a vegan recipe on my blog this week also, I baked simple vegan chocolate cupcakes.
    xo
    Gemma.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Congrats on making those vegan cupcakes! I know how you feel on the chocoholic thing. I’m sure I have at least a little of it every day (somedays more!).

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMr. & Mrs. P Reply

    These look sinful! Great job with the photos.. Its sets such a romantic tone.. =)

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks! Sinfully romantic…I like that!

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAbby @ The Frosted Vegan Reply

    5 stars
    Mm this kind of cake is one of my favorites!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      You mean the kind with chocolate and sugar? I’m right there with ya! In fact, I don’t think I’ve met a cake yet I didn’t like!

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