These rich and indulgent vegan molten lava cakes are warm, gooey, and so easy to make. The perfect vegan and refined sugar-free chocolate dessert for two! No eggs or butter is needed.
The best vegan molten lava cakes
I love lava cakes! I order them whenever I see them on a menu at a restaurant. They are honestly a childhood staple. The gooey chocolate center paired with cold vanilla ice cream is insanely delicious. That’s why I made an at-home, super-easy version that anyone can bake!
You cannot tell these molten lava cakes are vegan! They taste exactly like the real thing. That’s why everyone will love them – even non-vegan eaters. The cake is super moist, and the centers are so gooey. It’s chocolate heaven.
This recipe yields two lava cakes, which makes it perfect for date night! You can certainly double or triple the recipe to serve more guests as well.
I cannot wait to hear what you think about these super easy homemade vegan lava cakes. They call for simple ingredients like flour, cocoa powder, coconut oil, dairy-free chocolate, oat milk, and coconut sugar. There are no eggs, no refined sugars, and no butter needed.
Why you’ll love this vegan recipe:
- These lava cakes are rich, chocolaty, and indulgent.
- The centers are super gooey.
- No eggs and no butter.
- They are refined-sugar-free and sweetened with coconut sugar.
- You cannot tell they are vegan.
- This recipe is made for two.
- Perfect for date night.
- Easily make them gluten-free.
- You can double or triple the recipe.
- Ready in under 30 minutes.
- Try this gooey vegan brownie skillet or this vegan monkey bread next.
The taste and texture
These vegan molten lava cakes are chocolatey, rich, and indulgent. You cannot tell they are vegan and made without eggs or butter. The primary flavor comes from cocoa powder, which makes them taste like chocolate heaven.
Once baked, these vegan lava cakes are soft and cakey with the best molten, gooey chocolate middles. They are not dry or dense.
Ingredients needed & substitutions
These vegan molten lava cakes call for eight simple and healthier ingredients. You need flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, oat milk, coconut oil, and a few other baking ingredients. No eggs, butter, refined oils, or refined sugars are needed! You probably have everything in your pantry already. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
- Flour: I used all-purpose flour, but you can also use 1:1 gluten-free baking flour. Don’t substitute all-purpose flour with coconut flour, almond flour, or oat flour for this recipe.
- Cocoa Powder: Use high-quality cocoa powder for the best-tasting lava cakes. Don’t use Hershey’s or Trader Joe’s – I have found them to be chalky and flavorless.
- Coconut Sugar: These lava cakes are vegan and refined-sugar-free! You can substitute the coconut sugar with light brown sugar if needed.
- Baking Powder: To help the cakes rise.
- Coconut Oil: Don’t worry, the coconut oil doesn’t make these lava cakes taste like coconut; it simply replaces butter and keeps the cakes moist and soft. You can also use vegan butter.
- Milk: I love creamy oat milk, but you can also use unsweetened almond milk.
- Vinegar: You can use either apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. This is my secret ingredient to turn oat milk into vegan buttermilk.
- Chocolate Chips: Grab your favorite dairy-free chocolate chips. We will melt them for the gooey ganache filling.
How to make vegan molten lava cakes
Vegan molten lava cakes are surprisingly easy to bake in a few simple steps. First, we’ll make the vegan chocolate ganache filling. Then, we’ll make the cake batter. And, finally, we’ll bake the lava cakes. Here are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference so any level baker can make them. The full recipe and ingredient measurements are in the recipe card’s bottom of this page.
First, preheat oven to 400°F.
Then, make the vegan buttermilk by mixing the oat milk and vinegar. Set it to the side to “curdle” while you prepare the cake batter.
Now, make the chocolate ganache filling by melting the chocolate chips in 30-second increments in a small microwave-safe bowl. When it’s melted and silky, add the cold oat milk. Then, mix them together until the filling is thick and pudding-like. Finally, freeze for 10-15 minutes until the filling is hard and scoopable.
Meanwhile, grease two small (4 or 5-ounce) ramekins with coconut oil and dust them with cocoa powder.
Then, make the vegan chocolate cake batter by whisking the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then, add the melted coconut oil and vegan buttermilk, and whisk until a batter is formed. The batter should be pretty thick and mousse-y (see the pictures below for reference).
Now, fill half of the greased ramekin with the batter. Then scoop 1 tbsp of the frozen chocolate ganache and place the frozen chocolate ball on top of the batter. Cover with remaining batter.
Finally, bake at 400°F for 15 – 18 minutes. It should be ALMOST completely set, but the center will still be jiggly.
Let the vegan lava cakes cool in the ramekins for a few minutes; then, one at a time, place a small plate over the top of the ramekin and carefully turn it over. Remove the ramekin so the cake is in the center of the plate—dust with powdered sugar and top with fresh berries. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Expert baking tips for vegan molten lava cakes
- Grease your ramekins well & coat them in cocoa powder. This is my #1 baking tip for lava cakes. This ensures the lava cakes don’t get stuck to the sides of the ramekins when you flip them out onto a plate.
- Freeze the chocolate ganache. The ganache balls must be cold when you add them to the centers of the cakes – or else they will melt into the cake batter, and the lava cakes won’t have that classic gooey center.
- Use high-quality cocoa powder, not Hershey’s or Trader Joe’s. It makes a huge flavor difference!
- Use vegan butter or coconut oil. You can use either for this vegan lava cake recipe.
- Use a muffin tin. Easily make these vegan molten lava cakes without ramekins by using a muffin or a cupcake pan. It will yield four smaller lava cakes since a cupcake pan is smaller than a ramekin. Make them by adding 1/2 tablespoon of ganache to each lava cake center and reducing the baking time to 10 – 14 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don’t have ramekins?
You can make these vegan molten lava cakes without ramekins. Use a muffin or cupcake pan. The recipe will yield four smaller lava cakes since a cupcake pan is smaller than a ramekin. Add 1/2 tablespoon of ganache to each lava cake center and reduce the baking time to 10 – 14 minutes.
Can I use almond milk?
You can use oat milk or almond milk for these vegan lava cakes.
What’s the best type of cocoa powder to use?
Not all cocoa powders are equally good for baking. I always recommend using Ghirardelli’s unsweetened cocoa powder. Both Hersey’s cocoa powder and the Trader Joe’s brand lack flavor.
Can I make these lava cakes gluten-free?
Easily make these vegan molten lava cakes gluten-free by substituting the all-purpose flour with 1:1 gluten-free baking flour. This is the best brand.
Is this recipe made without eggs?
Yes, these lava cakes are 100% vegan, which means they are made without eggs and butter.
What’s the best substitute for coconut sugar?
You can use light brown sugar instead of coconut sugar.
Can I double or triple the recipe?
Yes, this recipe makes two cakes, but you can double or triple it to make more for a dinner party or for your family. The recipe card at the bottom of this blog post allows you to change the serving quantities, and the baking measurements will automatically adjust.
What’s the best temperature to bake vegan lava cakes?
It’s best to bake lava cakes at a higher oven temperature for a shorter time to avoid overbaking the gooey middles. The best temperature is 400°F.
How do you serve vegan molten lava cakes?
I love serving vegan lava cakes with dairy-free vanilla ice cream, whipped coconut cream, or dairy-free whipped cream. Don’t forget to top them with fresh strawberries, raspberries, extra chocolate, and/or powdered sugar.
Can you freeze lava cakes?
You can easily freeze vegan lava cakes for up to 3 months. Let the lava cakes completely cool to room temperature, then add them to an airtight, freezer-safe container. You can freeze them for up to 3 months. When you are ready to enjoy, reheat them from frozen in the microwave until they are warmed through.
How to store and reheat lava cakes:
Storing: For best results, store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheating: Reheat lava cakes in the microwave for 60 – 90 seconds or until warm.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Eggless Brownie Skillet Recipe
- Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies
- Blueberry Peach Sorbet Recipe
- Vegan Blueberry Crumble Bars
- Vegan Monkey Bread
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Vegan Molten Lava Cake
The Molten Filling:
- 2 tbsp dairy-free chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp cold oat milk or almond milk
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Make Vegan Buttermilk. Mix the oat milk and vinegar together to make your vegan buttermilk. Set it to the side.
- Make Ganache Filling. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips in 30-second increments. When it's melted and silky, add the cold oat milk. Mix together, it will be thick and pudding-like. Freeze for 10-15 minutes – it should be very hard and scoopable.
- Prep Ramekins. Grease two small (4 or 5-ounce) ramekins with coconut oil and dust them with cocoa powder.
- Make Cake Batter. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then, add the melted coconut oil and vegan buttermilk. Whisk together. It will be pretty thick and mousse-y batter.
- Prepare Lava Cake. Fill half of the ramekin with the batter. Then scoop 1 tbsp of the frozen chocolate ganache and place the frozen chocolate ball on top of the batter. Cover with remaining batter.
- Bake. Bake at 400°F for 15 – 18 minutes. It should be ALMOST completely set, but the center will still be jiggly.
- Flip & Decorate. Let the lava cake cool in the ramekin for a few minutes; then place a small plate over the top of the ramekin and carefully turn it over. Remove the ramekin so the cake is in the center of the plate. Dust with powdered sugar and top with fresh berries. Serve immediately.
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