Dark chocolate cakes with a gooey salted caramel core, cooked to perfection in an Instant Pot, these Salted Caramel Molten Lava Cakes are the ultimate indulgence.
It is truly a match made in dessert-heaven. It’s our go-to dessert for family game nights or any instant celebrations in the house.
Individual Servings for Molten Lava Cakes
Since this is a decadent dessert, I like to make individual portions using these Silicone Cupcake Liners.
These liners serve three great purposes in my home:
First, the silicone molds don’t get hot to the touch after baking, so handling is super easy, my kids bake with these often.
Second, taking the lava cakes out of these molds is a breeze. Simply, invert them on to your serving dish, and they slip out nice and easy.
Third, it does portion control for me. I take one, finish it and feel satisfied that I had a full dessert. After that, I don’t feel like going for seconds, like I would be tempted to, if it were a cake:-)
I make these lava cakes in the Instant Pot DUO and they turn out really moist and delicious.
But this cake can be made in the oven as well. I find the texture of the lava cakes to be more moist and gooey, when I pressure cook them.
The pressure cooking environment prevents the outer crust of the cake from drying out. As a result, when you cut through the cake, the lava slides out super smoothly and becomes one with the cake.
Different Size Ramekins & Cook Times
The quantity of batter in this recipe will fit:
- 4 Silicone Cupcake molds; Pressure Cooking Time: 7 mins
- 4 3.5 oz. ramekins; Pressure Cooking Time: 7 mins
- 3 4 oz ramekins; Pressure Cooking Time: 8 mins
- 2 6 oz. ramekins. Pressure Cooking Time: 9 mins
These cook times are based on what works for my family. If you like a more cooked center, you can add another minute or two to get that consistency.
How to Prepare the Ramekins for Baking
If using ramekins for cooking the lava cakes, grease the inside with butter. Then, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon sugar, or, flour, and rotate and turn the ramekin till all sides get coated evenly. Discard the remaining sugar or flour.
Oven Recipe for these Chocolate Lava Cakes
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, not to worry! You can bake these in the good old oven.
Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
Follow step 1 and 2.
Place the cakes on a cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes, depending on how gooey you want the center to be.
Flavor Variations for Instant Pot Lava Cakes
When it comes to flavor variations in Lava Cakes, the sky is the limit!
If salted caramel is not your thing, try these Chocolate Lava Cakes, which do not have any filling in them.
Also, instead of salted caramel, you use try other filling like Reese’s Mini-Peanut Butter Cups and enjoy Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake instead! However, the peanut butter cups don’t melt all the way through.
Check out all the other desserts on my blog.
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Salted Caramel Lava Cakes: Instant Pot or Oven
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter softened: 4 tbsp. or 2 oz.
- 1/2 cup Ghirardelli Bitter-Sweet Chocolate Chips (4 ounces) or semi-sweet chocolate chips for sweeter results
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salted caramel sauce : I love Trader Joe's Brand
- Salted Caramel or Toffee flavor Ice-Cream
- Coarse sea salt optional- depends on how salty your caramel sauce is
- Powdered sugar for dusting on top
- Melt butter and chocolate chips in the microwave, about 30 seconds to a minute. Using a whisk, mix well. Sift in confectioners sugar and mix again. Add eggs, vanilla, salt and mix well. Sift in flour and whisk till everything is incorporated.
- Grease silicone cupcake molds or 4 oz. ramekins (using Pam cooking oil spray). There are two options of making these Salted Caramel Lava cakes. Option 1: Pour batter in molds, filling them half way. Pour 1 teaspoon or more of salted caramel sauce in the center. Pour batter on top, leaving 1/4 inch from the top. In this option, the caramel sauce will ooze out 'with' the chocolate lava, from within the cake. Option 2: Start by pouring caramel sauce at the bottom of the mold. Pour batter on top, leaving 1/4 inch from the top. In this option, the salted caramel sauce will melt all over your lava cake when you invert it. So choose based on your preference, either way, you'll end up with a wicked good lava cake.
Instant Pot Recipe
- Put 1 cup water and place trivet in the Inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place cakes on trivet. Close lid. Set vent to SEALING.
- Cook on MANUAL (hi-pressure) for 7 minutes. If you like a less gooey center, increase time to 8-9 minutes.
- QR (quick release) the pressure and remove the cakes. Cool for 1 minute and invert the cakes into the serving plate and dust with confectioners sugar (optional). Serve with a scoop of Salted Caramel or Toffee flavor ice-cream. Enjoy!
- If you don’t have a pressure cooker, not to worry! You can bake these in the good old oven. Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Follow steps 1 and 2. Place the cakes on a cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes, depending on how gooey you want the center to be. Serve with a scoop of Salted Caramel or Toffee flavor ice-cream. Enjoy!