This rich vegan lava cake with a gooey molten chocolate center is made without egg, dairy, or oil, and is even gluten-free! It’s the perfect vegan quick treat for every chocolate lover!
Rich and gooey Vegan Chocolate Lava Cake
I am a “chocoholic” which means I adore everything made with chocolate (anyone else?). Therefore, you have probably noticed that I share a lot of chocolate recipes on my blog. One of my favorite chocolate cakes is this Chocolate Zucchini Cake and this Vegan Chocolate Pie. But I also love smaller chocolatey snacks like these Vegan Chocolate Muffins and these Flourless Chocolate Fudge Cookies.
Even though all these vegan chocolate desserts are super delicious, none of them have a runny chocolate center like this vegan molten lava cake! If you never tried such a treat, you are really missing out!
What is a Molten Chocolate Cake?
According to Wikipedia, “Molten chocolate cake is a popular dessert that combines the elements of a chocolate cake and a soufflé. Its name derives from the dessert’s liquid chocolate center, and it is also known as chocolate moelleux (from French for “soft”), chocolate lava cake, or simply lava cake.”
Traditional molten chocolate cakes contain butter, eggs, sugar, chocolate, and flour. My vegan lava cake recipe ditches the dairy, eggs, and regular flour and instead uses healthier plant-based ingredients like oats, almonds, banana, etc.
This vegan chocolate lava cake requires just simple pantry ingredients and uses banana in place of butter/oil for a lighter treat.
The Dry Ingredients:
- Ground oats: You can use store-bought oat flour (regular or gluten-free) or make your own, by blending rolled oats into flour. If you aren’t gluten-free, you can also use whole wheat flour.
- Ground almonds: Use store-bought almond flour (100% ground almonds) or make your own by blending blanched almonds into flour. Any ground nuts or seeds (e.g. sunflower seeds) should work, though.
- Sugar: I used unrefined coconut sugar. However, use the sugar of your choice. A sugar-free option like granulated Erythritol may also work.
- Cocoa powder: Use unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder.
- Baking powder + soda: Baking powder and baking soda will provide the lift and texture for this gluten-free vegan lava cake.
- Salt: Just a pinch to enhance the cocoa flavor.
The Wet Ingredients:
- Plant-based milk: Any dairy-free milk should work (almond milk, soy, coconut, cashew, etc.). For a more decadent dairy-free chocolate cake, use full-fat coconut milk.
- Banana: Use a small ripe banana. Unsweetened applesauce may work as a substitute.
- Apple cider vinegar: You can use lemon juice instead.
- Vanilla extract: Use natural, pure vanilla for the best (non-artificial) flavor.
- Dairy-free chocolate: It depends on the type of chocolate whether you will have a lava-like runny center or not. I did melt 30 grams of dairy-free chocolate chips with 1/2 tbsp coconut milk in a double boiler and poured the mixture into a silicone muffin mold. Transfer it to the fridge for about 30 minutes, or until firm. Then use it like regular chocolate.
How to make vegan Chocolate Lava Cake?
- Preheat the oven to 360 °F (180 °C) and grease one big ramekin (5 1/2 inches diameter) or 4 small ones with oil.
Process all dry ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Add the wet ingredients and mix again until combined.
Pour the mixture into the ramekin and place the chocolate into the center.
Bake in the oven for about 20-22 minutes. If you use small molds, the baking time will be approximately 15-18 minutes.
Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the mold. Dust with cocoa powder and enjoy!
How to serve?
This vegan lava cake tastes incredibly delicious even without toppings. Nevertheless, it can be made even more decadent. Here are some serving options:
- A scoop of ice cream (vanilla, peanut butter, chocolate, coffee, etc.)
- Add a dollop of whipped coconut cream and some berry compote.
- Drizzle some nut butter over the top
- Drizzle caramel sauce over it
- A dusting of cocoa powder
FAQs and Recipe Tips
Mini lava cakes: If you have a muffin tin, you could also make mini chocolate cakes or muffins with a lava center. Simply fill the dough into the muffin pan (grease it beforehand) and then put a few pieces of chocolate into each muffin.
Optional add-ins: Add 1/4 tsp of instant coffee powder to the batter for a stronger chocolate flavor.
Flavorings: Boost the flavor of the chocolate lava cake with natural food flavorings/oils like orange, almond, peppermint, etc.
How to store: This vegan lava cake is best enjoyed immediately, as long as the chocolate center is still runny.
More Vegan Chocolate Recipes
- Healthy Vegan Brownies
- Vegan Zucchini Brownies
- Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
- Chocolate Keto Chia Pudding
- Healthy No-Bake Brownies
- Vegan Chocolate Pudding
- Chocolate Stuffed Pancakes
- Chocolate Stuffed Cookies
Should you give this fudgy vegan gluten-free lava cake recipe a try, please leave a comment below, and don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram or Facebook post with @elavegan #elavegan because I would love to see it.
Vegan Lava Cake
- 1.5 oz (40 g) dairy-free chocolate of choice (see notes)
- I recommend using the metric measurements (grams) for exact results. You can also watch the video in the post for visual instructions.
- Preheat the oven to 360 °F (180 °C) and grease/oil one big ramekin (5 1/2 inches diameter) or 4 small ones (you can also use silicone muffin molds or aluminum muffin molds or mugs).
- Process all dry ingredients in a food processor or blender.
- Add the wet ingredients and blend again until combined.
- Pour the mixture into the ramekin and place the chocolate into the center.
- Bake in the oven for about 20-22 minutes. If you use small molds, the baking time will be approximately 15-18 minutes.
- Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the mold. Dust with cocoa powder and enjoy!
- Oats: Use oat flour or process oats (regular or gluten-free) in a blender or electric coffee/spice grinder until you have flour.
- Flour substitute: One reader reported that whole wheat flour works great instead of oat flour.
- Almonds: You can use ground shredded unsweetened coconut (or ground coconut flakes) instead of ground almonds (almond flour).
- Banana: 1/3 cup applesauce might be a good substitute for the banana.
- Chocolate: It depends on the type of chocolate whether you will have a lava-like runny center or not. I did melt 30 grams of dairy-free chocolate chips with 1/2 tbsp coconut milk in a double boiler and poured the mixture into a silicone muffin mold. Transfer it to the fridge for about 30 minutes, or until firm. Then use it like regular chocolate.
- The recipe serves 4. Nutrition facts are for one serving.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically