Air Fryer Lava Cake Recipe – 4 Ways!

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Updated:
Published:
5 from 7 reviews

Air Fryer Cakes Desserts Recipes Vegetarian

Cook time Cook time: 10 minutes

Last updated on April 11th, 2022 at 05:03 pm

Air Fryer Lava Cake has the amazing flavor and texture of a soft cake with a rich, chocolaty, moist filling. You can’t make that cake batter goodness without licking the spatula, which is really a good idea if you ask me. They say you cannot have your cake and eat it too but with this recipe, you can. 

Looking for more quick dessert recipes? Try our Instant Pot Peanut Butter Lava Cake with creamy peanut butter and dark chocolate or Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cake flavored with espresso powder. For a nice fall flavor, try our Pumpkin Lava Cakes with white chocolate and dulce de leche. 

Although these molten lava cakes are perfect for Valentine’s Day, it does not need to be a special occasion to enjoy such a decadent chocolate dessert.

With its crispy outer cake and gooey center, this air fryer cake is the perfect dessert for any time. This is one of my favorite desserts and it will probably be your new favorite dessert too.

In addition, this is a great dessert you can partially prepare in advance. For a special occasion, make the batter one day in advance and keep it in the fridge.

Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking it. Give it a good stir, divide it equally into ramekins, add your favorite center fillings and cook.

Making lava cake in the air fryer is a great idea, especially if you do not want to turn on the oven during hot summer days. Also, the best part about this easy recipe is how versatile it is.

The cake batter is incredibly easy to make, and after that, you can play with the lava cake fillings and make a variety. For example, we used the same chocolate cake batter to make chocolate, Nutella, caramel, and peanut butter lava cake.

All these pair well with chocolate, hence, you can choose your favorite filling or just make a variety.

Ingredients needed:

These are the main ingredients for this easy recipe. For more details and measurements, scroll down to our printable recipe card. 

  • Butter: Unsalted butter cubed.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate bar: You can also use bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips. 
  • Large egg
  • Large egg yolk
  • Sugar: White sugar.
  • Brown sugar: Light or dark.
  • Coffee: Liquid coffee, whatever brand you like. 
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt

How to make air fryer lava cake recipe?

  1. Prepare: First, spray three ramekins with nonstick cooking spray and set them aside. 
  2. Melt the chocolate: Then, melt the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for about one minute. Stir after 30 seconds. 
  3. Mix: Next, in a separate bowl, beat sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, and egg with your electric mixer until it is thoroughly combined. 
  4. Combine: Immediately after, add the flour, chocolate mixture, and salt, stirring until they are combined. 
  5. Fill: Then, pour the melted chocolate mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling them about halfway.
  6. Cook: Finally, put the ramekins in the air fryer basket and cook at 370 degrees F for eight to ten minutes.
  7. Cool: Afterward, remove the ramekins and let them cool for one minute before carefully turning them out onto a serving plate. 
  8. Serve: Last, serve topped with your favorite toppings. 

Recipe variations:

  • Nutella lava cake: For Nutella filling, mix two tablespoons of Nutella, one tablespoon of softened butter, and one tablespoon of powdered sugar instead of the chocolate mixture (chocolate and butter).
  • Peanut butter lava cake: If you like peanut butter, try two tablespoons of peanut butter, one tablespoon of softened butter, and one tablespoon of powdered sugar instead of the chocolate mixture (chocolate and butter).
  • Caramel lava cake: This recipe is also delicious with caramel sauce instead of the chocolate mixture. All you need is two tablespoons of caramel.
  • Cocoa: Feel free to use cocoa powder instead of a chocolate bar or chips. Keep in mind that the chocolate flavor will not be as intense, and the texture is not as rich, but more on the drier side.
  • Dark chocolate: For a different taste, use dark chocolate instead of semisweet. 
  • Vanilla: Add an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract for a richer flavor.
  • Rum: Another option is to substitute the vanilla extract for rum extract, especially the caramel one. Also, stir in some chopped pecans.

Make lava cakes in the instant pot:

  1. Alternatively, this recipe can be done in the pressure cooker.
  2. First, just prepare the batter and the fillings per the recipe card below.
  3. After that, you have to add a trivet to the inner pot and 1 1/2 cups of water.
  4. Arrange the ramekins onto the trivet. Next, close the lid and point the valve to the “sealing” position.
  5. Pressure cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, followed by a quick pressure release.
  6. Carefully open the instant pot when the valve drops, and remove the ramekins using oven mittens.
  7. Cover each ramekin with a plate, flip over, and tap it gently to remove the cake.
  8. Let it cool for a few minutes, dust with powdered sugar, and serve topped with ice cream.

Make lava cakes in the oven:

  1. Alternatively, this recipe can be done in the oven.
  2. First, just prepare the batter and the fillings per the recipe card below.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins.
  4. After that, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Arrange the ramekins onto a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes until the sides are firm, but the centers are still soft.
  6. Pressure cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, followed by a quick pressure release.
  7. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool for 1 minute.
  8. After that, cover each ramekin with a plate, flip over, and tap it gently to remove the cake.
  9. Let it cool for a few minutes, dust with powdered sugar, and serve topped with ice cream.

How to serve:

Serve these luscious air fryer lava cakes with fresh vanilla ice cream, powdered sugar, or fresh berries. Or try one of these serving suggestions:

  • Add a dollop of homemade light and fluffy whipped cream on top.
  • You could also sprinkle a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans on top for crunchy, nutty cakes. 
  • Need more chocolate with your decadent dessert? Enjoy it with a mug of homemade hot cocoa.
  • Top with our mouthwatering cream cheese frosting.
  • Homemade strawberry sauce or strawberry preserves would also go great on top of these little decadent chocolate cakes. 

Frequently asked questions

How do I know when my lava cake is done?

Because the inside is supposed to be liquid-like, the toothpick test is not a good indicator of doneness.

Instead, wait until the edges are cooked all the way around. The center should be risen and slightly soft to the touch, but not jiggly.

For best results, cook your first batch and remember what time you used for the perfect air fryer chocolate lava cake. 

What is a lava cake?

A lava cake is a delicious chocolate cake outside with a gooey chocolate center. It almost seems like you are eating raw cake, but you do not have to worry, it is not raw.

The center remains soft because you cook it just long enough for the outside to set. If you are still unsure, check the temperature with a candy thermometer. It should be 160 degrees F when it is done.

Why did my lava cake fall?

The top of your little cakes should be flat or even a bit raised. If it sinks in the middle, it could be that you mixed it too much.

When you overmix, you allow too much air into the batter, and it will not be molten cake. Only mix until it is combined and then cook it right away.

How to store leftovers:

  • Store: You can store these in the fridge in an airtight container after they cool to room temperature. They will be good for about three or four days.  
  • Freeze: If you cannot eat them within a few days, pop them in the freezer where they can stay for up to three months.
  • Defrost: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. 
  • Reheat: Reheat in the air fryer for three minutes. 

More chocolate desserts:

Cooking tips:

  • We used 6-ounce ramekins for this recipe. If you use something else, the cooking time may be different. 
  • Be sure not to overbake. If you cook it too long, the middle will not be gooey.
  • Run a butter knife around the edges before trying to turn out your cake.
  • You could also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate.
  • Although the original recipe uses ramekins, feel free to pour batter into a round cake pan for a larger cake. Cook it for 10 to 12 minutes.
chocolate lava cake stuffed with Nutella

Air Fryer Lava Cake

Air Fryer Lava Cake has the amazing flavor and texture of a soft cake with a rich, chocolaty, moist filling.
5 from 7 votes
Save Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 cakes
Calories: 617kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet

Ingredients

Chocolate lava cake:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chopped or use chocolate chips)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 egg yolk (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coffee (liquid - like from a shot of espresso)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

For the Nutella Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

For the Peanut Butter filling:

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

For the Caramel filling:

  • 2 tablespoons caramel sauce

Instructions

  • Grease 3 6-ounce ramekins with butter or cooking spray and set them aside.
  • Add butter and chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for about 1 minute until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and sugar, until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Then add the flour, the chocolate mixture, and a pinch of salt. Use a spatula to stir until fully combined, do not overmix.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling each one a bit more than halfway.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees F.
  • Arrange the ramekins in the air fryer basket and air fry for 8-10 minutes. The sides should be settled and the center still a bit soft.
  • Once done, use oven mittens to carefully remove the ramekins from the air fryer basket.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for about 1 minute. After that, use a butter knife to loosen the cake from the ramekin, cover with a plate and flip it. Gently tap to loosen the cake.
  • Serve with fresh whipped cream, fresh berries, topped with ice cream, or with powdered sugar.

Making lava cakes with different fillings:

  • The described above is chocolate lava cake, for the other varieties follow the same recipe exactly to make the chocolate cake batter.
  • After that, choose one of the fillings, prepare it, and set it aside.
  • Fill the ramekin a bit less than halfway with chocolate batter, add 1 tablespoon of the chosen filling, and top with more batter, so the ramekin is filled a bit more than halfway.
  • Cook per recipe instructions.

Nutrition

Calories: 617kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 36g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 273mg | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 425mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 1359IU | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 5mg
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Comments

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Briana Baker

Love the ease and the options! I am a dessert addict and this looks divine!

Reply

Kathy

I have always wanted to try lava cake. I can't believe I haven't tried it yet. This looks so amazing. I'll have to make this soon.

Reply

Marysa

We tried making lava cake once, and it was surprisingly difficult. I would love to try your version, this looks delicious!

Reply

Melissa Cushing

This totally looks delicious and love that you made these in the air fryer ;) I love my air fryer and will have to try whipping these up.

Reply

Kk

Cant wait to make this! I dont see a step for making or adding the chocolate center. Does the center automatically turn that yummy, gooey way? Ty.

Reply

Yes, that's how the center turns out :)

Reply

Rosey

I have never tried to make a lava cake. It would be great fun if it turned out right though. The kids would love it and so would I!

Reply

Nancy at Whispered Inspirations

Oooh, this is a great option after a great dinner. Lava cakes are so much fun!

Reply

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