Molten Lava Chocolate Cake

January 2, 2012 in Categories: by

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Many people who commit to paleolithic nutrition work very hard to rid their diets of any foods that mimic the unhealthy foods they used to eat.  But other people need the occasional treat of an old favorite to keep that sense of self-deprivation at bay.  This is why recipes for “paleofied” neolithic foods are so popular.  You get to indulge in a decadent dessert or other favorite food without derailing your efforts to be healthy by consuming foods that will irritate your gut or cause rampant inflammation.  For those of you who need your decadent dessert fix, here it is (serves 4):

Molten Lava Chocolate Cake


1.     Preheat oven to 375F.  Grease four 6oz ramekins with coconut oil.  If you wish to serve these cakes on a plate, you will need to flour as well (use coconut flour, blanched almond flour, or cocoa powder).
2.    In a 4 cup measuring cup or medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave on low power.  Stir until smooth and let cool.
3.    In a small bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar with a hand mixer until light and frothy, about five minutes (this can seem like an eternity with a hand mixer, but hang in there because it’s worth it!).
4.    Pour egg mixture over chocolate.  Sift cocoa and coconut flour over the top.  Then gently fold all the ingredients together.
5.    Pour batter into prepared ramekins (they should be filled to within ½” of the top).  Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and place in the oven (you can chill the ramekins for a few hours if you want to make them ahead of time, just make sure you bring them back to room temperature before baking).  Bake for 11-12 minutes.
6.    Remove from oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Do you need help finding any ingredients?  Check out  Important Pantry Items for the Paleo Baker.


I thought it was interesting that the recipe calls for sugar. I’m new to the paleo diet, but thought sugar wasn’t allowed. Is their a substitute for the sugar?

I do use sugars in my paleo baking. I explain why in my post

Basically, honey, maple syrup, raw sugar, and refined sugar have nearly identical effects on body chemistry (they are all about half fructose and half glucose). I suggest using caution with dose (my recipes typically don’t call for very much sugar) rather than trying to fool the body with a sugar substitute (which will probably mess up your body chemistry more than a small dose of actual sugar).

I thought that we couldn’t break down the fructans in inulin to fructose to absorb? I thought it just fed gut flora and they made it into fatty acids for us to use like with other fibres- am I way off base?

This was fabulous, and definitely hit the chocolate craving. Even the pickiest ones were licking their bowls. Thank you! I used the semi sweet, and left out the sugar altogether. There was enough sugar in the chocolate for us.

Hi Palo mum 🙂
I love your recipes …. I am also just wondering have you ever thought of using “Organic Rice Malt Syrup” this has zero fructose in it with no adverses side affects compared to all other sugary substitutes. Just a thought anyway … Michelle 🙂

While the glucose/fructose ratio is one critical aspect, there are other factors that significantly impact the glycemic load of a food. Most notably, the presence of other macronutrients like fiber. Additionally, the presence of micronutrients mean the food is actually nutritive rather than pure sugar on the body. Also, the organizing principe of pale nutrition is not essentially balancing fructose/glucose ratios, but rather returning to foods that we have all been evolving to know to process for millions of years. Honey and pureed dates are by this count the most paleo, yet for regulating blood chemistry and managing insulin, you’d be best using stevia or coconut sugar. Event B grade maple syrup would be a step up. But refined sugar is the worst.

Truvia is made by Coca Cola. It also contains erythritol which is a sugar alcohol. Many of us with digestive issues fare better having very small amounts of natural sugar over these sugar alcohols (ending in -tol) which can bother people with FODMAPs and other sensitivities.

Doug, here in the Philippines, Paleo dieters use COCO SUGAR (or palm sugar), because it’s simply ubiquitous here. It has a glycemic index of only 35, way below the 50 of regular sugar. We have the coco muscovado, which is not refined unlike table sugar

Thanks for you comment! Palm Sugar is very popular in the paleo community. But, I’m not a big fan of it since it contains a high percentage on inulin, which is an FOS and can cause gut irritation in sensitive individuals and those with SIBO. For people with very healthy guts, however, I think it’s fine in small quantities (I also think regular old sugar is fine in small quantities).

it probably wouldn’t provide the “leavening” that the aerated eggs do, but flaxseed meal and water combined substitute for eggs in other baking.

also, cornstarch or arrowroot can substitute for eggs–2T per egg.

Still a fair newby into the paleo but applesauce is a great substitute for eggs. If you get the organic unsweetened one you probably won’t need to add sugar either. 🙂

Just found this and made it … yummmmmy! My decidedly NON-Paleo hubby loved it! He’s suspicious of anything I make now haha! Thanks!

I made this a few weeks ago for my girlfriend after a rough night at work. I’ve probably had a dozen of these at various restaurants in the U.S. and France. This was as good or better than any of those. Turned out perfect. Thanks Sarah.

According to alkaline diet proponents, regular consumption of these acid-producing foods causes a number of chronic diseases and health problems, including: osteoporosis, lower immunity, constant flues and colds, anxiety, nervousness, obesity, headaches, kidney stones and many others. And they believe that these diseases can be easily cured by simply changing your diet alkaline-wise.

I’m new to the paleo recipes – this is in fact the first I’ve made and I’ll be making it again! Really good. I substituted the sugar for coconut sugar and used 3 tbs as it’s not as sweet as cane sugar. Yummy!

I just made this for my (paleo) husbands birthday treat. I am (not paleo) pretty skeptical when it comes to paleo baking, but this was delicious! Easy to make and ingredients on hand were an added bonus. Thanks:)

If we dont have coconut flour in our country (South Africa) , what other flour would substitute? We do have tapioca, almond, but not a whole lot of variety.

Thanks! Something a bit off topic here under the cake- but on day 11 of the Paleo, and suffering from mouth and tongue ulcers (something I havent suffered from in months) , what could be causing this?

Could be viral. Some viruses like herpes simplex virus lay dormant in your body and basically take advantage of a weakened immune system which is why they sort of seem to come and go. I would suggest increasing your vegetable intake, making sure you are getting quality animal fats in your diet, and maybe take a vitamin C supplement.

This was amazing! I’ve been on the GAPS Intro diet for 5 weeks and wanted to have something yummy and chocolatey for Valentine’s Day. This totally hit the spot. I used unsweetened chocolate and 4 TBSPs of honey instead of bittersweet chocolate and stevia. Thank you!

OMG! Made this tonight and it was SO good!! Thank you for creating and sharing so many great recipes and all the amazing info!!

Hey! I joined the ranks and made this tonight. Ohmuhgosh it was delicious! I just had to praise The Lord! Thanks for sharing your hard work and passion for food.

I made this today and it’s delicious. I cut the recipe in half and used 1 square unsweetened chocolate and 1 square semi-sweet chocolate. I also used the half sugar and half stevia sweetner. I will definitely make it again. Thanks a bunch for a super tasty dessert recipe 🙂

Fantastic dessert!!! Made it tonight for a special dinner with my wife and parents!!! All non- paleo, they loved it! I used gluten free all purpose baking mix, and baked it in a 9in round cake pan! Turned out perfect!!! Next time I’m adding fresh warmed up raspberries on top!!!

Do you think using olive oil could substitute coconut oil? I’m not in the paleo diet but I wanna use up some coconut flour I have ._.

Made these tonight, I can’t eat them due to autoimmune but my non paleo hubby and paleo son LOVED them. My son (15yrs) finds it hard at times, had to go paleo due to health reasons, but this just hit the spot for him. My hubby said they taste better than his packet mix he makes. How surprising!!! Slowly changing him.

I really love reading your blog and it has helped me tremendously these last two weeks as I’ve been transitioning to Paleo. When I first realized I would have to give up eating whatever I wanted, I (truly) felt as if my life was over. It may seem silly, but recipes like this one (and the lettuce wrap tacos :}) helped reinstate my feeling of choice and empowerment when it comes to my diet. Thank you.

Plus, they’re delicious!

I am on week 3 of the Paleo lifestyle. I really needed this since its been complete 180 and all these new meals have left me in need of a well deserved treat! First time I bake anything paleo or even use coconut flower. When I opened the bag I was immediately excited. The flower itself smells delicious but the Lava cakes…Nirvana!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

If I have an IgG allergy to coconut does this mean I can’t have coconut oil? Should I substitute another oil and flour for this recipe? I’d love to make this one!

Is there a substitute for the coconut oil that you would recommend? I wasn’t sure if olive oil would alter the flavor of the dessert in a negative way. (I love everything coconut, except the oil. To me, it has a really strange after-taste and smell that I just can’t get used to.) Thank you!!

Thanks for the recipe! Sounds awesome. My husband is allergic to coconut. Could I use almond flour in place of the coconut flour?

Is there anything that I can use instead of coconut flour? (that is not almond flour)… maybe plantain flour, or tapioca starch, or cornstarch (non gmo)? Thanks.

Just made this, it’s still warm 🙂 It is so delicious! But, like a previous follower, I made it in a 9-inch circle pan and it fell apart when transferring to a plate. Nonetheless AWESOME! Also- I used 2/3 cup semi-sweet chips instead of a bar. And I don’t have a hand mixer, so I used the blender on low speed, worked great 🙂

I made this last night and it tasted great but the name is a bit misleading? At least for me. I was expecting a “lava” like oozing of chocolate from the center. I thought i had over cooked it! I, too, used coconut palm sugar. I also had to substitute unsweetened cocoa powder for the cacao but it came out tasting great.

This was so delicious thank you! I didn’t have the ramekins so I used large muffin tin and made 5 of them. Also I used honey in place of suga (just a bit less) with just a bit less coconut oil. So yummy!!!

This was the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. Highly recommend it with Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato. (I dont think it’s Paleo.) Keep in oven longer if not firm on top. I only got 3 ramekins out of recipe..most likely because I couldnt get my eggs to fluff! Thx for posting. My family LOVED it!!

I made this tonight, I only got 3 ramekins out of the recipe but it was excellent, something I’ll definitely keep in queue for special occasions!

Shouldn’t you follow you’re diet plan when posting recipes. This is certainly NOT a recipe that adhere’s to the guidelines of the ‘Paleo Approach’.

Well I just made it and it was delish. I added a bit of extra coconut flour. I honestly didn’t think they would rise so nicely

I just made this tonight it is fantastically incredibly delicious I’m curious how many calories are in a serving???

I have made this twice aand both times they have come out perfectly. The best souffle I have ever had and so easy to make.

How important is it to use a hand mixer vs a stand mixer (like a KitchenAid)? I don’t have a hand mixer and I don’t know enough about the ‘chemistry’ of baking to know how the change would affect things.

Is there any way possible to make without eggs? I’m sensitive to them and I sure miss my mugs cakes! I try a flax egg to substitute but it doesn’t work for me. Thanks!

Are these supposed to be cooked through or slightly wet/moist on the inside? I made this recipe with two bigger ramekins (didn’t have 6 oz) and had to double to cooking time to get it a toothpick to come clean. It was delicious though!

Sooooo yummy! Thank you!! I used one bakers square chocolate and about 1/3 cup of enjoy life chocolate chips for the melted chocolate since I didn’t have any other chocolate on hand. I also used maple syrup. This recipe is fantastic!

Are there nutrition facts on this recipe? I see a lot of recipes without nutritional info, I track carbs, fat, and protein daily.

If you use My Fitness Pal app on your phone you can download the recipe into the app and it will calculate everything for you!

I would like to share this recipe as a Valentine’s day healthy chocolate recipe for a blog post I am working on for Please let me know if that would be ok. I would submit a link page to this page as well.

Made this for my boyfriend’s birthday and he said this is exactly how he likes his chocolate cake. Thanks for this simple, delicious, and forgiving recipe. I used Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips and coconut sugar. Baked it in two Pyrex bowls instead of four ramekins since that’s what we had on hand. Left it in the oven for a bit too long for lava cake, but it turned into a light flourless cake!

I’m allergic to coconut dairy and gluten and would need to use a replacement for coconut oil and sugar. Could I use maple syrup or honey? And what flour and oil would u try instead of coconut?

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