Instant Pot Lava Cake


Calling all chocolate lovers!! Who could resist eating a molten chocolate lava cake? The running lava of chocolate running from the center is so satisfying. It’s hands down one of my favorite desserts!

This Instant Pot Lava Cake recipe is the best choice for dessert when you want to impress. It melts into your mouth and is so yummy that you won’t believe you made it using your pressure cooker!

Using your Instant Pot to make lava cakes is a foolproof method for what might seem like a daunting task to attempt. It takes all the guess work out of knowing when the cake is done. You don’t have to worry about overcooking it, and the Instant Pot will also ensure the cakes come out melt-in-your-mouth moist every time.

What Percentage of Dark Chocolate is Best?

The percentage listed on bars of dark chocolate refers to the proportion of natural cocoa butter and cocoa liquor in the product compared to other ingredients such as milk and sugar. The higher the percentage, the darker the chocolate.

I prefer to use a dark chocolate that is around 60-70% cocoa for Instant Pot Lava Cake. This would typically be labeled as bittersweet chocolate. You could also use semisweet chocolate if you want something a little less bitter and a little sweeter.

I think bittersweet chocolate is best in this recipe because we will be adding more sugar to counteract the bitterness, but if you’re like me, you want as much chocolate flavor as possible!

Why Do You Use Unsalted Butter?

You might be confused to see that this Instant Pot chocolate lava cake recipe calls for unsalted butter and then adds ¼ teaspoon of salt. There is a reason for this.

The reason that most baking recipes call for unsalted butter is because the amount of salt in salted butter is mostly unregulated and can differ greatly from one brand to another. Using unsalted butter allows us full control over the amount of salt in the recipe.

You might ask, well why do you need salt at all? It’s a chocolate cake recipe! Using a tiny bit of salt in baking recipes helps enhance the flavor of the chocolate and all the other ingredients. You won’t necessarily notice it, but a little bit makes a big difference.

Does the Espresso Make it Taste Like Mocha?

No, I don’t think you will notice the espresso. The small amount of instant espresso powder is there to enhance the flavor of the chocolate, not to overpower it.

If you want more of a mocha taste, you can always add a little bit more!

Can I Use Nonstick Spray instead of Butter?

Yes. I prefer to brush the molds with melted butter to make sure you get all inner sides of the ramekins so that the cakes will easily release. Sometimes with spray, it’s easier to miss a spot, which can cause it to stick.

I also prefer the taste of butter, although you shouldn’t really taste it much anyway.

What Size Molds Should I Use?

For this recipe, you should use round shallow ramekins that are between 6 and 12 ounces each.

Make sure you are able to fit the ramekins into your Instant Pot in a single layer. This recipe will make at least 2 individual sized molten chocolate lava cakes.

How to make Instant Pot Lava Cake

Gather your ingredients:

In a bowl microwave chocolate and butter for 30 seconds. Stir in until smooth.

Add eggs, vanilla and whisk.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Mix it well until smooth and glossy.

Brush the molds with melted butter. 

Add a little cocoa powder (remove any excess powder).

Divide mixture in prepared molds.

Place molds on the trivet and trivet in the instant pot.

Cook in “Manual” at high pressure for 10 minutes.

When cooking time ends, allow a natural pressure release.

Let cool for a couple of minutes. Then invert to the plate and serve.

More Instant Pot Dessert Recipes

If you are into chocolate, check out this Instant Pot chocolate cake and this Instant Pot chocolate pudding. Check out these favorite Instant Pot dessert recipes too:

Instant Pot Japanese cheesecake  (only 4 ingredients!)

Instant Pot chocolate cake

Instant Pot carrot cake

Instant Pot vanilla cake

Instant Pot Lava Cake
4.25 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butter, dark chocolate, eggs, Lava Cake, vanilla extract
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 stick unsalted butter cubed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup icing sugar
  • 7 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder
  • Melted butter for molds
  • 1 cup water for the Instant Pot
  • In a bowl microwave chocolate and butter for 30 seconds.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and whisk well.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mix until the batter becomes smooth and glossy.
  • Brush the molds with melted butter.
  • Add a little cocoa powder and remove any excess powder.
  • Pour mixture into the molds.
  • Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot and place a trivet on the bottom.
  • Place the molds on the trivet.
  • Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • When cooking time ends, allow a natural release.
  • Open the lid, take out the cakes and let the cool for a few minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy 🙂
Calories: 748kcal Carbohydrates: 77g Protein: 10g Fat: 45g Saturated Fat: 27g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 202mg Sodium: 215mg Potassium: 414mg Fiber: 6g Sugar: 55g Vitamin A: 927IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 71mg Iron: 7mg

Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe


This recipe is part of our 1001 Instant Pot recipes project, a huge collection of free, easy and delicious recipes.

    Reader Interactions

  1. Julia

    I'm assuming that you put water in the bottom under the trivet? If so, any particular amount or just below the trivet?

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Yes that's correct, should be about 1 cup of water.

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