Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes (gluten-free, oil-free)

These vegan chocolate lava cakes are your new best dessert.

Vegan chocolate lava cakes

Warm, fudgy, rich with a tender cake on the outside and gooey, moist chocolatey filling.

Sold, right?

I know. They sound decadent – they are decadent!

But guess what? These vegan lava cakes are EASY also pretty healthy.

I mean, they’re not kale salad. It is dessert.

But for an irresistible chocolate dessert, they’re pretty impressive in terms of ingredients.

Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes: Ingredients

Let’s have a rundown on these lava cakes:
– no butter
– egg-free
– dairy-free
– no vegan butter or other processed vegan replacements
– oil-free
– no coconut (for those that cannot consume coconut)

Wait, there’s more! I first tested these vegan molten cakes gluten-free… and love the GF version. I might be my favorite. But I’ll take any version.

Of course, so will my family. They were sooooo happy when I was testing these.

Round 1 – happy
Next up Round 2 – very happy
Into round 11 – still happy!

Indeed I made them at least that many times. Here’s why…

Apparently I thought these vegan lava cakes needed to be more ‘complicated’.

Even though I felt I much nailed the recipe the first couple of times, but then thought “hmmm, what if I add aquafaba to the recipe? And what if I first whip the aquafaba into a meringue? Will the lava cakes be fluffier?

Undoubtedly they were not. It was just more work to use the aquafaba. Furthermore, my family thought the texture and taste of the original lava cake recipe was better than my reworked versions.

So I returned to the original. My recipe-testing sheet was quite a mess. I should have taken a photo for you! But I was too busy sampling. 😬

Now you get to sample! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, too.

Vegan chocolate lava cakes might be the best way to say I love you. To your luvvy, to yourself, to anyone.

And if you need a second way to say I love you, here it is. 😬😬

I’d love to know if you tried the lava cakes – share in the comments. x Dreena

Chocolate Lava Cakes

Ooey-gooey good! These look fancy but are easy enough to make any time you want.

Keyword cake, chocolate, gluten-free, oil-free


Ganache Filling: (see shortcut note)

Cake Batter:

  • 1/2 cup GF flour ie bob’s red mill 1:1 (see note)
  • 1/3 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water + 2-3 tsp if needed
  • 1 tbsp macadamia nut butter see note
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Topping (optional)

  • Topping for each: sprinkle of unrefined sugar 1/2-1 tsp and pinch of sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  • First prepare the filling if melting the chocolate chips. Melt chips with the macadamia butter in a double boiler (simply fit a bowl over a pot of simmering water). Stir through to combine, and remove from heat. Let cool fully ahead of time, placing in fridge for a half-hour or more while preparing the rest of recipe.

  • Prepare 4 ramekins by wiping the insides with a smidgen of oil (this amount of oil will not hurt you, but will prevent the cakes from sticking to the dishes!).

  • In a mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. In another bowl, add macadamia butter, vanilla, and balsamic and stir to combine well. Add wet mixture to dry and stir though to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins, dividing amongst the four cups. Use a spoon or small cookie scoop to add dollops of the ganache filling to each cup. You don’t need to submerge as it will sink a little with baking. Top each cup with a sprinkle of unrefined sugar and a small pinch of sea salt. Place in oven and bake for 15-16 minutes, until set to the touch. Remove, let cool slightly. Enjoy warm as is or with a dollop of plant-based vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 4.


Macadamia Nut Butter note: These work best with a loose nut butter like macadamia nut butter. Raw cashew butter has a similar mild flavor, but is too dense. Another option is to use an authentic brand of tahini (not roasted), as it will have a similar loose consistency. Note that tahini has a different flavor profile, but still quite like it in these cakes.
GF note: I know I will be asked if these can be made with regular flour! You can sub oat flour equally (the texture will be slightly different, but still good). If using wheat flour, use a 1/2 cup less 1/2 – 1 tbsp.
Filling shortcut: Sometimes we don’t want to melt the chips and nut butter, I get it! For a shortcut, simply divvy up the chips and nut butter (roughly) in quarters to add to the centre of each cake.

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