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Chocolate Lava Cake
Chocolate Lava Cake

It’s February, so we’re in full Valentine mode now. Try these gluten free chocolate lava cakes for maximum impact with minimum effort!

Gluten Free Chocolate Lava Cake

Today, my celiac son turns 9. And not for nothing but he l-o-v-e loves his birthday. Jonny is the happiest birthday boy in the world, which makes his birthday thoroughly enjoyable for everyone anywhere near him. And good luck escaping his orbit without hearing about it. Good luck with that indeed. I have to fight the urge to muzzle him, since really not everyone needs to know about his birthday. But he’s just so … thrilled. And these chocolate lava cakes didn’t seem to dampen his mood any.

Gluten Free Chocolate Lava Cake

My kids were all, ‘This is what you get in restaurants!’ It’s totally a restaurant-cheat, though. It’s so, so easy to make these little molten lava cakes, but they make you look like a rock star. Here’s the whole process, start to finish:

Gluten-Free Chocolate Lava Cake How-to

If you’re dead set against baking them in a water bath (called a bain-marie), you don’t really have to. But the water bath is what all but assures that the cakes will bake slowly and gently enough that the outsides will be set and the very center smooth and lava-like.

Gluten Free Chocolate Lava Cake

Your reward is a super moist, completely delicate and totally romantic chocolate lava cake for your gluten-free Valentine. Or for your newly-minted 9-year-old son. Either way, I guarantee a big hug and a sloppy wet kiss.

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 4 mini cakes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for greasing)

5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

2 eggs (120 g total, out of shell) + 2 egg yolks (60 g total)

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons (26 g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour (any of these blends will do)

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 tablespoon (5 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F. Grease very well the entire insides of 4 4-ounce oven-safe ramekins, and set them in a casserole dish with at least 2 inch high sides, and set aside.

  • Melt the chocolate and 4 tablespoons butter together in a double boiler or a microwave-safe bowl (melt at 70% power in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth), stirring frequently until just melted. Set the chocolate mixture aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar and vanilla, and whisk to combine. The mixture will be very yellow in color and thin in consistency. Whisk vigorously (this can be done more easily with a mixer) until the mixture is very pale yellow in color and thickened in consistency. Drizzle the chocolate and butter mixture into the large bowl with the thickened egg mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Add the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder and salt, and whisk to combine well. The mixture will be somewhat thick, but pourable and smooth. Pour the mixture carefully into the 4 prepared ramekins, filling each 3/4 of the way full.

  • Place the casserole dish with the filled ramekins on the bottom rack of the preheated oven, and carefully fill the casserole dish with cool tap water until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Close the oven and bake until the tops of the cakes are set and are just beginning to pull away from the sides of the ramekins, about 15 minutes. If you used smaller ramekins, bake for a few minutes less; larger ramekins will take a few minutes more.

  • Remove the dish from the oven and lift the ramekins out of the casserole dish with tongs. The water bath will be boiling, so move carefully and deliberately. Place the ramekins on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes before turning each cake out onto a small plate, and dusting with confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately.

  • Prepare Ahead Instructions: These are super easy to prepare ahead of time. Simply follow the recipe through Step 3 above. Cover the casserole dish (or each of the ramekins individually) tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until almost ready to serve. Remove from the refrigerator, and proceed with the remaining recipe instructions.


P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! It will make your life quick and easy, and it will help keep the blog going forever (really)!

  • Jean E.

    Yay!!!  These look amazing!  I found a GF recipe on the internet for these this weekend and tried it and I was disappointed in them. My birthday is later this week and I wanted to make these for my treats!  Thank you!

  • Holly

    Oh. My. Soul. I nearly licked the screen. Knocked it out of the park again! Will you be my mommy and make these for me on my birthday?

  • http://www.pinkpeppercornandpaprika.blogspot.com/ Pink Peppercorn and Paprika

    These look so yummy and simple! I love the dusting of powdered sugar. Can’t wait to try with some warm raspberry sauce drizzled on top :)

  • Jennifer S.

    these look ah-may-zing!  going to make them sometime soon for my sweeties! :)

    Thanks for all you do!

  • Donna

    This is my grown son’s favorite birthday treat.  I found out last year, when I was tired, to bake them the day before, refrigerate and warm up in the microwave. They were perfect. We eat them warm with vanilla ice cream on top right out of the ramekin.

  • kclark

    Happy Birthday! You know it is also the parent’s day too since you brought him into the world.  I have really wanted to make these and now I have good reason.

    So I made your Pumpkin Crack Cake.  I doubled it and it was gone in a snap off the Super Bowl dessert table. Poof! I whispered to the Celiacs that it was GF but no one else knew and all the glutens ate it and loved it.  Great job on that little gem of a recipe.

    Lava cakes. Yum! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/karrie.karrpike Karrie Karr Pike

    I will be making these for my Valentine this year!!!  Cannot wait

  • Carole


  • http://www.facebook.com/tiltoncrew Jennifer Tilton

    Happy Birthday Jonny!  Nicole, you are totally awesome!  My teenager has been boo-hooing about not being able to eat chocolate lava cakes anymore and, TADA, here’s the recipe.

  • Michelle

    I use a bain marie for cheesecakes, and it is totally worth the little bit of extra effort for the amazing, creamy texture. My husband, daughter and I always make a fancy little dinner for Valentine’s Day, and since we are a pack of raving chocoholics, I know this will be perfect for this year.  Thanks so much!

  • http://celiackiddo.wordpress.com/ Dana Schwartz

    Happy Birthday to your sweet birthday loving son! What a lucky kid to have a baking genius for a mom. My family is going to freak out over these cakes, by the way.

  • Jess

    Are you kidding?!?!  I swear you are my favorite person ever.  I LOVE chocolate cake and so does my son… we are making this for lunch today.  Okay… maybe I’ll hold off for dessert tonight.  Maybe.  

  • http://twitter.com/glutenfreebooty Kim Panella

    Happy Birthday to your big guy! And I must say my heart skipped a beat when I saw this. :) My little one loves chocolate more than I and I never thought that was humanly possible until she came along. Anyhow, this will be made this weekend and I can not wait for us to dig into this together. :) Thank you so much for taking the time to create these beautiful recipes and share with us. I know it takes a lot of work! Creating and perfecting the recipe, getting the perfect photos, writing the post for the blog. For anyone out there that has never done this trust me it’s a lot of work and if done frequently it’s a full time job. So with that being said I wanted to let you know that I 100% love and support the hard work you are putting in. Every recipe of yours that I have tried we have loved.  I just purchased your quick and easy cookbook and I can not wait to get it in my hands. Amazon can’t ship it fast enough. Thanks again for everything. You are truly amazing. :)

  • Pingback: Vegetarian, Gluten Free Roundup: A Whole Ton of Valentine’s Sweets()

  • BobbieH

    I made these over the weekend, taste was good and my guests couldn’t tell the difference with the texture of the gf flour, I did mess up and cooked them a a minute or 2 to long and didn’t get the melty goey lava :( will try again ! thanks for the recipe :)

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