Peanut Butter Chocolate Lava Cakes

The ultimate dessert decadence!

Warm and fudgy chocolate LAVA CAKES exploding with melty peanut butter!! They might look complicated, but they couldn't be any easier! Recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s discuss the elephant in the room.

Why is there not a peanut butter lava cake recipe on my blog yet? Rich, moist, fudgy, gooey, and warm chocolate cake exploding with melty peanut butter that literally pools out from the center at first bite. And then topped with cold vanilla ice cream that melts down the sides. What is wrong with me that I’ve never made this masterpiece at home and WORSE that I’ve never shared such decadence on this so-called “peanut butter loving” blog? I mean, just watch:

This blog hasn’t even lived until this peanut butter chocolate lava cake day. Welcome to the best dessert on earth. The great news is that this recipe makes 4 individually sized peanut butter chocolate lava cakes and the bad news is that this recipe makes 4 individually sized peanut butter chocolate lava cakes. Let’s be honest here. Self control fades fast when you have 4 chocolate lava cakes in the house.

Warm and fudgy chocolate lava cakes exploding with melty peanut butter!! They might look complicated, but they couldn't be any easier! Recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’ve talked about it a few times before, but I worked at Chili’s back in college. The good ol’ days throwing sizzle sauce onto those hot fajita skillets, pouring margaritas on the rocks, serving with a smile, spilling BBQ sauce onto a woman’s beautifully crisp white blazer… wait, what? Yes. That happened on my first day. I am haunted every time I see a woman sporting a white blazer.

So I’ve had a few Chili’s molten lava cakes in my day. While the molten cakes came to the restaurant frozen, a quick zap in the microwave made that chocolate completely ooze out with the first bite. Molten cakes are obviously a crowd favorite, but believe me when I say this: they’re 78,479x better made at home. When they’re hot from the oven, made fresh with pure chocolate and lots of butter.

First thing’s first. They may look all fancy and complicated but peanut butter chocolate lava cakes are super easy and I’m not just saying that to sell you on ’em! You make a quick batter, you stuff peanut butter inside, and you bake them for just over 10 minutes. All the work is done in your oven, where a high oven heat cooks the outside of the mini cakes but leaves the center slightly gooey.

Let’s quickly walk through the recipe with pictures so you know what you’re doing when you make these. Which needs to be very soon because (1) Valentine’s Day and (2) peanut butter + chocolate + lava cake.

How to make CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES! Full recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

↑ Can I dive in?

The base of these chocolate lava cakes is made from butter melted down with pure chocolate. I’m going to repeat this as much as possible: use QUALITY chocolate. Absolutely no cheap stuff and definitely no chocolate chips. You will be dreadfully disappointed if you use lower quality chocolate. I prefer Ghirardelli or Lindt. The quality of butter doesn’t matter as much; I use store-brand all the time. Just make sure you use unsalted butter, like most of my recipes. (Why? Because it gives you full control over the salt content.)

While high-quality chocolate and butter make up the base of these peanut butter chocolate lava cakes, the most important ingredient is egg. There are 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks in this recipe (so 2 egg whites and 4 egg yolks)– an entire egg yolk in each cake. The egg yolks are what provide unique moisture and richness to each cake and the egg whites help give structure, combining all the ingredients into one smooth batter and 4 sturdy cakes.

There are no chemical leaveners in these peanut butter chocolate lava cakes. There is only a little flour, because we don’t want to dry out the cakes. For the sugar, I don’t use much of it. Ok, there’s some for taste– but don’t expect a super sweet chocolate cake. I adapted this lava cake recipe from Food and Wine, who use granulated sugar to sweeten. However, in my recipe testing, I prefer to use confectioners’ sugar over granulated sugar. I found the cakes to taste grainy with granulated.

How to make CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES! Full recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES! Full recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’ll need ramekins. I use the same size for these lava cakes as I use for last year’s chocolate fudge cakes recipe (–> that recipe only makes 2 cakes. I love it for our occasional husband/wife ditch-the-technology date night!) Here are the 6-ounce ramekins I use and suggest you pick up as well. Perfect size for these lava cakes. You’ll want to grease each ramekin with a little non-stick spray and a dusting of cocoa powder. This preparation helps seamlessly release the baked lava cake from the ramekin onto the plate for serving.

Spoon creamy peanut butter inside! A couple heaping teaspoons per cake. Do not use natural style peanut butter, do not use crunchy peanut butter, do not use any other nut butter. The best, in my peanut butter lava cake experience, are commercial brands like creamy Jif or Skippy. Trust me on this.

Take a moment to stare at this:

Warm and fudgy chocolate LAVA CAKES exploding with melty peanut butter!! They might look complicated, but they couldn't be any easier! Recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is actual melty peanut butter from inside the inverted lava cake. And I’m actually fainting as I re-live this moment.

It’s a peanut butter chocolate lava phenomenon.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Lava Cakes

Warm and fudgy chocolate cakes with melted peanut butter inside. These cakes are not overly sweet. Very rich, intense chocolate flavor. This recipe is extremely particular. Straying from the ingredients listed below or making substitutions will hinder the texture, taste, and final result. Make the recipe as directed.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces (170g) high quality semi-sweet chocolate, such as Ghirardelli or Lindt
  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 8 teaspoons (42g) creamy peanut butter (about 2 teaspoons per cake)1
  • optional for serving: ice cream, melted peanut butter and/or chocolate syrup for drizzling

Special Equipment

Directions:

  1. Spray each ramekin with nonstick cooking spray and dust with cocoa powder. This ensures the cakes will seamlessly come out of the ramekins when inverted onto a plate in step 6.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  3. Coarsely chop the chocolate. Place butter into a medium heat-proof bowl, then add chopped chocolate on top. Microwave on high in 10 second increments, stirring after each until completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. Whisk the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt together in a small bowl. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together until combined in another small bowl. Pour the flour mixture and eggs into the bowl of chocolate. Slowly stir everything together using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. If there are any lumps, gently use your whisk to rid them. The batter will be slightly thick.
  5. Spoon chocolate batter evenly into each prepared ramekin. Top with peanut butter and use a spoon to slightly press it down into the batter. Some may still be exposed-- see photo above for a visual.
  6. Place ramekins onto a baking sheet and bake for 12-13 minutes until the sides appear solid and firm. The top may still look slightly soft. Allow to cool for 1 minute, then cover each with an inverted plate and turn over. Use an oven mitt because those ramekins are hot! The cakes should release easily from the ramekin. Top with ice cream and melted peanut butter and/or chocolate syrup for serving, if desired. Serve immediately.
  7. Make ahead tip: This batter can be prepared through step 4 ahead of time. Cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Allow to come to room temperature before continuing with step 5.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Do not use natural style peanut butter, do not use crunchy peanut butter, do not use any other nut butter like almond butter. The best for this recipe is commercial brand peanut butter like creamy Jif or Skippy. I use Jif creamy.
  2. I'm unsure about the bake time for ramekins any other size than 6 ounces. I highly suggest just buying the specified size if you do not own them already. The good news: this standard size is typical for other dessert recipes like custards, soufflés, creme brûlées, chocolate fudge cakes, and mousse.

I've gotten some questions about making these plain, without peanut butter. Yes, it's possible! No changes necessary, just don’t add the peanut butter and bake for only about 12-13 minutes.

Adapted from Food and Wine

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

I have no more words. Drops mic.

Warm and fudgy chocolate LAVA CAKES exploding with melty peanut butter!! They might look complicated, but they couldn't be any easier! Recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Warm and fudgy chocolate LAVA CAKES exploding with melty peanut butter!! They might look complicated, but they couldn't be any easier! Recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Warm and fudgy chocolate LAVA CAKES exploding with melty peanut butter!! They might look complicated, but they couldn't be any easier! Recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

104 comments

  1. Just made this lava cake tonight. OMG, is this dessert rich! I used 72% dark chocolate, and even though it was a touch bitter, it was still UN-BELIEVABLE! I have been on a search for good lava cake for the last year. Now I realize no restaurant can match what I have just created at home. Thank you so much for teaching me how to make this. I cannot wait to present one of these to my chocolate connoisseur sister.

  2. Tried this recipe some time back. it turned out delicious. Thanks for sharing .

  3. Hi Sally,

    Can I use almond butter instead of all purpose flour? I am trying to eliminate all purpose flour in most of my baking and using been using whole wheat pastry flour or almond flour.

    Tomorrow is my hubby’s bday and I would like to surprise him with these lava cakes.

    🙂

    • Merly, sorry for the delay– I was out of town this weekend and could not check in on comments. I wouldn’t use almond butter. A GF flour blend would be a better option.

  4. Thanks so much Sally. I can always count on finding a good recipe on your site. Monday was no exception when I was looking for a quick recipe for an impromptu dessert for my friend’s birthday lunch. I made this and it was phenomenal. I was so proud. I didn’t think he would like PB so I made 2 with PB, 1 with nutela and the last with chocolate chips. Wow. They were all oozing and all delish. You rock!!!!

  5. Hi Sally,
    I want to say that I made these today.
    Although, when I already had everything ready I opened my peanut butter and it turned our there was just a teaspoon left. But then behind the jar I noticed something even more interesting and at that point couldn’t resist using it, there it was: COOKIE SPREAD. I have to tell you that the lava cakes turned out wonderful! The only problem I had was that it sinked in too deep, touching the bottom. I don’t see why that could be the spread because it’s the same weight as peanut butter. It must have been the batter not being thick enough. Anyway, thank you for the recipe!

  6. Would it be possible to make these ahead of time, and to leave them in the refrigerator?Thanks!

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