Peanut Butter Chocolate Lava Cakes

Homemade peanut butter chocolate lava cakes are the ultimate dessert decadence. Each rich, fudgy, and warm chocolate cake is filled with melty peanut butter and topped with vanilla ice cream. You’ll be surprised at how quickly this indulgent dessert comes together!

peanut butter chocolate lava cake on a white plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

Welcome to the best dessert on earth! I’m pretty sure we haven’t lived until we’ve all had a peanut butter chocolate lava cake. Today’s peanut butter version is just like my chocolate lava cakes recipe, only filled with peanut butter. 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.

These Peanut Butter Chocolate Lava Cakes Are:

  • Rich and fudgy
  • Easier than you think
  • Made with only 7 ingredients
  • Super quick– only 12 minutes in the oven
  • Decadent and indulgent
  • Gooey in the center
  • Perfect for small dinner parties, date night, or Valentine’s Day
  • Peanut butter + chocolate!!

peanut butter chocolate lava cake with peanut butter center on a white plate

I worked at Chili’s throughout college– I know a good molten lava cake when I see one. 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 78,439x better freshly made at home with pure chocolate and lots of butter.

melted chocolate in a glass bowl with a wood spoon

Ingredients in Peanut Butter Chocolate Lava Cakes

You only need 7 basic ingredients for today’s peanut butter chocolate lava cakes. I adapted this recipe from Food and Wine. Let’s review:

  • Chocolate: Pure chocolate is the base of these lava cakes. Use quality chocolate– no cheap varieties and absolutely no chocolate chips. You will be dreadfully disappointed if you use lower quality chocolate. I prefer Ghirardelli or Lindt.
  • Butter: Butter is melted with the chocolate for incredible taste and decadence.
  • Flour: We only use 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour for added structure– too much and the cakes would dry out.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar: A little confectioners’ sugar sweetens the cake– don’t expect a super sweet chocolate cake. These are very rich as opposed to very sweet. In my recipe testing, I preferred confectioners’ sugar over granulated sugar. I found the cakes had a grainy texture with granulated.
  • Salt: Salt adds flavor.
  • Eggs: The most important ingredient! There are 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks in this recipe (2 egg whites and 4 egg yolks total)– an entire egg yolk in each cake. The egg yolks provide unique moisture and richness to each cake and the egg whites give structure, combining all the ingredients into one smooth batter and 4 sturdy cakes.
  • Peanut Butter: Each lava cake is filled with creamy peanut butter. Do not use natural style peanut butter, crunchy peanut butter, or any other nut butter. The best, in my peanut butter lava cake experience, are commercial brands like creamy Jif or Skippy.

melted chocolate, whisked eggs, and flour mixture in glass bowls

How to Make Peanut Butter Chocolate Lava Cakes

They may look fancy and complicated, but peanut butter chocolate lava cakes are incredibly simple to make. Let’s review the quick and easy steps:

  1. Prepare 4 ramekins.
  2. Make the chocolate cake batter.
  3. Spoon the batter evenly into each ramekin.
  4. Top each with peanut butter. Use a spoon to slightly press it down into the batter.
  5. Bake. The high oven temperature cooks the outside of the mini cakes but leaves the center slightly gooey. 12-14 minutes and they’re done! The tops may look slightly soft.
  6. Invert the ramekins. Carefully flip the freshly baked lava cakes upside down onto plates.
  7. Add toppings & enjoy! Top with melted peanut butter, chocolate ganache, ice cream, sprinkles, salted caramel, or whipped cream— choose your favorites 🙂

white ramekins filled with chocolate lava cake batter and peanut butter in the centers before baking

Best Ramekins to Use

I highly recommend using ramekins for these lava cakes. Here are the 6-ounce ramekins I use and suggest you pick up as well. They’re the perfect size for these lava cakes. Grease each ramekin with a little non-stick spray and a dusting of cocoa powder before filling with batter. This preparation helps the baked lava cake release seamlessly from the ramekin onto the plate for serving.

Conveniently, you can use the same ramekins for other recipes we have published like chocolate fudge cakes, chocolate soufflé, chocolate lava cakes, lemon pudding cakes, and upside down key lime pies.

If you don’t have ramekins, you can use a muffin pan: Grease 6 muffin pan cups and dust with cocoa powder to prevent the lava cakes from sticking. Your lava cakes will be slightly smaller– you’ll get 6 lava cakes instead of 4. Bake at 425°F (218°C) for 8-10 minutes. Use a spoon to release the cakes from the pan and place each upside down on plates.

peanut butter chocolate lava cake on a white plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

More Chocolate Peanut Butter Recipes

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chocolate peanut butter lava cake with a scoop of ice cream on top on a white plate with a spoon

Peanut Butter Chocolate Lava Cakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cakes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This easy recipe for peanut butter chocolate lava cakes is the ultimate dessert decadence!


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 (spoon & leveled)
  • 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)*
  • optional for serving: ice cream, melted peanut butter and/or chocolate syrup for drizzling

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Peanut Butter: 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.
  3. Plain Lava Cakes: 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.
  4. Ramekins: I like these 6 ounce oven-proof custard cups or these 6 ounce ramekins). 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.
  5. Adapted from Food and Wine.

Keywords: lava cakes, peanut butter chocolate lava cakes

69 Comments

  1. I just made molten chocolate lava cakes earlier this week and dang they are a pain to get a picture of! Yours look dreamy, I want to dive right in! That peanut butter chocolate combo is making me hungry.

  2. I made these for my husband and I last night, and they were AMAZING. All your recipes are fantastic- thanks for another great one! 🙂 

  3. Hi, annoying purist here :). I know you said we can just omit the peanut butter and not change anything but will that result in gooey chocolate oozing out the middle? Cause in the photo only the peanut butter is oozing out. Please forgive my obnoxiousness :p

    1. You can put some chocolate in the center to make the oozing sauce in the middle.

  4. I made these tonight for me & my hubby, using 6oz Pyrex custard cups. They tasted AMAZING, but the peanut butter didn’t sink in (or the batter didn’t cover it when the PB sank), and therefore didn’t really ooze out when we started eating them. I tried to push the peanut butter down into the batter a little, like the instructions say, but maybe the curved shape of the custard cups makes them bake a little differently than the more straight-sided ramekins?  I’ll definitely be making these again, and either buy ramekins first, or try covering the PB with batter.  Thanks for this great recipe & Valentine’s inspiration!  🙂

    1. Hey Evelyn! Did you see my tweet reply? You’ll want to spoon batter on top of the peanut butter to make sure it’s really wedged down there. Happy you loved them though! And I hope you had a wonderful Vday 🙂

      1. Yes, thank you!  Next time I’ll save a couple dollops of the batter to cover the peanut butter.  🙂

  5. I made these last night for our Valentine’s Day dessert and they were AWESOME!!! My husband was so impressed! Thank you so much for this recipe – I will definitely be making them again!! 

  6. Hi Sally. I made these last weekend for my sisters and my mom while my hubby took our daughters to a dance 🙂 my girls requested I make them for them too so I made them again this weekend! So so good. My oldest daughter said “You’ve done it again, Mom!” Thanks for a perfect recipe! 

    1. Thanks for reporting back, Elizabeth!!

  7. Made these last night for my son in-laws 30th birthday dinner and they were perfect. Keeper–him and this recipe

  8. Should the chocolate be cooking chocolate? or is it better to use normal chocolate?

    1. Yep, cooking/baking chocolate– for example Ghirardelli (or Baker’s) baking bar.

  9. Umm most amazing dessert of my life.  I made it last weekend for a friend’s birthday and it was a huge hit.  The hubs is begging for me but I need to have 8 servings.  Can this recipe be doubled?  Thanks Sally!

    1. and by begging for me I definitely mean more. begging for more.

      1. Yes! Yes! Definitely can double this recipe! 🙂

  10. Had the house to myself this weekend and was looking in Pinterest for some recipes for Herbalife shakes. It was a cruel joke that this was posted amongst them LOL!  I just HAD to make one. Yep, just one. I don’t think a lava cake would reheat well the next day. I cut down the recipe to make just one. My only mistake?  That I made JUST one!  OMG that thing was decedent and rich and delicious!!!  I will be making many more of these!!  

  11. Hi Sally, I love your recipes! I was thinking of making this one (that picture with the vanilla ice cream is giving me massive cravings right now) but I am not really a fan of peanut butter. Would I be able to put something inside the cakes instead of peanut butter such as melted chocolate (bakers chocolate)? Thanks!

    1. See my recipe note. 🙂 Enjoy, Lauren!

  12. Holy moly, Sally!
    Fantastic! 
    I usually follow your directions to a T, but today was my hubby’s birthday and I didn’t have a cake! I used two dark chocolate bars that I had sitting around and supplemented with 2 oz of semi sweet chips.  Wow! I think mine were a bit runny but it didn’t matter! SOOO EASY!!! SOOO GOOD!!! I may try a marshmallow in the middle for my kiddos next time.  
    Thanks for being so good at what you do. Cheers! 

    1. Let me know how they go with marshmallow! Genius.

  13. Made these for my family and turned out perfectly! Lovely and running in the middle! Thank you for a great recipe 😀

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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.

    🙂

    1. 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.

  17. 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!!!!

  18. 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!

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

  20. How have I only just seen this recipe! I cannot wait to make this – they look incredible!!

  21. I live in Ecuador, and I can get peanut butter easily. But because locals use it almost entirely for savory things (sauces, etc.), it’s the natural stuff. Which is normally great, but you say not to use the natural kind for this recipe. Any suggestions on how to doctor the natural stuff for this purpose? Like maybe adding some butter and a touch of powdered sugar and salt to it?? I’d appreciate your thoughts and ideas. Thank you! Laura

    1. I’d maybe add a Tablespoon to all of the peanut butter used and then divide it up between lava cakes– great question!

      1. Thank you for the quick reply! A tablespoon of butter? (Or something else??)
        This weekend I plan to make them for some friends who adored a sort of Snicker pie I made for them last Thanksgiving. And the peanut butter cups at Christmas. So this seems perfect for them. Perhaps some chopped peanuts and a drizzle of dulce de leche (milk caramel) to complete the Snickers touch.

  22. Is it possible to make & bake this recipe a day before ? Can we re heat before serving for dessert? 

    1. Absolutely! I simply re-heat in the microwave.

  23. I got Guittard semisweet chocolate baking chips- are those considered “chocolate chips” they’re a higher quality chocolate but I was not sure how you’re defining chocolate chips. Thanks!

  24. So excited to make these! I was wondering if I could use salted caramel instead of peanut butter? Thanks!!

    1. Yes, definitely! Here is my recipe for salted caramel.

      1. Yay! I have made your salted caramel recipe so many times I have it memorized! It is amazing!!! Thank you!❤️

  25. Made these already a few times an they turned out great. I had some batter left last time i made them and made a mug cake in the microwave – it works really well too :).

    1. Oh good to know!!

  26. Do you think it would work as one big cake instead of small ones in ramekins?

    1. Hi Yael! No, I recommend making individual cakes. The “lava” portion wouldn’t work in a large pan.

  27. Can I double this recipe? I have 9oz ramekins and want to make 5 for Christmas dessert. Not sure if you have suggestions for doubling other than just doing it straight forward!

    1. Hi Rachel! You can double the recipe, yes.

  28. These look so good! I made brownies a few times like this. I would use a 9×9 square pan and put some of the batter into the pan. Then I would put 4 dollops of peanut butter in the center of where each brownie would be, and then add the rest of the batter over the peanut butter. They always turned out so gooey, especially when I had some vanilla or even chocolate ice cream on top right out of the oven! They were still good even the next day if they didn’t get eaten when freshly baked. Thanks for adding this recipe, I can’t wait to try it.

    1. Those brownies sound delicious, Dawn!

  29. Arwa jivanjee says:

    Hi sally… Loved this recipe.. I tried them in muffin pans and baked for 9 mins. Turned out really good.. I have tried your chocolate lava cakes many times but the peanut butter in these ones was a nice surprise for my husband.. Thanks Soo much for the wonderful recipe…

  30. Gotta question. Suppose I wanted to “stuff” the Chocolate Lava Cake with white chocolate instead of Peanut Butter. Could I just put a chunk of say Godiva white chocolate in the batter and press it down and I am good? Will it melt? Or should I break it up some?

    1. Absolutely! Or here is my regular chocolate lava cake recipe.

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