Molten Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cake has a gooey chocolate center and a hint of coffee. With a short list of ingredients and short preparation time, this dessert is super quick and easy to make. There’s no need to turn on your oven to get a delicious and decadent dessert when you have an Instant Pot!
[Update: Since I first made this recipe, I’ve discovered that I don’t need to make the lava cakes in two separate batches. I just stack the ramekins, staggered, with three on the bottom and one on top. I’ve updated the printable recipe card, but not the step by step photos.]
Dessert in your Instant Pot? The answer is a resounding “yesss!” These molten Instant Pot chocolate lava cakes are such a wonderfully decadent treat! We were in the mood for dessert and of course, now that everything in my kitchen revolves around the Instant Pot, I just HAD to come up with an Instant Pot dessert.
The list of ingredients is short and so is the time required for prep, so I would consider this an easy recipe! And one more thing – you’ve got to eat these chocolate lava cakes warm!
Tips and Substitutions
I make a lot of curries and highly spiced dishes in the Instant Pot and one thing I’ve found is that the Instant Pot sealing ring retains the smell of whatever I cook. I’ve tried all kinds of tricks and they work okay but not perfectly.
So I ordered a second Instant Pot silicone sealing ring from amazon that I use for desserts, oatmeal, etc. You might want to consider getting an extra one for yourself if you plan on making desserts or anything that’s mild.
You’ll also need some oven-proof dessert cups. I use small 3 1/2 inch ramekins but you could also use glass Pyrex custard cups. They’re a bit of a tighter fit, but you might already have them in your kitchen cabinet.
I use 6 oz. ramekins in a 6 quart Instant Pot Duo or Instant Pot Ultra for this lava cake recipe; if you’re using different size or type of containers or pressure cooker, your cooking time may need to change.
This lava cake recipe uses instant coffee granules and I think it adds a nice counter-balance to the chocolate. But I’m a coffee drinker and love to get my coffee fix! My kids, on the other hand, are not coffee drinkers and they like these chocolate lava cakes without the coffee. If you don’t care for coffee either, you can easily leave it out.
It’s important that you microwave the chocolate correctly: at medium (50%) power, in small bursts, stirring well every 15 seconds, and stopping when there are still a few pieces of chocolate still left, allowing the remaining chocolate to melt in the residual heat, stirring until smooth.
This Instant Pot lava cake recipe can be tricky for some readers. The reason could be altitude-related or slight variations in the measuring of ingredients. After all, this is an Instant Pot dessert and desserts need some more precision. If you find your cakes have no lava in the middle, you could try and reduce cooking time by a minute the next time you try the recipe.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, please read the Instant Pot DUO Beginner’s Quick Start Guide or the Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Quick Start Guide first and then come back here to learn how to make Instant Pot chocolate lava cake.
Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cake Ingredients
Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cake Step-by-Step Instructions
- In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter and chocolate on medium (50%) heat for about 1 minute. Stir and repeat heating at 15-second intervals, until the chocolate is melted and smooth but a few small pieces of chocolate still remain. Keep stirring to allow the chocolate to completely melt in the residual heat. *
- Stir in confectioner’s sugar.
* Make sure you don’t over-melt the chocolate. See this article about melting chocolate in the microwave.
- Whisk in eggs, yolks, coffee and vanilla.
- Stir in flour and salt.
- Grease the bottom and sides of four 6 oz. ramekins. Coat each with sugar.
- Divide batter among the ramekins.
- Pour 2 cups water into the Instant Pot’s main compartment (inner pot) and place trivet in water.
- Place 2 ramekins on the trivet.
- Close the Instant Pot.
- Make sure the steam release handle is in the ‘Sealing’ position.
- [Update: you don’t have to make these lava cakes in two batches. You can place three ramekins on the bottom layer and one on top of them, in the middle (staggered).]
- Press ‘Manual’ (or ‘Pressure Cook’) and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ until display reads ‘9’ (9 minutes).
- Instant Pot display will change to ‘On’.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down from 9 to 0; it will switch to ‘Keep Warm’ mode and display ‘L0:00’.
- Do a Quick Release: move the steam release handle to ‘Venting’. I like to place a folded towel over the steam release handle and move it to the venting position. Remove the towel after turning the knob.
- When your Instant Pot is depressurized, the float valve will be in the down position.
- Press ‘Cancel’ and open the Instant Pot.
- Open the Instant Pot.
- Remove the ramekins carefully. I just lift the trivet to remove them.
- Return the trivet to the Instant Pot and repeat the process with remaining 2 ramekins. [If you are cooking them in two batches.]
- Dust the Instant Pot chocolate lava cakes with powdered sugar.
- Serve warm!
- If you want to turn the cake out onto a plate, run a knife around the edge of the baking dish, place a plate over top and holding both steadily, turn the dish upside down. The cake should come apart from the dish and sit on the plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cake
These molten Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cakes have a gooey chocolate center and a hint of coffee; A delicious Instant Pot dessert that's super easy to make.
Grease the bottom and sides of four 6 oz ramekins. Coat each with sugar.
Melt the chocolate and butter: In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter and chocolate on medium heat for about 1 minute. Stir and repeat heating at 15-second intervals, until the chocolate is melted and smooth but a few small pieces of chocolate still remain. Keep stirring to allow the chocolate to completely melt in the residual heat.
Stir in confectioner's sugar.
Whisk in eggs, yolks, coffee and vanilla.
Stir in flour and salt.
Divide batter among the ramekins.
Pour 2 cups water into the Instant Pot’s main compartment (inner pot) and place trivet in water.
Place 3 ramekins on the trivet and place 1 more on top of them, in the middle (staggered). Close the Instant Pot. Make sure the steam release handle is in the ‘Sealing’ position.
Cook on 'Manual' (or 'Pressure Cook') for 9 minutes.
Do a Quick Release of steam and open the Instant Pot.
Use the trivet to remove the ramekins. Gently dab off any condensation from the surface of the cake.
Dust the Insant Pot chocolate lava cakes with powdered sugar.
Serve warm and enjoy!
- If you have a larger Instant Pot, you might be able to fit all 4 ramekins in one layer.
- I use 6 oz ceramic ramekins and a 6 quart Instant Pot Duo and Ultra for this recipe as written; if you're using different size or type of containers or pressure cooker, your cooking time may need to change.
- See blog post for more details and tips.
I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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