This just may be the yummiest and easiest dessert ever! You can cook this impressive, fancy dessert in just 1 minute in the microwave using the convenience of a brownie mix. Make these individual cakes in custard cups or mason jars. You can mix the batter in advance, hold it in the fridge, and enjoy one of these treats any time. Make a single cake or several at once. Learn my tricks for getting perfect results every time.
Lately I've been blogging a lot about healthy recipes. It's time for a splurge. Everyone needs a splurge every now and then. So today I'm going all out, full throttle, throw-calorie-caution-to-the-wind with a gooey chocolate dessert that is most definitely splurge worthy.
I've always thought lava cakes with melted chocolate streaming out from the center were so decadent. They look hard to make, and frankly, they can be. Traditional lava cake recipes call for making a special batter, pouring it into ramekins, and biting your nails as they bake in hopes that you will cook them exactly the right amount of time to have that gooey center without the cake being raw. There's uncertainty every time. Most of us leave fancy restaurants to this task--a treat to have when we go out.
So, I set out to try to figure out an easier way to make lava cakes at home. I have 2 tricks to share that make this recipe fool proof.
I never intended for this to be a microwave recipe. But after several tries in the oven with inconsistent results, I decided to try to cook a lava cake in the microwave just for kicks. Hold onto your hats. You may find this hard to believe, but the microwave lava cakes yielded 100% consistent results, better cake texture, a completely cooked cake, with an ooey gooey chocolate center. And the best part? They cook in 1 minute! Seriously.
To simplify things even further, I used a brownie mix. I don't often cook from a box, but brownies mixes are one thing that rival the everything-from-scratch method. I must confess that I often use them when I need a quick, yummy dessert. With a little jazzing up, they can be the base for a fabulous dessert. Like this one.
Nutritional Information per lava cake: 397 calories, 21.3g fat, 217.5mg sodium, 56g carbs, 3.4g fiber, 48.2g sugars, 5.4g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 12
Step-by-step photos for making
Microwave Brownie Lava Cake
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients and supplies.
The Pillsbury brownie mix calls for adding water, vegetable oil and 2 eggs. I added one more egg for a total of 3 eggs. It takes 2 of the Dove promise chocolates for each lava cake.
Step 2. Pour the brownie mix into a large bowl and whisk out the bigger lumps.
Step 3. To prevent sticking and ease removal of the cooked cake, spray each of the custard cups with cooking spray, spoon in a little of the dry brownie mix and twirl the bowl until it is completely coated. Tap out any excess back into the brownie mix bowl. (This is better than using white flour. A floured bowl would leave white powder on the surface of the cooked cake when it is inverted onto a plate. The brownie mix will cook in and be invisible.)
Step 4. Add the water, oil, and eggs to a separate bowl and whisk until combined.
Step 5. Pour the liquid mixture into the brownie mix and stir until well combined.
Step 6. Spoon batter into each custard cup until 1/2 full. (You need about 1/3 cup of batter for a 6 oz. cup/bowl.) A large scoop is a handy, tidy tool for distributing the batter in uniform portions.
Step 7. Stack two Dove chocolates and press them into the center of the batter. Use a knife to spread batter over the top of the chocolate candy so the surface isn't exposed.
Step 8. Place a filled custard cup on a small plate and put it in the microwave. Cook at full power for 1 minute--that's how long it took in my 1100 watt microwave. The cake will rise while it cooks and then fall slightly when the cooking stops. (NOTE: Microwaves can vary, so you may need to experiment with the exact cooking time. Once you have figured out the correct time for your microwave, you can continue cooking the remaining cakes.) You may cook up to 4 cakes at one time, adding 30 seconds to the cooking time for each additional cake. Cook 1 cake for 1 minute, 2 cakes for 1-1/2 minutes, 3 cakes for 2 minutes, 4 cakes for 2-1/2 minutes.
Step 9. Remove the cooked cake from the microwave and gently run a thin knife around the edge. Place another plate on top of the cake, and flip both plates over (with the cake sandwiched between them. Carefully lift the bowl off of the cake.
Don't freak out if there's a little cake and lava left behind in the bowl. That happened to me a few times. The cake still looked fine. I spooned the chocolate lava off the bottom of the bowl and added it to the lava on the top of the cake. The bowl gives it the shape of a little volcano. Isn't it cute?
And here's the money shot. Cut into the middle and watch the chocolate lava flow. How awesome is that? A perfectly melted center every time. The brownie cake is completely and evenly cooked; and it has a moist, light texture.
Add a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and you've got yourself one amazing, impressive dessert.
You can also eat it right out of the bowl or jar, if you'd rather not hassle with greasing and flouring the bowls and flipping them over. It's fun to cook them in mason jars, top them with whipped cream, and dig in! You can enjoy the same gooey goodness in every bite. Just like the custard cups, these each take just 1 minute in the microwave.
Make ahead in mason jars.
Mason jars are great for these, because you can cook and serve from the same bowl. Also, you can prepare them ahead and then cook them later. Cook them all, or a few at a time, or just grab one to cook for a single treat. Spoon in the batter, add the Dove chocolates, put on a lid, put them in the fridge, and pull them out when it's time to cook dessert. One recipe fills 8 of these mason jars. I used:
These jars of batter will keep for up to a week in the fridge! Remove them from the fridge about a half hour before you cook them so they can warm to room temperature. Then a minute in the microwave and dessert is served!
I still have a hard time believing you can cook a dessert this fabulous in 1 minute.
But, it's true. This is among the most delicious chocolate desserts I've ever made AND the easiest! Seriously, how could it be easier?
Want more easy microwave cake recipes? Here's a fun collection of 100 mug cake recipes by Leslie Bilderback:
Make it a Yummy day!
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This post was updated 5/2015.