Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes
This is a vegan version of a classic French dessert known as a mi-cuit or fondant chocolat, known for its deliciously melty center.
This vegan version blows the socks off most ‘normal’ versions of this cake. I can brag because the secret that makes this work so well came from another baker. After baking several vegan lava cakes from recipes I found online and wanting to have a stern word with the authors, I tried School Night Vegan’s method of using blended tofu in the batter. Holy s$%&. The creamiest. The dreamiest. The silkiest. The fudgiest.
I adjusted his very good recipe to my liking by tweaking some proportions, swapping the types of chocolate, and adding a ganache center to the cake, which means you don’t have to follow the fiddly and more traditional under-bake method of achieving a melty middle.
This recipe makes 5 lava cakes in 4-oz ramekins. I suggest serving with dusted powdered sugar, flaky salt, coconut whipped cream, and most importantly (!!!), freshly grated orange zest. It takes these cakes from a fudgy 10 to a zesty-rich and ethereal 11.
Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes
- 60g vegan dark chocolate chips
- 80g full-fat coconut milk
- 80g all-purpose flour
- 80g sugar
- 7.5g/ 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2g / 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 70g vegan butter, melted
- 85g semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips, melted
- 100g silken tofu
- 14g / 1 tablespoon plant-based milk
- 14g neutral oil
- 1.5g / 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 4g / 1 teaspoon vanilla
FOR MOLDS & SERVING
- Cocoa powder
- Baking spray or neutral oil
- Powdered sugar
- Flaky salt
- Orange zest
- Coconut whipped cream
- 5 4-oz ramekins
- Magic Bullet or mini-food processor (blender can be used if needed)
- Kitchen scale
- Microplane or zester
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 5 4-oz ramekins or oven-safe pudding molds by placing on a sheet pan, spraying molds with baking spray, and dusting molds with cocoa powder.
- To prepare the ganache, combine full-fat coconut milk and vegan dark chocolate chips in a medium bowl, and microwave in 15 second intervals, whisking well after each interval. Continue until just melted and the ganache is smooth and thick when you stir it. Be careful and don’t let the chocolate burn!
- Place the ganache bowl directly in the freezer, where it’ll harden and become scoopable.
- To prepare the lava cake batter, first combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl: the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Next, melt together the vegan butter and vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (the same as you did with the ganache) and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Next, in the bowl of a Magic Bullet or mini food-processor, combine the silken tofu, the plant-based milk, neutral oil, espresso powder, and vanilla. Purée until smooth.
- Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture directly to the Magic Bullet or food processor, and purée again until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. You want a silky, chocolatey-smooth batter.
- Finally, add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- To assemble, first scoop a large spoonful of batter into the bottom of the ramekins, smoothing it slightly to create a flat layer.
- Retrieve the ganache from the freezer and make sure it’s fairly firm to the touch (this won’t work well if it’s still liquidy). Using a teaspoon, scoop a heaping teaspoon and place it directly in the center of the layer of batter.
- Scoop a second large scoop of batter and place it atop the ganache, then smooth it. You don’t want any ganache poking through the top, or touching the sides of the ramekin (otherwise it’ll be hard to unmold).
- If you want to be really precise with the assembly, use a scale and weigh 35g of batter, 20g ganache, and then 40g batter.
- Bake at 350F for 16 minutes or until lava cakes are puffed and still visibly damp/shiny only in the center inch of the cake.
- Let the cakes rest for 5 minutes, then invert each ramekin onto a plate and unmold. If you have any trouble, you can run a sharp knife around edge of the mold, then invert again.
- Dust with powdered sugar and flaky salt, and zest on a bit of orange zest. Serve with a dollop of coconut whipped cream.