Peppermint Mocha Lava Cakes are delicious single-serving chocolate cakes with a molten chocolate center inside! They make a great holiday dessert—they’re indulgent, they can be made in advance, and any extras keep very well.
This post is sponsored by International Delight. This year I’m pleased to partner with them to bring you a series of dessert recipes featuring their products.
Lava cakes are basically the perfect dish. If I had my way, EVERY food would be filled with a gooey chocolate center, but unfortunately there are things like “vegetables” and “fruits” and “grains” in this world, all of which are healthy, none of which involve molten chocolate inside.
So we’ve gotta take our chocolate pleasures where we can get them. Lava cakes were a staple of 80’s fine dining cuisine, but then they seemed to go out of fashion for awhile. I am happy to lead the quest to bring them back and make them cool again (…uh, ironic lava pun?) because these things are, to use a technical term, so freaking delicious.
Think about it: is there anything better than a single-serving cake filled with ooey, gooey chocolate that flows out of it like lava when you take a bite? Top that baby with some ice cream or whipped cream, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce, and you’ve got perfection on a plate.
The traditional lava cake texture can be achieve by simply baking the cake batter until it’s set around the edges and still soft in the middle. However, this method relies on precise and consistent timing. When I was working in restaurants, I got into the habit of adding a chocolate truffle to the center of my lava cakes before baking. This ensured that they ALWAYS had a perfectly gooey center, no matter what kitchen mishaps might befall–baked a few extra minutes? Left to languish in the refrigerator for a day or two? No problem, just heat them up and you’re back to lava territory!
Ever since then, I’ve made my lava cakes this way, and I’m never disappointed. They always have a liquid center, and the additional chocolate from the melted truffle just makes them taste even better!
Chocolate lava cakes are delicious, of course, but I wanted to give these a holiday spin–’tis the season, after all. So I used International Delight Peppermint Mocha Creamer to give the chocolate truffle in the center an irresistible peppermint mocha taste. I also added some peppermint extract to the cake batter, to really bring the holiday cheer. If you like a strong coffee flavor in your chocolate desserts, you can add a bit of espresso powder as well.
Finally, I took some of the peppermint mocha ganache that I used to make the truffles, heated it up, and drizzled it on top of the finished cakes. I love a recipe that does double duty, don’t you? The end result is a warm cake, topped with cool ice cream or whipped cream, and drenched in warm chocolate sauce. Don’t forget the pinch of crushed candy canes for maximum cuteness!
These lava cakes are SO easy to make! Check out the video below showing exactly how it’s done.
How to Make Peppermint Mocha Lava Cakes:
Peppermint Mocha Lava Cakes
For the Peppermint Mocha Filling:
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
- 4 fl oz International Delight Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer (1/2 cup)
- 1 oz unsalted butter (2 TBSP)
For the Peppermint Chocolate Lava Cakes:
To Make the Peppermint Mocha Filling:
- Combine the chocolate, International Delight Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer, and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds, then whisk well. If chunks of chocolate remain, microwave in short bursts, whisking after each one, until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny.
- Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the ganache and refrigerate it for about 90 minutes, until set. (It will still be slightly soft, you just need to be able to scoop and roll it.) Dust your hands with a light coating of cocoa powder. Use a small candy scoop or a teaspoon to scoop a one-inch ball of chocolate into your hands, and roll it until it is round and even. Set the truffle on a baking sheet covered with parchment or waxed paper, then repeat until you’ve made 8 truffles.
- Place the truffles in the freezer while you prepare the lava cake batter. Reserve the remaining ganache to make a chocolate sauce later.
To Make the Mint Chocolate Lava Cakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray eight 1-cup ramekins with nonstick cooking spray, and set them on a baking sheet.
- Combine the semi-sweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then whisk well. If chunks remain, heat in short bursts and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth and melted.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, yolks, and powdered sugar. Whip them together for about 1 minute, until frothy. Add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture and mix until combined. Finally, add the all-purpose flour and peppermint extract, and gently fold everything together until no streaks of flour remain.
- Divide the lava cake batter evenly between the prepared ramekins. Press a frozen truffle into the center of each cake, and gently swirl the top of the batter to cover the truffle. Bake the cakes for 14-16 minutes. They should be set around the edges, but very soft and jiggly and almost “wet” looking in the middle.
- Let them cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature, then gently pull the cakes away from the sides of the ramekins with your fingers to loosen them. Place a plate on top of a ramekin, flip it upside down, and remove the ramekin to release the cake onto the plate.
- Top the lava cakes with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. Heat the remaining ganache in short bursts and whisk until smooth to make a peppermint mocha chocolate sauce you can drizzle over the cakes. These cakes are best enjoyed warm, so the centers are still fluid when you cut into them.
- If you want to make the lava cakes in advance, they keep very well. You can store them in the ramekins, or remove them carefully and store them on a baking sheet. However you do it, make sure they’re well-wrapped in plastic wrap, so they don’t dry out, and keep them in the refrigerator. To serve, just warm them up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds (err on the shorter side to start!) so that the inside becomes molten chocolate again. Enjoy!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.