Instant Pot Lava Cake

Small chocolate cake with chocolate spilled from the middle topped with blueberries and sugar powder

Calling all chocolate lovers!! Who could resist eating a molten chocolate lava cake?

The running lava of chocolate running from the center is so satisfying. It’s hands down one of my favorite desserts!

Small chocolate cake with chocolate spilled from the middle topped with blueberries and sugar powder

This Instant Pot Lava Cake recipe is the best choice for dessert when you want to impress. It melts into your mouth and is so yummy that you won’t believe you made it using your pressure cooker!

Using your Instant Pot to make lava cakes is a foolproof method for what might seem like a daunting task to attempt. It takes all the guess work out of knowing when the cake is done. You don’t have to worry about overcooking it, and the Instant Pot will also ensure the cakes come out melt-in-your-mouth moist every time.

What Percentage of Dark Chocolate is Best?

The percentage listed on bars of dark chocolate refers to the proportion of natural cocoa butter and cocoa liquor in the product compared to other ingredients such as milk and sugar. The higher the percentage, the darker the chocolate.

I prefer to use a dark chocolate that is around 60-70% cocoa for Instant Pot Lava Cake. This would typically be labeled as bittersweet chocolate. You could also use semisweet chocolate if you want something a little less bitter and a little sweeter.

I think bittersweet chocolate is best in this recipe because we will be adding more sugar to counteract the bitterness, but if you’re like me, you want as much chocolate flavor as possible!

Why Do You Use Unsalted Butter?

You might be confused to see that this Instant Pot chocolate lava cake recipe calls for unsalted butter and then adds ¼ teaspoon of salt. There is a reason for this.

The reason that most baking recipes call for unsalted butter is because the amount of salt in salted butter is mostly unregulated and can differ greatly from one brand to another. Using unsalted butter allows us full control over the amount of salt in the recipe.

You might ask, well why do you need salt at all? It’s a chocolate cake recipe! Using a tiny bit of salt in baking recipes helps enhance the flavor of the chocolate and all the other ingredients. You won’t necessarily notice it, but a little bit makes a big difference.

Does the Espresso Make it Taste Like Mocha?

No, I don’t think you will notice the espresso. The small amount of instant espresso powder is there to enhance the flavor of the chocolate, not to overpower it.

If you want more of a mocha taste, you can always add a little bit more!

Can I Use Nonstick Spray instead of Butter?

Yes. I prefer to brush the molds with melted butter to make sure you get all inner sides of the ramekins so that the cakes will easily release. Sometimes with spray, it’s easier to miss a spot, which can cause it to stick.

I also prefer the taste of butter, although you shouldn’t really taste it much anyway.

What Size Molds Should I Use?

For this recipe, you should use round shallow ramekins that are between 6 and 12 ounces each.

Make sure you are able to fit the ramekins into your Instant Pot in a single layer. This recipe will make at least 2 individual sized molten chocolate lava cakes.

How To Make

Gather your ingredients:

In a bowl microwave chocolate and butter for 30 seconds. Stir in until smooth.

Add eggs, vanilla and whisk.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Mix it well until smooth and glossy.

Brush the molds with melted butter. 

Add a little cocoa powder (remove any excess powder).

Divide mixture in prepared molds.

Place molds on the trivet and trivet in the instant pot.

Cook in “Manual” at high pressure for 10 minutes.

When cooking time ends, allow a natural pressure release.

Let cool for a couple of minutes. Then invert to the plate and serve.

More Desserts

If you are into chocolate, check out this Instant Pot chocolate cake and this Instant Pot chocolate pudding. Check out these delicious recipes as well:

Instant Pot Japanese cheesecake  (only 4 ingredients!)

Instant Pot chocolate cake

Instant Pot carrot cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Mini Bundt Cake Recipes

Small chocolate cake with chocolate spilled from the middle topped with blueberries and sugar powder

Instant Pot Lava Cake

This delicious and luscious lava cake oozes with silky and rich molten chocolate.
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, Lava Cake
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
6 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Author: Corrie


  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder optional
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 6 oz chocolate
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup  icing sugar


  • Get ready with your ingredients
  • Take a bowl, add chocolate and butter and heat in microwave for about 30 seconds.
  • Stir the mixture until it gets smooth and then add eggs, vanilla and whisk into it.
  • You would start getting some creamy look. Now add the remaining ingredients.
  • Use butter to brush the molds and add some cocoa powder into it.
  • Pour out the prepared mixture into two separate molds and use trivet to add it in the Instant Pot.
  • Manually cook it at high pressure for about 10 minutes, and allow a natural release once done
  • Cool the dish and serve it to the waiting audience.
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @corriecooksblog or tag #corriecooks!

Molten Marvel with Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cake


















18 thoughts on “Instant Pot Lava Cake

  1. I don't see expresso powder on the recipe ingredient list. I read that it's optional but how much is recommended if I choose to add it?

    1. Oh! Just a teaspoon or so. You can add more or less depending on your preference. I'll update the recipe, thanks!

  2. Hi, Corrie. I did not see the list and measurements for the ingredients in above recipe. Can you please provide? Thank you.
    Also, there is spelling fix - bowl in stead of ball.

  3. Hi Corrie:
    I just went straight to recipe and saw that below you said to cook on high pressure for 385 min. Say what? When I looked at the full pages of the recipe it said 35. Might want to change that for people like me who just jump to recipe. Anyway, can't wait to try.

  4. I assume that the middle just stays molten while the outside cooks?
    Also how far ahead can I make these cakes? Will they last refrigerated if I need 6 for couple days later?

    1. Yes, that's correct. I'm not sure if the molten center would remain if reheated. So, I would recommend just making the batter ahead of time, filling the ramekins, and waiting to cook until you're ready to eat them, if that works for you.

  5. i don't have expresso powder. is the an optional ingredient or a "must have". i realize it will enhance the chocolate flavor, but other than that?

    1. You are absolutely right-- it just enhances the chocolate flavor. You can use a bit of brewed coffee instead or you can leave it out. It's optional.

    1. I haven't tried it, but I think it will work, it will just give a slightly different taste and texture. Your best bet if you're trying to go gluten free is using an all-purpose gluten free flour blend.

  6. I'm assuming that you put water in the bottom under the trivet? If so, any particular amount or just below the trivet?

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