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Low carb, molten lava cake!

I hold the record for the world’s largest sweet tooth. It’s been measured! I could eat sweets for every meal of the day and go to bed happy. So when I started eating keto, I obviously cut out sugar all together and needless to say, I was irritable. But that was to be expected- sugar is highly addictive and when you take it away after so many years, you get withdrawal symptoms. As with all addictions, it takes time and effort to heal the body. After a few grueling days, maybe a week, the sugar cravings started going away. At the peak of my keto dieting, I never even thought about dessert. My body was running perfectly fine without that brownie for dessert daily.

Soon though, I began missing the intricate processes that made up baking, and the warm, delicate textures it brought about. I started to research some keto desserts and came across what seemed like plenty of options to choose from. After experimenting with some low carb dessert recipes and quite a few failures, I decided to instead start with what was already a hit: non-keto desserts (loved by all!). I took a few different non-keto recipes and simply tweaked them to reduce their carb count and ended up with something magical.

Keto Lava Cake

A gluten-free, keto dessert is born

It’s a lava cake! But that name doesn’t do it justice. It’s a warm, gooey, sweet, fluffy, molten cool lava cake. It’s insanely simple to make and only has 4g of net carbs for the entire little cake. 4G OF CARBS! Considering this unheard of number, I added a scoop of vanilla Breyer’s carb-smart ice cream (4g of carbs per ½ cup, which is about a large scoop – see nutrition label on the side) to create something like an icy cool lava cake. When you flip it onto a plate and crack it open, the slightly molten center and the melting ice cream underneath join together and create the king of keto desserts! The entire cake has a soft, fluffy and super moist texture- owing to the fact that it’s flourless and gluten-free. It will definitely satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth if it satisfied mine!

You can also try these amazing mini-cake desserts:

Pink Lemonade Cloud Cakes
Red Velvet Cinnamon Cheesecakes

Microwave mug cakes are all the rage right now, but we don’t own a microwave (voluntarily). We find that nuking your food dries it out completely and leaves parts of it uncooked. That being said though, many have microwaved their mug cakes and reported they’ve turned out delicious, so this isn’t something to worry about. If you have the chance though, try doing what we did- toaster oven baking it. We think it preserves the moisture better and bakes it more evenly for a better taste.

Check out the end of the recipe for some paleo substitutions and other delicious desserts!

Lava cake ingredients Click to get Cocoa Powder on Amazon! Click to get Vanilla Extract on Amazon! Click to get Erythritol on Amazon! Click to get Salt on Amazon! Click to get Baking Powder on Amazon!
Keto Lava Cake
Votes: 143
Rating: 4.52
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Macros per serving:
• 173 Calories
• 13g of Fat
• 8g of Protein
• 4g of Carbs
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
1 person 5 minutes 15 mimnutes
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
1 person 5 minutes 15 mimnutes
Keto Lava Cake
Votes: 143
Rating: 4.52
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Macros per serving:
• 173 Calories
• 13g of Fat
• 8g of Protein
• 4g of Carbs
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
1 person 5 minutes 15 mimnutes
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
1 person 5 minutes 15 mimnutes
Servings: person
  1. Preheat your oven, if you're using one, to 350°F. Combine your erythritol and cocoa powder and whisk to remove any clumps. This’ll make the consistency of our cake much smoother.
    Gather your lava cake's yin and yang
  2. In a different bowl, beat your egg until a little fluffy. Since your lava cake is flourless, you need the aeration of the beaten egg to help coax the cake to rise.
    Egg makes the cake grow round
  3. Then add your egg, heavy cream and vanilla extract to the sugar and cocoa mixture. Add your salt and baking powder as well.
    Just a little cream and vanilla extract
  4. Spray a little cooking oil into the mug, pour your batter in (ours are ceramic, you can also use ramekins) and put it to bake for about 10-15 minutes at 350° F. Do not overcook the cake or it will not flow lava! The top of the cake should be set but pretty jiggly.
    Ready for the bake
  5. As an alternative, you can also microwave your mug cake for about a minute. All microwaves are different, so once the minute is up, check up on your cake and if it’s still not solid but jiggly on top, put it back in for 10 second intervals until done.
    We're almost there!
  6. Now it’s up to you how to enjoy it. You can eat your lava cake straight out of the mug (let it cool until you can touch the mug without burning yourself!) or top it off with ice cream, whipped cream, or all kinds of goodies. We decided to make it a molten lava cake. While still hot and in the mug, add a scoop of ice cream to the top. Then wedge a knife along the sides of the mug to help the cake unstick and place a plate onto the mug.
    Molten lava cake
  7. Hold the plate and mug firmly together and flip it upside down so that the mug is now face down on the plate. Tap a few times on the bottom of the mug and the cake should slide off onto the plate without a problem.
    Let it all flow!
  8. Now your ice cream is smooshed underneath the warm lava cake and will melt just a little. When you break into the lava cake, it warm insides and the ice cream should ooze out beautifully. Don’t delay, scoop it all up and eat it before someone gets to it first!
    Lava Cake
We provide nutritional information for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. The data is calculated using the MyFitnessPal app. We remove fiber and sugar alcohols, including erythritol, from the final carbohydrate count since they do not affect blood glucose levels in most individuals. We try to be as accurate as possible but we encourage you to calculate nutritional information on your own.

If you’re interested in making this cake paleo style, there are just a few things to change. First, use raw cocoa powder if not already, and substitute the erythritol for honey! And if your local store sells vanilla beans in their raw form (see pictured on bottom right of the mug) use those!

There’s also been some debate about whether or not you should eat dairy while on a paleo diet. I personally believe it’s fine if you buy organic, grass fed, etc. dairy. But if you’re being cautious, then use coconut milk instead of the heavy cream. Lastly, consider leaving out the baking powder as it has some corn starch it in and is not paleo friendly.

Loved this recipe? Let us know! Something didn’t quite turn out right? Ask us in the comments below or contact us– we respond to comments every day and would love to hear from you and help you out! And check out all our low carb desserts to learn to make more delicious and healthy meals that take no time to prepare!

You’ll love our Keto in Five cookbooks!

We believe that the key to success is simplicity and satisfaction with your diet. That’s why we created our Keto in Five ecookbook series which includes Breakfast in Five, Lunch in Five and Dinner in Five.

Each ebook contains 30 recipes. Every recipe is made with just 5 ingredients and has up to 5 grams of net carbs. That means you can have seconds of any meal and you’ll still be within your daily carb limit!

Have you tried these delicious recipes?


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Disclosure of Material Connection: The products above are linking to Amazon as “affiliate links” because we're affiliates! When you click on a product, it'll take you to its Amazon page where the price stays the same for you and Amazon pays us a small percentage. This helps us continue providing quality recipes and pay for operating costs.

This recipe was made with love by our amazing readers!

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About the Author:

Vicky started Tasteaholics in 2015 with her boyfriend, Rami, hoping to document all their low carb cooking adventures. She lives in NYC and her favorite food is steak and lava cake. She enjoys photography, travel, cooking, working out, cats & Harry Potter. She loves sharing her knowledge, cooking tips and creative dishes with all of Tasteaholics’ readers.


  1. Carlie March 22, 2017 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    I used Stevia, and it had a very bitter aftertaste 🙁 I will need to buy some erythritol because I didn’t have any on hand. I am so excited to try this again! Thank you for the awesome recipe!

    • Vicky March 22, 2017 at 9:05 pm - Reply

      You’re very welcome! We recommend a mix of erythritol and stevia since they counteract each other and make a great sugar-free blend.

  2. Shannon March 19, 2017 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    I don’t think your macro calculations are right…either that or there is a typo in the recipe. Coccoa has 1g carb/ TBS, so 2 carbs there. And erythritol has 4g carbs/ TSP, so that’s 12g carbs in 1 TBS, plus the 2 from the cocoa = 14g carbs. Am I missing something?

    • Vicky March 20, 2017 at 10:59 am - Reply

      Hi Shannon, we calculate the net carbs for each of our recipes. That means we subtract fiber and sugar alcohols since they don’t affect blood sugar in most people. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol so its 4 grams are not counted in the net carb count. I hope that helped! 🙂

      • Shannon March 20, 2017 at 3:31 pm - Reply

        Gotcha – yes that does make sense now!

  3. Ashley March 10, 2017 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Did mine exactly like it says and in the microwave for 1 minute. Didn’t come out as a lava cake. Will have to try again but less time next time. Overall it was delicious with some low carb ice cream

    • Vicky March 11, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

      All microwaves are different, unfortunately 🙁 that’s why we prefer ovens! Let us know how it turns out next time.

  4. Mollie March 1, 2017 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    I LOVE YOU! This was incredible. I didn’t have any heavy cream so i substituted unsweetened cashew milk. I am going to make this everyday from now on! Thank you so much!!!

    • Vicky March 6, 2017 at 8:22 am - Reply

      Aww Mollie, that really made us happy to hear! Keep enjoying it 🙂

    • Scout Dawson March 10, 2017 at 6:04 am - Reply

      Ooh! I have almond milk, I didn’t even think about subbing for that (I tried it with butter and it was just horrible lol). I might have to try that next time!

  5. Tara Stringer March 1, 2017 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Would this work in the oven for those of us who don’t use microwaves?

    • Vicky March 6, 2017 at 8:21 am - Reply

      Yes, Tara, we’ve baked ours before. Pop it in at 350F for about 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on it. The top should be set but the middle should be jiggly.

  6. shannon March 1, 2017 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Hi all your recipes look so good! I wanted to know if I could use honey in place of any artificial sweeteners? Thank you

    • Vicky March 6, 2017 at 8:20 am - Reply

      Hey Shannon, we don’t recommend using honey on a low carb/keto diet. Honey is all sugar and mostly fructose. It can spike blood sugar and kick you out of ketosis. We recommend using a sugar-free syrup or one of the Sukrin syrups. Here’s a link to where they can be purchased:

      Hope that helps!

  7. Dara February 11, 2017 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Unbelievable!. This mug cake was fantastic. You just made Keto manageable for me. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe !

    • Vicky February 12, 2017 at 12:39 am - Reply

      You’re welcome Dara! Enjoy 😀

  8. Anita February 5, 2017 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    If you haven’t tried this, do. I made it last night and it was delicious! Rich and decadent – I doubt my friends on normal diets would be even notice the difference. Subbed full fat coconut milk (canned) for the heavy cream as I’m dairy free and it worked brilliantly.
    This has inspired me to buy the lunch/dinner in 5 books, but before I do I’d love to know – how much of a role does dairy and fruit (presumably just berries) play in them? I have yet to find a non-dairy low carb replacement for cream cheese where it’s used in baking and cooking (any suggestions?), and don’t want to buy the books and then be disappointed to find half the recipes aren’t an option for me.

    • Vicky February 8, 2017 at 4:01 am - Reply

      Hi Anita, thanks for your nice comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed the lava cake 🙂

      Our books don’t contain much fruit (a few breakfasts do but nothing over 5 grams of net carbs of course!) but do contain some dairy. As for the cream cheese, it depends what you’ll be making. For example, in sweets, I can’t think of a very good substitute that will apply to all recipes. If it’s savory, mayonnaise makes a great substitute. Many people have made oopsie rolls with mayonnaise instead of cream cheese with success.

      Hope that helps!

      • Anita February 8, 2017 at 6:35 pm - Reply

        Hi Vicky,
        Thanks so much for your response! What a recipe-saver you are – I’ll definitely try out the mayo in the oopsie rolls and other savory cream-cheese based recipes!

  9. Jessica January 29, 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Has anyone tried this using Splenda? That is what I have in my cupboard but I believe it gave it a very bitter taste.
    Or maybe I was expecting like chocolate cake cake?? Lol

    • Gretchen February 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      A lot of sweeteners are crazy amounts sweeter than sugar, with erythritol being the few exceptions and they usually have that aftertaste that makes me cringe. I used truvia in my mug cake and used about 4 grams which kept it nicely sweet (though I’m a fan of dark and bittersweet chocolate desserts) without the bitter aftertaste that comes with overdoing it on the sweetener.

  10. April January 27, 2017 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    This is the absolutely best chocolate mug cake that I’ve found. I’ve tried quite a few with coconut or almond flour and they just don’t meet the quality of this one. I didn’t have heavy cream so I used a tbl of mayonnaise. 🙂

    Thanks for another great recipe!

    • Vicky January 30, 2017 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for the great comment! We love knowing our recipes are working great for others 🙂 nice addition of mayo! We’ve yet to try it in a dessert recipe. Sour cream works pretty well too!

      • April January 30, 2017 at 12:18 pm - Reply

        Yes, Vicki, mayonnaise works in desserts as I’ve used it a number of times. My mom had a chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe that she often made…and if you google it, there’s lots of recipes! 🙂

  11. Jose January 26, 2017 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    This recipe is fantastic! Tastes so good as is. If you want a change up though, I sometimes sub peppermint extract for the vanilla to get more of a you know who chocolate mint cookie!

  12. Kari January 23, 2017 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    Made this and thought it was delicious. I don’t see how you figured the nutrition facts though – I calculated 140 calories, 11g fat,15g carbs (net carbs- 19 total carbs), 6g protein. What brands are you using for your ingredients? Maybe I’m just using the wrong brands. The 1 tbsp of erythritol alone has 12g of carbs. Maybe I’m calculating wrong. I’m new to this Keto thing. Really yummy cake though! I’m hoping I’m miscalculating because I’d love to eat this one again!

    • Vicky January 24, 2017 at 11:26 am - Reply

      We calculate the net carbs for each of our recipes. That means we subtract sugar alcohols from the total count. Erythritol may be listed as 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon but because it is actually a sugar alcohol and doesn’t affect most peoples’ blood sugar, it’s not counted as a carb. There are, of course, people who count total carbs – but I think most people don’t. Fiber is also something that isn’t counted because it is indigestible and doesn’t affect blood sugar either. Hope that helped!

  13. Caroline Snyder January 21, 2017 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Just wondering if I could use SF chocolate syrup instead of Coco power?

    • Vicky January 23, 2017 at 5:51 am - Reply

      The two are quite different in consistency for I’m not sure it would be a good substitute.

  14. Amanda January 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Hi i was wondering if I could use stevia instead as a sugar substitute ?

    • Vicky January 19, 2017 at 6:15 am - Reply

      In this case, yes, but a much smaller amount if you’re using pure stevia extract. A few drops of liquid stevia will suffice!

  15. Dearra January 13, 2017 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Hi! Thanks for this. I tried it today, and while the cake itself was moist, the chalkiness of the cocoa powder was still detectable. Should I use more sweetener? Maybe more cream? What about using full fat plain yogurt or sour cream instead or in addition to the cream? Thank you!

    • Vicky January 14, 2017 at 9:01 am - Reply

      Hmm, we’ve never experienced chalkiness from the cocoa. What brand are you using?

      • Dearra January 14, 2017 at 9:52 am - Reply

        I’m using Hershey’s, exactly like what you’ve linked to in the recipe. I tried again last night and added 1/2 tbsp full fat plain greek yogurt, plus more sweetener and still had the same problem. But I did realize that I’m using heavy whipping cream, so I probably need to add a bit more fat to make up the difference. And I’m starting to suspect that my cocoa has gone bad in some way after being open for a long time. I’m getting a new box and I’ll try one more time and report back.

      • Dearra January 14, 2017 at 6:19 pm - Reply

        It was my cocoa powder! It was well before the expiration date, but it had been open for months. I tried again with a new can and all the chalkiness and bitterness was gone. I added some coconut oil, about a teaspoon, and that helped. I’m still struggling with the sweetener. I’ve tried truvia, splenda, and liquid erythritol. This last time i tried a blend of all three. It was the best so far, but still has that weird aftertadte. But overall, it was pretty good. I overcooked in the microwave. I think it will be good when i figure out the perfect cooking time.

        • Vicky January 19, 2017 at 6:18 am

          That’s great to hear, Dearra! Keep experimenting to get the sweetener just right to your taste 🙂

        • Philip P February 8, 2017 at 4:57 pm

          Get the confectioners version of Swerve. Zero aftertaste

  16. Stacie January 8, 2017 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    First keto dessert I’ve ever made and had! I didn’t have that erythritol stuff so I used Stevia and it worked fine! Great website, thank you for all your work!

    • Vicky January 11, 2017 at 10:57 am - Reply

      Glad to hear using stevia alone worked for you! Enjoy!

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