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 altogether 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.
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!
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You can also try these amazing mini-cake desserts:
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!
- 2 tbps cocoa powder
- 1-2 tbsp So Nourished erythritol sweetener
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 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.
- 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.
- Then add your egg, heavy cream and vanilla extract to the erythritol and cocoa mixture. Add your salt and baking powder as well.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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!
The content on this website should not be taken as medical advice and you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. We provide nutritional data for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. We use Total Keto Diet app software to calculate the nutrition and we remove fiber and sugar alcohols, like erythritol, from the total carbohydrate count to get to the net carb count, as they do not affect your blood glucose levels. You should independently calculate nutritional information on your own and not rely on our data. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. This website shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on the Website or actions you take as a result. Any action you take is strictly at your own risk.
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I don’t own a microwave any longer because I don’t like how the food cooks. What temp and how long do you cook these in the oven.? A convection oven is my preferred cooking source.
This recipe is for an oven baked cake. We don’t use a microwave either!
Made this tonight. I’m in love. Although one minute in the microwave is far too long.
Pros: easy. quick. chocolate-y. Small enough portion that it doesn’t waste a ton of expensive ingredients if you don’t care for it.
I went with one tablespoon swerve crap and a splash of stevia. Should have gone a LITTLE higher on the swerve.
We’ll just have to try again tomorrow.
All microwaves are so different 🙁 that’s why we like to just bake our mug cakes. Takes a bit longer but we can save it easier if we see it’s done cooking.
Let us know how long you microwave yours next time and how it turned out!
Tried out this recipe tonight to satisfy a raging sweet tooth. I like the simplicity of the ingredients as compared to some other Keto baking recipes. A minute proved to be a bit too long in my microwave, so the cake ended up cooked all the way through, and as a result had an odd, eggy texture (I expect due to the lack of flour). Not bad, just odd. But the taste was rich and chocolatey and a perfectly satisfying dessert paired with a small glass of almond milk. Thanks for a great recipe that I’m looking forward to experimenting with again!
Hey Mary, good to hear!
We hate microwaves for this very reason. They vary so much that it’s often hard to give a good cook time. We usually just stick our mug cakes into the oven. It takes a bit longer but it’s much easier to “save” if you see it’s done cooking.
Hope you enjoy more of our dessert recipes!
I’ve done low carb before, back in the day when it was all eggs and meat and trying to gulp down enough fat to keep ketosis going, but I could never sustain the diet. There just weren’t enough options. But now, there are so many great recipes that it’s easy to stay on track. This morning (Sunday) I was trying to decide what I wanted for breakfast. I was looking for muffins or something along those lines, but I kept coming back to this recipe. What the heck! I decided to have lava cake for breakfast with some bulletproof coffee. Holy cow! This thing is amazing. I cooked it for 15 minutes then let it set up for another 5. It was still too juicy, so I dumped it in a bowl and stuck it back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes and it was perfect. Not quite lava cake runny, more like a brownie that’s not quite done. A healthy dollop of whipped cream (Swerve makes the perfect confectioners xylitol) and it was heaven on earth. Felt like being a kid again and eating something sinful at breakfast time.
I’m so glad you loved it Christi! I’m a huge sucker for desserts, especially chocolate ones. It puts me at ease knowing that there are ways of enjoying dessert without compromising your diet 🙂
Ok thanks! Very bitter but it smelled amazing. 30 secs in the microwave cooked it perfectly.
Yay! Glad to hear 🙂
I made this with 3 packets of truvia. It was so bitter from the sugar substitute. I ate half of the cake with some frozen cool whip but I couldn’t eat it alone. Is this normal for the cake or was the truvia not the right choice?
Hmm, truvia is a combination of erythritol and stevia, but I’m not sure the ratio. Try cutting down on it next time, or better yet, use pure erythritol. I base most of my recipes on erythritol. Using too much stevia can lead to desserts tasting a bit bitter.
How do you two at one time? Can’t wait to try!
Just double the recipe and pour into two separate mugs/ramekins!
I have a party tomorrow and was wanting to bake something for dessert. I have made your skillet brownies and I absolutely love them!!!! I was wanting to try something different and came across this recipe, but I have 2 questions.
1- Which one is your favorite? This one or the skillet brownie?
2- If I were to multiply this recipe say for 8 people, do you think I would need all 8 eggs?
Even though my favorite food is lava cake… I have to say that I like my brownies even more! Especially if you’re having a party, you can double the brownie recipe and use a larger pan. Someone told me that worked well for them so I can suggest that! I have never experimented with turning a mug cake recipe into a group sized one so I can’t tell you for sure. 8 eggs does seem way too much so I would say hold off on that one.
please ignore my previous comment! I haven’t read the whole text, my eyes went straight to the images!
Just one more thing, after step 4, do you need to stir everything to integrate it together and make it smooth? And also, can I use stevia instead of erythritol?
Thanks for this wonderful recipe, can’t wait to taste it!
Hi Sara! Yes, stir everything until smooth. And I think you can use stevia in this recipe without a problem!
just found this recipe and have a question. I understand that you do everything on ceramic mugs, but in the oven. Steps from 7 apply to both microwave/oven right? Thanks for your help! I’ll do it for the first time with some friends and wouldn’t like to make a mess!
Thank you for this recipe!!! I have been following low to no carb for the last 8 weeks with great results, but this last week NEEDED something sweet/cakey. This TOTALLY hit the spot!!! Didn’t have any cream so swapped full fat Greek yoghurt for the cream and it worked perfectly! Served with some Greek yoghurt too and it was amazing, didn’t feel guilty after eating it either! Thanks a lot ☺️??
You enjoy that lava cake, Kate!
I just did it and it turned out so so nice! I even added in a small block of sugar free chocolate. Thanks ^^
So glad you like it! Which sugar free chocolate do you like best?
So many but the best is Italian Venchi! Amazingly tasty.
yum. didn’t have heavy cream or cocoa powder so i used sour cream and raw cacao instead and still turned out good. microwaved for 1 minute. it was solid all the way through and that was ok. i must have a really strong microwave.
Yes, all microwaves can vary. We usually use a toaster oven- it takes a lot longer but if you see it setting, you can take it out without it overcooking too quickly!
I could easily eat dessert for every meal if it was socially acceptable lol! A lowcarb LAVA CAKE? I never knew that could even exist, and I am beyond excited to make it!
I’ve made this twice now and I just want to say THANK YOU! I soooo needed this chocolate fix. I used Swerve as my sweetner and used Girardelli dark cocoa powder (unsweetened) and it was just magnificent. I think next time I might add some espresso powder to the mix as coffee seems to really enhance chocolate flavor. But just as it is, it is WONDERFUL. Thank you for coming up with something so yummy!!! I really love this!
Go for it!! You might come up with something even more delicious 🙂 Really glad you love it
Hi tried this today. But my carb content is coming to 8 g without the ice cream. Awesome recipe by the way.
That’s odd. Did you use unsweetened cocoa powder and subtract the sugar alcohol grams?
Glad you enjoyed it anyway! 8 grams is still on the lower side for desserts, but definitely check the cocoa powder!
hi , i tried it today. it was so yum and so easy to make. Thanks for an easy and delicious recipe.
The nutrition label for the ice cream says 14g of carb for 1/2 cup. Where is the 4g coming from?
Hey! Right underneath the carbohydrate info, you can see sugar alcohols (6g) and fiber (4g) which totals 10g that we take away from the total carb count. This is the “net carb” count.
Our body doesn’t digest or use the carbs from sugar alcohols or fiber. So the net carbs are only 4g 🙂
Here‘s some more info on erythritol!