A Whole Lava Love

Pastry chefs, restaurateurs, and seasoned eaters the world over groan with a deliberate roll of the eyes as the dessert menu lands on their tables. Invariably, no matter the cuisine, listed there amongst the sweet offerings will be the classic chocolate lava cake. No one can begrudge the treat for its flavor, as chocolate boasts a nearly universal approval rate across all dining demographics, but it simply seems like the default, stock answer to the question a lazy cook doesn’t want to address. To continually make such an obvious culinary faux-pas, whoever is at the helm in the kitchen must be terribly uncreative, tone-deaf, or simply apathetic about the meal’s final course. We can all agree that there are few innovations to be found in this antiquated cake, despite the richest, most flowery printed descriptions.

So why do they keep turning up around every dining room corner, and better yet, why do we keep ordering them? For all our claims of being adventurous eaters, open to new, sometimes risky flavor pairings, the attraction to tried-and-true chocolate decadence is simply irresistible. Whether you’ve indulged in one lava cake or 80 in your lifetime, it just doesn’t get old.

Putting food snobbery aside and conceding that there are far worse ways to end a meal, it becomes clear that the real issue isn’t necessarily the sheer number of molten chocolate cakes, but the number of poorly executed renditions. There’s still plenty of room for improvement.

My inspiration to revisit the original, antiquated recipe came from an unlikely source. Protein powder and downright hedonistic desserts are hardly a natural combination, but at the same time, I knew it wasn’t so far fetched. Not only did this highly nutritious base help to foster the perfect gooey interior texture, but its natural thickening powers abolished the need for any gluten at all.

There’s no shame in falling for these baby cakes containing a rich pool of hot chocolate lava, especially when they deliver a surprising punch of protein and fiber, too.

Yield: Makes 4 Small Cakes

Molten Mocha Protein Cakes

Molten Mocha Protein Cakes

Decadent dark chocolate cakes with a molten, gooey center are the ultimate indulgence. These happen to be secretly healthy with plant-based protein and fiber!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes


  • 2 Ounces (1/3 Cup) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Cup Aquafaba (Chickpea Brine)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Plant-Based Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Baking Powder


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and lightly grease 4 standard muffin cups. Fill the remaining 2 in the pan halfway with room temperature water; set aside.
  2. Place the chocolate chips in a medium, microwave-safe bowl along with the aquafaba and oil. Heat for 30 – 60 seconds, stirring thoroughly until the chocolate has completely melted. Add in the protein powder, sugar, espresso powder, salt, and baking powder, mixing well, being sure to beat out any clumps. The batter should be smooth and fairly thick.
  3. Divide the batter equally between your four prepared muffin cups and gently slide the pan into the oven. Bake for just 7 – 8 minutes, no matter how under-baked they may look. The sides should be firm, but the centers will remain soft and may fall slightly as they rest.
  4. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before carefully pouring out the water from the empty tins. Invert the whole pan over cutting board a or large, flat plate before transferring them to individual dessert plates.
  5. Serve immediately while still warm.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 203Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 6g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.


20 thoughts on “A Whole Lava Love

  1. I’m intrigued by the use of protein powder. Baked goods can be so touchy. How could you be sure it would work or had you tested the ingredient before?

    1. I hear you… Unfortunately, there are so many other ingredients in the mix that add flavor, sweetness, and binding that I don’t think it would quite work out the same. Knowing your baking prowess, I’m sure you could tinker with the overall formula though!

  2. I can’t get enough of chocolate lava cake, strangely I don’t see it as run of the mill because I’ve never seen it on a restaurant menu in England!! In fact before going vegan don’t know if I’d have even heard of it! I’ve now eaten it twice, once at Millennium and once at Veganerie in Bangkok. Your recipe is definitely intriguing and if I ever jump onto the protein powder bandwagon I’ll be giving it a whirl.

  3. Protein powder turned into cake ingredient – very clever stuff! My lava cakes more often than not end up as un-lava cakes, but I can’t say as I mind too much – I just recast them as chocolate desserts, and noone’s the wiser!

  4. Believe it or not, I’ve never made or eaten lava cake. It’s one of those things I’ve thought of making so many times but always make something else instead. It looks like the definition of ‘comfort food’. One of these days I will make one!

  5. I will never get tired of lava cakes/coulants…so simple yet so decadent! I can’t stop looking at your amazing creation, this lava cake must be pure bliss to one’s tastebuds!!!


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