Instant Pot Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

Chocolate lava cake on a white plate with ice cream

Rich and gooey Instant Pot Lava Cake is the perfect chocolate lover’s dessert!


  • 6 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (see notes)
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • large pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour


  1. Grease bottom and sides of six 6 ounce ramekins with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring constantly until smooth.  Take off the heat and stir in salt and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. Crack eggs and egg yolks into a medium size bowl.  With a hand mixer, blend at medium speed for 1-2 minutes until thick and light in color.  
  4. Add the powdered sugar; mix to combine.  
  5. Add the slightly cooled, melted chocolate and mix for 30 – 60 seconds until smooth and incorporated.  
  6. Add flour, stir only until combined.
  7. Divide batter into ramekins.
  8. Add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker pot and place a low trivet inside.  
  9. Place three ramekins on top of the trivet (see notes for how to cook more or less than 3 cakes at a time).
  10. Secure the lid and turn the pressure release knob to a sealed position.  Cook at high pressure for 4 – 6 minutes (see note).
  11. When cooking is complete, use a quick release.  
  12. Check cakes.  The outside should be set and the center very slightly jiggly.  If batter still appears runny, cook for 1 -2 more minutes. If cake is overcooked, it will still be fudgy and delicious, but it won’t have the molten filling.  
  13. Let cakes rest a minute or two, then loosen the sides of the cake with a knife.  Invert a plate on top of the ramekin and gently flip it over to allow the cake to fall onto the plate.  
  14. Serve hot with a scoop of ice cream.  Other possible toppings include whipped cream, powdered sugar, berries, caramel, hot fudge, cookie crumbs, sprinkles, sea salt, etc.


  • Cook Three Ramekins at a Time: Fewer, they will be undercooked, if you stack them on top of each other, they may overcook.  The cakes cook quickly so the first batch can rest while the second batch cooks.  If you want to cook only 1 or 2, feel the extra ramekins with water and cook them alongside the cake filled ramekin(s).  The cakes need the surrounding heat to cook correctly
  • Cook Six Ramekins at a Time:  The one exception here is, if you have racks that will allow you to stack them without touching each other
  • Follow the Directions EXACTLY:  Exactly 1 cup of lukewarm water in the pot and cook them for 4 minutes with a quick release of the pressure.  A natural release will overcook them
  • Adjust Time as Needed: If the outer layer of your cake is not set after 4 minutes, place the lid back on the pressure cooker and cook for 1 more minute.  In my testing, one Instant Pot cooked them in 4 minutes, the other needed 6.  Once you figure you out the exact time for your pressure cooker, you’ll be set!
  • Let Cake Rest: Let the cakes rest a minute or two before inverting them onto a plate.  This will ensure that they don’t break when you flip them
  • Best Baking Chocolate:  Lava Cake works best with baking chocolate vs chocolate chips or a candy bar.  My go to choices are always Bakers,  Ghirardelli, and Lindt.

Keywords: instant pot dessert, chocolate molten lava cake, valentines day desserts