Ticking Time-Bomb Molten Lava Cake (Gluten Free or Not)

Warning: What you are about to read is dangerous information, and should be handled with care. The recipe I am sharing is NOT light or healthy! It’s horribly gluttonous and fattening, and always at your fingertips. It uses ingredients you have on hand, and is ever only 5 minutes away! Proceed with caution.

How I discovered the recipe: One of my favorite blogs ever is New Dress A Day. Marisa Lynch started the project after being inspired by the story of Julia Powell who challenged herself to learn to cook by preparing a meal a day for a year from a Julia Child cookbook. I started following Marisa about halfway through her original journey of making 365 new outfits for herself in 365 days, for $365, or $1/day. She is one of my personal heroes, because she actually stuck to her goal, and she did it. She did it! She even made several shows, including The Nate Berkus Show, and all because she accomplished what she set out to do. I think people like her not just because she’s made some neat dresses, but because she is someone with ambition and drive.

Some of Marisa’s before and afters.

A dynamic blogger, Marisa’s posts focused around the outfit of the day, but included whatever was going on in her life. She’d write about movies, friends, family, and food. Yes, food. Glorious food. On Day 260 of her original challenge, she shared a recipe for a microwave cake for one (or two). That was back in 2010, before I went gluten free, so I had no qualms about trying it immediately. And I did try it that very same day. While certainly not the best dessert I’ve ever had, I’m not gonna lie. It was pretty delicious.

Here’s the cake, split down the middle, lengthwise. I wish that A) it was prettier (see below), and B) that it had a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top.

After going gluten free, I did decide to try it again one time, only with a gluten free cake mix. I was hoping it would still be just as good, and it was!!! Those of you reading this who live the gluten free lifestyle know that that is rarely the case. Recipes can almost never be converted as/is from standard to gluten free, and vice versa. So, this is a real gem, especially when you need a chocolate fix, and you need it fast! I don’t make it often, but when I do, my husband and I usually split it.

Just pretend it looks like this. (I mean, mine came from a microwave. What do you expect? Also, I was hungry, and it was getting cold! I may not be known for my patience, but humor is also a virtue according to Aristotle. So, what I lack in patience, I make up for in humor. Win/win!)

Tonight, as I’m writing this, I’m home alone for the evening, and though I’ve been pretty “good” lately, I was having a MAJOR chocolate craving. It’s also a little chilly outside, so I wanted something warm and gooey. A comfort dessert, if you will, but not one that I had to get out a bunch ingredients for, and spend an hour messing up my kitchen. Then I remembered the recipe.

Here it is after settling. Since my husband was out of town, I decided to use the “I love Jeff” mug. (Jeff’s my husband. There’s no scandal here. Move along, people.)

Ticking Time-Bomb Molten Lava Cake

4 tablespoons flour (or gluten free flour mix–I used Pamela’s this time. In the past I’ve used a homemade mix from Gluten Free Goddess.)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk (any milk sub will do if you can’t have dairy. Almond is very good.)
2 tablespoons oil (her recipe calls for 3, but I’ve done it both ways, and I think it’s just as good with 2.)
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (she says they’re optional, but I strongly disagree. It needs them.)
A small splash of vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
1 large coffee mug (Microwave Safe)

Add all ingredients except for the milk, vanilla and oil directly into the mug. Mix until the egg is well incorporated.

Mix in the milk and vanilla.

Pour in oil, and give it a quick couple of stirs. No need to fully incorporate it. It’s okay if it’s swirly.

Microwave at full power for 1 minute 15 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds. (She says 3 minutes, but if you do that, you won’t get the molten effect. Trust me. I overcooked it once, and it wasn’t half as good.) You’ll know the cake is done cooking when it rises up about 2 inches over the top of the mug. It’ll settle back down just below the rim after it sits for a minute.

Serve with ice cream if you’ve got it. (I didn’t have any this time.)

Let me know what you think! And I truly hope that I didn’t just ruin your life, or rather, your waistline. ;D


6 thoughts on “Ticking Time-Bomb Molten Lava Cake (Gluten Free or Not)

    • I think how long you cook it really makes all the difference. Without the “molten” middle, it’s pretty blah. Do not go over 1.5 minutes, even if it looks underdone to you! Oh, and the ice cream really helps. ;D

      If you do end up trying it, let me know what you think. Worst case, you’re out a handful of ingredients, and 5 minutes of your time.


  1. I have to admit, I did tweak the recipe a bit, but my mug cake came out great! I usually do the chocolate molten lava cakes in the oven, but I didn’t want to go through all that trouble since I was the only one eating it :))… But now, I’m thinking of switching to this recipe for all the time!! It’s SO fast and easy!! And tastes just as good as the oven ones.

    Only downfall: I can just see the extra weight building up now that I can make them so fast and with so little trouble 🙂
    So, Thanks so much for this recipe! It was great!

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