Fall Spiced Mocha Lava Cakes


Fall Spiced Mocha Lava Cakes are what chocolate lovers’ dreams are made of. Slightly crisp edges with oozing centers of warm, dark chocolate laced with espresso, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves.

Truth be told. I took a step closer to the big 5-0 earlier this month and felt compelled to give myself a belated birthday present in the form of a decadent chocolate cake. My baking skills have certainly come into question in the past, as will be shared in early 2019 when I post this year’s flops. All baking disasters. I kid you not. However, by the grace of the culinary gods these rich, molten lava cakes lived up to everything I hoped they would be, and then some.

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Making Fall Spiced Mocha Lava Cakes

In my mind, if you’re going to have dessert, go for it. No ‘lightened up’ substitutions going on here. This mind-blowing, chocolate bomb of flavor comes from using nearly a pound of high-quality chocolate, lots of eggs, butter and sugar. So give yourself a break once in a while. Indulge in heavenly bites today. Follow up with a kale smoothie tomorrow.

Mocha Lava Cake Ingredients

To get the cake party started, all that chocolate, butter and warm fall/winter spice melt together into a smooth, silky sheen.

Chopped Chocolate, Butter and Spices to Melt

Hold yourself back from licking the spatula!

Chocolate Melted in Pot

The batter comes together in just a big bowl and a whisk. No need to get out the stand mixer. I love my 20-year old KitchenAid, but getting a little whisk workout never hurts.

Lava Cake Batter

You can see how thick the batter is. It’s actually a little lumpy too, but don’t let that alarm you. Another bonus to this recipe is they can be prepped the day before and bake off when ready to enjoy that ultimate ‘ooze factor’. Ideal for entertaining!

Lava Cake Batter in Ramekins

In just about fifteen minutes the cakes will have these crackled tops and slightly crisp edges while ready to ooze inside.

Baked Lava Cakes Cooling in Ramekins

To serve, carefully invert them onto small plates or place them on a platter. I’m happy with a simple dusting of powdered sugar, but my crew is all about ala mode. Either way, enjoy releasing the lava and taking one magical bite after another. 🙂

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Tips for Successful Lava Cakes Every Time!

  • Generously butter the ramekins or soufflé dishes you plan to use with room temperature butter. The last thing you want is part of that luscious cake stranded in its baking dish when they’re done.
  • Stick to the amounts of powdered sugar and flour indicated in the recipe. The batter may seem lumpy at first but that’s ok.
  • Resist the temptation to overbake! We were always taught to remove cakes from the oven when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Not here!! The outside should be a bit browned and crisp with a runny center. That toothpick should have batter all over it.

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Still have a sweet tooth?! Check out these other mouthwatering desserts!

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Fall Spiced Mocha Lava Cakes

These Fall-Spiced Mocha Lava Cakes are what chocolate lovers’ dreams are made of. Oozing dark chocolate is laced with espresso powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate lava cake, lava cake, mocha cake, molten lava cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 lava cakes
Author Kim Peterson


  • 14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra to butter ramekins
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Extra powdered sugar and ice cream (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Generously butter 6 1-cup ramekins.
  • In a medium saucepan, stir chocolate, 2 ½ sticks butter, espresso powder, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and white pepper over medium-low heat until melted and smooth, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Whisk in powdered sugar until combined. Slowly stir in melted chocolate mixture then the flour.
  • Divide batter equally among the buttered ramekins, filling almost to the top. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.)
  • Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake lava cakes in preheated oven 15-17 minutes, until batter has risen above the dish and top edges are dark brown and slightly crisp. The center should still be soft and runny. Bake 18-20 minutes for refrigerated batter.
  • Run a small knife around the cakes to loosen. Let rest 5 minutes.
  • Hold ramekin with a potholder, gently place a small plate atop the cake, and invert onto the plate. Repeat with the remaining cakes.
  • Dust cakes with powdered sugar and serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

*Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2004

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