Air Fryer Lava Cake (+ a Peppermint Center)

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Indulge in the ultimate chocolatey delight with this Air Fryer Lava Cake featuring a decadent molten center, a hint of peppermint, and a perfect balance of gooeyness and crispness.

air fryer lava cake

I love making lava cake to go with a fancy at-home dinner. Pretty sure my guests love it too. And it’s really not difficult to do, especially in the air fryer. You can make these with or without the peppermint center.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Versatile Presentation: Whether it’s a cozy night in, a holiday celebration, or a dinner party, these lava cakes can be dressed up with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or a sprinkle of crushed candy cane for a festive touch.
  • Perfectly Portioned: Crafted in individual servings, these lava cakes not only look elegant but also ensure everyone gets their fair share of the irresistible molten chocolate goodness.
  • No-Fail Recipe: Don’t worry if you’re not a kitchen pro—the simple steps and the trusty air fryer guarantee a yummy outcome every time.

» You might also like Air Fryer Bread Pudding and these Festive Air Fryer Christmas Recipes.

Ingredients You’ll Need

ingredients for air fryer lave cake
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate – Chopped. This chocolate is perfect for that ideal balance of sweetness and richness.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter for this recipe.
  • Eggs
  • Flour – Regular, all-purpose flour is your go-to here.
  • Confectioner’s Sugar – Also know as powdered sugar
  • Salt – You just need a pinch.
  • Peppermint Hershey’s Cookies – This is optional. You could leave it out and the center would still be tasty. This adds a slight peppermint flavor and looks very Christmas-y
  • Cocoa Powder – You don’t need much. We are using cocoa instead of flour to prepare the ramekins. It helps the lava cake slip out easily and adds more chocolate flavor.
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Crushed Candy Cane – Optional. Crush them up for a festive topping or skip it if you prefer.

Equipment Information

  • Air fryer: I use this 4-quart basket-style air fryer. It’s large enough to fit a meal for 4-6. But some things need more space in the air fryer basket, so they cook evenly.
  • Thermometer: The only way to tell if meat is fully cooked to the right temperature is to use a meat thermometer. I use this Instant Read thermometer. It’s so quick to open the basket and check the temp.
  • Mixing bowl Make sure it’s a microwave-safe mixing bowl.
  • Ramekins – I used 8-ounce ramekins. You can use 6 to 8-ounce ones.

Equipment Needed

  • Mixing bowl
  • Ramekins (6 or 8 ounce)
air fryer lava cake

Tips for a Great Outcome

  • If you end up overbaking them, there will be no molten center left. The cake should be set around the edges but feel soft in the middle.
  • Test the internal temp of the middle to check for doneness. The temperature should be 160° F(70°C).
  • Keep an eye on the chocolate and butter melting process; stir often to avoid burning. The chocolate doesn’t need to fully melt in the microwave – stirring will melt the last 15%.
  • Be very careful removing the ramekins from the air fryer basket. The basket and the ramekins will be very hot. Use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms.
  • If you don’t want to use a peppermint kiss try adding a tablespoon of peanut butter, a handful of butterscotch chips, or a regular chocolate kiss.

How to Make Air Fryer Lava Cake

Step 1: Prepare the ramekins

preparing the ramekins

Spray 2 ramekins with cooking spray. Coat the inside of each with a thin layer of cocoa powder. Set aside.

Step 2: Melt the chocolate

chocolate and butter in a bowl

Add the chopped chocolate and butter to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir. Continue microwaving at 10-second intervals until the chocolate is almost melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

Step 3: Mix the batter

prepared batter

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add it to the chocolate mixture. Stir to combine.

Whisk the eggs. Add them to the chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. The batter will be thick.

Step 4: Fill the ramekin

pushing a Hershey kiss down into the batter

Pour batter into the prepared ramekins and press one or two peppermint kisses into the middle of the batter. Make sure they are covered completely with the cake batter.

I used 8 ounce ramekins and filled them about 3/4 full.

Tip: If you don’t want to use a peppermint kiss try adding a tablespoon of peanut butter, a handful of butterscotch chips, or a regular chocolate kiss.

Step 5: Bake

uncooked lava cakes in the air fryer basket

Place the ramekins into the air fryer basket and cook at 360°F (180°C) for 14-16 minutes, until the top looks dry around the edges and starts to pull away from the sides of the dish.

This recipe was made using a 1500 watt air fryer.

cooked lava cakes in the air fryer basket

You can test the internal temp of the middle to check doneness as well. 160° F(70°C). Carefully remove the ramekins from the air fryer basket and let rest for a minute. 

Step 6: Serve

air fryer lava cake

To serve, cover the ramekin with an inverted plate and flip them over to remove them from the ramekin. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and crushed candy canes. Serve immediately.

How to Store & Reheat

To make ahead, mix the batter and add to the ramekins and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Let the batter come to room temp before cooking.

If you know you’ll have leftovers, consider making a larger batch and freezing some. Wrap individual portions tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the fridge and reheat using your preferred method. You can freeze them up to 3 months.

Storing

Airtight Container: To preserve the freshness of your leftover lava cakes, store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

Refrigeration: If you plan to keep them for more than a day, refrigerate the cakes. Just be aware that reheating might take a bit longer to achieve that perfect molten center.

Reheating

Air Fryer: For the best results, pop your leftover lava cake back into the air fryer for a few minutes at the original baking temperature (around 350°F) This helps revive the crispy exterior and gooey center.

Microwave: Heat on low in short intervals, checking after each to prevent overcooking. Keep in mind that the texture may differ slightly from the original.

air fryer lava cake cut open

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these without an air fryer?

While the air fryer provides a quick and even cooking method, you can bake these in a preheated oven at 350°F(175°C) for approximately 12-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to avoid overcooking.

How do I prevent the cakes from sticking to the molds?

Grease the molds with butter or cooking spray before adding the batter to prevent sticking. Silicone molds work well for easy removal.

How should I adjust the sweetness level?

If you prefer a less sweet dessert, reduce the amount of confectioner’s sugar or opt for a darker chocolate variety. Adjust according to your taste preferences.

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air fryer lava cake

Air Fryer Lava Cakes

Indulge in the ultimate chocolatey delight with this Air Fryer Lava Cake featuring a decadent molten center, a hint of peppermint, and a perfect balance of gooeyness and crispness.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 Servings
Calories 591 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 3 ounces (85 g) semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (56 g) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup (31 g) flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) confectioner’s sugar plus some for sprinkling
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.8 g) salt
  • 2-4 peppermint hershey kisses
  • 1-2 teaspoons (1 g) cocoa powder
  • Crushed candy cane optional

Instructions
 

  • Spray 2 ramekins with cooking spray. Coat the inside of each with a thin layer of cocoa powder. Set aside.
  • Add the chopped chocolate and butter to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir. Continue microwaving at 10-second intervals until the chocolate is almost melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside.
  • Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add it to the chocolate mixture. Stir to combine.
  • Whisk the eggs. Add them to the chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. The batter will be thick.
  • Pour batter into the prepared ramekins and press one or two peppermint kisses into the middle of the batter.
  • Place the ramekins into the air fryer basket and cook at 360°F for 14-16 minutes, until the top looks dry around the edges and starts to pull away from the sides of the dish. You can test the internal temp of the middle to check doneness as well. 160° F.
  • Carefully remove the ramekins from the air fryer basket and let rest for a minute.
  • To serve, cover the ramekin with an inverted plate and flip them over to remove them from the ramekin. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and crushed candy canes. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • If you end up overbaking them, there will be no molten center left. The cake should be set around the edges but feel soft in the middle.
  • You can test the internal temp of the middle to check for doneness. The temperature should be 160° F.
  • Keep an eye on the chocolate and butter melting process; stir often to avoid burning. The chocolate doesn’t need to fully melt in the microwave – stirring will melt the last 15%.
  • Be very careful removing the ramekins from the air fryer basket. The basket and the ramekins will be very hot. Use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms.
  • This recipe was made using a 1500 watt air fryer.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 591kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 10gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 480mgPotassium: 338mgFiber: 4gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 1260IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Chocolate
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