Red Velvet Lava Cake

Another Fourth of July, approaches.  In addition to another year to celebrate our nation’s independence, it’s yet another reason to eat things that are red, white, blue, or a combination of all three.  Normally, this means flag cakes or tri-color jello molds, but I am thinking out of the box this year.  I’m thinking red velvet lava cake. This definitely isn’t the type of dessert that you’d plan to bring to a neighborhood barbecue or cookout, but it will impress nonetheless.  Besides, who ever really wants to eat a boxed cake mix sheet cake topped with Cool Whip, anyway?

You can make red velvet lava cake in your oven or in your Instant Pot (pressure cooker).  I personally prefer the texture of an oven-baked lava cake, but I know that others prefer the moist, custard-like consistency of an Instant Pot lava cake.  Make sure that you play around with the cook times until you get the center as runny as you like it.

If you REALLY want to stick to the red velvet theme, this treat is best enjoyed with a scoop of cream cheese ice cream.  Yes, it does exist.  Otherwise, vanilla ice cream also works.

I was tempted to add a few blueberries to the plate to tie it in with the red, white, and blue, but I just didn’t think that the flavors would come together for this one.

Red Velvet Lava Cake

(adapted from Gretchen’s Bakery)


  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate,chopped
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • red gel food coloring as needed


Preheat oven to 375°.  Generously grease 5 4oz ramekins.

Melt the chocolate and the butter in the microwave or over a double boiler.  Stir in the buttermilk.  Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks.  Gradually add in the chocolate mixture to the egg yolks, a little bit at a time to keep from scrambling the eggs.  Add in the food coloring until the mixture is the desired color.  Stir in the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Divide batter evenly between the greased ramekins.  Bake in the preheated oven for 14-18 minutes.  Serve immediately by inverting onto a plate to remove from the ramekin.

To make in the Instant Pot, fill the pot with 1 cup of water, place the ramekins on a trivet, and cook on Manual (High Pressure) for 5-7 minutes.

Makes 5 servings

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