Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes

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Plate of Vegan Molten Lava Cake topped with coconut whipped cream and fresh mint

OK, here’s what you need to do. Call your favorite person – your best friend, your spouse, your secret crush, your cute neighbor, your therapist, whoever – and tell them to come over to your house for a delicious vegan treat. LAVA CAKES. Hubba hubba.

Food processor with beet puree for making healthy Chocolate Lava Cakes

If you haven’t caught on yet, my new favorite phrase is “hubba hubba.” But hey! Can I really help it? Look at the goodness that is these healthy, beet-powered chocolate lava cakes! Valentine’s Day is gonna rock so hard this year, single or not.

These lava cakes were initially inspired by a version I tried in Bali last summer. But I have to be honest. The one I tried at a practically 5-star restaurant wasn’t that good! I immediately thought “I can do this better.” And, I did! Vegan and butter-free style. Plus, coconut whipped cream > dairy whipped cream.

Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes in muffin tins

The ingredients for these cakes are simple:

Puréed beets
Cocoa Powder
Coconut oil
Cane sugar
Semisweet chocolate
Unbleached flour

A few other basic baking essentials round out the rest of the ingredients. And if you don’t have beets, you can sub applesauce. The best part? These little gems come together in about 30 minutes (post beet-roasting) and require one bowl! Score.

Plate of Vegan Chocolate Lava cakes topped with coconut whipped cream and fresh mint
Plate of Vegan Lava Cakes for 2

What do they taste like?

Cakey on the outside
Mega moist in the middle
Perfect with coconut whipped cream or ice cream
& Begging to be shared with a friend or significant other

If you share this with anyone they will be your best friend for your life – there’s just no getting around it.

Beautiful homemade Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes on a plate

Good news! These cakes are the first of SEVEN vegan Valentine’s Day recipes I have in the works.

Expect some indulgent, some raw, some heatlhy, some chocolaty, some hot pink! I listened to your votes on Facebook and have come up with quite a varied list. BE STOKED! And in the meantime, eat cake. Cheers!

Showing the dark red tint of our Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes made with beet
Plate with a partially eaten Vegan Chocolate Lava Cake for a special dessert

Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes

Easy, one-bowl vegan chocolate lava cakes with beets, cocoa powder, and coconut oil. Super foods packed into a super luscious dessert for two.
Author Minimalist Baker
Plate of Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes for a decadent dessert for 2
4.90 from 37 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 2 (cakes)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? Best when fresh


  • 1/4 scant cup beet purée (or sub unsweetened apple sauce)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp organic cane sugar (or sub granulated sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil or vegan butter (like Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 heaping cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips (melted)
  • 2 squares quality vegan dark chocolate + coconut whipped cream (for topping/middle)


  • See
    for instructions on roasting a beet. Otherwise, you could sub another fruit purée, such as butternut squash or applesauce (adjusting added sugar depending on fruit's sweetness).
  • Butter two standard size muffin tins with dairy-free butter and coat with cocoa powder – shake out excess (as original recipe is written // use fewer or more tins if adjusting batch size). Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  • Add the almond milk and vinegar to a small mixing bowl and mix. Let set for a few minutes to activate.
  • Add the sugar, oil, vanilla, and beet purée and beat until foamy. Then add cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until no large lumps remain.
  • Lastly, add the melted semisweet chocolate and mix once more.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two muffin tins – it should come up about to the top, which is OK. Break up one square of the dark chocolate and push it down into the centers of the cakes. Cover with batter using a spoon. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the edges have pulled away slightly and the top no longer appears wet. It’s OK if it’s a little fudgy but you definitely don’t want underdone cake.
  • Let rest in the pan for 4-5 minutes before removing. Then gently loosen the edges with a butter knife and top with a cutting board or plate and carefully invert. Gently transfer to serving plates. Immediately top each cake with the remaining square of vegan dark chocolate (for extra gooey-ness – optional) and serve with coconut whipped cream. Dig in.
  • Other garnishes might include a dusting of cocoa powder, powdered sugar, fresh berries, fresh mint, or edible flowers.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 cake topped with extra chocolate and coconut whipped cream.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 cakes Calories: 353 Carbohydrates: 51 g Protein: 4 g Fat: 16 g Saturated Fat: 12 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 190 mg Fiber: 4 g Sugar: 31 g

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My Rating:

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anita, A gluten-free version is tricky! We’ve tested it so many times and it’s been good, but not great. The best luck we’ve had is with almond flour + a 1-1 gluten-free flour blend. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lara, A gluten-free version is tricky! We’ve tested it so many times and it’s been good, but not great. The best luck we’ve had is with almond flour + a 1-1 gluten-free flour blend. Hope that helps!

  1. Natalie says

    I just made this for my daughter’s 16th birthday – she had requested Chocolate Lava Cake! It was super yummy and I made it exactly as the recipe indicated – except I forgot to buy chocolate bars so I had fun nesting several good quality chocolate chips into the center of each cake and then after baking, I placed many on top for that last bit of melted chocolate goodness!

    One reader asked about making ahead of time. I had time to experiment, so I made two in small ramekins. One I ate right away (I know it’s a tough job being a tester!), and one I refrigerated for several hours. I then took it out of the refrigerator, brought it to room temperature and then baked as per the directions. The chilled one came out exactly the same! So I will definitely “make ahead” in the future, wrap them separately (I like using small ramekins) and heat them up right before serving. Be sure to allow time to bring to room temp. Since everything is vegan, there is no issue w/ it sitting on your counter for 30 minutes.

    I rated 4 stars only because it took me a lot longer to make than the recipe states. After beet pureeing, probably took 45-1 hour to make 6 – you have to grease and powder each container as well as individually add chocolate. Otherwise, it is a delicious recipe that all will love!

  2. Rachael T says

    Hello! I doubled this recipe, used apple sauce, maybe did “heaping” tbsp of chocolate chips and ended up getting 8 cakes instead of 4. Not necessarily complaining (more goodness for my mom’s b-day), but any idea as to why I ended up with seemingly more batter?

  3. MHimm says

    I wasn’t sure how good the beets would be in a dessert, but was excited to try it! The batter tasted like chocolate covered strawberries and the final product was so fudgy yet not too rich. It flipped right out of the pan since I used plant butter for greasing.
    I doubled the recipe (to make 4) but it actually made 6 regular cupcake-sized lava cakes! Bonus!

  4. Caroline says

    Bloody hell. These are SO good. My new favourite dessert. The colour inside is shocking (no red #46 to be seen!). These cakes are perfection themselves – gooey, chocolatey, moist, stunning, easy and they make my tastebuds very happy. I shared this with my daughter for a mother-daughter night at home. We drizzled some of your vegan caramel sauce on top of it for a caramel-coconut flavour on one and had raspberries with the other. I adore that feeling when that gooey, oozy middle runs down your throat for the first time. It’s very (very!) hot but it feels comforting and lovely. Thank you so much for another scrumdiddlyumptious recipe!!!

    Love from OZ,

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we haven’t tried that! If I were you I’d sub it with mostly almond flour, a little potato starch, and a little cornstarch. If you try let us know how it goes!

  5. Yana says

    Omg so good! Made it following the recipe exactly, it’s moist and chocolatey, just perfect and pretty easy to make

  6. Maxene Graze says

    Used the basic structure and it was delicious! Changes I made: substituted AP for teff flour, almond for soy (since that’s what I had), omitted the oil, used coconut sugar over regular sugar and added a tsp of miso. I put coconut cream with maple syrup on top. An amazing treat that feels indulgent without making me feel sick (I have terrible digestive issues). Thanks!

  7. N says

    Delicious! I made this recipe with these substitutions:

    Raw maple syrup for the granulated sugar, whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose, apple sauce instead of beet puree and raw cacao butter instead of vegan butter to butter the ramekin.

    It turned out really well, the only refined sugar was from the chocolate square but I didn’t have chocolate without refined sugar. Next time I want to make the same recipe but completely refined sugar-free!

    Happy baking everyone! Also, please note that per the suggestion of Dana to someone in the comments I added a smidge more flour to balance all the watery ingredients. And I paired it with a scoop of vegan vanilla almond milk ice cream.

  8. Sasha Green says

    Hello! I would love to try this for breakfast, but since everybody in my family gets up at a different time, and each would like to appreciate the “ooziness” of cutting into a lava cake, I was wondering if I could microwave the cakes after they have cooled (to melt the chocolate inside of them)? Would this make the cake batter burst, and how much would you recommend heating it? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried that, so we’re not sure it would work. It won’t have the same red tint.

  9. Sherri says

    Do you think I could use semi sweet chocolate chips in center instead of dark chocolate bar. I live in the middle of nowhere and get a dark chocolate bar. Your recipes are truly amazing. I have not made one that I haven’t loved.

  10. Heidi says

    Perfect! I used the beetroot that come ready cooked and shrink wrapped and this was spot on. Only mild improvement I made to the recipe was to multiply all ingredient quantities by 6. ?

  11. Alyssa says

    Has anyone tried making this hazelnut flavor? I was thinking to add a bit of hazlenut liquor to the melted chocolate but not sure if it may be too liquidy then. Any suggestions?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      The main purpose of the beets is to add a fudgy texture, otherwise the recipe would turn out as more of a cupcake texture. Hope that helps!

  12. Lisa Fung-Kee-Fung says

    Hi Dana,

    When you say vinegar, do you mean white vinegar or apple cider vinegar?


  13. Theresa says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m not vegan but was interested to try a cake with beets! Seeing so many ask about Oat flour, I tested this recipe. Processed rolled oats in a food processor as fine as it can get. Used canned, drained beets. And used Chopped up Easter eggs cos Rhett we just so much left! It passed my 5 year old’s test. Also I doubled the recipe and baked in a tin instead of single serves. Sorry if others who are reading this comment think I’m making a joke of this fantastic recipe. But I’m sharing cos I’m sure there are others thinking like me and wonder what it would be like if they did it. Well the result. … its my new favorite! Tho I would say I like the pudding like texture yet it still holds its shape. No lava of course but I’ll definitely do this for guests abs lava-fy it for them! Thank you so much Dana for sharing so much of yourself and being generous with your talents. God bless you.

  14. Christine says

    I made this for Valentine’s Day and absolutely loved it!! The recipe is SPOT ON – chocolaty, fudgy, velvety, rich, satisfying, healthy (can’t even taste the beets!), easy and quick to make. Although it was just to feed me and my husband, I doubled the recipe so the serving will be 4 – because why wouldn’t you want to eat this the next day too!? It tastes great the next day too :) Thank you and I love you, Minimalist Baker.

  15. Natasha Jordan-Knox says

    Hey Dana!
    I made this recipe this morning as my first attempt and the cake turned out great – it was delicious and moist! I wasn’t happy however with how my “lava” turned out. Maybe it’s not supposed to be really liquidy for this particular lava cake, but I was expecting it to kinda roll out of the cake live lava would when I cut into it and it didn’t happen.

    I want to re-try making the cake today as I am making it for my vegan Facebook channel and wanted to post a video with a link to your recipe of course, so I am hoping I can get it right this time. I was thinking maybe if I add coconut oil to the chocolate to make it more liquidy that it might roll out of the cake better. What do you think about that idea and do you have any other suggestions? Thank you so much! Love all your recipes!


    • Noah says

      Hey Natasha, that is my concern as well. Did you manage to get actual lava? If there’s no lava, then it’s not a hot lava cake.

  16. KA says

    Hi Dana:
    These look awesome! However, a family member has a nut allergy and I’m wondering if I can substitute another plant-based milk for the almond milk.

  17. Morgan says

    Made these using canned pumpkin puree instead of beet, worked perfectly :) just added a lil extra sugar. Also only had whole wheat flour and they still turned out delish!

  18. christina says

    This recipe turned out amazing, it was perfectly moist and gooey chocolate center.I subbed date sugar because I was out of cane sugar, and cut the amount in half. I also subbed cashew milk. Absolutely love the beet flavour. I love the simplicity of this recipe. Will definitely be making this over and over again. The perfect valentine’s (and any other occasion) dessert! :)

  19. Shayda Swann says

    Do you think it would be possible to make the batter ahead of time and then assemble before baking? I’ve got a bit of an elaborate V-day menu planned :P

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! Your best bet is to bake them ahead of time, but if you’re in a pinch, I suggest mixing in everything BUT the baking powder and put in the fridge. Bring it out of the fridge for about 5 mins and then add the baking powder when ready to bake. I have not tried this but report back on how it goes!

  20. Tim Hordo says

    Hi Dana, we made these a few days ago to make sure we could share them in an article we’re writing for Valentine’s Day Essentials, and as it turns out, they are ridiculously good. These tasty little numbers now featured in our article :)

  21. Emily Rose says

    I made these last night for my uncles birthday and they were AmaZinG!!!
    I doubled the recipe and ended up w/8 lil cakes (maybe my muffin tin was slightly smaller than normal?) & i used bobs red mill 1to1 gf flour which worked wonderfully.
    Looking for every/any excuse to make these again!

  22. Amelia says

    These turned out great I was wary of using beetroot but didn’t even taste it! Super rich and chocolaty, and I also added peanut butter to the centres of mine!

  23. Laura says

    Would love to make this for a dinner party! But would have to be able to put together ahead of time and let sit PLUS make gluten free…what are the chances of success?!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I haven’t tried this with GF flour but it’s worth a shot. let me know if you give it a try!

  24. Laura says

    Would love to make this for a dinner party! But would have to be able to put together ahead of time and let sit PLUS make gluten free…what are the chances of success?!

  25. Audrey Smith says

    SO terrible. I added everything correct, and it was so terribly bitter!!! I even baked it for an extra 3 minutes, and it was basically raw! Tasted like flour. One slimey, disgusting, bitter dissapointment. My family was so looking forward to this! :(

  26. Silvia says

    Can the all-purpose flour be replaced with oat flour (or almond or coconut)? I’m not much of a flour person so these are the only flours I keep on hand at home. Thanks!

  27. Danielle says

    I’ve made these before for Valentine’s Day and they were delicious! I want to make them tonight for my brothers birthday but there will be 8 of us. Can I times the ingredients by 4 and use the same baking time??

  28. Chris says

    I LOVED this little cake!! I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday and it was “bomb”! Dana, thank you thank you thank you!

  29. Haley says

    These were delicious, but neither batch I made really oozed. The second one didn’t at all (I used a Theo’s dark chocolate bar). The second time I made this I tripled the ingredients, and it made 10 jumbo cupcakes. The first time I barely got 5 jumbo cupcakes out making the ingredients as they are in the recipe.

  30. Carlie says

    A lot of your recipes use coconut, cane, or regular sugar and I can’t eat any of those sugars could I sub in maple sugar??

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Carlie! I haven’t tried this recipe with maple syrup, and it might make the batter more moist so you’d have to compensate with more dry ingredients. Let me know if you give it a try!

  31. Christine says

    Question…if i make these the day before, should i wait to put the chocolate peice on top and how would you suggest warming them up? Cant wait to make them! Im also making them gluten free, so I’ll let you know how they come out. Your recipes so far have not failed me! Thanks!

  32. Stephanie says

    Loved these! The beet color didn’t come through once mine were baked, but these cakes were moist and lovely and exactly what this tired mommy needed on my night off! My husband and I ate them with raspberries and port.

  33. Pia says

    Hi dana. If i want to triple this recipe, can i? If yes, wat abt the baking time? I have 6ppl coming over and I really want to try this recipe.. Plz reply. Thanks so much

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work! Follow the recipe as instructed with triple the ingredients! Good luck.

  34. Danielle says

    I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m so happy to find a dairy free recipe for Chocolate Lava Cake :D I’m super allergic so vegan recipes tend to work the best for me :) Thanks so much for sharing!

  35. Brigitte Lapointe says

    I have made these 2 nights in row at like 10pm because we are craving something sweet and chocolatey!!! THese are amazing!!! and my spouse didn’t even realize there was beets in them and when i told her after she was shocked!!! and now she is asking for more tonight!!!

  36. Nikita Vasa says

    Looks so damn good! Gonna try it! Have you tried making vanilla based vegan lava cakes? Would love to know and try some!

  37. Jolanda de Jong says


    I tried your recipe yesterday. My bakes always tastes better the day after. That’s too bad, because I wanted a warm lava cake! Do you have any tips or tricks? Is it possible to bake it and heat it up the other day to get a nice warm lava cake?

    I had a slight changes on the recipe. I used spelt flour and red cabbage instead of flour and beets. Spelt flour is healthier. I was hoping to get a nice purpple/pink/red colour from the red cabbage, but it didn’t. I’ll try the beets next time!

    Thanks in advance. Excuse me if I wrote in poor English. English isn’t my native language.

    Greets, Jolanda

  38. Eellyn Ramos says

    Two questions, do you have a recipe for the coconut whipped cream, or you bought it?
    And I know beets have a “sand” like taste. You can’t taste them in the cake?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      1) no you don’t taste the beets, in my opinion. 2) there’s a link to the coconut whipped cream in the recipe box.

  39. Taylor says

    I’ve made these at least 3 times by now. They are AMAZING. So moist and chocolatey. My fiancé loved them and he is by no means vegan ;). I am baking them now with applesauce because I had a chocolate craving but no beets. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

  40. AMEE says

    Can I do these steps ahead of time (as in the batter) and then bake it when I am ready to eat???Will that work or if it sits for a few hours, will it be less likely that it will bake properly??

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, you can! I’d recommend making it the morning of and then letting set to room temp before baking just before serving. Hope that helps!

  41. Jessica says

    Great stuff!!! Just about to make this…can i pre-make a few hours before or is it better right out of the oven? Can i make the batter before if its better to serve right out of the oven?

  42. Kaite says

    Wow, these look amazing… but is there any chance I could use a gluten-free flour like oat flour or teff flour instead of wheat flour????? Thanks!

  43. Forest Parks says

    Made these last night and they were yummy! I had to mash the beets with a potato masher as I don’t have a food processor right now but that worked fine. Also my cocoa powder dusting was a little too thick and it burned so lesson learned there.

    Made a simple vegan custard to go with them and they were yummy but will be even better on a second run.

  44. Abbie @ Needs Salt says

    Oh my gosh. These things. Amazing. I love how you’re using roasted beet in this recipe! It must be the secret to that awesome heavenly chocolateyness.
    Pinning this!

  45. Laura says

    These look amazing! Your photography really sells it! I just tried your chocolate beet muffins and they were so good.

  46. jessica says

    Wow, the use of beets here is genius! They add such beauty and earthiness to these delicious looking cakes.

    I’m obsessed with your blog and love that you put together a lot of unique dairy free treats! You give the people with food sensitivities such hope :)

  47. annie @ chase that i love says

    I love cooking with beets! They get the worst rap and it’s totally unwarranted. These look right up my alley.

    • Teresa says

      I made these for my husband and I for Valentine’s day. SO easy and delicious. We used applesauce. I have Celiac’s disease and lactose intolerance. He doesn’t like dark chocolate so I stuck one of those Lindor chocolate balls to melt in the middle. It was beautiful! Making them again tonight because oh my goodness, delicious!!

  48. Dearna says

    Ohhhh… I wish I had seen this earlier – Im cooking a special dinner for the boy tomorrow night and have already gone out and bought ingredients for Snickers ice-cream bars for dessert! Definitely pinning this one for another time though, they look amazing!

  49. Kate says

    Thank you! I am so desperate for Valentines’ desserts. I love the color the beets give these little volcanoes :)

  50. Becca says

    Holy moly, this sound out of control good! I’ve been saying “yowza” right and left, but I may have to steal “hubba hubba”. It’s a good one!


  51. Alanna says

    These look so killer, Dana! I love chocolate and beet together. I want to dig right into that beautifully gooey cake. Thank you for sharing!

  52. Lizzie says

    What do you think would happen if you replaced the liquid in the recipe with…whiskey? (I sound like a drunk, I know.) I’m supposed to make a vegan whiskey-themed dessert for a birthday party tomorrow and I SO want this to be it!

  53. Brie @ Entrée the Giant says

    This is like red velvet, but better since the color’s powered by nothin’ but beets. Brilliant, but that’s business as usual around here :)

  54. Irina says

    All I can say is WOW! These have just made their way to the top of my baking list for this weekend. Incredible, thank you for sharing :)

  55. Jessica (bakecetera) says

    wow! you’ve just vegan-ized one of my favourite desserts. these look incredible and i can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Kayla Smith says

      Which gluten free flour would you recommend the most ? I want to make these for a vegan club at my school and some of the people have gluten allergies

  56. Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen says

    I know what I’m making on Valentines day – these look fabulous!! You have me hooked on chocolate beet desserts!

  57. Ann Oliverio says

    You’re killing me (in such a good way) over here! I think it’s very wise of you to begin the V-Day celebrations early – that’s a lot of treats!

  58. Katherine Oberwager says

    These look divine and I can’t believe they are so healthy! Can’t wait to see the other Valentine’s Day recipes you created. I am sure they will all be great!

  59. Ali @ Inspiralized says

    I’d like to stuff 90234 of these in my mouth at once. They’re vegan, so it would be guilt-free! :)

  60. Christine @ Gotta Eat Green says

    HOW did you know I was craving a vegan chocolate lava cake?? These look so delicious! And um.. I can’t wait for ALL of the valentines day recipes you have coming up!

  61. Katy says

    Lava cakes = my absolute weakness when the waitress/waiter asks “Do you want dessert?” and I am stuffed to the brim. These look so awesome and I love the coconut whipped cream!

  62. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says

    The lava in these is too pretty!! Loving this recipe hard. I mean, chocolate anything rocks, but lava and chocolate. YUM!

  63. Maryea {happy healthy mama} says

    Wow! The beets give these such a pretty color. This is the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert and I absolutely love the the color is natural. :)