This Mini Molten Lava Cake Recipe is an indulgent treat just perfect for the festive season. Filled with butterscotch ‘molten lava’, it’s a take on a sticky date cake using dried Christmas fruits.
This recipe is actually an inspired idea by my hubby and CTTE (Chief Taste Tester Extraodinaire). While I love creating recipes, every now and then I hit a wall and my brain just won’t decide on what I actually want to do. All I knew was I wanted a molten lava cake. That’s when CTTE and part time recipe developer hubby steps in and comes up with a gem like these.
Light, fluffy cake filled with ooey, gooey bliss
So everyone loves a lava cake right? Tell me you’ve had one, please! Light, fluffy cake served warm and then you cut into it and out oozes all that hot, gooey sauce. I’m going with yes. This one is no different. The cake is light, fluffy and golden and filled with festive spice and mixed fruit. They aren’t so festive that you couldn’t serve them at any time of year though. Think sticky date pudding, then take out the dates and replace them with sultanas, raisins, currants and mixed peel. Not too much though as I didn’t want these to be fruit cakes, just reminiscent of a holiday treat.
Sneaky freezer trick!
The butterscotch molten lava centre comes from a neat little trick where I made butterscotch sauce on the stove until quite thick, then froze it in silicone chocolate moulds (or ice cube trays would work too), then dropped them into the batter after filling the ramekins.
I also made an extra batch and turned it in this Soft Chocolate Peppermint Butterscotch Candy.
What to bake molten lava cakes in…
I used dariole moulds to bake mine in, which are round metal moulds made for desserts that you want to unmould to serve. Very importantly though, you don’t need them. You can just use normal little ramekins and you don’t even need to unmould them at all. You could also use a muffin pan but when you unmould them, you would need to put a cooling rack or tray (larger than the muffin pan) flat over the top, then hold both together and flip. Easy done. If you use a regular muffin pan, just be aware they will be quite a bit smaller so the cooking time will vary as will the amount of sauce you put inside. I believe there are some jumbo muffin pans out there though, so they’d work a treat.
In the recipe, there is a note to loosen the cakes from their moulds using a thin knife or spatula first. Be very careful to just run around the edge and don’t dig into the cakes or they will break. I found a very thin offset spatula did the trick perfectly whereas my normal dinner knife took a lot more care.
See how that sauce is glistening a bit. Yep, I added gold lustre dust that I always have on hand for cake decorating. It’s not necessary but pretty, yes?
Now go forth and bake Butterscotch Molten Lava Cakes for your next party.
* For the butterscotch sauce
- 1/2 cup (100g) dark brown sugar packed
- 80 g unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (83ml) thickened cream
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* For the puddings
- 120 g (3/4 cup) mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins, glacé cherries, mixed peel)
- 1/2 cup 125ml boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb)
- 165 g (1 1/4 cups) plain (AP) flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 80 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
- 150 g dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Start the butterscotch sauce 2 hours before making the puddings.
- In a small heavy based saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together until smooth. Allow it to come to a simmer and gently bubble for around 3 minutes until foamy, stirring every now and then.
- Carefully add the cream and immediately whisk it in. Let the mixture come to a rolling boil, stirring now and then, for around 10 mins until thickened. You should be able to see the clean bottom of pan when dragging the spoon through. Add the vanilla and salt and whisk well.
- Being very careful, use a small cookie scoop (or two spoons) to fill small ice cube trays or silicone chocolate moulds with mixture then place in the freezer to set.. (Each pudding will need about 1 1/2 teaspoons worth of butterscotch sauce - see notes)
For the cakes
- In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the dried fruit. Add the baking soda, give it a stir then let it sit for 15 minutes before proceeding.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, allspice, ginger and cinnamon and set aside.
- Beat together the sugar and butter until creamy, then add one egg and beat until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the second egg and beat well. Finally add the vanilla and beat.
- Add the flour in 2 parts and beat (on the lowest speed if using a stand mixer or electric beater) until JUST combined.
- Add the fruit and liquid and again, beat until just mixed through.
- Divide the batter evenly between the moulds.
- Take your frozen butterscotch sauce out of the freezer and drop one into the centre of each pudding, then gently press down on each of them just a little until almost completely submerged.
- Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to sit for at least 5 minutes. This will make them easier to remove from the moulds.
- While the puddings are cooking, place the remaining butterscotch into a small saucepan and heat gently to melt. Add 2-3 tablespoons of cream to make it a pouring consistency then pour into a small jug.
- If using moulds, run a thin knife (a small spatula is perfect) round the edge of each making sure not to cut into the pudding itself. Sit the serving plate on top, upside down, then flip it over and the cake should slide straight out.
- Serve with the remaining butterscotch sauce and whipped cream or icecream.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equiv. 4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- Start this recipe at least 2 hours ahead to give the butterscotch sauce time to freeze.
- When portioning out the butterscotch sauce, I used small dome shaped chocolate moulds and put 2 together when I pushed them into the batter. About 1 1/2 teaspoons is right. If you use too much the puddings will fall apart when you try to unmould them (but they’ll still taste really good).
TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE
- A handheld beater or stand mixer
- 6x dariole molds (1 cup capacity)
- A heavy based saucepan to make the butterscotch
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