Everyone loves to bite into a warm, gooey dessert after dinner, but making such a dessert can take a lot of extra time and effort, especially if you’re hosting and feeding a large group of people. There’s a simple solution that most people don’t consider, though: using a slow cooker.
Foodies rave about this recipe for Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake from Meggan on the Culinary Hill cooking blog. It relies on whole, natural ingredients instead of a pre-packaged cake mix, so you can adjust the cake to fit your tastes or dietary needs.
This easy-to-make dessert only requires a couple of steps of preparation that take 15 minutes, and it bakes over multiple hours so you don’t have to hover over it. Once the cake is in the slow cooker, you can work on making dinner or mingling with people and serve the treat directly from the ceramic crock once it’s time.
Collecting your ingredients
To bake your slow cooker chocolate lava cake, you will need to gather a list of important ingredients, many of which you probably already have around your kitchen.
For the batter, obtain 1 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup regular granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup unsalted butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
For the gooey chocolate topping, gather 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1 1/2 cups of hot water.
Making the cake and topping
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, salt and flour until blended. Then, in the middle of the bowl pour the milk, vanilla and melted butter. Once all ingredients are smoothly intermingled, pour the bowl’s contents into the slow cooker.
Before turning on the slow cooker, you need to prepare and add the topping. Whisk the sugar, brown sugar and cocoa powder together and sprinkle it on the batter. Pour the hot water gingerly and evenly across the crock’s entire contents. Finally, set the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours. Keep an eye on its progress once 3 hours have passed in case it’s ready sooner.
Serving and variations
The most popular ways to eat this warm, rich lava cake are with vanilla ice cream or thick, full whipped cream plopped on top, but you can experiment with different flavor toppings and even set out a “bar” of garnishes.
The ingredient amounts listed earlier result in a cake that produces 6-8 servings, but if you need to serve more people than that, you can double the recipe without having to adjust the cooking time by much at all.
If you want to make the cake gluten-free and vegan, it doesn’t take much work. Simply substitute the flour for gluten-free flour, the milk for almond milk, and the butter with vegan margarine. Keep an eye on the baking, though, because it will probably cook more quickly this way. If you want to make it healthier, reduce the sugar in the cake batter and rely on frozen yogurt or fat-free whipped cream as the topping.
Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with friends and family by making this scrumptious treat in your slow cooker.