It's Dangerous for Anything This Good to Be This Easy
The only thing better than a rich, decadent dessert is a rich, decadent dessert that doesn't require any effort. This delicious Crock-Pot lava cake recipe falls squarely into that category: It's a simple "dump cake," which means all you do is combine the ingredients and pour them into your slow cooker. It's just as easy as working from box mixes, but without all the additives and preservatives. Three hours later – give or take – you'll be sitting down to a rich, warm, intensely chocolate-y dessert.
Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8 (it's rich!)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, divided
- 9 tablespoons cocoa, divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole or reduced-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups hot water
- In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, 4 tablespoons of the cocoa powder, the baking powder and the salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, vanilla and egg yolk if you're using it.
- Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until it's just mixed.
- Line a 3- or 4-quart Crock-Pot with a slow cooker liner, or press a sheet of parchment paper into the bottom of the crock. Pour the batter into the prepared crock.
- Whisk together the remaining sugar and cocoa, then add the hot water. Pour this mixture over the top of the cake batter, but don't stir it in. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, until it is set in the middle.
- Unplug the slow cooker and let the cake sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes before serving, or switch your Crock-Pot to its keep-warm setting until dessert time.
- If you want this already rich cake to be even more chocolate-y, add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the batter.
- Slow cookers vary a great deal in their operating temperatures, so keep an eye on the cake as it reaches the end of its baking time. If you know your slow cooker runs hot, you'll probably be closer to 2 hours' cooking time. If yours runs slow, assume it'll be closer to 3 hours.
- The egg yolk makes the finished cake "cake-ier." If you leave it out, the texture will be more pudding-like. You might find you prefer the texture one way over the other, which gives you a perfect excuse to make this again.
Fred Decker is a trained chef and certified food-safety trainer. Decker wrote for the Saint John, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, and has been published in Canada's Hospitality and Foodservice magazine. He's held positions selling computers, insurance and mutual funds, and was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.