Friday, April 29, 2011

guilt free lava cake for one

man, i always forget what a pain the moving process is. between spending twenty hours in the car last weekend (preliminary apartment hunting) and packing up everything i own (craigslist gets the rest!) i have barely had enough time to sleep, much less blog. 

to make up for my lengthly absence i come bearing lava cake. that's right, chocolate-y goodness that's a brownie on the outside and warm pudding on the inside. i don't even like pudding and i've already made this cake twice this week - it's that good. 

on top of all that, this is also a recipe for one - perfect for when the mood strikes you, but won't leave you with a baker's dozen on the kitchen counter tempting you.

this is a shockingly simple recipe for how elaborate the final product seems to be. you just need one small bowl for dry ingredients and another vessel of some kind for wet. 

i baked my cake in a 7 ounce ramekin, which is a fancy word for a small heat proof bowl. for as much as i use the ramekins i have - seriously, ice cream, microwaving anything and everything, sauce-making, snack-holding, etc. - they do not get nearly enough praise in my kitchen. if you don't have a set of these i highly recommend picking up one or fifteen. you can thank me later!

when you take your cake out of the oven you want the sides and top to be fairly set, but definitely not cooked through. i found that to take around 15 minutes in my oven, but in the name of honesty i will say the first time i made this it i left it in far too long (i got a brownie) and the second far too short (pudding soup). not that i minded eating either, but the goal is an even split between the two extremes.

though i know from personal experience how tempting it is to dig right into your lava cake while it's in a piping hot ramekin, it isn't a good idea. seriously, i think i no longer have a fingerprint on my ring finger. what you want to do is grab a larger plate or dish and invert your ramekin onto that. you will look and feel like a total professional, promise.

now, i give you permission to sit down with your very own lava cake and enjoy every last bite. and, in case you forgot, the beauty of a cake for one is that no one will be around to judge you as you lick the plate.

guilt free lava cake for one

yields 1 cake


2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 heaping tablespoon dutch-processed cocoa
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons skim milk
1 tablespoon non-fat yogurt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla


1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

3. mix milk, yogurt, and vanilla in separate bowl.

4. pour wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients and stir until combined.

5. grease a 7 ounce ramekin with cooking spray. pour batter into ramekin and bake for 12-16 minutes or until edges and top of cake are set.

6. let cake cool for 1 minute then invert onto larger plate or bowl. enjoy!

nutritional information:

calories: 171, fat: 1.24g, sodium: 185mg, carbs: 39g, fiber: 4.5g, sugars: 19g, protein: 5.72g.

thanks for reading & happy baking!



  1. Ooh, thank you! I don't like chocolate (I know, I know, haha) but the boy does, so I can make this for him as a treat, without having a whole huge cake. Yay1

    Good luck with all the moving stuff!

  2. @Larie

    thanks for your comment! your boy will love the cake, mine sure does, and you'll look like a total pro.

  3. this looks yummy, i am going to try it tonight for dessert

  4. oh this is a lovely recipe :) ill definitely be using it for a chocolate craving.

  5. Oh man, I am so beyond stoked about this recipe! (I'll be quadruple-ing it for my family, but hey, who cares, right?!) Thanks for posting!

  6. thanks for the great recipe! i'm a huge fan of single-serve microwave mug cakes (i've got a serious sweet tooth!), but a lot of the recipes seem have to have so much oil. this is perfect! i substituted brewed espresso for a tablespoon of the milk. it was fantastic!

  7. That was undeniably delicious. I made one for myself and one for my husband and we definitely got our chocolate fill last night! Only one problem: when we inverted our ramekins, the cake stuck in some places and ended up coming out in instead of lava cake we got a pile of cake and pudding. Still totally delectable, but not as pretty as it could be. Do you have any tricks for getting the cakes out cleanly? I'm thinking we may need to go around the edge with a butter knife before we turn it over next time. Thoughts?

    1. You probably didn't grease your ramekins

  8. I made this last night and it came right out. I use Baker's Joy spray (which also has flour or something in it) to spray the ramekin first. I screwed up, though, and tried to use a non-sugar product instead and didn't put enough. It was hardly sweet at all and had to just dump them. Also, it did not have a gooey center, it was cooked cake all the way through after just 12 minutes.

  9. @Lara

    i would definitely go around the edge of the cake with a knife, it'll make them slide out much easier!

  10. @simplybroadway

    when i initially made this recipe i started with substitute, moved to raw sugar, and at the end found regular old granulated to work the best. sometimes you just can't cut corners!

    also, i would play with your oven settings to see what the right length of times is for your cakes - it really will change from oven to oven!

  11. Can I subtitute the yogurt for something else?

  12. I just made this tonight after searching on foodgawker for a single serve dessert. After looking through your recipes tonight I love your blog and plan on making several of your recipes. I am always disappointed in lower calorie desserts but this was delicious. It tasted just as decadent as a full fat version. I used blue diamond's unsweetened almond/coconut milk blend in place of the skim and also had to use regular unsweetened cocoa but it turned out perfectly and the calories came in at 153. I topped it with a little stoneyfield vanilla frozen yogurt and did end up licking the plate. :) I love to bake and since you seem to be so great at re-doing recipes I have two requests. The first is cream cheese danish, my absolute favorite pastry but they are usually around 600 calories! I love them but not that much, my second favorite is red velvet cake. I miss these two desserts since I started counting calories and would love to indulge in them once again. Thanks for the hard work!

  13. Yum. Just made this tonight. I microwaved mine-at 1 minute. Watch it closely as it will be cake like if you put it in too long.

  14. I tried to sub out half the sugar with splenda as an attempt to save a few more calories...apparently that doesn't work so well; it tasted pretty bad. Next time I will try it as the recipe suggests.

  15. Hello!~ Your recipe looks amazing!
    Wanted to try it but I don't have dutch-processed cocoa. Q,Q
    Can I bake the cake without it??
    Please help!

  16. Great recipe. 5 minutes prep. I added chocolate chunks and walnuts to the top at the last minute. I'm going to try whole wheat flour next time just to see if it works. I'll get back if it does.

  17. Ok a couple of substitutions. Whole wheat flour works fine. I cut 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. You might not find it sweet enough though. I used Greek zero fat yogurt which adds more protein. I'm going to try the microwave method next. Love this recipe.

  18. Hey :)
    Does anyone know any variations for this recipe? Not that the original wasn't awesome, it was. I made it for my friends and everyone liked it!
    But still, does anyone know how to make a variation? Like green tea, mocha, lemon, ect....

  19. These are delicious served with Haggen Daz "Dulce De Leche" Ice Cream

  20. So flipping good! Easy to make and truly satisfying. BRAVO!