These chocolate molten lava cakes are packed with a creamy peppermint white chocolate filling and the perfect indulgent, small batch holiday dessert!Next time try my peppermint bark.
Christmas is 12 days away.
EVERYONE REMAIN CALM. It’s still double digits, and there’s still plenty of time for cookie baking, gift shopping, caroling, and wearing ugly sweaters.
You can still pick an assortment of cookies to bake, change your mind six times, burn a batch, run out of butter and go to the store three more times because you keep forgetting something, and have time to spare before you need to hand them out at your office cookie swap and decide that you’re never doing this again.
… until next year.
Thankfully, this recipe won’t require any dough chilling, cookie cutting, or generally conversing with other human beings. I mean, the idea is that you’re making two of these: one for you, and one for someone else – in which case, you’d have another human around that would likely speak to you.
Well, until they start eating because then it’s just going to be the two of you mumbling “ermehgerdthisissogood” to really no one in particular between bites.
That doesn’t mean you can’tmake two for yourself and avoid social interactions altogether. But I will warn you: they’re rich. If you can house two of these, I’d be genuinely surprised, impressed, and maybe only slightly horrified.
They’re rich, but not in an overwhelming way. It’s just enough decadence to be cold weather appropriate to help you build up your resistance to the upcoming winter hibernation. Or the short term chocolate coma you might find yourself in.
I really make no apologies for it, either.
The key to lava cakes is to not overbake them. The last thing you want is a dry lava cake because… that completely defeats the purpose. Moisture is the name of the game when it comes to these white chocolate lava spewing concoctions. And I immediately regret using the word spewing there.
Let’s go over some process shots so you know what to look for.
You want to spray the inside of each ramekin with nonstick spray(aff link), and dust it with some cocoa powder.
Then you’ll divide the batter between the two ramekins(aff link). I recommend making it even, but if you’re being passive aggressive toward the person that will be eating the other, maybe fill one a bit more than the other. I won’t tell if you don’t.
Now you’ll divide the peppermint white chocolate between the two as well. Just drop it in the middle of each, don’t worry too much about how it settles. It will sort of naturally sink to where it needs to be as long as you’re gentle with it when you put the pan in the oven.
You want to take them out of the oven when the edges are set but the inside is a bit jiggy and still moist.
You’ll have bubbly white chocolate coming up out of the middle, and as far as I know it won’t spew (now was the right time for that word) up and into your face, but let’s be careful anyway. Just in case.
And now for the important part: the first bite.
You’re going to want to pick the whole thing up and shove it in your face, but I promise you don’t actually want to do that. It will result in burns and melted white chocolate everywhere – but most importantly, burns.
It’s white chocolate molten lava, so… that’s pretty self explanatory.
Just dig in with a spoon, and watch in wonder while the filling oozes out onto the plate. I’m a big fan of scooping up some filling with each bite of cake, as not to waste any of it.
I like to top mine with chopped up peppermint bark (or you can use these Ghirardelli peppermint baking chunks(aff link), because they’re pretty great) and some crushed candy canes.
If you’d like less in your face peppermint-ness, try topping it with your choice of ice cream, whipped cream, or even just a little dusting of powdered sugar (like I did with my otherwise naked gingerbread cake roll).
As you can see, I tried to be salt bae with the crushed peppermint and it got a little out of control. There were peppermint pieces all over the table, the floor, in my shoes, on the cats… not great.
So maybe be a little more reserved than me so you’re not finding crushed peppermint in weird places alongside pine needles come February.
In case you were wondering, I have and love these little ramekins(aff link). They’re perfect for these little lava cakes, but you’ll find that you’ll use them for as sorts of different things!
These chocolate lava cakes are packed with a creamy peppermint white chocolate filling and the perfect indulgent, small batch holiday dessert!
White Chocolate Peppermint Filling:
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar
scant 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons all purpose flour (can substitute gluten free flour)
1 teaspoon espresso powder
Pinch of salt
Optional toppings: crushed peppermint/candy canes, chopped peppermint bark for topping, dusting of powdered sugar
White Chocolate Peppermint Filling:
In a small saucepan, combine white chocolate and heavy cream, and stir constantly over low heat until melted and combined.
Add mascarpone/cream cheese and stir until combined.
Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and peppermint extract until combined. Set aside to cool while you prepare the cakes.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat two ramekins(aff link) with nonstick spray(aff link) and a dusting of cocoa powder (you really, really want to make sure the cakes are easily removed), place on a baking sheet and set aside.
In a medium heat-proof bowl, combine butter and chocolate and heat for 1 minute and stir well. If the chocolate is not completely melted and combined after stirring, heat again in 10 second increments until it is.
Add powdered sugar and eggs and whisk to thoroughly combine.
Add flour, espresso powder and salt and whisk again until just combined and no flour streaks remain.
Divide the batter between your two prepared ramekins (it ends up being about 1/2 cup per ramekin). Using a tablespoon or medium cookie scoop(aff link), place half of the white chocolate filling in the center of each cake.
Bake for 13 minutes or until the outside edges of the cakes are set, but the center is still a bit jiggy and moist.
Let set for 1 minute, then gently drag a knife around the edges of the cakes (just to be 110% sure they’re come out easily) and then cover the top of each ramekin with an inverted plate and use an oven mitt or kitchen towel to carefully flip the ramekins upside down.
If desired, top with powdered sugar, crushed peppermint, chopped peppermint bark, or ice cream (or all of the above if you’re living on the edge). Serve immediately and enjoy!