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Chocolate Caramel Molten Lava Cake

Remember our Copycat Chili’s Molten Lava Cakes recipe? I haven’t been able to forget about it, so a Chocolate Caramel Molten Lava Cake had to happen!

I am not sure what it is about chocolate and caramel together but it’s a match made in heaven. It’s not that far off from chocolate and peanut butter, and we all know how I feel about our Peanut Butter Meltaway Cookies!

We made these caramel lava cakes a few weeks ago live on insta and you all have been dying for the recipe ever since. Our little guy made them all himself with just a little help. It’s that easy! So here it is….drum roll please!! We can’t wait for you to be indulging in these for Valentine’s Day this year!

A molten lava cake filled with dulce de leche caramel. The caramel is oozing out of the cake and and chocolate cake has ice cream and drizzled chocolate on top.

Chocolate Caramel Molten Lava Cake

These are such easy chocolate caramel molten lava cakes to make. I’m usually all about from scratch recipes as I truly love to get in there and work out recipes, but when it comes to these molten lava cakes I actually really like to use a boxed cake mix.

Now don’t hate me, you can definitely make it from scratch but the box turns out every time and with this altitude issue here in Utah I’m all for a shortcut.

We’ve also used both chocolate fudge and Nutella for the filling and both are wonderful, so use whatever you have on hand.

The caramel is a different story. We quickly discovered that a caramel sauce leaked through the cake too much so we went back to our old favorite, dulce de leche. It’s a thick caramel from South America that’s easily made (see below) if you can’t find it down the international food section of the grocery store, ours is found by the Mexican food.

A molten lava cake with dulce de leche caramel filling. You can see the chocolate cake with the caramel filling oozing out. It is topped with ice cream and drizzles of chocolate.

Ingredients for Chocolate Caramel Cake

Your grocery list for these decadent cakes is short and sweet! Grabbing a boxed cake mix makes it super easy.

  • Fudge Cake Mix (Duncan Hines brand)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Oil
  • Sour Cream
  • Chocolate Fudge or Nutella
  • Dulce de Leche (see section below for making from scratch)
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Shell Ice Cream Topping
  • Caramel Sauce

PRO TIP: You don’t follow the instructions for making the cake on the back of the box. You just add the ingredients listed in this recipe to the cake mix powder.

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card below.

How to Make Dulce de Leche

If you need to know how to make dulce de leche just grab yourself a can of sweetened condensed milk. That’s literally all you need! You can peel the paper off of the can and then just set it in a pot. Fill the pot with water so that it covers the can. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours, never letting the tops of the lids show, instead adding water to always keep it covered.

Remove from the pot and open the lid. A thick, dark caramel will be inside! Eat it on ice cream, fill cookies with it or even eat it on waffles!

A chocolate molten lava cake on a white dessert plate. There are a few blue berries scattered around and a bowl of caramel in the background.

How to Make Easy Molten Lava Cake

Start by combining the dry cake mix, eggs, sour cream, milk and oil in a large bowl. Get out your jumbo cupcake pan and spray each cup with nonstick spray. Fill each cup 3/4 full with the cake batter. Follow the baking directions listed on the cake mix box.

Once you’ve baked your cakes in jumbo muffin tins, please allow them to cool completely before continuing. If the cakes are too warm you’ll end up tearing the cakes when you cut them open.

Once cooled, turn the cakes upside down so they look like volcanoes. Using a paring knife, carefully cut into the top in a circle to create a well in the top. Don’t cut all the way through the bottom of the cake!

Fill with a dollop of chocolate fudge or Nutella and a dollop of dulce de leche. Slice the bottom off of the lid that you just removed and place the lid back on top of the cake.

PRO TIP: Eat the little piece of cake you cut off immediately!

Place the cakes on a pan and cover with plastic wrap. Keep the cakes in the freezer to help set up the centers.

When you are ready to serve, remove the cakes and reheat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and then add a scoop of ice cream on top. Pour chocolate shell (the ice cream topping that hardens) over the top and serve immediately!

Molten lava cakes on dessert plates. One has been topped with a scoop of ice cream and chocolate drizzles. There are a few blue berries scattered on the table and a spoon is next to a bowl of caramel.

Can Molten Lava Cake Be Reheated?

Yes, it is easiest to reheat them in the microwave. Just a quick zap in the microwave for 30 seconds works great. If you want to reheat multiple at the same time, you can reheat them in the oven as well. Preheat your oven at the lowest temperature possible, place them on a baking sheet and cover them with foil. Warm them up for 10-15 minutes.

Can You Freeze Molten Lava Cake?

Yes, these freeze great! Prepare them as directed. Freeze the cakes for up to 2 days ahead of time. Reheat them as directed above.

Can I Use a Regular Size Muffin Tin?

Yes, absolutely. Make the molten lava cake according to the same instructions. When you cut the wells into the cupcakes, be extra careful not to cut through them to the other side.

You can also use ramekins to bake these cakes.

A chocolate molten lava cake with dulce de leche caramel filling. The chocolate cake has caramel filling oozing out and a scoop of ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup is on top.

What Can You Substitute For Sour Cream?

You’re best substitute for sour cream in this cake is yogurt. Full fat Greek yogurt would be the best, but you can use low fat or fat free too.

Is Dulce de Leche Caramel?

Dulce de leche is a Latin American confection made from heating sweetened condensed milk. It takes on the appearance and flavor of your tradition caramel.

Caramel is made from water, heavy whipping cream, butter and sugar. Dulce de leche is made from condensed milk and sugar and sometimes cinnamon.

So they are made quite differently but they look and taste very similar. We like that it’s thicker and doesn’t seep into the cake as much as caramel.

 

Caramel and chocolate gushing out of a warm jumbo chocolate cupcake topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce…yep, that just happened! Chocolate caramel molten lava cake is just the dessert you need this Valentine’s Day.

More Decadent Desserts for Valentine’s Day:

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A molten lava cake filled with dulce de leche caramel. The caramel is oozing out of the cake and and chocolate cake has ice cream and drizzled chocolate on top.

Chocolate Caramel Molten Lava Cakes

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Cooling: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Chocolate Caramel Molten Lava Cakes are much easier to make than they sound and there's nothing better than digging into a warm cake filled with chocolate and caramel and topped with cool and creamy ice cream!

Ingredients

  • 1 Duncan Hines Fudge Cake Mix
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • Chocolate Fudge or Nutella
  • Dulce De Leche
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Shell Ice Cream Topping
  • Caramel Sauce

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, stir together the dry cake mix, eggs, sour cream, milk and oil.
  • Spray a large cupcake pan with nonstick spray and evenly distribute batter 3/4 way full. Bake according to package directions.
  • Turn the cakes out onto their tops creating a “volcano” and allow to cool. Using a paring or serrated knife, gently cut a whole out of the center without going clear to the bottom.
  • Fill with fudge and dulce de leche that is cool and then slice off the bottom circle of the piece of cake you removed and place it on the hot fudge hole like a lid.
  • Freeze for 30 minutes, up to 2 days with plastic wrap over the pan of cakes.
  • Remove the cakes from the freezer and reheat in the microwave until warm, about 30 seconds.
  • Top with ice cream, caramel, and magic shell.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Caramel Molten Lava Cakes
Amount Per Serving (1 cake)
Calories 425 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 72mg24%
Sodium 494mg21%
Potassium 261mg7%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 228IU5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 141mg14%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A molten lava cake filled with dulce de leche caramel. The caramel is oozing out of the cake and and chocolate cake has ice cream and drizzled chocolate on top.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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2 comments

  • These are great and handy to keep in the freezer. I made my own dulce de leche which was delicious. Just ordered the giant muffin pans. I made my first batch in regular cupcake pans. Do you think I could pipe the filling rather than “dig” a hole? Love your recipes and your posts, Carian.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Debbie! The filling is so thick, I don’t think it would pipe very well.

      • Reply

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