Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King

“Larva” Cakes

posted by in Recipes

Just like the word “cool,” a slang word from the 1960s that’s shown incredible staying power and become part of our lexicon, so has this particular under-cooked chocolate cake that’s also going the way of cool.

Known by myriad names: fallen chocolate cake, chocolate volcano, molten chocolate cake, chocolate lava, pudding cake, etc., to me they’re just lava cakes. I like these little things because they don’t require a brain to bake up plus the batter can be made ahead of time, refrigerated, and then baked at the last minute. Straight from the oven, it’s a thrill to stab one with a spoon and watch gleefully as the soft – dare I say it? – molten! center seeps out like sludge.

Heeding the siren call of making something warm and chocolate-y and peanut buttery, I’m trying out a recipe from a food magazine that I read occasionally. My mind is on what I’m doing but also on trying to keep up a conversation with my Bin who himself is tinkering with the toys in his toolbox. And of course the radio is blasting as it always is when I’m in the kitchen.

Here I am greasing the ramekins, cutting up chocolate, and weighing out the ingredients on my digital scale. “What’re you making, Mom?” I suddenly hear Boo’s voice behind me. “Oh, just some lava cakes, hon,” I reply absent-mindedly. How many grams are in an ounce again? The question echoes in my head. “Chocolate?” Boo asks again, after surveying the ingredients laid out on the counter. Oh right, 28, I remember. “Mm-hmm,” I answer her distractedly.

I hear Boo skipping to where her dad is, and then she shouts, “Mama’s making larva cakes!” My head jerks up, disbelieving what I hear, and then a chuckle escapes from my lips. “Boo Boo, it’s lava cakes not larva!” I yell. “Yeah, larva,” my daughter replies, already busy with a toy. Aw heck, who am I to tell my 6-year-old that there’s a difference between lava and larva?

Later at the table, Boo’s eyes widen in wonder as she watches me run a knife around the edges of the little cakes and then flipping them over onto dessert plates. I hand her a teaspoon and, following her dad’s lead, she pokes the cake. Seeing the resultant khaki-colored ooze she’s rewarded with, she giggles. It’s terrific, this melding of hot pudding and cold ice cream, chocolate and peanut butter, lava and larva (!) …

… and delighting in my daughter’s renaming of a favorite dessert. Now that’s cool.

Recipe here.

Other peanut butter posts:
A Peanut Butter Lover And Her Pie
“Nutter” About Peanut Butter

13 Responses to ““Larva” Cakes”

  • I love ‘larva’ cakes’ especially with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. :D


  • hi lori! where can i find a yummy lava cake here in manila? thankx!


  • that cake looks absolutely yummy. Makes me smile*S*…Oh, I have a six year old Boo (Boo) at home too. He makes me smile too. *S*


  • This looks so mouthwateringly delish! LOVE lava cakes, molten, fallen — whatever you call ‘em! :-) And I love peanut butter too! Thanks for sharing!


  • Larva cake makes a much more interesting dessert. <3


  • I was just thinking about trying to make some lava cakes. Thanks for the post. The pics looks delish


  • Lori, I can’t stop staring (and drooling) at that picture! I keep scrolling back up there for just One. More. Look. I was so excited to read where I can eat it, only to learn that you made it. Well, I guess I’ll be passing on this recipe to my sister again. :-D


  • I found a delish lava cake at Rustan’s Cafe in Glorietta! Heaven! I also got to try their Decadence cake yummy rin sya and swimming in Caramel sauce! And then there’s the Turtle pie! yummmmyyyyy!!! They also have Banana cream pie, Tiramisu, Mochamisu plus they serve sandwiches and pastas as well.


  • I found a yummy lava cake in Rustan’s Cafe Glorietta.. it was soft and oozing with chocolate. It was served with vanilla ice cream. I also got to try their turtle pie and decadence cake which was swimming in caramel sauce. Next time I will try their banana cream pie and Tiramisu.


  • My favorite is the one from Bistro 110. Love it!!!


  • I just learned about this Larva cake from you now. I would love to go try some of those – they look really sweet and tasty. Thank you for the interesting and informative article. – Pinoy Pride


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