Menu Banner

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes (a.k.a Chocolate Lava Cakes)

It’s October, which means many things. Halloween. Pumpkins. Apple picking. And Fair Trade Month!

recipe for chocolate lava cakes + a giveaway for fair trade month from @janemaynard

I absolutely LOVE working with the folks at Fair Trade USA and I am so happy to help them celebrate Fair Trade Month once again! Today we have a Ugandan farmer’s story to share, a giveaway and a FANTASTIC recipe, one that I’ve been meaning to share with you for years. I also have a super simple request, which I’ll get to when we start talking about the giveaway. Are you ready? Let’s go!

recipe for chocolate lava cakes + a giveaway for fair trade month from @janemaynard

I have always loved the opportunities that Fair Trade provides for farmers, but after visiting Malawi earlier this year, it holds an even stronger hold on my heart. Fair Trade works with farmers in Malawi and I love knowing that the good people of that country are benefiting from what Fair Trade has to offer. One of my biggest takeaways from that trip was that we need to find sustainable ways to help people and advance development. Fair Trade is one of the tools that can help us do just that.

What Fair Trade is AWESOME from @janemaynard #befair

Click on the infographic above to zoom in.

fair trade usa | chelimo annet, ugandan farmer | recipe for chocolate lava cakes from @janemaynard #befair

The Fair Trade farmer I would like to share with you today is Chelimo Annet, an inspirational coffee farmer & member of the Coffee A Cup Cooperative Society in Uganda. Chelimo has been farming coffee since 1994 and has 500 coffee trees. She supplements her income by growing bananas & eggplant.

fair trade usa | chelimo annet, ugandan farmer | recipe for chocolate lava cakes from @janemaynard #befair

Chelimo says that one of the primary benefits of being in a Fair Trade cooperative is that she is able to get coffee seedlings. Some of her trees are very old and don’t yield as much coffee as they used to, so raising young coffee trees is important. Another big benefit has been the additional income she receives for her coffee, which has enabled her 6 children to attend school. EVERY SINGLE PERSON I met in Africa used increased income to send their children to school before anything else. Participating in Fair Trade co-ops gives people the chance to give their children the one thing they want more than anything else – an education. It’s powerful stuff. When I read how she was able to send her children to school, oh man, my heart.

fair trade usa | chelimo annet, ugandan farmer | recipe for chocolate lava cakes from @janemaynard #befair

Now that we’ve met Chelimo, I think it’s time for a giveaway! Fair Trade would like to share some of the fruits of their farmers’ labors with you! Today one lucky commenter will get a package of wonderful Fair Trade goodies, including products from:

Fair Trade Goodies Giveaway!

To enter the giveaway, please do the following by Midnight, PT on October 31, 2015 (prize must be shipped within the U.S.):

  • Leave a comment on this post! Easy peasy!
  • Bonus Entry: Please pretty please repin this pin by clicking here. Be sure to leave a separate comment on this post letting us know you did! My recipe is part of a Fair Trade USA recipe rally and the two recipes with the most repins on the Fair Trade pin board will earn the winning bloggers a trip to visit Fair Trade farms in the Dominican Republic. Honestly, I would write about Fair Trade no matter what and it’s totally fine if I don’t win, but it would be fun! 😉
  • Bonus Entry: Like Fair Trade USA on Facebook and leave a separate comment letting us know you did!

This giveaway is now closed. Comment #26 Kim was the randomly-selected winner. Congrats, Kim!

Last but not least, today’s recipe. I have been making these Mini Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes since long before the blog existed. It was sort of my crowning glory recipe. I found it in the Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book, a cookbook I received as a wedding gift. I’ve had it on my “blog post topics to write about” list for years because these little cakes deserve a big blog post. I was actually having a hard time figuring out what recipe I wanted to make with the Fair Trade goodies I received and then it hit me: lava cakes! What better way to use a bag of fair trade chocolate chips than to create molten lava chocolate. NONE, I tell you.

recipe for chocolate lava cakes + a giveaway for fair trade month from @janemaynard

This chocolate lava cake is the real deal. No cheating by putting a piece of candy in the middle. No chocolate chips mixed in the dough to make it seem gooey. This cake is naturally volcanic and wonderful and rich and chocolatey and gourmet and wonderful. The cakes are not hard to make, I promise. I mean, you are gonna get a few dishes dirty and figuring out when to take them out of the oven is tricky, but the recipe is straightforward and uses ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen. And you have the chance to use several fair trade ingredients, from chocolate chips to cocoa to vanilla, all common fair trade products.

recipe for chocolate lava cakes + a giveaway for fair trade month from @janemaynard

That’s it for today! An awesome fair trade farmer, a delicious giveaway, and one of my favorite recipes EVER. Happy Fair Trade Month! And good luck on the giveaway!

recipe for chocolate lava cakes + a giveaway for fair trade month from @janemaynard

Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes (a.k.a. Chocolate Lava Cakes)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book
Serves: 9
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1¼ cup good quality semisweet chocolate chips (you can use bittersweet, too, but it will be CRAZY rich)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate chips over medium-low heat. Once melted, set aside to cool.
  3. Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl. Beat on high with a stand mixer or hand mixer for 5 minutes. Mixture should be pale yellow and thickened.
  4. While eggs are mixing, grease 9 5-oz. ramekins then coat with granulated sugar. Set aside.
  5. Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat on medium speed until just mixed, about 30 seconds total.
  6. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into the bowl. Beat on low speed, just until blended, about 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula and give it one more quick stir by hand.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared dishes, dividing evenly. Ramekins should be about ⅔ full.
  8. Bake for 10-14 minutes, until the cakes have risen slightly, feel firm at the edges and are softer in the center when pressed gently with your finger. The hardest part of this recipe is taking the cakes out at the right moment! Too soon and there is too much lava, too late and there is no lava. The cakes will have risen about a ¼ inch and look cooked on the top surface. The center should feel softer than the edges and be a dimple. Rest assured these cakes are still gooey goodness even if you pass the lava stage, so don't stress.
  9. Cool in dishes for 5 minutes, then, using pot holders, invert each cake onto a serving plate. Cool 15 minutes before serving. I personally just keep the lava cakes in the ramekins - I think it's prettier this way, it's easier, and it's just as delicious!
  10. Optional: serve sprinkled with sifted powdered sugar and chocolate spirals and raspberries. I never do this. I just care about eating the cake as quickly as possible.



  1. 1
    Nora B

    Hello! This is lovely

  2. 2
    Nora B

    PS i pinned this too!

  3. I doth pinned the recipe.

  4. Lovely! You’re the best!

  5. 6
    Angie B


  6. 7

    This sounds delicious! I’ll have to make these…

  7. 8
    Stacy Libby

    I proudly come from a long line of family farmers. Farmers all over the world will always have by support and respect. Great post!

  8. 9
    Jessica Hansen

    Wow. So do I need to stop buying Toll House and Ghiradelli’s? ‘Cuz I will.

  9. Great post, and thanks for the giveaway!

  10. 11
    Rebecca O.

    The Fair Trade goodies look yummy!

  11. 12

    Amazing giveaway, the lava cakes look really good.

  12. 13
    Barbara Baker

    Thank you for that most inspiring story, Jane. DoTERRA does a lot for undeveloped countries in the world — 23 to be exact. Helping the local people with a program called Co-Impact Sourcing.

    thank you for this information. keeping me humble…

  13. 14
    Sara B.

    Love this post!

  14. 15

    What a beauteous smile she has! Count me in. Great story.

  15. 16

    Looks delish. Thanks for sharing the great Fair Trade story, too!

  16. 17

    one of my favorite desserts, but I haven’t ever tried making it! also, great post…thanks for sharing!

  17. 18

    tone ze escrevendo para agradar a voce

  18. 19
    Laura R

    these look amazing!!

  19. 21
    Laura R

    liked on FB as well!

  20. 22
    Kay Gee

    Great post,great giveaway!

  21. 23

    I’ve always wanted to make molten lava cakes, thanks for the inspiration, and the giveaway!!

  22. 24

    These look amazing looking forward to trying this recipe.

  23. 25

    I didn’t know barkTHINS were fair trade! I love them, and it’s good to know they’re good for people, too!

  24. 26

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’m looking forward to trying the recipe.

  25. 27

    Liked Fair Trade USA on FB as well.

  26. I’ve been looking for the perfect lava cake recipe. Thanks for the sweet story. We too often taken our education system for granted.

  27. 29

    This all looks so good.

  28. 30
    Emily N.

    The recipe looks great. And I love supporting fair trade products!

  29. 32
    Emily N.

    I already like Fair Trade on FB.

  30. 33
    Lindsay R

    I remember you bringing these lava cakes to my apartment once. Yum!

  31. 34

    Love your giveaways! Hope to win!

  32. 35
    Erin O.

    JANE. Those lava cakes look CRAZY GOOD, thanks for sharing the recipe and these details about Fair Trade goods!

  33. 37

    Wow, this array of chocolate is mouth-watering!

  34. 38

    SOOOO much goodness! I need all of this! LOL.

  35. 40

    I like them on Facebook as Carolsue Anderson

  36. 41
    Cindy A.

    Thank you so much for offering such a wonderful giveaway! The Lake Champlain drinking chocolate is so good you can eat the chips straight from the can.

  37. 42
    Dandi D

    All of these products sound amazing and those cakes look delicious!

  38. 44
    Dandi D

    I liked on Facebook as Dandi Daffyhill

  39. 46

    Those lava cakes look amazing!

  40. 47

    Liked them on FB

  41. 49
    Nikki CB

    Wonderful post!

  42. 50
    nadya kotik

    these sound delicious, I have to try since I never made lava cakes.

  43. 53
    Susan Christy

    It’s been a long time since I made lava cakes – going to have to do that again soon!

  44. 55
    Susan Christy

    Like Fair Trade on FB

  45. Yay for Fair Trade goodies!

  46. Pinned! That recipe looks so good!

  47. 58

    Love this! Hope I win!

  48. 59
    Anne Pik

    Truly a wonderful, uplifting program and the giveaway items all look amazing!

  49. 60
    Anne Pik

    I pinned your delicious recipe which I will be making.

  50. 61
    Anne Pik

    I liked Fair Trade on FB.

  51. 62
    Ari Johnson

    Great post. And the cakes look SO GOOD..
    Hope you win! Dominicana sounds like a lot of fun!
    PS- I liked in FB and pinned 😉

  52. 63
    Cindy A.

    I like Fair Trade USA on Facebook as Cindy Aiton.

  53. 64

    Yum! So glad i found your website!

  54. 65
    Stephanie Olmsted

    Yum. These lava cakes look delicious!

  55. 66
    Stephanie Olmsted

    I like Fair Trade USA on Facebook.

  56. 67
    Stephanie Olmsted

    Pinned the lava cakes on Pinterest, @ homeiswhere on Sweet Tooth board.

  57. 68

    Delicious! and made with quality ingredients with a good conscience. Way to support fair trade!

  58. 69

    I pinned on Pinterest! 🙂

  59. 70

    I liked on FB 🙂

  60. 71
    Laura B.

    thanks for bringing awareness to this special cause

  61. 72
    Laura B.

    I pinned for a bonus entry

  62. 73
    Laura B.

    liked on Facebook too

Leave a comment