Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe

This Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake is a game-changer: Warm, gooey chocolate cake (made from scratch!) nestled in a river of thick fudge sauce. Make this easy, luscious dessert right in your crockpot. Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or both for an extra special treat.

Let’s throw together a chewy, chocolatey, made-from-scratch cake resting on a bed of rich chocolate sauce.

And just to keep things interesting (and convenient), let’s make it in your slow cooker.

This Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake is a game-changer: Warm, gooey chocolate cake (made from scratch!) nestled in a river of thick fudge sauce. Make this easy, luscious dessert right in your crockpot. Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or both for an extra special treat.

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I got this idea from my sister Meredith. Her recipe starts with a cake mix and a box of pudding, but since I don’t have either of those on hand most of the time, I decided to make a Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake from scratch.

SO EASY.

This Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake is a game-changer: Warm, gooey chocolate cake (made from scratch!) nestled in a river of thick fudge sauce. Make this easy, luscious dessert right in your crockpot. Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or both for an extra special treat.

How do you make Chocolate Cake in a slow cooker?

First, you spread your batter into the bottom of a slow cooker. Then, add a sugary topping. Finally, pour hot water over all of it.

No stirring! Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 5 hours (see recipe notes for more information).

Can you double the recipe?

Yes! Double the ingredients and it will still fit in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 5 hours or LOW for 4 to 6 hours (or until a toothpick inserted in to the middle of the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs attached.)

This Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake is a game-changer: Warm, gooey chocolate cake (made from scratch!) nestled in a river of thick fudge sauce. Make this easy, luscious dessert right in your crockpot. Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or both for an extra special treat.

Can you cut this recipe in half?

Yes! You can cut the ingredients in half and prepare it in a 2-quart slow cooker.

Here’s everything you need to know:

INGREDIENTS:

For half of the cake batter:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For half of the topping:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Coat a 2-quart slow cooker with nonstick spray. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients with your fist.
  2. To the well, add the milk, butter, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the bottom of a slow cooker.
  3. Whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder until evenly combined. Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the slow cooker.
  4. Pour the hot water over the top of the batter and topping. Do not stir. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 3 to 4 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in to the middle of the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs attached.

This Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake is a game-changer: Warm, gooey chocolate cake (made from scratch!) nestled in a river of thick fudge sauce. Make this easy, luscious dessert right in your crockpot. Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or both for an extra special treat.

5 from 13 votes

Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe

This Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake is a game-changer: Warm, gooey chocolate cake (made from scratch!) nestled in a river of thick fudge sauce. Make this easy, luscious dessert right in your crockpot. Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or both for an extra special treat.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, chocolate
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 302kcal

For the Cake Batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar firmly packed
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups hot water

For Serving:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Whipped cream
  • Coat a slow cooker with nonstick spray.

To make the cake batter:

  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients with your fist.
  • To the well, add the milk, butter, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the bottom of a slow cooker.

To make the topping:

  • Whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder until evenly combined. Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the slow cooker.
  • Pour the hot water over the top of the batter and topping. Do not stir. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 5 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in to the middle of the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs attached (see recipe notes).

To serve:

  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream as desired, spooning the chocolate sauce from the bottom of the slow cooker over the top.

Recipe Notes

  1. Depending on the strength of your slow cooker, the cake will be done in about 3 to 4 hours on HIGH or in about 5 hours on LOW.
  2. If your crockpot switches to "warm" after it's done cooking, you can leave it in the crockpot on the "warm" setting for at least 2-3 hours without changing the cake. For example, I cooked the cake on LOW for 5 hours, then left it in the crockpot for 2 more hours on the "warm" setting, and it was still perfect.
  3. To make a half recipe, halve all of the ingredients and prepare in a 2-quart slow cooker. The cake will be done in about 2 hours on HIGH. Scroll up in the post to find exact ingredients cut in half.
  4. To double the recipe, double all ingredients and prepare in a 6-quart slow cooker. The cake will be done in 3 to 5 hours on HIGH or 4 to 6 hours on LOW.
Adapted from Bake or Break. My mom pinned this a few years ago and hasn't stopped talking about it since.

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcal

 

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  1. Elisabeth

    Wonderful recipe! It turns out very well. Question: Is it 436 kcal per serving, or the whole thing is 436 kcal?5 stars

    1. Meggan

      Hi Elisabeth! After your comment I looked into the nutrition facts for you. First of all, the nutrition label wasn’t appearing on the post, so I apologize for that. Second of all, the amount of butter in the original calculation was wrong, so I changed it. The good news? It’s fewer calories. :) It’s 302 calories, per serving, and 8 servings per recipe. Glad you liked it! :D -Meggan

  2. Kim ward

    Hi, I am making this Wed for 20-25 people
    I am thinking of taking the recipe doing (4x) the ingredients- what you recommend for cook time?

    1. meggan

      Hi Kim, are you going to do 4x the recipe, all in one crockpot? I don’t know the size of your crockpot but I worry it might not fit. If I were going to do that, I’d probably do 2 double batches in two crockpots. A double batch fits in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 5 hours or LOW for 4 to 6 hours (or until a toothpick inserted in to the middle of the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs attached.) I hope this is helpful! If you need more info, just let me know. Thanks! -Meggan

  3. Sue

    Hi Meggan.

    So excited about the recipe. I just put it in the crockpot for our office party. In my rush, I didn’t read the directions all the way through and combined the hot water with the topping ingredients. What do you think will happen to the lava cake?5 stars

  4. Sheryl

    Made this tonight for the first time – I doubled the recipe and used unsweetened coconut milk just because I don’t usually have milk in the house. It cooked way faster than I thought – 2 hours on high was plenty.  Served with vanilla ice cream  – it was delicious ! 5 stars

  5.  A hit for my daughter’s birthday! She wanted lava cake and I didn’t feel like making it with a fakey cakey box today. I quadrupled the recipe and split it between my 2 six-quart slow cookers. It fed 20 with vanilla ice cream, and we have a little bit left to fight over for tomorrow. I did cut the sugar by about 1/3 in both the cake and the topping since we were also having the ice cream, and I thought it still tasted great! Got lots of compliments.  Thank you for this homemade version!5 stars

  6. Sara

    Hi!
    I’m so excited that this is from scratch, as I don’t ever make boxed baked goods. I want to make this as my daughter’s birthday cake. Does it come out of the crockpot easily? As a whole cake?  I’d like to put it on a platter, so we can put candles in. 
    Thank you!
    Sara

    1. Sara

      Hi Meggan,
      Thank you for the reply. I might just make this for her anyway when it’s just the four of us, and not for her party, because she would LOVE this. I’m convinced after your description that it’s perfect for her, haha. I’m so glad I asked ahead of time and didn’t mess up her party cake!  The four of us can sing “Happy Birthday” with the crockpot!
      Thank you again,
      Sara

    2. meggan

      Hi Sara! Before you get too excited (and I’m so sorry to tell you this), but this cake is absolutely NOT what you are looking for. The reason it’s called a Lava cake is because the bottom of the isn’t solid. It’s a thick, fudgy sauce, like lava, like a self-saucing pudding basically. You literally have to scoop it out, and it’s very runny. It’s fine on top, but the bottom is wet. You can’t move it anywhere and it will make a huge mess of your platter.

      There are probably slow cooker cake recipes out there that will do you what you are looking for, but this isn’t it! So glad you asked before I inadvertently ruined your party. :( So sorry Sara! Happy Birthday to your daughter. -Meggan

  7. Maria

    Hi Meggan, I made this yesterday and it was fine in my 3.5 quart crock pot. It is a rectangular one that measures about 11×7 by 3 inches high and fit with room to spare. I had to spread the cake batter along the bottom. It was good too, will definitely be making this more often! Thanks again fo the recipe.5 stars

  8. Maria

    Hi Meggan,

    I have a 3.5 quart slow cooker. Should I halve the recipe or will it fit as written? I am afraid that if I use the full amount of ingredients that it will overflow. Thanks

    1. Maria

      Hi Meggan, Thanks for the reply. I am going to make it on Thursday for my daughter’s birthday. I think that I will use the full amount and I will report back to you with my results! Can’t wait to try this, it sounds amazing! Thanks.

    2. meggan

      Hi Maria, off the top of my head I cannot say for sure. I’m happy to test it for you and let you know. However, when I do half the recipe in a 2-quart slow cooker, it’s only a couple of inches tall. So my “gut” says you will be okay doing the whole thing in a 3.5 quart. And I’ve doubled the recipe in a 6.5 quart slow cooker with no problems…. so I feel like you will be fine doing the whole thing in a 3.5 quart?? Does my logic make sense?? I’m testing recipes again next Monday, let me know if you can wait that long and want me to find out for you! Thanks!

  9. Lynda

    Hi Meggan,
    I made a double batch, cooked on low 5 hours with the intention of keeping it on warm (for at least an hour). It barely made the 5 hour mark before we were in to it! This cake is very good as well as easy to make. Thank you for the recipe.5 stars

  10. Ally Yoder

    Can you double this and put all of it in one 6 quart slow cooker?

    1. meggan

      Hi Ally! I made a double batch in my slow cooker. It was done in under 3 hours (honestly I think it was done in 2 hours) on HIGH. I’m not sure if my slow cooker is super-charged or if it cooks more efficiently with more stuff in it?? But in any case it was PERFECT and I will forevermore make a double batch. Thank you for asking about this! Take care.

    2. meggan

      Hi Ally, I’m going to make it today as a double batch and I will let you know! Thanks.

  11. Hello, what is your opinion about cooking this cake on low for 6-7 hours? Thank you

    1. meggan

      Hi Lynda, I tested this, cooking the cake on low. Even on low, it was done after 5 hours. So, I would say if you have a slow cooker that switches to “warm” when it’s done cooking, you’ll be fine. Set it for 5 hours, and if switches to “warm” after that, you’ll be fine. I left mine in the crockpot for another 2 hours (to get to 7 hours total) and it was still delicious – soft and chewy on top with the chocolate pudding sauce beneath. No change in quality. Please let me know if you need anything else. I’ll be retesting this as a double-batch too, today! Take care.

    2. meggan

      Hi Lynda, my opinion is that it would probably be fine. I’d be happy to test it though, I can test it on Monday. I will reply with and post the results! Thanks!

  12. Mary

    Did you spray the slow cooker pan? I’m thinking I would, but I don’t see if you did or did not spray the pan. Thanks.

    1. meggan

      I think we should, yes. I will add it to the instructions. I always do that but clearly forgot to write it in the recipe. Thank you Mary!

  13. Geri

    Hi Meggan, it’s Saturday, I may give it a whirl, what’s the worst that can happen? We eat it ourselves 😀

  14. Geri

    Hi Meggan, can this recipe be doubled? I’d like to bring this to a Jack and Jill:)

    1. meggan

      Hi Geri, I haven’t made it doubled but I don’t see why not? I cut it in half and it worked really well. :) I might have a chance to test a doubled version this weekend… when is your event? Please let me know! Thanks Geri!

  15. Barbara Brueske

    Thank you for taking the time to respond  Meggan! Was mostly concerned about taste..
    I will try to remember to send you an update, I think it will be ok! :)

  16. Barbara

    Sounds perfect! I will try on Thursday but have to take it for a 20 min ride and won’t be able to serve for at least 30 minutes after…. thoughts? Thank you!

    1. meggan

      Hi Barbara, I haven’t done this exact scenario so I can’t say for sure. But, I think you will be fine. Because you’ll be traveling, the crock pot will be turned off and the cake won’t keep cooking. Worst case scenario, you have a little less chocolate sauce than you otherwise would… but I don’t see that happening because the heat is off. As far as food safety goes, you’re good to go. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you for the question! Take care and I hope you love the cake.

  17. Gabriella

    Hello Meggan, I really want to try this recipe, but since I’m in school I only cook for myself. I have a 2Qt. round crock pot. Is there any way I can condense this recipe? Thank you!!

    1. Gabriella

      The wait is no problem. Thank you for taking the time to do this for me. Also, I will enjoy it to my fullest! Thank you once again! :D

    2. meggan

      Hi Gabriella! I can put it on the list to test, off the top of my head I don’t know exactly. I don’t want to lie and give you the wrong information! But I will post my results as soon as I can… won’t be until February though. Sorry for the delay! Good luck in school, such a lovely time in life! :D

  18. Kathryn Boyle

    Brilliant! thanks for getting back to me ! Looking forward to making it amd sharing it my friends!

  19. Kathryn Boyle

    Hi Megan! I’m planning to make this very soon as it looks AMAZING!! just wondering what flour to use and what sugar (not the brown sugar…what is the other one?) Thank you! Kat x

    1. meggan

      Hi Kathryn! The flour is all-purpose and the sugar is granulated (aka regular, plain sugar). I hope this helps! If not let me know! Take care and thanks for giving the recipe a try. :D

  20. Emma

    Thank you so much for this superb recipe. Made it last night and it’s already been eaten. Absolutely delicious. It took two and a half hours in my slow cooker though. Will be one of my go to chocolate desserts from now on :)5 stars

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