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.

An overhead shot of slow cooker lava cake in a black slow cooker.

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 make the cake without the sugar topping?

No, that’s not a good idea.

At the request of a reader, I tried it out. The “sugar topping” is actually the underlying fudge layer. If you make just the cake, it is not sweet enough, the chocolate flavor is lacking, the whole cake is dry, and it might even burn in the bottom of your slow cooker. I suggest making the cake as written, sugar topping and all.

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:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For half of the topping:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¾ 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.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake in a white bowl topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

Slow cooker chocolate lava cake in a slow cooker with a silver spoon.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake

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.
4.97 from 57 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 321

Ingredients 

For the Cake Batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated 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 granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar firmly packed
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups hot water

For Serving:

Instructions 

  • 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.

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: 321kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 261mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 2gSugar: 46gVitamin A: 261IUCalcium: 99mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. Have the times been updated? I’ve made it before and it was gooey and this time it wasn’t. I used the original recipe and did it on low for 5 hours. I did notice the doubled recipe says 4-6 on low so maybe it was done sooner?

    1. Hi Martha, it’s possible it was done sooner. Slow cooker powers vary, so it’s possible it was done closer to the 4 hour mark. I’m sorry about that! – Meggan

  2. Love this recipe, it was my 11 year old’s wish for his birthday cake. I’m experimenting cook time with my instant pot, hoping it’ll cook right! Last time was an 8 minute, good but extra gooey, this time I’m going to try it for 15 and see.5 stars

  3. Love this recipe!! Made it over the weekend for a dinner party, served with vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream. It was a hit!!! Love that it’s from scratch!! Super easy to make and loved your directions for doubling the recipe. I will Definitely will make this again!!5 stars

    1. Hi Dee, yes! This recipe is written for unsweetened cocoa powder. You would not need to adjust the sugar. :) Enjoy! – Meggan

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