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Chocolate Espresso Lava Cake

When a chocolate craving hits, I whip up this cake my aunt inspired. It’s gooey and saucy but not crazy sweet. It’s also potluck-perfect. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 3 hours + standing
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1 package chocolate fudge cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white baking chips


  • Prepare cake mix batter according to package directions, adding espresso powder before mixing. Transfer to a greased 4-qt. slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix 2 minutes. Let stand until soft-set, about 2 minutes. Pour over batter. Cook, covered, on low 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in cake portion comes out with moist crumbs.
  • Sprinkle top with chocolate chips and baking chips. Turn off slow cooker; remove insert. Let stand, uncovered, until chips are softened, 15-30 minutes. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
2/3 cup: 327 calories, 15g fat (6g saturated fat), 41mg cholesterol, 317mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (29g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

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  • Nancyann
    Oct 30, 2017

    For Hanny290. Crockpots that are two pieces have a ceramic pot that sits inside the heating unit. You put the food in the ceramic pot, then the ceramic pot into the outside heating unit to cook. The ceramic pot is referred to as the insert so she is saying that you take the ceramic pot out of the heating unit and let it sit alone until the chocolate chips melt. This is good and easy to make, whole family loves it.

  • Hanny290
    Oct 29, 2017

    It says to remove insert. What does that mean?

  • aybrittain
    May 6, 2017

    I used a chocolate butter cake mix, 11/2 tbsp. espresso and milk chocolate chips instead of semi sweet. Have made it many times and have had rave reviews . I served it with vanilla ice cream. Delicious!!

  • aybrittain
    May 6, 2017

    Have made this several times. Delicious! I like 1 1/2 Tbsp. espresso and milk chocolate chips instead of semi sweet.

  • Grammy Debbie
    Aug 18, 2016

    Delicious and oh so easy. My crock pot was bigger than called for, but no problems, I just checked it a bit earlier since it was thinner than it would have been in a 4-qt. crockpot. I used a box of sugar-free chocolate pudding because that was all I had on hand and that worked out just fine. I've been home recovering from surgery and this was a nice and easy treat to have waiting for my husband when he got home from work to say "thank you" for taking such good care of me these last few days.