Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Mug Cake - pressure cooker recipe



2-year old Ada, testing the first pressure cooker mug cakes.

When I first came up with first mug cake recipe, 7 years ago, no one was pressure cooking mug cakes.  What is the point of whipping out the pressure cooker when you can just slide the mug in the microwave and call it a day?

Instead, it’s  exactly how the pressure cooker heats-up foods (from the outside in) that make a lava mug cake possible.  The outside of the cake takes shape before the center – ensuring a fully cooked yet molten bubbly center in the middle.

So, the secret is out!  Turn any microwaveable mug cake recipe into lava by simply pressure cooking it and adding a little more baking powder than what the recipe calls for.

This mug cake is lavaaaa! : )

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3 L or larger steamer basket, heat-proof bowl(s) 10 min. High(2) Slow Normal

4.8 from 4 reviews
Chocolate Lava Mug Cake - pressure cooker recipe
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 1 mug
  • Serving size: 1 mug
  • Calories: 625.9
  • TOTAL Fat: 33.5g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 77.9g
  • Sugar Carbs: 70g
  • Sodium: 475.3mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 4.6g
  • Protein: 12.1g
  • Cholesterol: 189mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Double or triple this recipe by pressure cooking two or three mugs - and the pressure cooking time remains the same!
  • 2 cups (500ml) water
  • 4 tablespoons (70g) granulated sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 4 tablespoons (45g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) milk (your favorite kind, I prefer whole)
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  1. Add two cups of water to the base of the pressure cooker and place in the rack or steamer basket and set aside.
  2. Prepare the mug by adding a few drops of oil on a paper towel and rubbing the inside the of the cup (this keeps the cake from sticking) and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the egg and sugar together until the egg is fully broken up.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, milk, oil, salt, baking powder and mix well.
  5. Pour into the mug and lower the uncovered mug into the pressure on the rack or steamer basket.
  6. Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position.
  7. Electric pressure cookers and stove top pressure cookers: Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  8. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Slow Normal release - release the pressure very slowly.
  9. Remove the mug and serve immediately!

CONTINUE to next lesson.

Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Mug Cake - pressure cooker recipe




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  1. Would this work with Swerve instead of sugar and coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour? Trying to minimize carbs.

    1. Renee, I’m not familiar with Swerve, but if you’ve replaced sugar in other baking recipes with this that would work.

      For gluten-free flours you need to use an all-purpose flour substitute – that’s because they are made with gums, starches and thickners to have the flour approximate the behavior of white flour. If you’re adventurous, and want to try it out, according to this article you would reduce the coconut flour to 1/3 or 1/4 of the white flour.

      Come back to let us know how it worked out if you give it a shot.



      1. Thanks. I can offer a low-carb cheesecake adaptation. Starting with, I substitute Swerve (confectioners) plus a few drops of liquid stevia for the sugar, substitute ricotta for half of the cream cheese, substitute 6 Tbsp. of almond meal flour for the graham crackers, and add some fresh lemon juice. I also split the recipe into four small ramekins instead of two servings. Soooo addictive!

    2. I was wondering the same thing, except I would use almond flour, as coconut flour requires more liquid. I frequently use erythritol for my sweetener.

  2. Can you put more than 1 mug in at a time?

    1. Yes, I mention it in the video – and have just added it to the print recipe. You can double or triple this recipe with two or three mugs and the pressure cooking time does not change.



  3. Just tried making this. It came out as very nice chocolate cake but no runny middle. Allowed for a natural release (about ten minutes). Was this the mistake?

    1. Yes, the release was the problem. The mug cake kept cooking during the Natural Release – heating the batter all the way to the middle.



  4. I made 2 of these and, sadly, it was horrible. Not nearly chocolaty enough. My husband and I took a few bites and threw them away. Can’t give a NO star rating, so the recipe got 1 star.

  5. Made the lava cakes tonight. I used two different mugs based on availability. One turned out perfect and one was cooked all the way through. I cooked them both based on the above instructions. I realized by sheer luck that the cake which turned out perfect was in a mug made with thinner ceramic sides. Other people may run into this same issue.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Laura!



  6. I have an Instant Pot. When you say Sloe Normal Release, would this be a Natural Release or a slow Manual Release on the IP?

    1. Wayne, open the valve slowly. Here’s a run-down of the opening methods:



  7. Thanks again for a nice recipe!!

    I wanted smaller portions (calorie control!!), so I made the amount for one mug and split into 3 small ceramic ramekins (they each can hold up to 1/2 cup). I guessed I had to reduce the cooking time a bit, so cooked for 8 minutes and they came out really nice. I broke them open a bit and added a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. My husband and son loved it.

  8. I just made this and it turned out so pretty and runny middle..certainly looked like a valcano! I think because i only had self rising flour and put in a dash of soda and baking powder I have mixed to gether..well the result was a very impressive looking valcano cake with a delicious runny middle.
    I have a question about serving it hot.
    I once read that the mixture could be prepared ahead for a volcano cake and baked so it would be ready at dessert serving time. Do You think this would work with this recipe?
    Thank you!

  9. This was an easy and delicious way to take a late-night chocolate craving. I will definitely make again! Thanks!

  10. Oops, forgot to rate!

  11. I reduced the sugar by about 1/4 and it still worked well. Very rich and satisfying. I am new to pressure cooking and I’m really enjoying your website. Would love pressure-cooking specific tips for reducing sugar in the recipes.

    1. So glad this was a success – when reducing sugar in a recipe keep in mind that sometimes that sugar needs to be replaced with a liquid. This small reduction did not affect the mug cake, but if there is a large amount of sugar or if the sugar is being used as part of the liquid for the cooker to reach pressure, then make sure to replace it with the same amount of liquid that would work with the recipe (water, milk, wine, etc.).



  12. I have duck eggs which normally need lower temp and shorter cooking times, have you ever tried duck eggs in the pressure cooker?

    1. No, I’m sorry. I’ve never tried duck eggs. You’ll have to experiment a bit with the pressure cooking time. Please come back to let us know how it works out!



  13. Should the cook time be adjusted at all when using a Mini (3Qt) IP?

    1. I realized after the fact that this recipe was written for 3 qt cookers, so of course it’s great as written.

      I made one to ‘test it’ (it was for me :) )

      I then made more for the family a couple days later, and everyone loved them.

      Only down side is having to cook one at a time. So the four of us ate desert in shifts, with about 40 minutes between when my first daughter got hers and when I finally got mine.

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