A rich, tower of chocolate that predictably rises out of the cup and stays there, without all of the work of beating egg whites into peaks, almost no dirty pots and pans – and an optional oooheey gooeey center!
pressure cooker molten chocolate mug cakeAs my daughter Adriana, aka Ada, can attest wearing chocolate on her face, shoulder, and eyebrow! When serving this mug cake to children, or impatient adults, crack the top open and let the heat escape so that the liquid has a chance to cool down.

This recipe was inspired by the ever-popular mug cakes that everyone was microwaving a few years ago.  I spent three months making tweaks here and there until I was satisfied with the result.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger steamer basket 10 min. High(2) Normal

Molten Chocolate Mini-cake - pressure cooker recipe
Recipe type: Dessert, Pressure Cooker
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Quantities for one 8oz or 250ml coffee mug, teacup or ramekin. The "seasoning" could be orange zest, as in this recipe, mandarin or lemon zest. You could also substitute the same quantity of vanilla or a pinch of saffron.
  • 4 Tbsp (40g) All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ tsp Seasoning (orange zest)
  • 4 Tbsp (50g) of Sugar
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • 1 Tbsp (10g) of Bitter Cocoa Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder1 Medium egg
  • 4 Tbsp (60g) of Milk
  • 2 Tbsp (20g) Extra Virgin Olive oil
  1. Set-up the pressure cooker by filling it with one cup of water, and the steamer basket (or steamer basket and trivet) and set aside.
  2. Prepare the cup by spreading a coat of olive oil on inside up to the top edge and set aside.
  3. In a measuring cup, add the flour, orange zest (or preferred seasoning), sugar, salt cocoa and baking powders and mix with a fork. Then, add the egg, milk, olive oil and mix vigorously until you have a homogeneous mini-cake batter. Pour into mug.
  4. Place the uncovered cup into the pressure cooker. If you are making more than one cup, arrange them so that they are all straight and not touching the inside of the pressure cooker.
  5. Close and lock the pressure cooker lid and turn the heat to high. When the pan reaches pressure, turn the heat to low and count 10-15 minutes cooking time under high pressure (cook less for a gooey center with cakey top, more for a solid cake consistency).
  6. When time is up, release pressure.
  7. Open the top and with an oven-glove covered hand remove from the pot and serve on a saucer with a teaspoon immediately for the gooey center -- it will keep cooking so if you let it rest the interior will solidify.
    Note: I do not own a microwave, so given all of the recipe changes I have made, I cannot confirm whether this would still actually work in one. Just to be sure, I would be wary of using Baking Powder in the microwave!

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  1. Just amazing! I’m in awe of how simple and how impressive this is. You can bet I’ll be trying it this weekend.

    Ada is adorable, by the way!

  2. I’ve had a pressure cooker languishing on a bottom shelf of the pantry for years. I took it out a couple weeks ago and am learning how to use it. omg Who knew you could make little cakes in that thing??! I’m still enamored with the luscious, creamy beans that come out of it; I clearly need to expand my horizons. =) Bookmarking this one for when my next “must have chocolate” moment occurs! Can’t wait to take a tour of your site to see what other kinds of deliciousness you have out here.

  3. I love your website but why oh why can’t we print or copy the text??? Please enable this feature.
    Out of hundreds of blogs I’ve visited over the years yours is the only one that I can’t save the recipe to my recipe book:(

  4. Nicole, let me know how you like it!

    Nichole welcome to “extreme” pressure cooking! ; ) Click on the “desserts” tab and see what other delicious things you can make in your pressure cooker!

    MPB, I’m sorry for the inconvenience! When I first got started a very popular Yahoo Group on Pressure cooking was copying and saving my recipes into their archives without attribution. When I gave them posthomus permission as long as they gave my website credit I was summarily kicked out of the group! That was a wake-up call for me to be more careful about my content.

    Unfortunately, you can only print the whole page right now. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you can copy the text from your email. Otherwise, send me an email at hipprc@gmail.com and I will email you the text of the pages you need for your recipe book!

    Ciao, and I hope to read from you soon!


  5. Buonissimo questo piatto! Bella presentazione! Complimenti cara, anche per il tuo splendido blog! Bacione!

  6. amazing colors …i love your choice about the design’s cup!!

    happy to discover your blog!

  7. Once again, another hit! I have made this (3 cups each time) to cure the “what’s for dessert” question from my husband and teenage sons. Thank you. Kathy

  8. Archook, I also love design and cooking so I appreciate your noting my little touches– like the cup! I cannot “re-style” my house every day but taking pictures of food restricts me to a very small canvas and unites my two loves!

    umpiremom, so glad to hear that this is a big hit!! Definitely try the lemon variation – their eyebrows will hit the ceiling! Promise.



  9. i just started using a pressure cooker recently and came across your blog looking for ideas! this looked great but mine didn’t come out that way. I tried it twice and both times they were super gummy. I’m not sure what I did. The first time I cooked for 10 minutes after pressuer, the second time, 15 minutes. What is the texture of yours like?

  10. Ciao MM and welcome! Mine was very moist and cake-y on the top and sides and wet on the inside. The cake-y part should be very moist and more pudding-y than gummy. May I suggest trying to cook it for less time, instead of more?

    Also, please tell me what kind of pressure cooker you have (if you don’t know the model just the kind of valve) and the pressure it reaches (it may be written on the bottom of the base if you lost your manual) and will be noted as PSI, Kpa or bar.



  11. When I cooked it for 10 minutes, it was wet on the inside, but the sides were so gummy. i thought maybe the cake part was gummy because it was still raw, or maybe too much flour? it was too wet…there was maybe a centimeter’s worth of actual cake thickness along the mug. i’m not sure if i could cook it less otherwise it would still pretty much be batter.

    i have an oster 9 liter 4793 model pressure cooker. i’m not sure if this is a good pressure cooker or not. I moved to panama about 8 months ago and this was the only brand i recognized, so i grabbed it!

    the manual has listed:

    working pressure: 80 kPa +- 10%
    safety pressure: 112-160 kPa
    destroy pressure: 480 kPa

    also, the 1 cup of water we put in the pressure cooker is way below the minimum line and had evaporated when I opened it at the end of the cooking time. not sure if that is relevant in any way :-p

    thanks for all your help L!


  12. MM, thanks for all of the details! Check your manual to also see what the minimum liquid requirement is, and always replace that in recipes with what you might find written online and in books – I suspect it’s more than one cup.

    If not, you may have been running the pressure cooker over-pressure and all of the liquid evaporated – remember to always turn down the heat when the pressure cooker has reached pressure to the minimum you can while still keeping pressure in the pan.

    Cooking without liquid definately affected the recipe – dry heat is less efficient than wet heat at cooking foods. So, since non super-heated vapor remained in contact with the batter and cup, it was defintaly undercooked!!!

    I have made this recipe at 85KPa, so do not worry… the pressure of your pressure cooker is OK!



  13. Thanks so much L! I haven’t had a chance to try this recipe again, but I did make my MIL’s flan recipe in the pressure cooker using coffee mugs. She was so impressed with how quickly it cooked. And when we got a chance to sit down and eat it after it chilled, we were all amazed that it tasted exactly the same as when it goes into the oven for a lot longer!

    I’m using my PC for so many things now, I don’t know how I lived without it. Soups taste like they took all day, chicken falls off the bone, and beef shreds in the pot with a touch of the fork in MINUTES! My slow cooker is gathering dust now!

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  14. It sounds like you’re converting your MIL to pressure cook everything, too. Now you’ve seen that once you start pressure cooking… you can’t stop!

    You can convert most of your old standby slow cooker recipes to the pressure cooker. Just reduce liquids, and watch-out for thickeners (flour, starch, potato, etc.) that might go in at the beginning of a recipe in a slow cooker – but after pressure cooking in your pressure cooker!



  15. need a little help here please…i would like to subscribe to your newsletter but i can’t get the space above to allow me to enter anything. HELP!!
    i am SOOO going to be trying this choco-cup of goodness,and i have YET to recover from the sheer beauty of the perfect 3 min. egg. guess what i’ve had for breakfast the last week??? ;-) i too love your eye for design…it’s one of the things that told me right away that “this lady is on the ball”. quess you can tell,i’m a BIG fan. thanx for all your hard work.!!

  16. Janie, I sent you a direct email about the newsletter problem.

    Thanks for your lovely comment, it’s great to have fans.. well, at least ONE! ; )



  17. I just made it and it was great. the only difference I used lemon zest and sprayed the inside the mug with canola spray. my mug was shallower and wider so not sure if that made a difference. When I quick released it, the gooey goodness kinda already erupted on top but was still gooey and great. I would not think this would be as good if it cooked all the way to 15 min. the cake part was tasty but wo melted inside would not be that flavorful. 10 min is perfect

  18. Ika, you are right the size and shape of the mug matters – that is why I gave such a wide time range.

    It takes longer for the ceramic to warm-up under pressure than does the top of the cake which is in direct contact with the super-heated vapor. More surface-area for the vapor to “caress” this little cake the faster it will cook! Or, as in my case when I made this in espresso cups (which only take 4 minutes – one recipe to four espresso cups)..the smaller the ceramic area to heat the faster it will cook.

    I definitely recommend finding just the right timing for your cup to get “spurty” hot lava chocolate!!


    L ; )

  19. I just made this, and they were really good. I will definitely be making them again soon.

    I have a couple questions before I make my next batch. Are these supposed to cook at high or low pressure? I cooked mine at high, and they exploded (opened up and leaked not the pot exploding), so I am wondering if I was supposed to do low? Do you fill your cups all the way up? I filled my almost to the top, and I wonder if that is why they exploded. I made a double batch which I split between 3 ceramic cups that were probably about 6oz each. my cups were wide and short sort of like a ramekin. Thanks for your help, and your wonderful blog.

  20. Oops, I just reread the recipe, and I saw that it is cooked at high pressure. I think I just have to make it a few more times to perfect it in my cooker (my family won’t complain!).

  21. Just made these for the first time — they are the perfect ‘boat-friendly’ dessert! No cream, no chocolate chips, no hard-to-find ingredients required! My only mistake was I made them in small silicone muffin cups, so 10 minutes of cooking was probably 3-4 minutes too much… no gooey goodness like you’ve got going on in yours! But still delicious + super quick + after reading through the helpful tips I can’t wait to try again soon!!

    Oh and we love love LOVE your site — I always come here first to see if you have a recipe for something :) Thanks for putting this all together!

    1. Ciao Leah, thanks for your kind comments!

      I can’t keep “cooking chocolate” around the house – my kids and hubby have chocoradar and THEY WILL FIND IT. So, cocoa powder to the rescue!

      Unfortunately each heat-proof container and ramekin will have its own cooking time due to size and material (ceramic, pyrex, aluminum, stainless steel and silicone all heat-up at different speeds).

      So.. you MUST keep making this ’til you get the timing right! ; )



  22. I have every thing but the eggs otherwise I’d be making this right now. The discussion has me drooling :)

    Do you think I would need to add more time for my heavy coffe mugs? The sides are thicker than the ones pictured. I have a Cuisinart electric PC.


  23. Made these again today. Fantastic dessert with hot strong coffee. I have one very happy husband!

    1. Cute!!! Thanks for posting a pic. : )



  24. I just got a 3 cup aluminum bundt pan and I’m wondering if I tripled the recipe and used this it would work. Maybe start out at 15 minutes since there is more cake to cook?

  25. Hi Laura again what can I say but wow!!! I made this today and what a delicious treat. The cake was cooked just right and the chocolate lava in the middle was delictable. I used a12 ounces cup and cooked it for 12 minutes and it was perfect. Keep up the great recipes.

    Take care

    5 STAR

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