Perfect for chocolate and peanut butter lovers, these restaurant-quality peanut butter lava cakes are easy to make at home for a quick and indulgent dessert!

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Close up side view of a peanut butter lava cake that's been pierced, showing the melted peanut butter flowing out.

About Peanut Butter Lava Cakes

With a decadent blend of rich chocolate cake and melted peanut butter, these easy cakes are the perfect treat for a quick sugar fix or a low-key date night at home.

What’s in peanut butter lava cakes?

To make your own gooey lava cakes, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate chips – To give these cakes their delicious chocolate flavor. You can also substitute this for a single type of chocolate (ex: all semi-sweet) or make your own combination of an equal value (50% semi-sweet and 50% chocolate, etc).
  • Peanut butter – The star of the show! Creamy peanut butter works best, but if you don’t mind the melted “lava” being a little thick, crunchy peanut butter can be used as well.
  • Salted butter, egg, flour, and vanilla – Classic baking ingredients.
  • Powdered sugar – Every baked good needs some sweetness, and the powdered sugar ensures these cakes have a smooth consistency.
Close up side view of an untouched peanut butter lava cake, showing off the chocolate cake outside.

What type of chocolate should you use?

“Cooking chocolate” is a staple in baking – you can find it in the baking supply area, and it typically looks like a large candy bar – and while there are multiple brands to choose from, I do think there are significant differences in the quality of the chocolate for each brand.

Baker’s is by far the most common brand, but I’ve found their chocolate to have a dry texture and the flavor to be a little “off.” It’s not a bad choice by any means, especially if Baker’s is all you can find, but I’ve been happier with my baked goods and candy if I can get my hands on another brand.

And because of this, I highly recommend using Ghirardelli chocolate bars or chips (and for this recipe, their semi-sweet chocolate and their bittersweet chocolate.) Ghirardelli is a little more expensive, but trust me, you’ll appreciate the flavor and consistency you’ll get from the premium quality.

What type of peanut butter should you use?

In baking tests, creamy peanut butter performed the best in creating a smooth liquid center. But if you don’t mind a bit more texture, crunchy peanut butter can be used as well.

NOTE: I have not tried making these lava cakes with natural peanut butter or other alternatives, so I currently cannot recommend them.

What toppings can you add?

Molten lava cakes are delicious on their own, but they’re also amazing with a few garnishes. You could try:

  • Assorted berries, such as sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries.
  • Chocolate shavings or crumbled candy.
  • A dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Ice cream.
  • Whipped cream.
Top down view of a peanut butter lava cake that's been pierced, showing the peanut butter flowing out.

Can you make lava cakes in advance?

Yes, you can – but only up to mixing the batter. Save baking the cakes for the day you plan to serve them.

The cake batter can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator or up to 24 hours before baking. NOTE: it’s best to store the batter in a single large bowl as opposed to storing it in the muffin tin.

When ready to bake, pour the batter into a 6-cavity muffin tin sprayed with baking spray as directed in the recipe. If using the batter directly from the refrigerator, baking time may need to be increased slightly to account for the chilled batter.

How long are lava cakes good for?

For best results, lava cakes are best enjoyed the day they’re baked. The longer the cakes sit the less “molten” the centers will be, as the cakes will firm up as they cool.

However, if you’d still like to save the cakes, they can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Notes & tips for peanut butter lava cakes

  • You can use an equal amount of chopped chocolate (from a baking bar) in place of the chocolate chips. You can also use different types of chocolate or different chocolate combinations, such as semi-sweet and milk chocolate, milk chocolate and bittersweet, etc.
  • Instead of baking these cakes in a muffin tin you can also use six individual ramekins.
A spoon holding up a portion of a chocolate peanut butter lava cake, with the rest of the cake in the background, oozing out peanut butter.

More tasty cake recipes

Other great recipes with peanut butter

How to make peanut butter lava cakes

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the semi-sweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, and butter together until smooth, then set it aside to cool slightly.

Step 2 – Add the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla to the bowl, then whisk until smooth.

Step 3 – Use a spatula to fold the powdered sugar and flour into the chocolate mixture. Mix until there are no obvious clumps.

Step 4 – Spray a 6-cavity muffin tin with baking spray, then fill each cavity halfway with batter. Add a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter to each cavity, placing it in the center. Finish by pouring in the rest of the batter, filling each cavity up to the top.

Step 5 – Bake!

Step 6 – Allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes, then place a baking sheet over the muffin tin and carefully turn it over. Carefully transfer the cakes to individual serving plates.

Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Close up side view of a peanut butter lava cake that's been pierced, showing the melted peanut butter flowing out.
5 from 1 vote

Peanut Butter Lava Cakes

10 minutes prep + 12 minutes cook + 15 minutes Cooling Time
524 kcal
Yields: 6 lava cakes
Perfect for chocolate and peanut butter lovers, these restaurant-quality peanut butter lava cakes are easy to make at home for a quick and indulgent dessert!



  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 6-cavity muffin tin with baking spray, then set aside.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, add semi-sweet chocolate chips, bittersweet chocolate chips, and butter. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to heat for 15-second intervals, mixing in between, until all chocolate has completely melted. Set chocolate aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
    1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup salted butter
  • Add eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla to bowl, then whisk until eggs are incorporated and batter is smooth.
    3 large eggs, 1 large egg yolk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Add powdered sugar and flour to bowl, then use a spatula to gently fold and mix until no dry clumps remain.
    1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • In each cavity of prepared muffin tin, fill halfway with batter. Place a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter in the center of each cavity, then add remaining batter, filling each cavity to the top.
    1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Bake lava cakes for 12 minutes or until tops seem dry and firm.
  • Let cakes rest for a few minutes, then cover muffin tin with a baking sheet and carefully turn over. Transfer cakes to individual plates.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1lava cake | Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 269mg | Potassium: 350mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 658IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy