Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Almond Butter Lava Cakes

These paleo molten chocolate cakes with almond butter are a grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free take on the classic lava cake. They’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser, even for those without dietary restrictions!

Hiiii 🙂 How’s the morning going? Thank you so much for all of your amazing giveaway entries and “feel better” wishes. Thankfully, I’m on the mends today.

I credit it to this…..

Paleo molten chocolate cake with almond butter close up

Chocolate makes everything better.

Have you seen the movie Chef? If you haven’t, I’m not going to spoil it for you. All I’m going to tell you about the movie is that they call out the molten chocolate cake for being the most cliche dessert on restaurant menus.

I kind of resent that.

Paleo molten chocolate cake with almond butter

Ok, so I totally get where they’re coming from. It’s a “people pleaser.” You put it on a menu, and people will eat it in total silence and crazy faces of pure chocolate ecstasy. It will likely be a top seller, making it a safe move for dessert menus. Another bonus: it’s easily made in advance. You prep the batter, store in the fridge, and bake to order.  

Paleo Molten Chocolate Cake

In an effort to make this lava cake entirely different, I got rid of the refined flour, refined sugar and butter. 


Instead, this lava cake is made using coconut oil, dark chocolate, coconut sugar and almond meal.

And when I thought to myself, “Cliche dessert. Harrrummmph,” I threw a blob of almond butter into each ramekin 😉

Almond butter blob

It was a wise decision, indeed.

Paleo molten chocolate cake with almond butter

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a try! I promise that even though it’s dairy and grain-free, it’s still a people pleaser. My little taste tester said “Mmmm. Yummy!” at least 27 times in between bites.

Paleo molten chocolate cake with almond butter

This is a fantastic recipe to make in advance for a dinner party or holiday, too. You can prepare the batter, pour into the ramekins, and cover in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.

Mixing bowl



Grain-free and dairy-free molten chocolate cakes

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A decadent dessert minus the refined sugars and flour commonly found in molten chocolate cake. Make ahead and store covered in the fridge for a dinner party or holiday gathering!

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 14
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (+ more to grease the ramekins)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (for dairy-free, opt for a dairy-free chocolate chip like the Enjoy Life brand)
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons almond butter, separated
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 4 ramekins using coconut oil.
  2. 2. In a glass bowl, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil, either in a double-boiler or the microwave (in intervals of 10 seconds in the microwave). Whisk until smooth.
  3. 3. Stir in the sugar until combined, and then whisk in the eggs.
  4. 4. Stir in the vanilla, pinch of sea salt and almond meal. Lightly stir until just combined.
  5. 5. Divide the batter among the 4 ramekins.
  6. 6. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon of almond butter. Using a spoon, spoon some of the chocolate batter on top of the almond butter to lightly cover.
  7. 7. Bake for 13-14 minutes, until just set.
  8. 8. Allow to cool slightly, and invert onto a serving plate, or serve in the ramekin.


  • Serving suggestions: with your favorite coconut milk ice cream, fresh berries, mint, or dairy-free whipped topping.


  • Serving Size: 4

A decadent and healthy twist on the classic lava cake. This paleo molten chocolate cake no refined sugars or flours!

Hope you enjoy! <3I’ll see ya this afternoon with a new workout.



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  1. Diana Sandelovsky on October 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

    your daughter seems so sweet and she is quite hilarious. I love her Livi-isms. I am wondering, does she ever refuse to eat healthy foods or insist on sweets/less healthy options?

    i have 1 year old twins and i am hesitant to bring too much of that stuff into their lives because i dont want them to become sweets mongers. I’d love to teach them moderation without inciting a riot.

    how do you keep things in balance with her? any tips would be great!!

    • Fitnessista on October 23, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      thank you- she is amazing <3 thankfully, she loves food and will try just about anything, but she totally refuses healthy food every now and again. three huge things have helped:
      1) if i'm eating it, she wants it. if i made her a salad, she wouldn't touch it. so, i make her a sandwich and some fruit, and she'll end up eating bites of my salad, too
      2) this is a very new one, but we'll tell her to "eat the rainbow." at dinner tonight, she wouldn't touch her broccoli. so i told her we needed to eat all of the colors of the rainbow. this is the GREEN part of the rainbow! and she ate at least 6 huge bites of broccoli
      3) we won't let her have dessert unless she's had healthy dinner first. i was hesitant about introducing a ton of sweets too, so they're moderate around here, but she knows that she can't have a sweet treat until she's had some of her real dinner.

  2. Karissa on October 23, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Wow – oh my YUM!! I am going to be trying these ASAP!

    • Fitnessista on October 23, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      let me know how they turn out!

  3. Caitlin on October 25, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Did anyone make these? Mine never set! Disappointed;(

    • Fitnessista on October 26, 2014 at 5:03 pm

      wahhhh :((( did you make any changes? i wonder what happened! so sorry about that

      • Jen on October 31, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        I just have to chime in and say (admit?!) that I’ve made these several times already! They’ve turned out great every time. It halves well (can do 1 or 2 eggs if halving) and I baked them in oven safe stoneware mugs. I tried microwaving for a mug cake & they were good but I didn’t love the texture. I’d never made a mug cake before, so maybe that’s how they are.

        I’m wondering, when you say they didn’t set, if you’re expecting a fully set little cake, like a cupcake? Mine look sort of set when I took them out of the oven, but as a lava cake, they’re supposed to be gooey in the middle.

        Great recipe, Gina! We eat dessert probably most nights of the week in our household and these were total winners.

    • Aly on November 22, 2014 at 7:41 am

      I didn’t end up using ramekins but a shallow pan and had no issues with them setting. Maybe it’s too much batter?

      Great recipe! I actually made these for myself to bring for lunch and cut them up like square brownies. Wheat and sugar in the middle of the day makes me sluggish so these are perfect.

  4. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on October 29, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I love all of these ingredients on their own–they must be amazing together. And I love lava cakes, especially because they’re often gluten free and I rarely get to have dessert other than ice cream in restaurants, so there haters! 🙂 Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Nicole on October 31, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Okay where has this recipe been all my life?! My two favourite things – chocolate and peanut butter 🙂 Love that they are dairy free too! Thanks for the fab recipe x

  6. Bonnie on November 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    These were delish! I put the ramekins in a water bath and increased the back time to 22 minutes as I was concerned about just throwing the ramekins in the oven. I will make these again for sure!

    • Fitnessista on November 10, 2014 at 7:29 am

      so awesome! 🙂 happy you liked them!

  7. Jillian on December 22, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I made these for an early Christmas. My sister has celiac and is also allergic to dairy. These were a huge hit with everyone! I served them with cashew milk “ice cream” and had to refer two people to your blog for the recipe 🙂 Thank you!

    • Fitnessista on December 22, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      amazing! happy they liked them too! xo

  8. Melanie on January 5, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Did everyone make these with dark chocolate? The picture shows semi-sweet chips and I want to make sure mine have the right sweetness.

  9. Christina on February 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Delicious! The only thing I substituted out was Enjoy Life dairy free chocolate chips since we’re gluten and dairy free celiac household. They came out perfectly and this is way easier than most of the flourless chocolate cakes I was making before!

    The only thing I might suggest is lining the ramekin with coconut oil and then maybe some cocoa powder shake out because mine didn’t release all that great from the rammy. The bottom was sticking a bit. Maybe I went a little too light on the coconut oil greasing? Hard to say!

    I used regular pyrex ramekins and didn’t have any problem with them on a sheet tray at 425F. Mine took 12 minutes on convection. I let it rest 3 minutes before taking a knife around the sides to release, which it did nicely.

    All I had was Trader Joes Almond butter chunky but found the big nut bits to add a nice crunch to break up all the richness.

    Thanks! Look forward to testing your other recipes!

    • Fitnessista on February 9, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      so so happy to hear you enjoyed them!! 🙂 xoxo

  10. Sandra on October 23, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I have been making this recipe every so often since you posted it – it’s been our go-to when we want something chocolatey that wont sit in the house for days. My husband recently went vegan and I’m happy to report that this recipe works wonderfully with flax eggs! I usually half the recipe to make just two cakes, so I subbed two flax eggs in and it came out great!!

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