Gooey Chocolate Lava Cake

Gooey Chocolate Lava Cake by

I needed a cake to top off our Memorial Day feast, something with plenty of chocolate, because it had been too many days since I’d made a chocolate dessert, something elegant, because for a Holiday meal I like to go all out, and something easy, because I was also making roasted cauliflower, fried potatoes, cornbread, fruit salad, slow cooked baked beans and a beef brisket smoked from 8 a.m. to 5:30!  This cake not only checked all the boxes, but it turned out so insanely delicious that I’m going to have to add it to my frequent chocolate rotation.  It has a brownie quality to it, with the almost batter like texture on top, but it still feels like cake because of the more substantial cake layer around the bottom.  Don’t get me wrong, these layers are not distinct, they melt into each other in a chocolate flavor and texture experience that will seriously send you spinning.  IT’S SO GOOD!  And just wait until you see how easy it is to make!

2 sticks butter melted (half for bottom layer and half for top)
1 package chocolate cake mix (I used the pillsbury devils food cake mix)
3 eggs (1 for the bottom layer and two for the top)
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup cocoa powder
16 ounces confectioners sugar (3 and a heavy half)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips

  1.  Heat oven to 350 and prepare a 9×3 inch round cake pan.  Just spray with cooking spray and if you want to be extra careful put a parchment round in the bottom.  My normal cake pans were not 3 inches high so I used my springform pan and wrapped it once with foil so no butter would leak out.  It worked great!  You can also use a 9X13 but in that case bake time would be really decreased and I think it would be difficult to get the bottom layer spread out all the way – an 8×8 might have high enough walls, whatever you use, pay more attention to doneness than bake time.
  2. Combine the cake mix, 1 egg and 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter until blended.  It’s very thick.  Press this layer into the bottom of the pan as evenly as you can.
  3. In a stand mixer on medium speed beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the remaining two eggs powdered sugar, and the cocoa powder.  Lower the speed of your mixer and add the remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter and vanilla then beat until smooth.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the bottom layer (This is optional, but I thought they created a nice kind of glue for the two layers and I used bittersweet just to be extra fancy) then pour the cream cheese batter over the top.
  5. Bake 40-50 minutes – in my foil wrapped spring form pan it took about 55.  It’s done when the sides are set, but the center still jiggles – like jello, not like liquid.  If you’re using a different pan than I did check at 30 minutes and every 5 after that.  Serve slightly warm or room temperature.  Its fantastic on it’s own but great with vanilla ice cream or dusted with powdered sugar.

Recipe adapted from “I am” Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cake

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