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Did you know that you can make Lava Cakes with cake mix? I love making Red Velvet Lava Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day but you can make these all year long with ANY flavor cake mix!

upside down red velvet cupcake with chocolate filling

Lava Cupcakes are a cupcake filled with a rich chocolate ganache – they’re SO rich and easy to make!

What is a Lava Cupcake?

A traditional Molten Lava Cake (aka Molten Chocolate Cake) is a cross between a soufflé and a flourless chocolate cake. When you dig your spoon into the center of the cake, the chocolate center flows out like lava, get it?

Now, these aren’t traditional lava cakes – they’re lava cupcakes – and they’re made with ganache. But they’re easy to make and SO GOOD, so they’re a good starting point if you’ve never made lava cake before.

upside down red velvet cupcake with chocolate filling

Make Lava Cake with CAKE MIX!

  • I started with a red velvet cake mix. You could use my red velvet cupcake recipe, but I hate making red velvet from scratch. I made a red velvet cake mix and lined a cupcake tin with liners. Fill up the liners only about halfway – not the usual 2/3 full, otherwise they will spill over.
  • Then it’s time for the secret ingredient: chocolate ganache!
Lava cupcakes step by step

How to make Lava Cupcakes

  • Make the red velvet cake batter.
  • You make a simple truffle mixture for the center of these cupcakes. Equal parts chocolate and cream, melted, stirred until smooth.
  • Then chill until it sets.
  • Each cupcake gets a tablespoon-sized ganache ball in the center. When you bake the cupcakes, they grow up and over the ganache, but it doesn’t dissolve into the cupcake. It says chocolatey and gooey and good.
  • Once the cupcakes are baked, you let them cool only slightly, then remove the wrappers and get them ready to serve. When you cut open the cupcake (when it’s still warm) you get a gooey chocolate center. It’s not super lava, but my lava cupcakes are just as good as a molten lava cake!
upside down red velvet cupcake with chocolate filling

Serving Suggestions

Serve these warm, without the wrappers. If they’ve cooled, just heat them in the microwave for a few seconds. Dust them with powdered sugar for a delicious special dessert! Or serve them with homemade ice cream!


How long do you bake lava cakes?

These bake in 20-25 minutes.

Can lava cakes be frozen?

I don’t recommend freezing these – they’re better fresh.

Lava cupcakes

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cupcakes Recipe

3.57 from 16 votes
Make Lava Cake as Lava Cupcakes with your favorite cake mix! Red Velvet Lava Cupcakes are the perfect easy dessert – cupcakes filled with ganache!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 24 cupcakes
Serving Size 1 cupcake


  • 1 approximately 15 ounce box red velvet cake mix plus ingredients called for to make the cake (eggs, water, and oil)
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar for garnish
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  • Chop or break up baking chocolate and place in a medium sized bowl. Heat the cream over low heat until it just simmers (or in the microwave for about 45 seconds). Pour over the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. (If it’s having a hard time melting, place it in the microwave for about 15 seconds.) Chill chocolate mixture until hardened, at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • Mix up cake batter according to the box directions. Fill each liner about 1/2 full of batter. (You don’t want to fill them as full as 2/3, or they will spill over. A little less than is called for on the box is good.)
  • Remove chocolate ganache from the refrigerator. Scoop 1 tablespoon balls (I used a cookie scoop) and place one ball in the center of each cupcake batter.
  • Bake 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the side of the cupcake (not the center!) comes out clean. Cool for just a few minutes in the pans.
  • When ready to serve, remove the cupcakes from the pan and remove the liners. Turn upside down on a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • These are best served warm. If they cool off, just heat them for a few seconds in the microwave to heat.

Recipe Video

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 72kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 78IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Other Cake Mix Favorites

Make Lava Cake as Lava Cupcakes with your favorite cake mix! Red Velvet Lava Cupcakes are the perfect easy dessert – cupcakes filled with ganache!

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

3.57 from 16 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. You’re right, there’s something magical about cake that oozes chocolate. These look amazing! Pinned.

  2. These look divine!!! I shared the link on my blog bc I’ll be making them for my Valentine!! Since I’m making ganache, I’m going to crisp up some maple bacon and cover the bacon in the leftover chocolate to garnish. YUM!!