Red Velvet Molten Lava Cupcakes


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Things that I find magical:

Unicorns (they DO exist)


Snagging the first parking spot in the Walmart Parking lot. (If that’s not magical, I don’t know what is.)

When Jordan says something that is so her dad, and I realize she has his wit. (The female Phil, anyone?)

Getting to meet blogging friends in real life.


Molten Lava Cake

red velvet molten lava cupcake

When I was a kid, I seriously thought that chefs did something magical to make the chocolate “lava” flow out of the center of a cake. Why didn’t it bake? How is it melty like that? It must be magic!

As an adult, I have come to understand the workings of the molten lava cake magic trick: ganache. But it’s still magical. Especially in red velvet cupcakes!

I’ve never made molten lava cake before; I’ve just consumed mass quantities of it. So…I figured it was time to try my hand at it. It being almost Valentine’s Day, my mind always sways to the beautiful red velvet cake. I figured it was time to marry the two: red velvet and molten lava cake.

I started with a red velvet cake mix. You could totally make your own favorite recipe from scratch. I hate making red velvet from scratch. One reason: food coloring.

Am I the only one who manages to get red food coloring over all-the-things when working with it? Droplets that you find for weeks? I barely have to look at my food coloring basket and all of a sudden I have red fingers and blue drops all over my counters. It’s like magic or something.

Anyway. 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. {Believe me, I did it.} Then the secret ingredient goes inside: chocolate ganache!

You make a simple truffle mixture for the center of these cupcakes. Equal parts chocolate and cream, melted, stirred until smooth, and chilled. The ganache is another magical thing I love. 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.

So, when you cut open your cupcake you get this:

red velvet molten lava cupcake

A gooey, warm, chocolate center. The perfect pairing with the red velvet!

Serve these warm, with a little powdered sugar dusting for garnish. Or ice cream. Whatever.

It’s truly magical. Like the tooth fairy. Only yummier.

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cupcakes

Serving Size


  • 1 box red velvet cake mix plus ingredients called for to make the cake
  • I used Duncan Hines and the cake mix called for 3 eggs, 1 1/4 cups water, and 1/3 cup oil.
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar for garnish


  • Chop or break up baking chocolate and place in a medium sized bowl. Heat the cream over low heat until it just simmers. 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 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. (About 24)
  • 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.

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Click here for my complete list of Valentine’s Day Recipes!

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cupcakes - gooey chocolate inside cupcakes. The perfect Valentine's Day recipe.

Mexican Chocolate Truffles

Mexican Chocolate Truffles 2 words

Other red velvet goodness:

Red Velvet Hugs Cookies

red velvet hugs

Pink Velvet Cupcakes {for two}

pink velvet 1 words

Sweets from friends:
Red Velvet Monkey Bread from Something Swanky
Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Life As A Lofthouse
Sweetheart Sandwich Cookies by Sweet Bella Roos

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113 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. 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!!

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