Saturday, May 7, 2011

Apricot Molten Lava Cake with Lemon Glaze

Welcoming new subscriber CatherineK to the Kissing the Cook family: it’s great to have you!

Molten lava cake: if you like delicious, whimsical desserts that are easy to make and fun to eat, it's one of the best.

There are many recipes for this classic dessert, and every I've looked at uses chocolate. Since my wife is allergic to chocolate, even to the smell of chocolate, I’m unable to cook with it. And so I took the lack of any recipes that weren’t chocolate as a personal challenge to create one, and a low-fat one at that. I decided on Apricot Molten Lava Cake with Lemon Glaze.

This was not done without a bit of trepidation. It’s one thing to put your own twist on an established food concept; it’s quite another to want to do something that’s unheard of. Jerry Seinfeld once said, “The road less traveled is usually less traveled for a reason,” and I’ve found there’s a lot of truth in that. (An earlier ill-advised attempt at another chocolate work-around - rice-krispy treats coated with butterscotch - comes to mind as just one example of what Mr. Seinfeld was referring to.) Still, the lava cake challenge was alluring, and somehow I knew it would work, and that adding the lemon glaze would give a nice contrast to the natural sweetness of the cake. I’m proud to report the delicious dessert below.

The ingredients, and the method for making the batter, are simple. (In overview, you’ll see that there are certain key substitutions for the usual lava-cake ingredients involved: apricot preserves instead of chocolate; fat-free Greek yogurt for egg-yolks; egg-substitute eggs for regular eggs; and butter substitute for butter.) The trick to making any lava cake work – moist cake on the outside; hot, tasty liquid filling on the inside – is in the baking time. Since this will vary somewhat from oven to oven, there’s a chance you may overcook these the first time, getting a nice, moist cake that tastes great but that is not liquid in the middle. Don’t be discouraged; eat them anyway and just remember to bake them a little less next time. (Remember, though, try to resist the temptation to eat them all. These are low-fat, not low-calorie.)

This recipe makes 6 large-muffin-size servings.

While preheating your oven to 425 degrees, melt 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter substitute, and use it to grease 6 ramekins or large muffin tins, then coat each with granulated sugar.

In a double boiler, melt 6 ounces of apricot preserves and 8 tablespoons of butter substitute, stirring gently and frequently. When they are melted and smooth, gradually stir in ½ cup of all-purpose flour, ¼ cup fat-free Greek yogurt, and 1-1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar. When the mixture is combined and smooth set it aside.

In a bowl, use a hand-mixer to beat together 3 egg-substitute eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until they are thick, about five minutes. Once that’s done, gently whisk the preserves mixture into the beaten egg mixture until they for a well-mixed batter.

Pour the batter into the ramekins or large size muffin tin. (The batter doesn’t rise much so you can fill them nearly to the top.) Bake them for 10 – 14 minutes (depending on your oven), turning half-way, until the tops are firm and the edges are just starting to brown. The first time you make these, you’ll want to be sure you keep an eye on them in the oven so that the inside of the cake stays liquid. As with any molten lava cake, the bake time is critical.

After removing the cakes from the oven, let them rest in the ramekins or muffin tin for 3 – 4 minutes. While the cakes are resting, combine 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to form a glaze.

After the cakes have rested, run a butter knife around the edges of the ramekins or muffin tins to loosen them, and turn them out, as in the photo at right. Drizzle the tops and sides with glaze, and serve while warm.

I hope you enjoy this special treat. If you prefer a cookbook-style, notebook-ready copy of this recipe, just send me your e-mail address (if I don’t have it already) and it will be done!

(You can also find this and many other yummy desserts at, a great forum for all things sweet!)

See you next week! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. What a great idea Ben! And I love that Seinfeld quote. I often tell our sales guys at work the same thing..."If it seems like a great idea, but no one has done it, it is probably for a reason."

    Ha ha. We both did desserts this week!


  2. Thanks, Sandra! It is that fine line we walk between being creative and being unrealistic. Sometimes we fall to one side of the line, and sometimes to the other. Makes for quite the adventure.

    I loved the dessert you posted this week, btw. That is one of the most creative uses of corn flakes yet!

  3. Great job, Ben! I wonder if this will work on mangoes,too 'cause we have loads of it this time of the year..

    thanks for sharing your recipe, I'll give it a try (with mango) and will let you know how it goes! :)

  4. Thanks, Olive. One of the things that came out of putting this recipe together was finding which lava cake ingredients can be swapped for others to get the flavor change without losing the texture. I would love to know if the mangoes work out. Are you going to try fresh mangoes or making preserves and using that?

  5. The mangoes worked and it's delicious, in fact I'm making a post about it right now, I'll put a link to your post to give you credit for the idea.

    I used fresh mango and pureed it. Thanks again! :)

  6. Thank you much, Olive! Mangoes are really a great idea for this. (Though I did learn from the mango fruit sauce post after this one that not everyone likes mangoes as much as you and I do. lol) I am really looking forward to reading your post, and a special thanks for the mention!