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Pistachio Lava Cake Recipe

Pistachio Lava Cake Recipe

5 Stars (4 Voters)
Enjoy this rich, gooey Pistachio Lava Cake with a molten center, combining white chocolate and pistachio paste for a delightful dessert experience.


pistachio lava cake

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you already know how much I adore pistachios and pistachio desserts. I have a treasure trove of pistachio dessert recipes that I’ve shared over the years, but this Pistachio Lava Cake is something special. Imagine a warm, gooey center of molten pistachio goodness encased in a delicate cake, perfectly paired with the richness of white chocolate. This dessert is not only indulgent but also surprisingly easy to make, and I can’t wait for you to try it.


Creating the perfect Pistachio Lava Cake requires a careful selection of ingredients, each playing a crucial role in achieving the cake's rich flavor and molten texture:

ingredient for pistachio lava cake

  • Pistachio Paste: This is the star ingredient, providing a deep, nutty flavor and smooth texture. It gives the lava cake its distinct pistachio taste, making it a delightful treat for pistachio lovers.
  • White Chocolate: White chocolate adds sweetness and creaminess to the cake, complementing the pistachio paste and helping to achieve the desired molten center.
  • Butter: Butter adds richness and moisture to the cake, ensuring a soft and tender texture. It also helps in creating a smooth batter when melted with the white chocolate and pistachio paste.
  • Eggs: Eggs provide structure and stability to the cake. Using a combination of whole eggs and an extra yolk enhances the cake's richness and helps achieve the perfect consistency.
  • Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness and helps to achieve the light, pale texture when whisked with the eggs. It also contributes to the cake's overall structure.
  • Flour: A small amount of flour is used to give the cake body and help it set while baking. It ensures the cake has a delicate crumb and holds together well.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the flavors of the other ingredients, balancing the sweetness and bringing out the nutty taste of the pistachio paste.
  • Pistachios for Decoration: Chopped pistachios add a delightful crunch and a touch of elegance to the finished dessert, making it visually appealing and adding a textural contrast.


pistachio molten lava cake

  1. Combine the butter, white chocolate, and pistachio paste in a double boiler and melt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Alternatively, place the butter, white chocolate, and pistachio paste in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, extra egg yolk, sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until thick and pale yellow.
  1. Add the melted chocolate mixture and flour into the egg mixture.

 cake batter

  1. Fold together the mixture until well combined.

molten lava cake pisatchio

  1. Transfer the batter into the prepared ramekins. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until the sides of the cakes are firm set, but the center is jiggly. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 minute.
  1. Place a small dessert plate over the top of each ramekin and carefully flip it over, inverting the pistachio lava cake onto the plate. Let stand for about 10 seconds, then remove the ramekin to unmold the cakes. Dust with powdered sugar and sprinkle chopped pistachios on top. Serve immediately.

 pistachio cake


pistachio lava cake recipe

  • Preheat Your Oven: Always preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) before you start baking. This ensures the cakes bake evenly and rise properly.
  • Prepare the Molds: Butter your molds or ramekins generously and dust with flour. This helps the cakes release easily once baked. For extra assurance, chill the prepared molds in the fridge for about 10 minutes before filling.
  • Monitor Baking Time: Bake the cakes for 8-12 minutes. The exact time may vary depending on your oven, so keep a close eye on them. The edges should be firm, but the center should still be soft and slightly jiggly. This is what gives the lava cake its molten center.
  • Check for Doneness: To check if your cakes are done, gently touch the edges. They should feel set and firm, while the center should remain soft. If the center is too runny, give them an extra minute, but be careful not to overbake, as this will eliminate the molten effect.
  • Use Quality Ingredients: The flavor of your pistachio lava cake largely depends on the quality of your ingredients. Use good-quality white chocolate and pure pistachio paste for the best results.
  • Melt Ingredients Slowly: When melting the butter, white chocolate, and pistachio paste, do it slowly over low heat. This prevents the mixture from scorching and ensures a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before you start. This helps them incorporate better into the batter, resulting in a smoother texture.
  • Avoid Overmixing: When combining the melted chocolate mixture with the egg mixture, fold gently until just combined. Overmixing can cause the cakes to become dense rather than light and airy.
  • Serve Immediately: For the best texture and flavor, serve the pistachio lava cakes immediately after baking. The molten center is at its best when the cakes are warm.
  • Garnish Creatively: Dusting with powdered sugar and sprinkling chopped pistachios adds a beautiful finishing touch. You can also add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for an extra indulgent treat.

pistachio lava cake


pistachio desserts

If you like me, a true pistachio lover, you must try these pistachio dessert recipes. From pistachio cheesecakes to rich pistachio ice cream, here you'll find your new obsession. You can even make homemade pistachio paste by yourself:

20 Minutes
10 Minutes

For greasing the molds:

  • Flour
  • Butter

For the cakes:

  • 1/3 cup (80g) Pistachio paste
  • 80g White chocolate
  • 5 tablespoons (75g) Butter
  • 2 Eggs, large *or 2 medium eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons (36g) Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (22g) Flour
  • Pinch salt
  • Pistachios for decoration

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Butter 6oz aluminum cups or ramekins, dust with flour and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a heatproof bowl place white chocolate, butter and pistachio paste. Set the bowl over a double boiler (pot with simmering water). Heat until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk eggs, sugar and salt, until light, pale and thick. Sift in flour and whisk until incorporated. Gradually pour in melted chocolate mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into the prepared molds.
  5. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the edges are firm and the center is still soft. Let stand 1 minute. Invert on individual plates while warm, dust with powdered sugar and sprinkle some chopped pistachios.
  6. Serve!

Can I freeze these lava cakes?

Yes, you can freeze the unbaked lava cakes. Prepare the batter and pour it into the ramekins. Cover each ramekin tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze. When ready to bake, preheat the oven and bake directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time. Note that the center may not be as molten as freshly baked, but the cakes will still be delicious.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can prepare the batter and pour it into the ramekins, then cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you're ready to bake, let the ramekins sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes while you preheat the oven, then bake as directed. This is perfect for prepping in advance for a dinner party.

How do I know when the lava cakes are done?

The edges of the cakes should be firm and set, while the center should remain soft and slightly jiggly. To check, gently touch the edges—they should feel set, and the center should give slightly but not be runny. If the center is too runny, bake for an additional minute, but be careful not to overbake.

What can I use instead of pistachio paste?

If you can't find pistachio paste, you can make your own by blending shelled pistachios with a bit of oil and sugar until smooth. Here is the complete recipe: homemade pistachio paste

Alternatively, you could substitute with almond paste or another nut paste, though the flavor will be different.

Can I use dark chocolate instead of white chocolate?

Yes, you can use dark chocolate, but keep in mind that it will change the flavor profile of the cake. Dark chocolate will add a richer, slightly bitter taste, which might overpower the pistachio flavor. White chocolate complements the pistachio paste better by adding sweetness and creaminess.

Do I need to use a double boiler to melt the ingredients?

Using a double boiler is recommended because it melts the ingredients gently and prevents scorching. However, you can also melt the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until smooth.

What type of molds should I use?

You can use 6oz ramekins, silicone molds, aluminum cups, or any oven-safe molds of similar size. Just make sure to butter and flour them well to ensure the cakes release easily after baking.

How should I serve these lava cakes?

Serve the lava cakes immediately after baking for the best molten center. Invert the cakes onto dessert plates, dust with powdered sugar, and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. You can also add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for extra indulgence.

Can I make a larger batch of these lava cakes?

Yes, you can easily double or triple the recipe to make a larger batch. Just make sure to adjust the quantities of each ingredient accordingly and use additional ramekins. Bake in batches if necessary, and keep the unbaked cakes in the fridge until ready to bake.

What should I do if my lava cakes don't have a molten center?

If your lava cakes are fully set and don't have a molten center, they were likely overbaked. Next time, reduce the baking time by a minute or two and keep a close eye on the cakes towards the end of the baking period. Each oven is different, so some trial and error may be necessary to get the perfect molten center.


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