Molten Cherry Lava Cakes

Today, I’m taking on my very first mystery box challenge video (am I ready for Chopped now?!). I wanted to use three unusual ingredients to make something deliciously sweet: these are my Molten Chocolate Cherry Lava Cakes.

Now you’re probably wondering: what exactly are these mystery ingredients? Today we’re going to be using maraschino cherries, olive oil, and red hot chili pepper paste. You’ll also need some perfectly pipeable buttercream frosting. You can find that recipe here. If you want your chocolate lava cakes to be extra spicy, make sure you don’t add too much paste. Add chilli powder, instead! The paste does add a level of sweetness, and you don’t want the ganache to be too sweet.


  1. Preheat a moderate oven (175°C/350°F)
  2. Pull out your 6 best maraschino cherries and place them on a napkin.

  3. Place all of your cake batter ingredients into a mixer.  Start mixing on a low speed, and increase the speed once it begins to mix.

    circle cutter lava
  4. Place six cupcake liners in your cupcake tray.
  5. Once the cake batter mixture is done, spoon the mixture into each of the cupcake liners.

    olive oil lava
  6. Bake in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes.
  7. Place dark chocolate in a bowl and pour whipping cream over the top. Microwave for 1 minute intervals and stir in between. You should only have to microwave for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add about 3 teaspoons of chilli pepper paste. If you want the ganache to be spicier, add chilli powder, instead of the paste.

    chilli paste lava
  9. Put the ganache through a sifter.
  10. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the ganache. Make sure that plastic wrap is touching the ganache.
  11. Place softened butter and cherry essence into an electric mixer.  Beat for about 5 minutes.

    cherry essence lava
  12. Put about ⅓ of your powdered sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes. Then, add another ⅓ of your sugar. Beat for another 3 minutes. Then, add your final ⅓ of powdered sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.
  13. Place a star piping tip into your disposable piping bag. Place your frosting in the piping bag.
  14. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, transfer the ganache into a snap seal bag.
  15. Use a circle cutter to core out the top of the cupcakes. Places a cherry without a steam in the center of  each cupcake.

    cupcake scoop lava
  16. Cut a corner tip from the snap seal bag with ganache. Pipe it into the center of each cupcake.
  17. Tap each cupcake on the bench to let the ganache level off.
  18. Pipe frosting over the top of each cupcake.
  19. Quickly drizzle ganache over the top of each cupcake.

    drizzle lava
  20. Add a cherry that’s been drying on a napkin to the top of the cupcake.

    cherry lava
  21. Drizzle ganache directly onto a serving plate for a beautiful presentation.

These molten chocolate cherry lava cakes are fire 🌋🌋🌋

-For the printable recipe click here:

What You’ll Need:  

For the cake batter:

  • 30g / 1oz Cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1 X-large (or large) egg
  • 120g / 4oz self raising flour (or you can use plain / all purpose flour and add 1tsp baking powder as a rising agent)
  • 120g / 4oz superfine (caster) sugar
  • 65g / 2.5oz butter (I used salted but you can use unsalted and add a pinch of salt)
  • 2 good tablespoons of Mezzeatta Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Mystery Box ingredient #1)

For the “Lava”:

  • 300g / 11oz dark chocolate
  • 220ml / 8oz cream (whipping cream or pouring cream are fine here)
  • 2tsp Mezzetta Red Hot Chili Pepper Everything Paste (Mystery Box ingredient #2!)
  • 2tsp (optional – to taste) chili powder – add a little at a time and test as you go. Flavour will develop over about 10 minutes so allow to set before adding too much!
  • For the frosting:
  • 300g / 11oz powdered sugar
  • 100g / 3 3/4oz butter (I used salted but you can use unsalted and add a pinch of salt)
  • 1tsp either vanilla or cherry essence (depending on your taste)
  • 1 jar of Mezzetta Maraschino Cherries with Stems (Mystery Box ingredient #3!)

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