Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro
12 servings (serving size: 1 cake and 2 teaspoons sauce)

These flourless chocolate cakes are as rich as a restaurant dessert, but they're made with a fraction of the fat and no dairy butter. When these cakes bake, the gooey filling causes the center to sink in.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place pistachios in a food processor; process until a crumbly paste forms (about 3 1/2 minutes), scraping sides of bowl once.

Step 2

Place 1/4 cup pistachio butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, cocoa, eggs, and egg whites in top of a double boiler; stir well with a whisk. Add chocolate; cook over simmering water until chocolate melts and sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat; add baking powder and vanilla. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Chill 2 hours.

Step 3

Place remaining 1/4 cup pistachio butter and 1/2 cup sugar in food processor; pulse 4 times or until combined. Add milk and salt; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve into a small saucepan; discard solids. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 4 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; pour into a bowl. Cover and chill.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 5

Bake cakes at 450° for 9 minutes or until almost set (centers will not be firm). Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert each cake onto a dessert plate; drizzle with sauce. Garnish with powdered sugar, if desired.

Ratings & Reviews

Kitchengeek's Review

July 25, 2010
Excellent flavor! The sauce is superb. My guests thought the sauce would be great on anything! Be sure and use a serious amount of no-stick spray and the sugar or they will be tough to remove. I thought the sauce had a nice pistachio green color.

PinkCamel's Review

April 06, 2009
First of all, completely worth the work. One reviewer suggested using brownie mix - for shame. There's no way brownies could present like these. They are restaurant quality desserts. I used unroasted pistachios because I didn't want a roasted flavor, which meant they kind of got lost in the cake. But the cream (mine thickened just fine, but change that simmer for four minutes to boil off for four minutes), was divine. The salt left on my pistachios made the cream this sweet/salty/nutty/creamy amazing goodness. Unfortunately the cake was so chocolately, it overpowered the creme a little. I may try roasted pistachios in the cake, unroasted for the sauce, or just cooking the cakes a bit longer so that the chocolate sauce doesn't overwhelm the creme. Still, it was so good - I had two by myself. I will make this over and over!

babyjimmie's Review

November 15, 2008
While this recipe TASTED okay -- it looked absolutely horrible. In fact my guests said "ICK" when I served it to them. The pistachio cream sauce looked like something that emerged from a diaper. Sorry . . . but it did!!! The lava cakes themselves are very good, but if you are going to make this, definitely serve it with a raspberry sauce or something other than the pistachio sauce.

mary327's Review

January 06, 2013

AndreaReeve's Review

August 04, 2014

PauletteMarie's Review

December 04, 2011
out of this world delicious. beautiful presentation. have been preparing and serving this for years.

Hannelize's Review

January 18, 2011

tacrvt15's Review

February 07, 2013
Nuts are expensive and labor intensive. Didn't care for the taste or texture of cake. Not worth the effort.