For years I have been making this delectable, devine, warm, gooey, rich, to-die-for chocolate treat, and for years people have asked me for the recipe. Well, if you’re reading this post, today is your lucky day!

First of all let me say that this is not an original idea or recipe. For some reason people think I make up all of my own recipes. I DO NOT! Now that that’s out in the open let’s move on. I saw this recipe many years ago in a morning news show. I don’t remember which one or who the guest cook was. All I remember was seeing this warm chocolate gooey mess baked in a coffee cup and I knew I had to make it!

As with most of my recipes, I take someone elses idea, and in my opinion, make it even better 😉 (This is my blog and if I wanna toot my own horn I can!) Originally, I made these in coffee cups or mugs. You might think, as I did, a coffee cup? Won’t it break from the heat of the oven? Well, in the hundreds….yes hundreds, that I have made not one has ever busted! They are great to give as gifts because the recipient gets to keep the cup! How cute is that?! I match the cup with the occasion whether it be Christmas, Valentines, birthday, bosses day (great suck up gift by the way), a new mommy or get well gift, the ideas are endless! Oh, and girls, (guys cover your ears) It is a MUST for when Aunt Flow pays a visit!

Two weeks ago, a bunch of us girls took a Hoot-N-Holler road trip to War Eagle. I decided, as a surprise, to make Hot Lava Cakes for us to eat on the way. Everybody got a lot happier when they heard chocolate would be involved! This time tho, I made them in little 1/2 pint jars and it worked perfectly!! I love it when that happens ;-). You can make them in almost anything that can take the heat of the oven but don’t try to make them in anything larger than a standard coffee mug because they will not bake properly.

Here are a few ideas. Cups, mugs, pint jars, 1/2 pint jars, even custard cups.

Sometimes I will even go to thrift stores or maybe Goodwill, buy holiday cups for $.25 each, (otherwise you’re gonna pay a couple of bucks each) throw them in the dish washer (make sure they’re nice and clean) and then give them away full of this chocolate heaven!

I found these last week at Goodwill for .50 a piece.

If you give these as gifts, you will be so popular, people will chant your name, they will even bring cups for you to fill! I know this to be true because it’s happened to me!

Here’s what you will need:

1 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (two sticks) salted butter
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Chocolate chips – two tablespoons per cup or one tablespoon if you’re using the 1/2 pint jars. I use semi-sweet but you could use any kind…or none at all….thats the way my husband prefers it….kinda weird but whatever.

Instructions and tips:

Tip #1 – First and foremost…mix this by hand! Do not use a mixer because it will whip too much air into it and it won’t be gooey enough!

In a medium size bowl, mix the flour, cocoa and baking powder, set to the side. In a large bowl add the brown and white sugar. Melt the salted butter and add to the sugar. Mix well with a whisk. Now, add your eggs one at a time making sure to mix well after each egg is added. Next goes in both the vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well. After your wet ingredients are incorporated, add the dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk. This may take a few minutes but oh is it worth the wait! Hold off on the chocolate chips utill after the mixture is in the cups.

Divide the dough evenly into six mugs or pint jars. Top each one with two tablespoons of chocolate chips and then press them down in the dough a little with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate the lava cups for at least one hour before baking.

When you’re ready to bake them, take them out of the refrigerator and let them set on the counter for five minutes or so before you put them in the oven. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Tip # 2 – If you’re using 1/2 pint jars you will only need about 1/4 cup of dough (I got 19 out of my recipe) If you put too much it will overflow and make a lava mess! Just like in a real volcano! Also, you don’t need to bake them as long, only about 20 minutes.

Tip # 3 – when the cooking time is up. the cakes will appear under-done and will “fall” when you set them in the counter. That’s a good sign! That means they will be nice and gooey. So don’t over cook them in an effort to get them “done”.

These can be eaten right away, eaten at room temperature or refrigerated until later. All you have to do is pop them in the microwave for 15-30 seconds and they taste just like the day you made ’em! Perfect!

Tip # 4 – a scoop if vanilla ice-cream on a hot lava cake never hurt anybody’s feelings.

If this is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!

Tip # 5 – if you like it then pin it!