Dinosaur Party + "Volcano" Chocolate Lava Cakes Tutorial {guest feature}

What little boy doesn’t love dinosaurs!?  None that I know of, especially if he were getting a dinosaur birthday party like this one!  Debbie of Wants and Wishes designed an adorable Dinosaur party collection she used for her son’s birthday party, as well as created some fantastic treat ideas for the dessert table.  She’s sharing the Molten Lava Volcano Cakes recipe and instructions with us, so you can also re-create this party.  Enjoy! 
The party details are perfectly themed and easy to do yourself. 
  • Debbie provided printable party hats with cute “spikes” down the back for each child to wear & take home. 
  • The cupcakes were topped with simple dinosaur toys that are available in $1 stores or toy stores. 
  • A “hot lava trifle” is served, made by layering crushed oreos(with chocolate center), gummy worms, a “nest” of chocolate ‘dinosaur eggs’, and cherry balls for hot lava. 
  • The ‘dinosaur eggs’ and ‘lava balls’ are also placed in baggies for favors.
Perhaps the most unique dessert was the Molten Lava Volcano cakes that Debbie made.  What a great idea these were.  The recipe and tutorial follows.  Debbie used a mold from Williams Sonoma.

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus a bit more for molds
2 teaspoons flour, plus a bit more for dusting molds
4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
2 large whole eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar
Makes four 4 or 5 ounce molds or ramekins
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Butter and lightly flour molds or ramekins (tap out excess flour)
3. In top of double broiler set over simmering water, combine butter and chocolate. Heat until just melted.
4. In bowl using electric mixer, beat together eggs, yolks, and sugar until light and thick.
5. Add a small amount of the melted chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat to combine. (Make sure egg mixture does not harden from heat of chocolate mixture)  Slowly add in remaining chocolate mixture.
6. Quickly beat in flour until just combined. Pour batter evenly into the molds.
7. Place the filled molds on a baking sheet and bake until the sides have set but the center remains soft, NO MORE THAN 6 to 7 MINUTES!! This is the key to this dessert- it cannot be over cooked!
8. Invert each mold onto a plate, let rest 10 seconds. Unmold by lifting up one corner of the mold, the cake will fall out onto the plate.

1. You will need orange and red chocolate apeels (wafers). These are white chocolate with food coloring, some are even flavored. I got orange flavor for the orange and vanilla for the red…. just to add a bit of surprise.
2. Have your volcano cakes cooking in the oven. I used this cupcake pan that I got at Williams Sonoma years ago, but you could use a cupcake pan with no liners. Note: If you have 2 ovens, turn on your other oven to as low as it will go to heat the chocolate (around 140 degrees). If not, after your cakes are cooked- TURN OFF your oven (if not you will burn your chocolate) and stick in your chocolate to start the melting process.
3. Melt each color of chocolate in a SEPARATE bowl in the oven, it should take 8-12 minutes to melt, but check on your chocolate every couple of minutes, as each oven heats differently and stir each time. Heating on the lowest temperature of your oven melts the chocolate properly and eliminates that white coating that can appear on chocolate, usually it is around 140 degrees.
4. Place a glob of orange chocolate on the top of the mini volcano cake, letting it run down the sides.
5. Drizzle the red down the sides crossing over the cake in a X like pattern.
6. Swirl gently with a spoon on the top to combined the orange and red, this will cause more chocolate to cascade down the sides mixing the orange and red for an realistic, explosive feel.
Let it set for a few minutes, and serve.
NOTE:  You can also use a regular chocolate cake recipe cooked in the molds.  The center will not be melted in this case but will hold up longer on a dessert table (lava cakes need to be served immediately for the soft center effect).

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  1. says

    What a really great Idea for a party! I would have never have thought of something like this, I like how you have used the food to represent things from prehistoric times, I especially like the volcano cakes, will definitely be using this as an idea for my nephews next birthday.
    Manchester Plumbers

    • Lori says

      I found one by googling ‘ice cream cone pan’ they are actually quite popular. I hope to find one cheap on Ebay. Good Luck.

    • Chris says

      Andrea, I’ve also used a deep pan similar to this one, but with straight sides. I found it at one of the craft stores (JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby, or Michael’s) for less than $10. Good luck!

  2. lisarouse24 says

    Hi. I’m so excited to make these this weekend. Have you ever whipped up more batter and then done them in batches? Does the batter have to be baked immediately? I have to do 6 batches.

    Thanks, Lisa

    • Chris says

      Hi Lisa, I haven’t’ made tht many at once before so I can’t say definitively.
      Sorry I can’t be of better help,

  3. Larissa says

    Can you make the molten lava recipe and reheat it to get the melted center effect? I would like to take these to a party, but I really need to prepare them from home.