If you’re craving a gooey, fudgy, vegan chocolate treat without all the refined ingredients, we have a treat made just for you! Slow-Cooker Chocolate Maple Lava Cake is one of our favorite easy desserts to make and share with others. This cake is free of oil and dairy but filled with a gooey fudge pudding (lava) on top that gets most of its sweetness from real maple syrup. Featuring Lifeway Oat, dark cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and oats, it’s a dessert that you can feel good about eating, too. We recommend serving this vegan dessert with dairy-free whipped cream (or dairy-free vegan ice cream) and fresh berries. Grab the recipe down below, and enjoy this chocolate treat from us to you!
Not Just Oat Milk: Cultured Oat Milk Benefits to Know
With increasing research linking the correlation between probiotics, gut health, and immunity, it’s no secret that the integrity of our gut is vital to our health. Although additional factors such as stress, antibiotic usage, and individual health conditions can contribute to the condition of our gut, a focus on healthy food choices is one of the easiest ways to support the microbiome.
Several studies have shown a strong association between the gut-brain-microbiota. Probiotics introduced to the gut have been found to support immunity, improve allergies, and improve digestion. Studies have also shown that reduced diversity of healthy gut bacteria during early years is associated with an increase in food allergies during school-age years. In addition, a combination of fiber and probiotics is even more beneficial for the gut, immune system, and for brain health due to the way this combination strengthens the microbiome, the powerhouse system of your entire health. This is where Lifeway Oat is so beneficial since it is an organic, cultured oat milk beyond just another standard oat milk. Lifeway Oat contains both fiber and probiotics to help support a healthier body and brain, which means an overall healthier you.
Prebiotics + Probiotics = A Healthier You
Prebiotics are non-living, non-digestible carbohydrates naturally found in a variety of fiber-rich plant foods. Your body actually can’t digest prebiotics, so they’re what probiotics feed off of to remain actively working in your digestive system. They help the digestive system by promoting the growth of good bacteria. Prebiotics and probiotics work together in balance to make sure our digestive system stays on track and regular. Research has found that consuming a variety of prebiotic and probiotic food sources may improve your body’s natural functions, including both your immune and digestive systems.
- For the Slow-Cooker Chocolate Maple Cake:
- 1 cup whole-grain oat flour or gluten-free flour equivalent
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder (Dutch-processed cocoa; not regular cocoa powder)
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 cup Strawberry Oat
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp. vegan/dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- For the Lava (Pudding/Frosting):
- ½ cup more dark cocoa powder (Dutch-processed; not regular baking cocoa)
- ¾ cup coconut sugar or date sugar (or unrefined light brown sugar)
- 1 cup boiling hot water
- *Prep: Spray a 4-6 quart slow-cooker with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper inside the cooker. You can also use an Instant Pot and set it to the Slow-Cook Mode (don’t use the pressure-cooking mode). If using an Instant Pot, skip this prep step.
- For the cake: Mix the oat flour, 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and sift together to mix until combined. Pour in Lifeway Oat, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, and stir well to mix completely into a cake batter. Pour this into the prepared slow-cooker. Sprinkle in vegan/dairy-free chocolate chips on top.
- Next, mix up the lava pudding/frosting ingredients: In a medium bowl, add ½ cup more dark/Dutch-processed cocoa powder, ¾ cup coconut sugar, and sift to combine. Pour the 1 cup hot water on top and mix completely. Make sure the water is boiling hot because this is what dissolves the sugar and cocoa powder into a fudgy frosting. Pour this on top of the prepared cake batter in the slow-cooker completed in step 1. The mixture will look very watery, but don’t worry; it bakes up into a rich, fudgy, cake-like pudding.
- Turn slow-cooker to medium-high heat and cook/bake for 3 hours or until firm. If your slow-cooker does not have a medium setting, cook on high for 1 hour, then 2.5 more hours on low. Or just cook on low for 3-3.5 hours if you prefer. If using an Instant Pot, set it to the slow-cook mode and cook for 3 hours, do not the pressure-cooking function as the slow-cooking is what makes this cake soft and fudgy.
- Once the cake is baked up and the lava pudding on top looks dissolved, turn off cooker, remove the cake and scoop some into a bowl and serve with vegan coconut-based ice cream, vegan whipped coconut cream, or other desired dairy-free ice cream options. Also great with fresh strawberries or raspberries on top.
- *For leftovers, (if you have any!), let the cake cool completely and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.