You know those chocolate lava cakes that are always on the dessert menu? I made one that has PUMPKIN and BUTTERSCOTCH flavors! It is soft, tender, and guaranteed to spill delicious cake lava alll over your plate. Fall baking is the best right??

Pumpkin Butterscotch Molten Lava Cakes from The Food Charlatan

I’m pretty sure I’ve been to the grocery store every day so far this week. Does that ever happen to you? It is total feast or famine around here. I’m either at the store every day or haven’t gone in 3 weeks and we’re living off of frozen fish sticks, smoothies, and string cheese.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Molten Lava Cakes from The Food Charlatan

Anyway, I was at the store and saw they had a new crop of apples. SO EXCITING! Have you ever noticed just how bad the apples get in late August when you’re eating last year’s apples? (Mealy! Bruised! Ugh!) But a new crop! YES. I love California. (Are you getting excited for upcoming apple recipes?? I am!)

Then I asked one of the grocery clerks where all the mini pumpkins were, and she was just like, um….later. (Come on, don’t you guys know I need them for pumpkin lava cake photos?? This is totally normal.)

Pumpkin Butterscotch Molten Lava Cakes from The Food Charlatan

I also asked another clerk for help finding apple butter (do you think they’ll be irritated that I’m trying to make it fall when it’s 107 degrees outside?) He started walking away and there was that moment where you’re not sure if you’re supposed to follow or stay put, you know what I’m talking about? I decided to stay and he came back 2 years later with the last jar of apple butter in the store, having journeyed to the fires of Mordor and back, I’m pretty sure. Poor guy’s probably scarred for having to search half his life for obscure fall baking ingredients for the Grocery Lurker (that’s me).

Pumpkin Butterscotch Molten Lava Cakes from The Food Charlatan

The photo on the right is the butterscotch and butter mixed together. You can see that the butter is separated a little, that’s ok.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Molten Lava Cakes from The Food Charlatan

I’ve never used graham cracker crumbs as a nonstick layer before but it worked great! I’m sure I’ll use it again!

Pumpkin Butterscotch Molten Lava Cakes from The Food Charlatan


^^Do you see those dark edges? I promise it’s not burned. It’s delightfully chewy, and trust me, when your mouth is dealing with something so sweet and, well, MOLTEN, you are going to so enjoy that chewy edge. (Something magic happens with the edges of cakes made with butterscotch + pumpkin. You know how the edges of cakes are usually dry and tough? This one instead turns into magical brownie chewiness. Same thing happens with my Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake, as well as The Best Chocolate Cake I’ve Ever Had (<<although that one doesn’t have pumpkin or butterscotch. It just defies all the boundaries of normal cakes. You definitely need to try it.)

Pumpkin Butterscotch Molten Lava Cakes from The Food Charlatan

These cakes are so, so easy. It’s kind of shocking, because they seem like they should be fussy. (I mean, lava center??) I’d never even made molten lava cakes before this week (Although they are always my first choice at restaurants. It doesn’t matter how fancy the other desserts are; if there is a lava cake I am ALL OVER IT. Kind of like how I’m that boring person who always gets Cookies and Cream when we go out for ice cream, but hey guess who’s never unhappy with their flavor? This girl.)

You could easily double this recipe if you had 8 custard cups. It’s a super impressive dessert for a party!

P.S. This has nothing to do with anything, but I found this Cranberry Vanilla Cinnamon Smoothie recipe on Cathy’s blog and I’m SUPER excited to try it out! Cranberries and Christmas here we come!! All you holiday haters, get outta here! :)

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One year ago: Pepperoni Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls
Two years ago: Cowboy Pinto Bean Soup (Slow Cooker)
Four years ago: Almond Sheet Cake


Pumpkin Butterscotch Molten Lava Cakes

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 23 minutes
Total: 33 minutes
Servings: 4
You know those chocolate lava cakes that are always on the dessert menu? I made one that has PUMPKIN and BUTTERSCOTCH flavors! It is soft, tender, and guaranteed to spill delicious cake lava alll over your plate. Fall baking is the best right??


  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 11 tablespoons butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour, spooned and leveled
  • 4 teaspoons graham cracker crumbs , mounded teaspoons
  • butterscotch chips, extra to garnish
  • vanilla ice cream


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
  • In a medium bowl, add butterscotch chips and butter. Melt in the microwave for 1 minute. The butter should be mostly melted. Stir it together, and microwave 20-30 more seconds, stirring until the butterscotch chips are smooth. The butter will not fully incorporate into the butterscotch; it will look separated. That's okay. Just makes sure you get all the lumps of butterscotch smoothed out and you're golden. (see photo)
  • In another bowl, beat egg yolks with pumpkin. Stir in the brown sugar. 
  • Add the butterscotch to the pumpkin mixture, as well as the flour. Whisk it all together until all the lumps are gone.
  • Use butter or nonstick spray to generously grease 4 custard cups (Ramekins will work great too. Wish I had these cute ones from the Pioneer Woman!) Whichever you use, make sure they are 6 or 7 ounce capacity.  
  • Add a mounded teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs to each custard cup. Shake it around to coat the bottom of the cup well, then turn it on it's side over the sink and tap it, turning the cup, until all the sides are coated with a very generous layer of graham cracker crumbs. (You could absolutely crush your own graham crackers, you will probably need 1 or 2 full sheets. I just bought the pre-made ones at the store.)
  • Place each custard cup on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 4 custard cups. Smooth the tops with a spoon.
  • Bake at 425 for about 23 minutes. This will vary of course. You want to top to be set and not shiny. It's okay if there is a little wiggle when you shake the pan, but it shouldn't look like liquid. The edges should be brown. You can see in one of the pictures that after it has cooled down, there is a beautiful dark spot in the middle, just like every decent cookie. Don't bother testing with a toothpick. There's lava in there!!
  • Let the cakes set up in their ramekins for at least 3-5 minutes. Then use a butter knife to loosen the edges of each cake. Place a small serving plate upside down on top of the custard cup and flip it over. 
  • Serve each cake with a sprinkle of butterscotch chips, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and My Favorite Caramel Sauce*.


*If you don't feel like making homemade caramel sauce, buy the highest quality caramel sauce you can find at the store, then stir in a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. That's what I did for the caramel you see in these photos. Mm-mmm. 
This recipe is adapted (to include pumpkin) from this Molten Butterscotch Cake recipe, from Betty Crocker. I tried it last week with Kraft caramel bits instead of butterscotch, which you could also try. It was really good, though it didn't rise as much.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 724kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 225mg | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 76g | Vitamin A: 3040IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 724
Keyword: Butterscotch, molten lava cake, pumpkin
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!


Tis the season to be jolly! Tis the season for PUMPKIN! 

Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake This cake is very brownie-like in texture.

Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake |


Easy Pumpkin Pie Cake << soooo easy.

Easy Pumpkin Pie Cake from The Food Charlatan


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins << these are everywhere for good reason!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins from The Food Charlatan


More great Pumpkin-Butterscotch duos:

Pumpkin Butterscotch Fudge from Mom on Timeout!
Pumpkin Butterscotch Oatmeal Muffins from Melanie Makes
Butterscotch Pumpkin Pie from Love from the Oven

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  1. Turned out perfect just cooked it 5 minutes longer because my dishes were for 3 so a little bigger but it was a big hit at my dinner party.

  2. I don’t bake but I tried this recipe for Thanksgiving desert and it was very good and absolutely easy to make. They were also easy to remove from the ramekin. I let them cool too long before serving but a quick zap in the microwave softened the middle just right. They’re rich and gooey but I suppose that’s the point of desert. I will definitely make again. Thanks so much for this suggestion and recipe.

  3. Do you think the batter could be mixed up and put in the custard cups ahead of time, and then baked just before eating? Thinking about making this for guests.

    1. Yes I totally think that would work great Kelsey! refrigerate, then let come to room temperature for like 30-45 minutes before putting it in the oven. That way you know the bake time will be correct. Enjoy!!

  4. I haven’t had lava cake in a super long time. And I’ve NEVER tried pumpkin butterscotch lava cakes. OH man, I’m craving butterscotch so badly now and your food photography looks so appetizing! Great job :)

    1. Thank you so much Christina! You’ve got to try the fall version! I might never go back! Okay that’s a lie, I will never abandon chocolate. haha! Thanks for the comment and the compliments!

  5. I cannot wait to try this recipe! It looks amazing! I’m also going to have to look for apple butter in the grocery store. I’ve never seen it in a grocery store! 🍎 🎃

    1. Maybe that’s why the poor guy was having such a hard time finding it, haha! I’m going to try to use it in apple-flavored cookies :):) Pretty excited!

  6. This does look amazing and fun to make, but probably being a novice cooker/baker, I am just not understanding how the lava gets in there. If you mixed all the ingredients together where does the lava come from?

    1. Hey Ritu! There is no special filling in a lava cake. It’s gooey cake in the middle. There are eggs in the recipe, but you are definitely cooking it long enough that you don’t have to worry about undercooked eggs. It’s not the same as an underbaked layer cake; that tastes off. Lava cakes are meant to be undercooked in the middle like this and the inside it amazing! Hope you get to try it Ritu!

  7. Are you kidding??? These look SO FANTASTIC! I can’t wait to try them! THIS is worth turning the oven on, even though it’s still supposed to be 95 degrees today!

    1. Yay thanks Dana! I’m with you, it’s still SO hot here but I’m just cranking up the AC, lighting a few candles and pretending it’s October weather. Haha! Hope you enjoy the cakes!

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