stephmodo: Hot Cakes Molten Lava Cakery

Hot Cakes Molten Lava Cakery

• 31 July 2012

I love it when a new treat spot comes to town.  My heart races and I feel a skip in my step.  Especially when I spot keywords on the menu like "lemon curd" and "ganache"; as well as intriguing phrases like "jalapeño lavender caramel". Yes, please!  During my first visit, I found it difficult to not be immediately endeared to this decadent dessert bar tucked away on the yummiest street in Seattle--Ballard Ave, of course.  

Owner Autumn Martin (and former Head Chocolatier at Theo Chocolate) has been selling her hot cakes at local farmer's markets for a couple of years with much success, and subsequently decided a more permanent venue was in order to meet demand.  It's a cozy spot for a date night and also a fun place to meet a bunch of girlfriends for a chocolate fix.  You won't go wrong with anything on the menu I'm sure, but I can personally vouch for the crème bruleé, lemon curd lavender milkshake, and classic molten lava cake...

The decor is a bit farmouse-meets-industrial-meets-vintage thanks to the chalkboard menu, vintage cameras and slides, warm white walls, exposed brick and minimal decor.  I love it.  

Catch a glimpse of that menu?  Hungry yet? 

The warm wood accents everywhere really warm up the space, even beyond the friendly staff.  

In the evening when the candlelight bounces off the white walls, it feels a bit magical (and that's without the "boozy" milkshake!  I really can't wait to go again.

Get acquainted with the baked goods too (if you're lucky enough to arrive before they are sold out).  The impromptu menu of vintage photographs paired with tidy descriptions add a personal touch. Plus, don't you think it's awfully nice of them to offer up descriptions of many of their fancy terms so no one feels sheepish at the counter when ordering?  

Attention chocolate lovers: did you know that an entire bar of Theo Chocolate goes into each molten lava cake.  Now that's richness at its best.  

Check it out:

Hot Cakes Molten Lava Cakery
5427 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Open until 10 on weekdays and 11 pm on weekends.

all images by Stephanie Brubaker/stephmodo


  1. Yum! I can't wait to try them for myself.

    Thanks for posting about fun Seattle finds. I am there often visiting family and love trying new places.

  2. oh my goodness, how haven't I heard of this yet?! It's on my September birthday radar now :) Thanks!

  3. This place looks amazing! :D

  4. Oh, my goodness. This place sounds delicious and has great atmosphere. Yum!

  5. Yummmm! What a great idea. I just stumbled upon your blog and have no idea why I haven't found it before- I'm in love! Excited to follow along. :)



  6. From the menu to the decor, I imagine that a Stephmodo-designed dessert spot would look just like this!

  7. SO want to try this place! Have heard much and LOVE what I'm seeing! :)

  8. I just walked by this place the other night and had to wipe the drops of drool off my chin. I can't wait to try it!

  9. One of the many reasons I follow your blog! You shush out all the cool spots in Seattle to try! This looks delish in every way!


  10. Oh, my! Date night here we come!!

  11. We went here Friday night after a picnic at Golden Gardens and it was absolutely scrumptuous. I also ordered their house made herbal soda which was deeeelish!

  12. Steph, I'm so glad we went to Hot Cakes last night! Their shortcake was the perfect sweetness, and that's hard to find. Love these pictures! Can't wait to get back to Ballard again :)

    Cable Car Couture


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