Whether you call them molten chocolate cakes or chocolate lava cakes, these individual morsels of rich chocolate cake paired with a decadent liquid chocolate center are a chocolate lover’s heaven.
If you’re a fan of my chocolate cobbler recipe, step this way, because I have the perfect dessert recipe for you. Molten chocolate cakes or chocolate lava cakes, whatever you want to call them, may look complicated, but I’m here to tell you they’re absolutely not.
In fact, there are many things to love about this molten chocolate cake recipe:
- It’s so quick and easy to make. We’re talking about you digging into this deliciously decadent homemade chocolate dessert in under 20 minutes. That’s how quick it is.
- You only need 5 ingredients: dark chocolate or bittersweet baking chocolate, unsalted butter, powdered sugar, eggs, and all-purpose flour. The vanilla ice cream on top is one of those optional ingredients that aren’t really optional in my books!
- The combination of rich chocolate cake combined with the liquid chocolate center and the cool and creamy vanilla ice cream on top is a flavor, texture, and taste sensation. When I say this dessert is a chocolate lover’s heaven, I mean it. Chocolate lava cakes are melt-in-your-mouth levels of delicious!
- If you’re looking for a dessert with portion control, molten chocolate cakes are for you. This dessert makes two perfect ramekins of lava cake for you and your significant other to enjoy on a cozy night in. Hello, perfect Valentine’s Day dessert!
I hope I’ve convinced y’all to give this molten chocolate cake recipe a go. I just know it’s gonna blow your mind (and your tastebuds). And if you love anything chocolate like I do make sure you check out some of my other recipes like Triple Chocolate Cake (a.k.a Chocoholic Cake), Chocolate Sundae Cake, Chocolate Snack Cake, and Chocolate Pound Cake with Fudge Glaze.
- Dark chocolate or bittersweet baking chocolate
- Unsalted butter
- Confectioners’ sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Vanilla ice cream (optional but not really 😉)
Helpful Kitchen Tools
How to Make Molten Chocolate Cakes
Preheat oven to 425F and spray two bowls/ramekins (about 3-4 inches in diameter or about 4 ounces each) with cooking spray and set them aside.
To a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the bittersweet chocolate and butter.
Heat on high power to melt (about 1 minute). Stop to whisk until smooth.
If needed, use the microwave again and heat in 15-second increments until the chocolate mixture is smooth.
Separate one of these eggs and then…
Add the sugar, egg, and egg yolk, and whisk until smooth.
Add the flour and stir until just combined. Don’t overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins and divided evenly.
Bake for about 10- 12 minutes or until the edges are set but the center is still soft. Don’t overbake.
Baking times will vary based on the oven, ramekins, and climate variances. Bake until as done as desired.
Allow cakes to cool in ramekins for about 1 minute then flip them over onto serving plates.
Do this by simply putting the plate on top…
And flipping it over so the plate is now on the bottom.
Voila! The perfect lava cake.
Optionally top with ice cream and serve when cakes are warm.
Okay, one final close-up of that ridiculously scrumptious chocolate center because I can’t resist.
- Store leftover molten chocolate cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat it in the microwave or a 300-degree oven or air fryer until heated through.
- You can also freeze the baked and cooled cakes for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating as above.
- I recommend using high-quality baking chocolate like Ghiradelli or Guittard. You can also use semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips.
- If you like, substitute the confectioner’s sugar for brown sugar or use a combination of both.
- For a little extra flavor, add a pinch of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Some other great extracts include orange extract, lavender extract, or peppermint extract.
- To add extra depth to the chocolate flavor, add a teaspoon of espresso powder to the batter.
- For peanut butter chocolate lava cakes, add a tablespoon of smooth peanut butter to the middle of the batter in the ramekins and use a spoon to slightly press it down into the batter.
- If you don’t have ramekins, you can use a muffin pan instead. Because the muffin tin is smaller, you will get more cakes and they will take less time to cook (probably 8 minutes).
What is lava cake made of?
A lava cake or molten cake is a small chocolate cake (made with chocolate, butter, sugar, flour, and eggs) that’s intentionally under-baked so the center is liquid chocolate. It’s typically baked in a ramekin or small dish.
What does chocolate lava cake taste like?
A lava cake tastes like a rich chocolate cake with liquid chocolate in the middle.
Are molten lava cakes served hot or cold?
Serve molten chocolate cakes hot directly from the oven. Once the cakes cool, they will deflate and the centers will thicken.
What is the difference between molten cake and lava cake?
Molten cake and lava cake are the exact same dessert: individual chocolate cakes with an oozing liquid chocolate core. They may also be called chocolate coulant, chocolate lava cake, or volcano cake. You take your pick!
Are molten lava cakes safe to eat?
Absolutely! You have a deliciously baked cake and a liquid center that reaches 160 degrees, making it completely safe to eat. If you’re ever uncertain, you can always stick a thermometer in the center to confirm it reaches this perfect temperature.
How do I know when my molten lava cake is done?
The cake is done when the sides are firm, the top is puffed and a little cracked, and the center is soft. If you overbake, the lava cake will lose its “lava” center.
Can you make molten chocolate lava cakes ahead of time?
What you can do is prepare the batter and spoon it into the ramekins. Then cover them with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Then take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking so they can reach room temperature.
Can molten chocolate cakes be reheated?
Absolutely! Reheat them in the microwave for 30 seconds and enjoy.
How do you serve molten chocolate cakes?
Here are some serving suggestions:
- A big old scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- A simple dusting of powdered sugar.
- Whipped cream and fresh berries.
- Salted caramel sauce
- Melted peanut butter
You may also like these decadent chocolate dessert recipes:
- 2 ounces dark chocolate or bittersweet baking chocolate
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 eggs 1 large egg & 1 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425F and spray two bowls/ramekins (about 3-4 inches in diameter or about 4 ounces each) with cooking spray and set them aside.
- To a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate and butter. Heat on high power to melt (about 1 minute). Stop to whisk until smooth. If needed, use the microwave again and heat in 15-second increments until the chocolate mixture is smooth.2 ounces dark chocolate or bittersweet baking chocolate, 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- Add the sugar, egg, and egg yolk, and whisk until smooth.1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 eggs
- Add the flour and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, divided evenly.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set but the center is still soft; don’t overbake. Baking times will vary based on the oven, ramekins, and climate variances. Bake until as done as desired.
- Allow lava cakes to cool in ramekins for about 1 minute, then flip them over onto serving plates.
- Optionally top with ice cream and serve when cakes are warm.vanilla ice cream (optional)