Chocolate Lava Cake

 

close up shot of a Chocolate Lava Cake sprinkled with powdered sugar
Warm chocolate lava cake is an irresistible moist chocolate cake with a rich molten center that is surprisingly easy to make.
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Table of Contents
  1. Chocolate Lava Cake Ingredients
  2. Substitutions and Additions
  3. How to Make This Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe
  4. How to Serve
  5. Storage
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More Recipes You’ll Love
  8. JUMP TO RECIPE

Chocolate Lava Cakes are a dessert show-stopper. This impressive and irresistible dessert looks spectacular but is surprisingly easy to make with just 5 minutes of prep time. It doesn’t get much better than this decadent chocolate cake with its signature rich warm molten center. 

If you love ooey, gooey desserts you’ll also want to make peanut butter lava cookies and lemon lava cake

close up shot of a Chocolate Lava Cake sprinkled with powdered sugar

Chocolate Lava Cake Ingredients

Chocolate Lava Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need:

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet bakers chocolate bars, broken into pieces (I used Ghirardelli brand premium baking bars)
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 5 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

Substitutions and Additions

CHOCOLATE: Bakers chocolate is fine for this molten lava cakes recipe. Just make sure to chop it up really well before trying to melt. It will melt much easier for you. I love Ghirardelli because the bars are super thin and you can just break it all up while still in the package so that saves the clean up of the cutting board and it is super yummy. 

CHOCOLATE VARIATIONS: You can substitute bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), dark chocolate, or milk chocolate premium Baker’s bars for semisweet chocolate. 

TOPPINGS: To keep it simple, sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar over your finished molten chocolate lava cakes. You could also add nuts, like pecans or peanuts for a bit of crunch. To make this rich chocolate cake even more decadent, you could add caramel, Nutella, or chocolate sauce to the top. My all-time favorite is to top off a molten cake with some fresh berries like strawberries or raspberries.

How to Make This Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe

PRO TIP: If you don’t have ramekins, you can use a muffin tin to make the individual lava cakes. 

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray 6 (6-ounce.) ramekins with baker’s spray and lightly dust them with the cocoa powder. This helps to ensure that the chocolate lava cakes come out cleanly from the ramekins. Place all the prepared ramekins onto a small rimmed baking tray. Set aside.

PRO TIP: If you do not have baker’s spray, you can grease the sides and bottom of your ramekins with a little bit of butter using a pastry brush. You will still need to dust them with cocoa powder. I highly recommend not skipping this step as it ensures an easy and clean release of your chocolate lava cake once it is inverted.

STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, melt the broken-up pieces of semi-sweet chocolate bars and the cubed butter in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir gently and heat in 15-second intervals if needed. Stir to combine the melted chocolate and butter completely.

chocolate and butter melted together in a bowl

STEP THREE: Stir in the vanilla extract, then the powdered sugar, and lastly, the eggs until well combined. Make sure to combine completely before adding the next ingredient.

vanilla, sugar, and eggs added to the chocolate mixture in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Add the salt and all-purpose flour. Stir just until fully incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.

STEP FIVE: Using a large 3-inch ice cream scoop, scoop the batter evenly into each prepared ramekin about ⅔ full. Each scoop will be approximately ½ cup batter and will perfectly divide your batter into 6 portions.

STEP SIX: Bake the chocolate lava cakes for 12 to 14 minutes. Be very careful not to overbake your lava cakes, or you will lose the gooey center. They should just barely look done on the top.

cake batter poured into a ramekin then baked

STEP SEVEN: Once your chocolate lava cakes have come out of the oven, let them cool on the tray for 2 minutes before inverting them onto a serving plate. Be very careful because the ramekins will be very hot.

PRO TIP: If you do not wish to flip your chocolate cake out of the ramekin, that is fine. You can add a scoop of ice cream and whipped cream to the ramekin and enjoy your chocolate lava cake that way.

How to Serve

Serve this tantalizing chocolate dessert as soon as possible to ensure you get that melted center oozing from your chocolate lava cake when you break it open. Enjoy your cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, a dollop of whipped cream, or some fresh berries. You can also dust the tops of the warm cake with a bit of powdered sugar for added sweetness and a beautiful garnish. 

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Your molten chocolate cakes can be stored in the ramekins after they have been cooked and cooled, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to eat them, let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes to take the chill off the dish, then heat up in your microwave for 30 seconds or until the desired temperature. 

close up shot of a Chocolate Lava Cake sprinkled with powdered sugar

Chocolate lava cake is the perfect dessert to make when you need something spectacular for a special occasion. Made in ramekins, chocolate lava cake is great for serving guests because it’s already portioned into six servings. While stunning to look at with its flowing center, this decadent cake is so easy to make you can also make it just for yourself when you want a rich chocolate treat. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does lava cake have to be served warm? 

Lava cake is best served warm so that you can enjoy the melting oozing lava center of the cake.

What can I use instead of ramekins for lava cakes? 

If you don’t have ramekins, you can use a muffin pan. Grease the cups and dust with cocoa powder to prevent the cakes from sticking. Since the lava cakes will be slightly smaller, you will get six rather than four.

Can I freeze lava cakes? 

We don’t recommend freezing lava cakes as they are best served fresh but if you do have extras, you can freeze, well wrapped, for 2 to 3 months.

More Recipes You’ll Love

close up shot of a Chocolate Lava Cake sprinkled with powdered sugar

Chocolate Lava Cake

Warm chocolate lava cake is an irresistible moist chocolate cake with a rich molten center that is surprisingly easy to make.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 17 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet bakers chocolate bars, broken into pieces. (I used Ghirardelli brand premium baking bars)
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 5 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • powdered sugar, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray 6 (6-ounce.) ramekins with baker’s spray and lightly dust them with the cocoa powder. This helps to ensure that the chocolate lava cakes come out cleanly from the ramekins. Place all the prepared ramekins onto a small rimmed baking tray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, melt the broken-up pieces of semi-sweet chocolate bars and the cubed butter in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir gently and heat in 15-second intervals if needed. Stir to combine the melted chocolate and butter completely.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract, then the powdered sugar, and lastly, the eggs until well combined. Make sure to combine completely before adding the next ingredient.
  • Add the salt and all-purpose flour. Stir just until fully incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
  • Using a large 3-inch ice cream scoop, scoop the batter evenly into each prepared ramekin about ⅔ full. Each scoop will be approximately ½ cup batter and will perfectly divide your batter into 6 portions.
  • Bake the chocolate lava cakes for 12 to 14 minutes. Be very careful not to overbake your lava cakes, or you will lose the gooey center. They should just barely look done on the top.
  • Once your chocolate lava cakes have come out of the oven, let them cool on the tray for 2 minutes before inverting them onto a serving plate. Be very careful because the ramekins will be very hot.

Notes

  • Premium baking chocolate bars (Ghirardelli, Lindt, and Baker’s brand, to name a few) may be a bit of an indulgent ingredient, but they are worth it for this chocolate molten lava cake recipe. If you use chocolate chips or lower-quality chocolate, you will not get that wonderful lava ooze. 
  • If you don’t have ramekins, you can use a muffin tin to make the individual lava cakes.
  • If you do not have baker’s spray, you can grease the sides and bottom of your ramekins with a little bit of butter using a pastry brush. You will still need to dust them with cocoa powder. I highly recommend not skipping this step as it ensures an easy and clean release of your chocolate lava cake once it is inverted.
  • If you do not wish to flip your chocolate cake out of the ramekin, that is fine. You can add a scoop of ice cream  and whipped cream to the ramekin and enjoy your chocolate lava cake that way.

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