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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


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.