Chocolate Molten Lava Cake with bittersweet chocolate and cocoa has a luscious, gooey, chocolate center and can be made ahead! Perfect date night dessert!
If you’re searching for the perfect romantic dessert to accompany a dinner for two, this chocolate molten lava cake, with its rich, flowing melted chocolate, is probably about as perfect as you can get, especially if you top it with easy Homemade Whipped Cream.
You can make this easy chocolate lave cake at home in less than thirty minutes!
Helpful Tools for Chocolate Molten Lave Cake
- 6-ounce ramekins – these are so versatile! Not only for this recipe, but also perfect for Creme Brulee or just little dishes for nuts or pickles when you’re hosting a party. I use my little ramekins ALL THE TIME.
- Good quality bittersweet chocolate
- Good quality vanilla
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Romantic Dinner at Home – my favorite menu that includes this chocolate molten lava cake for dessert!
- Bittersweet chocolate
How to Make Chocolate Lave Cake
Step 1. Preheat your oven to 450°. Butter four 6-ounce ramekins. Sprinkle cocoa powder in the ramekins and tap out the excess. Set the ramekins aside on a large baking sheet.
Cook’s Tip: If you don’t have ramekins you can use a muffin pan!
Step 2. Place the remaining butter in a medium bowl and melt it in the microwave. Add the chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted, then whisk until smooth.
Step 3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and egg yolks with the sugar and salt until thickened and pale.
Cook’s Tip: I use a whisk for this but you could use a stand mixer or electric mixer.
Step 4. Once the chocolate has melted, whisk the chocolate and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and quickly fold the chocolate and the flour into the egg mixture, mixing until blended. Spoon the batter into your prepared ramekins.
Cook’s Tip: You can add some chocolate chips or white chocolate chips at this point—just push them down into the batter.
Step 5. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the sides of the cakes are firm but centers are soft. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool in ramekins for 1 minute, then cover with a dessert plate and carefully flip over. Let stand 10 seconds and remove the ramekins. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.
Tips for Making Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
- You can make the chocolate lave cake a day ahead up to the point of baking. Just cover the ramekins and place in the refrigerator. Bring them to room temperature before baking.
- If you don’t have ramekins and don’t want to buy them, you can use a muffin pan in a pinch! This will make your chocolate lava cakes a little smaller and you’ll have six instead of four–don’t try to stuff all the batter into four muffin cups!
- Watch your cooking times—I made these in the muffin pan and made 8 instead of 6, so they were slightly smaller. I didn’t reduce the cooking time and had no molten center—but still delicious, just slightly fudgy. You want the edges to look set but the center should still look a little wet and jiggle slightly.
Want a lava cake that’s not chocolate? Try this Lemon Lava Cake recipe from Show Me the Yummy.
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Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
- 1 stick unsalted butter plus 2 tablespoons for greasing ramekins
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (for sprinkling in the ramekins)
- 6 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Chocolate chips or white chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450. Using the 2 tablespoons of butter, grease four 6-ounce ramekins. Sprinkle cocoa powder in ramekins and tap out excess. Set ramekins on a large baking sheet.
- Place the remaining butter in a medium bowl and melt it in the microwave. Add the chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted, then whisk until smooth and whisk in the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks with the sugar and salt until thickened and pale. I use a whisk for this but you could use a stand mixer or electric mixer.
- Fold the chocolate and the flour into the egg mixture, mixing until blended. Spoon the batter into prepared ramekins. At this point, you can stir in a few chocolate chips if you want. Be sure to push them down into the batter.
- Leave the ramekins on the baking sheet and bake 7-9 minutes or until tops of the cakes are barely set and centers are still jiggly. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool in ramekins for 1 minute, then cover with a dessert plate and carefully flip over. Let stand 10 seconds and remove the ramekins. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.
- Err on the side of under-baking rather than over-baking.
- The batter can be made ahead and refrigerated for several hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.
Update Notes: This post was originally published February 11, 2015, and on September 18, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.
Recipe slightly adapted from Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Molten Chocolate Cakes Recipe.