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Chocolate Lava Cake

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close up shot of a plate of Chocolate Lava Cake sprinkled with powdered sugar
A special occasion calls for a fancy dessert and this irresistible chocolate lava cake is an elegant but easy confection.
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Table of Contents
  1. Chocolate Lava Cake Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe
  3. How to Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

I don’t know about you, but when I think of chocolate lava cake, I think of a warm molten center oozing out and melting in your mouth. The best part is the crispy edges that give way to this decadent gooey center; it doesn’t get much better than that.

We have two more recipes that ooze lava we think you will enjoy. Our lemon lava cake are a fresh and tangy treat while our peanut butter lava cookies feature rich centers when bite into them.

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

Chocolate Lava Cake Ingredients

Chocolate Lava Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll 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

PRO TIP:

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.

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.

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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 six 6-ounce ramekins with baker’s spray and lightly dust them with the cocoa powder. This helps ensure that the chocolate lava cakes come out cleanly from the ramekins. Place 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 oven for 1 minute. Stir gently and heat in 15-second intervals if needed. Stir to combine the melted chocolate and butter completely.

Chocolate Lava Cake process shot of chocolate and butter melted in a bowl

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

Chocolate Lava Cake process shot of ingredients combined 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, spoon batter evenly into each prepared ramekin about ⅔ full. Each scoop will be approximately ½ cup batter and will perfectly divide your chocolate cake 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.

Chocolate Lava Cake process shot of lava cakes placed in a dish 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 the warm lava cakes onto a dessert 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

You should serve your chocolate lava cakes as soon as possible so that you get that ‘lava ooze’ when you break your chocolate lava cake open. You can dust the tops of the warm cake with powdered sugar for a little added sweetness and beautiful garnish. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream for a fancier dessert.

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 plate of Chocolate Lava Cake sprinkled with powdered sugar

These gooey lava cakes will most definitely satisfy your chocolate craving, it’s like eating an ooey-gooey brownie. These desserts are so unique with their moist cake and heavenly molten centers, you won’t be able to resist.

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.

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

Chocolate Lava Cake

5 from 1 vote
A special occasion calls for a fancy dessert and this irresistible chocolate lava cake is an elegant but easy confection.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes
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 six 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

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

Nutrition

Sodium: 115mg | Calcium: 51mg | Vitamin A: 939IU | Sugar: 46g | Fiber: 4g | Potassium: 259mg | Cholesterol: 226mg | Calories: 640kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Fat: 39g | Protein: 7g | Carbohydrates: 66g | Iron: 5mg
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