★★★★★

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Rich and fudgy, these Individual Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes are the perfect recipe for dessert! These single portion cakes have a decadent chocolate flavor with a soft molten center. It’s cake and a chocolate souffle all in one!

Special occasions call for extraordinary cake. Whether you make our Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cake or Lemon Cheesecake Cake, make the everyday even more special!

Individual sized chocolate lava cake with gooey center on a white plate with fresh strawberries.

What is a Lava Cake

Don’t let this unassuming looking treat fool you. A lava cake is a chocolate cake with warm chocolate center. Take a bite of the dense dome of cake and reveal ribbons of gooey chocolate flowing inside like lava.

What I love is that the center is more like a rich fudgy brownie that is a tad undercooked, if that makes sense.

Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream is the way to go with this decadent dessert.

  • You can make these ahead of time (without baking them) and have them all prepped and ready to go in the oven.
  • While you sit down to dinner, pop a tray of these Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes into the oven.

Not only will they smell amazing and entice your guest to indulge in dessert, they’ll be ready to eat when dinner is over!

More reasons why these lava cakes are amazing?

  • Makes portion sized desserts
  • Easy to find ingredients
  • Eat immediately after baking

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make molten chocolate cake.
  1. Prep the pans. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray eight {6-ounce} ramekins with baking spray. (You can find them on amazon if you don’t have some already!) Place the ramekins on a large baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate.
  3. Make the batter.
  4. Bake. Place on middle rack in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, until cakes have puffed up and there is a thin crust on top. The center will be slightly jiggly.
  5. Serve. Remove from oven and serve hot. These can be inverted onto a plate, or served right in the ramekins. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
Molten chocolate lava cake in small ramekin.

Tips and Tricks

  • Chocolate – I recommend dark or semi-sweet chocolate for making lava cake. The Ghirardelli brand with 60% cocoa are my favorite. You can use the chips or the chocolate bars. Use a high quality chocolate as this is the prominent flavor you will be tasting. Don’t go cheap here!
  • Ramekins. My recipe uses 6 ounce ramekins. If yours are larger or smaller you may need to adjust the cook time.
  • Cupcake Tin. No ramekins? A quick fix is to use a cupcake tin. You’ll want to then invert them onto a plate to serve.
  • Toppings. Ice cream, Whipped cream, and berry sauce are all delicious ideas. Or drizzle some caramel over the top!
  • Check the cake for doneness starting at 10 minutes. Every oven is different and the molten center disappears if the cakes are baked too long.
  • Don’t leave the cakes in the ramekins for too long. Once they have cooled down for about a minutes, invert the pan to remove the cakes. If the cakes are sticking, run a knife along the outside edge to loosen them. They can be served IN the ramekins if desired!
  • These cakes should ideally be enjoyed warm, soon after baking. As they cool down the centers will set so you won’t get as much of that lava-like consistency.
Chocolate molten cakes in ramekins with strawberry garnish.

Recipe FAQs

Can chocolate lava cake be made ahead of time?

You can assemble and refrigerate chocolate lave cake without baking for up to 8 hours (return to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking).

How do you invert molten chocolate cakes onto a plate?

To invert, run a thin knife around the inside edges of the ramekin to loosen the cake, while hot. Invert onto a serving plate and allow the cake to release itself from the ramekin (mine popped out immediately, but it could take a minute). Remove ramekins and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

What’s the difference between a lava cake and a souffle?

Souffle is fully baked with an airy, light texture. This chocolate lava cake has a liquid center with a dense chocolate exterior. Souffles are also usually served in a baking dish. Lava cakes are more commonly inverted onto a plate to reveal their liquid middle flowing like lava after you take the first bite.

How can I tell when lava cake is done?

When the edges of the lava cakes look fully cooked but the centers appears jiggly, they are ready to come out of the oven. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes depending on your oven and climate.

Is lava cake save to eat?

Yes, this cake is 100% safe to eat. Although the center remains unbaked and liquid, it is heated at a high enough temperature to ensure all components reach at least 160 F.

What’s the best way to reheat lava cakes?

The best way to reheat a molten chocolate cake is in the oven. Place the cakes on a baking sheet and heat in a 350 F oven until the centers warm and soften (8-10 minutes).

More Delicious Chocolate Recipes

Yield: 8 servings

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes

Rich and fudgy, these Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes are the perfect recipe for dessert! Whether you are feeding your family, or having guests for dinner, this easy, decadent treat can be made ahead of time and served warm with chocolate ice cream!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 8 ounce semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped (or use chocolate chips)
  • 4 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray eight 6-ounce ramekins with baking spray. Place them evenly spaced on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate together (you can also do this by placing a heatproof bowl set over a pan with 2-inches of simmering water). Stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, with whisk attachment on an electric mixer, beat eggs, extra egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, and salt on high speed until the mixture triples in volume. Color will be very pale, and usually takes about 5 minutes!
  4. Add chocolate mixture, and sprinkle flour on top. Gently fold everything together until blended. Scoop (or ladle) batter into prepared ramekins.
  5. You can refrigerate this for up to 8 hours (return to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking). OR, bake immediately. Place on middle rack in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, until cakes have puffed up and there is a thin crust on top. The center will be slightly jiggly. Remove from oven and serve hot!
  6. If inverting, run a thin knife around the inside edges of the ramekin to loosen the cake. Invert onto a serving plate and allow the cake to release itself from the ramekin (mine popped out immediately, but it could take a minute). Remove ramekins and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. I serve mine in the bowl with a scoop of ice cream! ENJOY!

Notes

  • Ramekins. My recipe uses 6 ounce ramekins. If yours are larger or smaller you may need to adjust the cook time.
  • Cupcake Tin. No ramekins? A quick fix is to use a cupcake tin. You'll want to then invert them onto a plate to serve.
  • Reheat. The best way to reheat a molten chocolate cake is in the oven. Place the cakes on a baking sheet and heat in a 350 F oven until the centers warm and soften (8-10 minutes).
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    8

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 472Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 3gSugar: 31gProtein: 8g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

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    Posted on February 3, 2022

    Comments & Reviews

    1. These are so decadent – I love them! My kids love that they all get their own serving, and they are fun to serve to guests as well. I definitely need vanilla ice cream with mine. So good!

    2. Silly question for you. Is it possible to halve this recipe? And, if so, do I halve it exactly, ingredient for ingredient? I simply don’t need eight. Thanks!

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