Dig into homemade molten chocolate cake

Molten Chocolate Cake Recipe

February 12, 2018 by Michelle

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I’ve made this recipe for my favorite chocolate lava cake for years. How I never posted it, I don’t know. Finally, you can enjoy it, too. Note that some links are affiliate links that earn me a small commission if you purchase with them.

Bite of homemade chocolate lava cake recipe

How do you know you have a good dessert? You take it to a friend’s house, and the host immediately asks if anyone doesn’t want one because he wants all the molten chocolate cake for himself. That really happened back when my husband and I were still dating.

We did a “guys cook” night where my husband and a friend made jambalaya for two other couples. I volunteered to make dessert, mostly because these are so quick to mix up and to bake. They guys did well with dinner, but I won dessert.

And no, no one offered to give up a cake so Craig could have an extra one.

easy molten chocolate cake recipe

Chocolate lava cake used to be a staple on dessert menus, but I don’t see them often anymore. Of course, the exception is Carnival that has their molten chocolate cake on the dessert menu every night. But shhhh I think mine tastes better than theirs. My husband does, too.

This recipe makes enough to feed eight people for dessert, but I sometimes put this batter into six large ramekins instead so we get more. If you have a crowd, you can use ten small ramekins, but make sure you reduce the bake time by a minute.

No matter what, serve these as soon as they come out of the oven. You want them ooey, gooey and warm. Of course, when I make this cake for guests, I never tell them it’s a chocolate lava cake. I just tell them I made chocolate cake.

Molten chocolate lava cake fresh from the oven

Why? Welllllll if I overbake it, no one complains. If I do it right, the joy of seeing the chocolate gently spill from the chocolate lava cake? I told you. I won dessert that night.

Flowing chocolate lava cake recipe

Quick hint as I searched my old recipes? I have a small batch version of these chocolate lava cakes. If you want to make just enough for two for a romantic dinner, check out this molten chocolate cakes recipe from the archives.

Freshly baked lava cakes

How to Make Chocolate Lava Cake

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Melt the butter in a saucepan until just melted, not bubbling. While the butter in melting, chop your chocolate so that it will melt quickly.

Remove the butter from the heat, and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Let the butter/chocolate mixture sit and cool for a bit while you work on the next part.

Butter the bottoms and sides of your ramekins really well. You don’t want anything sticking! I leave the butter stick in its wrapper, just peeling back the side enough to expose one of the four sides of the stick. With a secure hold, I can quickly and easily butter everything perfectly – and you can, too!

Separate three eggs. Save the whites for later and add the yolks to a bowl. Add three more whole eggs to the bowl, and whisk for a minute until lightened in color and a uniform consistency.

Add the powdered sugar and whisk again until well beaten. Pour lightly cooled chocolate mixture into your bowl and mix until incorporated.

Add flour and stir just until incorporated. Pour into buttered ramekins.

Bake in 450 degree oven until sides are set and top just cracks. For eight chocolate lava cakes, bake 9 minutes. For six, bake 11 minutes. If you make 10 small chocolate lava cakes, bake 7-8 minutes.

As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, run a small knife around the edge of the ramekins to loosen. Turn out onto a plate and serve immediately. These are great with ice cream or just by themselves.

Have you ever made chocolate lava cake at home?

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Yield: 8 cakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes

These delicious chocolate lava cakes are decadent and fun. They always wow a crowd, but they're ready so quickly from start to finish. Enjoy them by themselves or serve with ice cream and fresh berries.


  • 5 oz dark chocolate
  • 10 T butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c flour


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter bottoms and sides of ramekins.
  2. Over low heat, melt butter. Chop chocolate while butter melts. Once melted, add chocolate to butter and remove from heat. Stir until melted and incorporated.
  3. Separate 3 eggs. Add yolks to a bowl and save whites for another recipe. Add another 3 whole eggs. Whisk for a minute until lightened and fluffy. 
  4. Add powdered sugar and whisk until combined. Pour chocolate into bowl and stir again until incorporated. Add flour and stir just until combined.
  5. Divide batter into ramekins. If making 8, bake at 450 degrees for 9 minutes. See modifications in notes for other quantities. Remove from oven once sides are set and top has just split.
  6. Run a knife around the edge of the ramekin to loosen then turn upside down onto a plate. Serve immediately alone or with ice cream and fresh berries.


This makes 8 servings generally. If you want to enjoy more cake, you can use larger ramekins and make 6 molten chocolate cakes. Increase the baking time to 10-11 minutes if you do so. Additionally, if you use smaller ramekins, this makes enough to serve 10. Reduce the baking time to 8 minutes if you use smaller ramekins.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 cake
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 283 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 127mg Sodium: 29mg Carbohydrates: 40g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 32g Protein: 4g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.

Molten Chocolate Cake recipe. Whether you call it a chocolate lava cake or not, this dessert is ready quickly and always wows a crowd

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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  • Veena Azmanov

    I love molten chocolate cakes. My favorite part is the soft center that just melts in the mouth. We usually love to have them warm and topped with ice cream and nuts.. Gotta save this recipe for later.

    • Michelle

      I should top it with ice cream more often, but I never manage to – as soon as it comes out of the oven, I just dig right in!

  • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy

    These warm, chocolate desserts are always so delicious. Nothing….just so darn good. That runny centre is to die for….and I know hubby would love this. He is a chocoholic!!

    • Michelle

      The runny center is *everything* – just watching it makes me happy!

  • Jolina

    I’ve only ever made lava cake once. Not sure why I didn’t do it again. Must change that! These look amazing. I’m the same way with my friends. If my cupcakes or cakes don’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, I just call it something else. It still tastes delicious. I just see it as managing expectations lol!!

    • Michelle

      I have so many things I feel that way about – “why don’t I make this more often?” Put this one on the list for you!

  • Denise

    Oh this looks absolutely yummy! I am not a baker so I have never a real molten chocolate cake but I have eaten my share. Yours looks great and I love all your tips!

    • Michelle

      Thanks! This is really pretty easy to make – go for it and enjoy one (or three) at home!

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    That cake wouldn’t last long at our house. I’ve never made a lava cake but just seeing the oozing chocolate coming out of it has my mouth watering. I really like making individual desserts for people — it’s nice that seeing a cute ramekin on a pretty plate. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

    • Michelle

      That’s exactly how I feel. It’s more “special” that way, right?

  • Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours

    I love these, there is something so special about chocolate lava cake. I love serving them at dinner parties as they are always so popular.

    • Michelle

      They really are. It’s such a simple dessert to make, yet people get so excited about them (win win!)

  • Marcia

    Do you think you could freeze the lava cakes?

    • Michelle

      I have never tried that – it’s a great question. I would think you could freeze the unbaked cakes (cover them so they don’t dry out on top) and then thaw them at least most of the way and bake them. If you froze the already baked cakes, that would probably work, but heating them is likely to cook them all the way through and give you a “regular” chocolate cake. It would definitely take some trial and error to get it to work out right!

  • Dawn @ The Kitchen and a Latte

    This is such an amazing dessert! I love how you say 8 servings because my family would probably make it 4 servings haha! Ok, maybe 5 but they can eat a lot when it is that good 🙂

    • Michelle

      Welllll it’s 8 ramekins, so that’s 8 servings. If you choose to go with 2 servings a person… I can’t say I’ve never done that 😉 It’s one of my favorites. Enjoy it with your family!

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