Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes (VIDEO)
Chocolate Lava Cakes have a signature molten liquid chocolate center that flows out in a lava consistency when you cut into the cake. It has been made popular by restaurants but homemade molten chocolate cakes are so easy to recreate (watch the video tutorial) and taste even better!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
We love individual serving desserts like Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes, and bakery-quality treats like Cream Puffs or Eclairs and let’s not forget Strawberry Shortcakes. They are fun and easy to make and perfect for special occasions and of course Valentine’s Day!
What is a Molten Chocolate Cake?
A molten chocolate cake is also known as “Chocolate Moelleux.” It has a signature liquid center or chocolate ‘lava’ that flows out of the middle when you cut into it. It is a cross between a flourless chocolate cake (this one has just 3 Tbsp of flour) and a chocolate souffle with the decadence of chocolate mousse.
It works by baking the cakes for a short period of time on high heat so the shell of the cakes rises, while the center is molten.
Pro Tips for the Best Molten Chocolate Cake:
- Do not over-bake. If you overbake, the center will stiffen and won’t have that signature lava consistency. Take them out of the oven when they are dry on the sides and have just a slight jiggle in the center when you jolt the pan.
- Run a test batch to figure out the exact baking time for your specific oven (some ovens run hotter or cooler) to ensure you have your desired molten center.
- For extra insurance that you will have a molten center, you can also dust some chocolate chunks in flour and place them into the center of the batter before baking. The flour will keep them from sinking to the bottom and will ensure a gooey middle.
How to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes:
1. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Butter and flour four 8-oz ramekins, tapping out the excess flour (see notes below for using smaller ramekins or a cupcake tin).
2. Over a double boiler, melt together butter and chocolate chips then remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, beat 2 eggs, 2 yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt. Beat on high speed for 5 min.
4. Pour warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and fold until mostly combined. Fold in 3 Tbsp flour, mixing until fully combined.
5. Divide between 4 prepared ramekins and bake at 450˚F for 10-12 minutes, until outsides are firm and dry, and centers are soft. Cool 1 minute then immediately invert onto plates to unmold.
After the cakes are unmolded, dust the top with powdered sugar then serve with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh berries. These lava cakes taste best served warm and fresh out of the oven. We love ice cream on the side so the cold ice cream doesn’t cool the cakes and centers.
Can I Use Different Sized Ramekins?
- 4 oz ramekins will yield 6 smaller Chocolate Lava Cakes, but be sure to bake for less time (6-8 minutes)
- A non-stick muffin tin will yield 6 cakes and will work if you don’t have ramekins. Butter and flour the tins the same way and bake 6-8 minutes.
- 6 oz ramekins will yield 4 taller and narrow cakes and should be baked 10-12 minutes, or you could do 5 cakes for 8-10 minutes.
More Romantic Desserts:
If you are looking for that perfect Valentine’s Day dessert, these are our top picks for your special day. These are such a treat for a date night in and can also feed a crowd.
- Heart Macarons with lemon cream
- Panna Cotta with berry sauce
- Easy Strawberry Cake – with strawberry sauce
- No-Bake Strawbery Cheesecake – real strawberry flavor
- Tiramisu – an authentic and easy version
- Creme Brulee – proves homemade is best
Watch Chocolate Lava Cakes Video Tutorial:
I hope this Chocolate Lava Cake recipe becomes a new favorite Valentine’s Day dessert for you. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to our Youtube Channel and make sure to click the bell icon so you can be the first to know when we post a new video.
Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes have a signature molten liquid chocolate center. Homemade lava cakes are so easy to recreate and taste even better! Serve with powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream, and berries.
Grease four 8-oz ramekins* with butter and dust inside with flour, tapping out excess flour, just like you would with a cake pan.
Set a mixing bowl over a medium saucepan with about 1 cup water (the bowl should not touch the water). In the bowl, combine 6 oz semisweet chocolate and sliced butter. Keep water at a simmer and use a spatula to stir together until the chocolate and butter are melted and well combined then carefully remove from heat and set aside while making egg mixture.
Combine 2 eggs, 2 yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt and beat with an electric mixer on high speed 5 minutes (using egg beaters or whisk attachment) until whipped, thick and light yellow.
Pour warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture along with 1 tsp vanilla extract. Fold until mostly combined. Add 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour and fold until fully incorporated.
Divide between 4 ramekins and bake at 450˚ for 10-12 minutes (in a very hot oven) until outsides are firm and dry and centers are soft with just the slightest jiggle in the center.
Cool 1 minute then gently loosen cakes with a small knife (if needed). Immediately invert onto plates to untold. Dust with powdered sugar and serve right away.
*For Smaller Ramekins: 4 oz ramekins or a non-stick muffin tin will yield 6 smaller cakes (bake 6-8 min). 6 oz ramekins yield 4 cakes (bake 12 min) or 5 cakes (bake 8-10 min)
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen