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Home > Dessert > Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes (VIDEO)

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!

Chocolate Lava cake dusted with powdered sugar with molten center and served with ice cream and berries

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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.

Ingredients for molten chocolate lava cake with chocolate chips, eggs, butter, sugar, salt, flour and vanilla extract

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.

Chocolate lava cake up close showing molten chocolate center

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).

Preparing ramekins with butter and flour

2. Over a double boiler, melt together butter and chocolate chips then remove from heat and set aside.

Melting chocolate and butter over double boiler

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.

Step by step photos how to make chocolate lava cake batter

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.

Chocolate cakes in ramekins before and after baking

Serve With:

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.

Chocolate lava cake topped with vanilla ice cream on a plate with berries

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.

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

4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Chocolate Lava cake dusted with powdered sugar with molten center and served with ice cream and berries

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.

Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $6-$8
Keyword: chocolate lava cake
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Calories: 579 kcal
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter cut into slices, plus more to grease ramekins
  • 6 oz  semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs (whole eggs)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour plus more to dust ramekins

Instructions

  1. Grease four 8-oz ramekins* with butter and dust inside with flour, tapping out excess flour, just like you would with a cake pan.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Recipe Notes

*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)

Nutrition Facts
Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 579 Calories from Fat 396
% Daily Value*
Fat 44g68%
Saturated Fat 25g156%
Cholesterol 242mg81%
Sodium 189mg8%
Potassium 281mg8%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 28g31%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 970IU19%
Calcium 57mg6%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Amirah
    June 7, 2020

    can I not add the vanilla extract? as i don’t have any left

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 8, 2020

      Hi Amirah, the vanilla extract does add a nice flavor, but I think the recipe will still work without it.

      Reply

      • Amirah
        June 8, 2020

        thanks a lot Natasha

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          June 8, 2020

          You’re welcome!

          Reply

  • Mona
    May 24, 2020

    I waited long time before I tried this recipe, I was afraid the lava effect won’t be a success , but I was wrong: I followed the recipe with just a small change- instead of vanilla extract I used rum Essence , just because I think the combination chocolate-rum goes well together! The result was spectacular! The “lava” came out exactly like you showed in your video! Delicious and extremely easy to make! Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 25, 2020

      You’re very welcome! Thanks for sharing your experience with us and I’m glad that the rum essence also worked great!

      Reply

  • Vams
    May 22, 2020

    I want to try this recipe but I don’t have ramekins, so can I use a cupcake tray lined with cupcake liners and bake it that way?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 22, 2020

      I haven’t tested that but it may work! Please share with us how it goes if you experiment.

      Reply

  • Savanna
    May 15, 2020

    I watched your Youtube. Instead of putting it on the double boiler (because I don’t have one) could I just use my stove to heat the water?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 16, 2020

      Hi Savanna, I just made my own makeshift double boiler by putting a glass bowl over a medium saucepan and put that on my stove. I don’t own an official “double boiler” either because I just use this DIY version. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Alix Nicoll
    May 12, 2020

    Can I make the batter ahead and then cook when I am ready for desert – I have a happy cooking friend coming for lunch and would love to serve them straight from the oven?
    Alix

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 12, 2020

      Hi Alix, If you experiment, please let me know. After they are cooked, the lava effect is best fresh but they do reheat well. You can keep them covered and refrigerated so they don’t dry out then cover with a lightly damp paper towel and reheat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds just until the centers are warm then serve as usual.

      Reply

      • Alix Nicoll
        May 13, 2020

        Hi – I made the batter ahead of time and placed them in the ramekins in the fridge until I needed them – we all trooped into the kitchen where the oven was at 230c and in they went – I had 6x 4oz and cooked them for 8mins – sat for 1 min and turned them out – perfecto! Muchas gracias!

        Reply

        • Jeannie
          June 2, 2020

          Did you bring the ramekins out to cool down first before putting in the oven?

          How much advance was the batter made?

          Reply

  • Mrs CR
    May 11, 2020

    Is there a place on this page we can save recipes to.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 11, 2020

      We don’t have that feature on our website yet but someone else also suggested that. Hopefully we can add that in our website in the future.

      Reply

  • Isha
    May 10, 2020

    Hi, I dont have any ramekins, but could cupcake pans work.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 10, 2020

      That should work too Isha. Please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Megan
    May 8, 2020

    I made these using semi sweet bakers chocolate and they turned out great!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 8, 2020

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Areej taqi
    May 4, 2020

    How to reheat these cakes and can I make ahead the batter and then bake it later?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 4, 2020

      Hi Areej, If you experiment, please let me know. After they are cooked, the lava effect is best fresh but they do reheat well. You can keep them covered and refrigerated so they don’t dry out then cover with a lightly damp paper towel and reheat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds just until the centers are warm then serve as usual.

      Reply

  • Vanessa
    April 29, 2020

    Hey Natasha, I made your cream puffs and I’m excited to try this lava cake recipe. I only have 10 oz ramekins. Would that work too? Should I add or lessen the time that it cooks in the oven?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 29, 2020

      Hi Vanessa, that should work. You may need to adjust bake time to get the perfect inside.

      Reply

  • Asta
    April 18, 2020

    Loved lava cakes! So much flavor, will bake it again! Mmmm!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 18, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • kph
    April 17, 2020

    I really want to make them bc they look so freaking delicious!!
    But the thing is that I don’t have 8 oz ramekins but a bit smaller ones..I think about 5 or 6 oz. Will it also work out with those?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 17, 2020

      These are so good! I hope you try them soon! I haven’t tried this recipe in ramekins that size but it should still work, you will need to make a time adjustment. Here’s what one of our readers wrote you may find helpful: ” Made this for Valentine’s last night and it turned perfect! Just like at a fancy restaurant. I used 4 oz ramekins and was able to get 6 out of the original recipe. I made the mixture a couple of hours before dinner, stored them covered in the fridge and right when we sat down for dinner, I turned on the oven to pre-heat and bake so they were hot and fresh by dessert time. I baked them for 10 min. Garnished with hazelnut gelato and raspberries. Fantastic!”

      Reply

  • Kashmala
    April 13, 2020

    We don’t have to add any baking powder to the molten lava?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 13, 2020

      That’s right! No molten lava needed!

      Reply

  • Nusrath
    March 30, 2020

    Yum yumm yummmm
    Oh your recipes😍😍
    I love it
    Made this yesterday here in India
    I am trying most of your recipes as I absolutely love the way you cook with so simple ingredients…
    Thnx so much

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 30, 2020

      I am so glad that you enjoyed this recipe! I hope you love all the recipes that you will try.

      Reply

  • Maha
    March 17, 2020

    Im am getting ready to make these for the 100000x my family loves them! You are the best, when I run out of things to bake or cook I always turn to you! and NOTHING ever turns out bad. Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 17, 2020

      Awww that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Maha! I’m all smiles

      Reply

      • Amira
        April 8, 2020

        Hi Natasha
        Love you recipes.
        Can I use dark chocolate instead of semisweet? If yes what do I need to modify in the other ingredients?
        Also I watched ur homemade vanilla extract, but I don’t drink any alcoholic drinks, do you have a recipe for it without alcohol? Does it matter if i use vanilla powder?

        Reply

        • Natasha
          April 8, 2020

          Hi Amira, Dark chocolate will be less sweet and if you wanted to maintain the sweetness, consider using 1/3 cup of sugar instead of 1/4 cup. I haven’t tried making vanilla extract with anything else. You might try a google search for that.

          Reply

          • Amira
            April 9, 2020

            Thank you, I really love your recipes, both my mom and I are a fan of your work

  • Nicole
    March 11, 2020

    Hey,
    So glad I found you. Your recipes are easy to follow and delicious-

    The kids and I made this – had fun doing it – but no lava.

    Still delicious and we’ll try again!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 11, 2020

      Sounds like it may have overcooked! Was anything altered in the recipe so we can troubleshoot with you?

      Reply

      • Nicole
        March 11, 2020

        Do you think the use of regular butter could have been the culprit? It calls for unsalted butter. If not, then we just overcooked them.

        Thanks for helping me figure this out

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          March 12, 2020

          It sounds more like overcooking to me Nicole.

          Reply

  • Sonia
    February 18, 2020

    Just made these!! Delicious and easy to follow recipe. Thanks Natasha!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 18, 2020

      You’re welcome Sonia! I’m so happy you enjoyed that!

      Reply

  • Judy from SC
    February 18, 2020

    I have tried so many of your recipes and everything has turned out great. You are the best I look forward everyday for another recipe to make. Thanks for doing such a great job.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 18, 2020

      You’re so nice! Thank you! I’m inspired by reading your review Judy!

      Reply

  • Basia
    February 15, 2020

    Did it today everyone loved it I myself have never eaten chocolate cake this delicious and light

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 16, 2020

      That’s just awesome!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

      Reply

      • Faten
        April 30, 2020

        Hiii Natasha , im a super fan for you and your cook and i tried several recipes and was soooo yummy specially the cream puffs , and i am ready to prepare the lava cake . Question can i prepare the mix today for example and make 2 ramekins today and leave the mix remaining till tomorrow to do another 2 ??

        Reply

        • Natasha
          May 1, 2020

          Hi Faten, I honestly have not tested it that way but I have seen others do this in various tutorials online. If you experiment, please let me know. After they are cooked, the lava effect is best fresh but they do reheat well. You can keep them covered and refrigerated so they don’t dry out then cover with a lightly damp paper towel and reheat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds just until the centers are warm then serve as usual.

          Reply

        • Maha
          May 1, 2020

          I’ve done that before. I let them get to room temperature before baking them and they turned out the same!

          Reply

  • Polina K
    February 15, 2020

    Made this for Valentine’s last night and it turned perfect! Just like at a fancy restaurant. I used 4 oz ramekins and was able to get 6 out of the original recipe. I made the mixture a couple of hours before dinner, stored them covered in the fridge and right when we sat down for dinner, I turned on the oven to pre-heat and bake so they were hot and fresh by dessert time. I baked them for 10 min. Garnished with hazelnut gelato and raspberries. Fantastic!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 15, 2020

      That’s just awesome!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review Polina. I’m so happy you enjoyed that.

      Reply

  • Natasha R
    February 14, 2020

    I made these tonight for Valentines Day, and they are perfect. We used dark chocolate chips so they weren’t too sweet and served the cakes with powdered sugar and a side of chocolate dipped strawberries. Heaven.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 14, 2020

      Awww that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me Natasha! I’m all smiles

      Reply

  • Christina Velichko
    February 10, 2020

    Good but too sweet for us. Maybe I’ll try dark chocolate chips instead next time and a little less sugar. Was easy and fun to make!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 10, 2020

      I’m glad you enjoyed that! Thank you for that feedback.

      Reply

  • Noemi
    February 7, 2020

    I need to try your recipe right now! Fortunately, I have all the ingredients 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 7, 2020

      Yay sounds like a good plan Noemi. Hope you love it!

      Reply

  • Janice
    February 6, 2020

    Love your videos, but I was taught to dust pants with cocoa powder for chocolate cakes, not white flour…

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 6, 2020

      I’ll have to try that. Thank you for sharing that with me, Janice!

      Reply

  • Dan
    February 5, 2020

    Great recipe as the it was delicious…as I am using a smaller Ramekins, i could not get the molten center even i just baked for 6mins though…

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 6, 2020

      Hi Dan, was it cooking all the way through? If the ramekins are shallow that may be the culprit.

      Reply

  • Rachel
    February 3, 2020

    Made this today with the same amount of almond flour instead of regular. Also, used semi-sweet baker’s chocolate. So delicious! 12 min was a little too long I think, it wasn’t flowing like a lava, so maybe 11min will do next time. Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 3, 2020

      That’s so awesome Rachel! I bet our GF friends will find this helpful! Thank you for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Lavender Quee
    February 3, 2020

    I overlooked mine a little but it was still very good! The recipe splits in half very nicely to make 2. Can’t wait to make it again!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 3, 2020

      I’m happy you enjoyed this recipe, Lavender! Thank you for that great feedback!

      Reply

  • YYCgrandma
    February 2, 2020

    I would like to make ahead and refrigerate before baking. If I took them out and brought them to room temperate prior to baking, would that work?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 2, 2020

      I imagine that should work. If you do an experiment, let me know how it goes.

      Reply

  • Cindy Allen
    February 1, 2020

    This looks amazing. Do you think this would turn out using gluten free flour?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 3, 2020

      Thanks Cindy. I haven’t personally tried using gluten-free flour yet but if you do try I would love to know how it goes!

      Reply

  • Connie Sheheane
    February 1, 2020

    Hi Natasha,
    Thank you for all your wonderful entertaining recipes. You are my absolute favorite. Can you prepare these Lava cakes ahead when entertaining? Thank you, Connie

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 1, 2020

      Hi Connie, the lava effect is best fresh but they do reheat well. You can keep them covered and refrigerated so they don’t dry out then cover with a lightly damp paper towel and reheat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds just until the centers are warm then serve as usual.

      Reply

    • Marina
      February 1, 2020

      Hi Natasha! Absolutely love all your recipes! Will it work well to make 8 of them in the 4oz ramekins?

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        February 1, 2020

        Hi Marina, you may need to adjust your bake time for that but it should work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

        Reply

  • Joyce
    February 1, 2020

    After dividing batter into ramekins, can you hold them until ready to bake? If so, how long would you recommend?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 3, 2020

      Hi Joyce, although I think they rise best baked right away, they will keep for a few hours covered in the refrigerator before baking.

      Reply

  • Victoria Behrmann
    February 1, 2020

    Natasha, you are just the best! I like very much your cooking and the way you present it! Thank you that you are sharing with us your delicious recipes.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 1, 2020

      You are so nice! Thank you, Victoria! I’m smiling big reading this comment.

      Reply

  • Natashka
    January 31, 2020

    Thank you Natasha. This dessert looks delicious! Also, I really like the pink flowers in the background of your video

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 31, 2020

      I hope you give this dessert a try soon. Aren’t these flowers gorgeous?! Thank you for stopping by!

      Reply

  • Nat
    January 31, 2020

    Just want to kindly let you know that you wrote, “I hope this Chocolate Lava Cake recipe becomes a new favorite chicken dinner for you.” lol

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 31, 2020

      Ah! I’m fixing it now! Thank you for pointing that out, Nat!

      Reply

    • Kerry
      February 2, 2020

      Can you make this with milk chocolate instead of semi sweet chocolate?

      Reply

      • Natasha's Kitchen
        February 2, 2020

        I haven’t personally tried that yet Kerry. But if you do an experiment, let me know how it goes.

        Reply

  • Pierre cipolletta
    January 31, 2020

    How do they store in the frig?Do they warm up good?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 31, 2020

      Hi Pierre, the lava effect is best fresh but they do reheat well. You can keep them covered and refrigerated so they don’t dry out then cover with a lightly damp paper towel and reheat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds just until the centers are warm then serve as usual.

      Reply

  • Courtney O'Dell
    January 31, 2020

    Ive always been afraid I would mess up one of these molten lava cakes, but your instructions made it SO easy!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 31, 2020

      That’s so great Courtney! Thank you for stopping by with that awesome review!

      Reply

  • Stephanie
    January 31, 2020

    This is my favorite dessert of all time! I always thought they were difficult to make but it was a lot easier than I thought. And it was so delicious, now I can make it all the time!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 31, 2020

      That’s so awesome Stephanie!! I love hope easy and rich this recipe is!

      Reply

  • Lauren Kelly
    January 31, 2020

    I am the biggest chocolate lover and these are absolutely AMAZING!! I am in love!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 31, 2020

      These are every chocolate lovers dream – they are richly chocolatey! Thank you Lauren!

      Reply

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