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

4.97 from 86 votes
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.
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 4 people
  • 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

  • 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.

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 Per Serving

579kcal Calories40g Carbs8g Protein44g Fat25g Saturated Fat242mg Cholesterol189mg Sodium281mg Potassium4g Fiber28g Sugar970IU Vitamin A57mg Calcium4mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
Amount per Serving
Calories
579
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
44
g
68
%
Saturated Fat
 
25
g
156
%
Cholesterol
 
242
mg
81
%
Sodium
 
189
mg
8
%
Potassium
 
281
mg
8
%
Carbohydrates
 
40
g
13
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
28
g
31
%
Protein
 
8
g
16
%
Vitamin A
 
970
IU
19
%
Calcium
 
57
mg
6
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate lava cake
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 579
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

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

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Comments

  • Josiah Ireland
    March 12, 2022

    Hey Natasha, these are amazing!! I am trying to creatively up the challenge: How can I create a chocolate lava cake with RED chocolate lava? Any ideas how this might be possible???

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 13, 2022

      Hi Josiah, that sounds good but I haven’t tried that yet to advise. Feel free to do an experiment and share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Josiah Ireland
    March 12, 2022

    Hey Natasha, these are absolutely amazing!! I’m trying to creatively up the challenge. Here’s what I’m thinking: How could I create a chocolate lava cake that has red lava? In other words, on the outside it is the chocolate color, but when you cut into it, it has the red lava rolling out. I’ve thought about making a “red” lava cake and covering it with a chocolate color, but I’m not sure about that. I’ve also discussed with others about trying different contraptions to make a cavity in the lava cake, but that also seems challenging. The goal is that it has a chocolate color on the outside, but when you cut it open, red chocolate lava comes out. Is this possible??? Ideas???

    Reply

    • Nicole
      February 12, 2023

      Make a small frozen disc of white chocolate ganache tinted red with food coloring and put it in the middle of the cake before you bake it.

      Reply

  • Sherry Frey
    February 4, 2022

    Has anyone tried this recipe at high altitude? Or does anyone know how to adjust the recipe for successful high altitude baking? I SO want to make these and I live at 6000 ft above sea level. Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 5, 2022

      Hi Sherry, I don’t have experience with high-altitude baking but you can find more tips on High Altitude Baking HERE.

      Reply

  • Lynda Leonard
    February 4, 2022

    Going to try this in mini Bundt pans. The presentation should be beautiful.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 4, 2022

      That sounds lovely! I hope you love them!

      Reply

  • Jessica Vandewalker
    January 20, 2022

    Hi Natasha!

    I recently found out I’m gluten free. Can you make this with any other type of non gluten flour?

    Thanks!
    Jessica

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 20, 2022

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

      Reply

  • Yuri Clingerman
    January 3, 2022

    I made these cakes today. They tasted delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream but I was hoping for more lava. I think I overbaked by a few minutes. Next time I will pay more attention to the notes at the end of recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 4, 2022

      I’m sure it will be perfect on your next try. Thanks for sharing your experience making this recipe, Yuri.

      Reply

  • Christine
    January 3, 2022

    Hi Natasha,
    I made the Lava cake for our Anniversary, came out so delicious and perfect, thank you for the recipe 😁

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 3, 2022

      Yay, thanks for sharing that with us, Christine. Happy Anniversary, great to hear that you both enjoyed this cake!

      Reply

  • Grace
    September 14, 2021

    Hi Natasha,
    Could I halve this batch? Would it turn out as good as the full batch? If I can halve the batch, would I do the same heat and halve the time or vice versa?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 14, 2021

      Hi Grace, I haven’t tried that yet but someone else shared this, “I made half the recipe and used cupcake pan and I got four lava cakes. They were just the right size for me. They were delicious, but next time, I may cook for one minute less. I think my oven may run a little hot. Great recipe and will make again for sure.”

      Reply

  • Ri
    August 8, 2021

    Can i use disposable aluminium ramekins?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 9, 2021

      Hi Ri, I haven’t experimented with disposable, but that may work. If you test it out, I’d love to know how you like it.

      Reply

  • Realynn
    June 8, 2021

    Also, I forgot to add I cook them in four large silicon muffin tins for 10 minutes and they come out perfect every time!

    Reply

  • Margret
    April 26, 2021

    I made it ahead of time, put it in the fridge. Baked it and served it when guests arrived, it was just amazing. Thanks Natasha 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 26, 2021

      Perfect! Glad it was a success, thanks for your good feedback.

      Reply

      • Marianna Mazza
        February 5, 2022

        Hi Natasha,
        Can these be prepared ahead of time, placed in the fridge then baked when ready for dessert?

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          February 5, 2022

          Hi Marianna, I haven’t tried to advise on an outcome. I worry if the batter sits it will deflate and no longer rise. If you do an experiment, let me know how it goes.

          Reply

  • Anna
    April 24, 2021

    Can I use dark chocolate chips for the lava cake? Also can I use gluten free flour?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 24, 2021

      Hi Anna, 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 personally tried using gluten-free flour yet, but if you do try, I would love to know how it goes!

      Reply

  • Dale Schreyer
    March 15, 2021

    Bought the good chocolate. Recipe is simple and quick. Will watch my baking time next time as there was not much lava after 12 minutes. My mistake was also putting the ramekins on a pan that was already in the oven causing them to bake very quickly from the bottom. Next time Ill no better…. but good recipe and easy to make. Just needs some small details corrected on my part.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 16, 2021

      Thanks for sharing that with us, Dale. I’m sure it will already be perfect next time!

      Reply

  • Hiba
    March 15, 2021

    This looks soooo delicious! But I dont have ramekins. Do you think it will work using a muffin pan?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 15, 2021

      Hi Hiba, I haven’t tested that, but it may work. If you experiment, I would love to know how you like it.

      Reply

  • Paul
    March 15, 2021

    Can you make ahead of time and bake them later?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 15, 2021

      Hi Paul, I haven’t tried that to advise on an outcome. If you do an experiment, let me know how it goes.

      Reply

    • Victoria
      March 19, 2021

      Curious about the same thing…did you try it?

      Reply

  • Donna Barrett
    February 24, 2021

    I sit here with a big smile on my face (where else would it be?) watching your video..Chocolate Lava Cake! Thanks for making me believe I can do this!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 25, 2021

      You’re welcome and yes, you can definitely follow my recipes successfully too!

      Reply

  • Violet S.
    February 14, 2021

    Made these for Valentine’s Day and they were amazing! Your recipes always turn out and I’m a huge fan! My kids and boyfriend scarfed them down. Thank You!!!

    Side note – I did make them about two hours in advance before baking them and they turned out great.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 15, 2021

      Perfect! I’m so glad it was a success. Thanks for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Prajakti
    February 14, 2021

    Hi Natasha! I wish I could give 100 stars to this recipe. Made it for Vday today and my friends and family absolutely loved it!
    I made the batter 4 hrs before baking time and keep the prepped ramekins in the oven.
    Then when I wanted to serve them went abt preheating and baking. They came out perfect.
    My pictures don’t do any justice to the taste and joy but would love to share theme
    Thank u so much! Happy love day to you and your family from Texas!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 14, 2021

      Awesome! Thank you so much for your perfect review, I’m just very happy that you loved this recipe. I appreciate your good comments and feedback!

      Reply

  • denise
    February 14, 2021

    I made half the recipe and used cupcake pan and I got four lava cakes. They were just the right size for me. They were delicious, but next time, I may cook for one minute less. I think my oven may run a little hot. Great recipe and will make again for sure.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 14, 2021

      Sounds like a great plan, Denise. Glad you enjoyed this recipe!

      Reply

  • Andrea Stock
    February 13, 2021

    Hi Natasha! First I just wanted to say I love your recipes and I’m a big fan 🙂 I had a question about the lava cakes – can I make the batter ahead of time and prep the ramekins with the batter before baking them? I want to bring them to my mother-in-law’s house, but I want to bake them and serve them fresh if possible. What do you think?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 14, 2021

      Hi Andrea, I haven’t tried making the batter ahead that way personally but one of my readers reported great results making the batter ahead and baking the next day.

      Reply

      • Andrea Stock
        February 14, 2021

        Thank you so much! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day!

        Reply

      • Andrea Stock
        February 15, 2021

        Hi Natasha! These came out GREAT! So delicious! I made the batter and put them in their ramekins yesterday morning and refrigerated them and baked them in the evening. They needed a couple additional minutes in the oven, but they came out so good! Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          February 15, 2021

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

          Reply

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