Chocolate lava cake is slightly under baked to yield a liquid center that pours out when you cut into it! The center tastes almost like brownie batter, while the outside cake is soft and spongy. It’s perfect for special occasions, or just a regular sweet craving!
Chocolate lava cake is a perfect small serving cake for almost any occasion! This is the best cake for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, Tuesday, or really any day.
This recipe yields 2 servings. So make this cake to share with a special someone or enjoy it all yourself. Either way, it’s a win!
What is chocolate lava cake?
The name says it all for chocolate lava cake (also called “molten lava cake”). It’s basically a chocolate cake baked just long enough so it’s cooked through, but it’s taken out of the oven early so that the center remains runny and … well, like lava!
The center tastes almost like a safe-to-eat brownie batter! And the outside is baked enough to give the structure and texture of a chocolate cake.
Chocolate lava cake ingredients:
This chocolate cake features 6 ingredients total. To make chocolate lava cake, you’ll need:
• semi-sweet chocolate: Since this cake doesn’t use too many ingredients, I recommend using a higher quality chocolate for better flavor and melting! Chocolate chips don’t melt as smoothly as higher end chocolate. So I like to use chocolate labelled as “Baker’s” or “couverture”
* Another note on chocolate: if you’re worried about your lava cake not … lava-ing(?), then just add a small chunk of chocolate in the center of your cakes and cover with cake batter! Solid chocolate won’t be impacted if the cake is slightly overbaked!
• eggs: 1 full egg and 1 yolk for added richness!
How to make chocolate lava cake:
1. Preheat oven and grease ramekins. I also dust my ramekins with cocoa powder for added insurance. I used mini cocottes to bake the cakes in because I figured the red fits in with Valentine’s Day!
2. Melt chocolate and butter. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Beat eggs and sugar. Whisk together until they’re thick and pale in color.
4. Combine! Add flour, salt, and melted chocolate/butter mix to the eggs. Mix until just combined.
5. Pour into ramekins and bake. These bake up quick because their center is meant to be fluid! You’ll know they’re done once the outside is set and matte, but the cake still jiggles in the center.
6. Cool then flip. Let the cakes cool for 1 minute in the pan to make them easier to flip (but you can also serve them straight from the ramekins!) Flip onto a plate.
Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, fresh fruits, ice cream, chocolate sauce (all of the above!) or whatever else you like!
Chocolate lava cake storage:
Because the center of the cake is supposed to be fluid, chocolate lava cake should be served fresh and warm! As it sits, the center begins to set up, so you won’t get the same “lava” effect if you wait too long.
If you liked this chocolate lava cake, check out some of these other chocolaty desserts!
Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- small pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Butter 2 (8 ounce) ramekins or mini cocottes and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Combine butter and chocolate in a microwave/heat safe bowl. Melt in your microwave or over a pot of barely simmering water (bain-marie).For microwave, heat on high for 30 seconds. Take the bowl out of the microwave and give the chocolate and butter a stir. If not fully melted, heat in 10 minute bursts, pausing to stir after each burst, until melted.For bain-marie, fill a pot with 1 inch of water and heat until it's just barely simmering. Place your bowl of chocolate and butter over the pot (making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water). Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Set aside to cool slightly as you prepare the rest of the cake.
- In a large bowl, combine your egg, egg yolk, and sugar. Beat the mixture until it lightens to a pale yellow color and just under doubles in volume.
- Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture to the beaten eggs along with your flour and a small pinch of salt. Fold everything together until just combined. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dishes. (For easier transporting, place your ramekins on a baking sheet)If you're concerned about not getting enough "lava" in your lava cake, you can add another 1/2 ounce piece of chocolate into the center of your cakes for added insurance!
- Bake your lava cakes in the center of your preheated 400°F oven for 11 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are set and matte but the centers of the cakes still jiggle. Cool for 1 minute in the baking dishes, then flip onto a plate. Serve warm!