This chocolate lava cake is everything you want in a molten lava cake – soft on the outside and super chocolately in the center. It’s an impressive and delicious chocolate dessert that’s surprisingly easy to make!
Maybe it’s because my oldest son doesn’t like chocolate at all, but lately I’ve just been craving good chocolate cake. Then my sister reminded me about the chocolate lava cakes we made during a cooking class in Italy years ago.
That chocolate lava cake was perfect, even with my family (including a handful of high schoolers) making it. I figured if we could all make it back then, the recipe was easy enough for anyone to make.
This recipe is the actual recipe that the teacher of that class provided my family to make when we got home. And let me just tell you – it’s just as good as it was years ago. It’s honestly the best molten lava cake recipe I’ve ever tried at home and that’s saying a lot because my sister likes to try out different recipes.
It’s perfect for an anniversary, birthday, Valentine’s Day, or any time you just want something chocolately and delicious.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Perfect chocolate balance – this has the perfect balance of sweet and dark chocolate, making it taste more gourmet (but still kid-friendly).
- Chocolate lava – when you eat this warm, the chocolate flows out just like lava (hence the name chocolate lava cake) and is just delicious.
- Fancy yet simple – this looks fancy, it sounds fancy, and it tastes fancy. But it’s not nearly as difficult as you’d think.
- Kid and adult friendly – there are some desserts that are more pleasing to kids (like these hot chocolate cupcakes) and there are some that are better for adults. These lava cakes are just as good for either, promise.
- Baking chocolate – this is best with semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate and our favorite brands to use for this in particular is Ghirardelli.
- Flour – all-purpose flour works great, but I recommend sifting before using it.
- Butter – high-quality butter like Kalona or Kerrygold is always going to be better in something like this that only has a few ingredients. Whatever you do, just don’t use margarine or fake butter.
Okay so I’ll be the first one to admit that this takes a few steps to make but none of the steps are super complicated.
And guess what? This chocolate lava cake is delicious even if it’s not perfect!
First you need to spray 6 small ceramic or aluminum ramekins with non-stick spray and preheat your oven to 350°F.
Next, melt the butter and dark chocolate in a double boiler on the stove top, stirring occasionally to mix, then set it aside to let it cool.
While the butter and chocolate are melting, in a large bowl beat whole eggs and egg yolks together. Once they’re well mixed, add the powdered sugar and flour and mix them together.
Once the chocolate is cooled, use a wooden spoon to stir the chocolate mixture into the eggs, flour and sugar mixture. Stir until smooth.
Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared ramekins.
Bake in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes until the outside is cooked. Unlike with this chocolate brownie cake, the inside shouldn’t be completely cooked. You want it to be gooey!
Remove from oven, then run a knife around the inside edge of each ramekin. Next, place a serving plate on top of the ramekin then flip over and carefully remove ramekin so lava cake is on the plate.
Dust with powdered sugar if you’d like to add a little fancy to the top. Serve with ice cream, fresh berries, or even a little hot fudge or cream.
Bake these right before you want to serve them. You really want to enjoy the gooey lava chocolate center and if they sit for a long time, you’ll love that molten chocolate center.
Melt the chocolate on low heat so you don’t end up boiling or scorching the chocolate. No one likes scorching chocolate.
Have ice cream already scooped in the freezer so you can add a scoop immediately when you serve the cakes. I like to scoop it out and put it in muffin tins for serving!
Don’t over bake the chocolate lava cakes! Remove them from the oven and remove from the ramekins as soon as the outside is cooked.
You’ll know the chocolate lava cake is done when the outside edges are cooked completely and the center is no longer jiggly. It’ll still be soft on the middle, not jiggly.
If you don’t eat all of the chocolate lava cake, you can reheat in the oven at 350 degrees. You won’t get the lava center, but the cake itself will still be moist and delicious.
Yes, you can eat lava cake cold, but the center just won’t be as liquid as if you eat it warm. It’s definitely better warm but you can still enjoy it cold.
You can use either 4″ or 6″ ramekins for this recipe. If you use 4″ recipes, this will make 4 chocolate lava cakes. You can also use disposable aluminum ramekins if you don’t have a set of actual ramekins.
More Decadent Desserts
If you like this chocolate lava cake, you’ll absolutely love these other decadent desserts.
- Chocolate whoopie pies – two soft and fluffy chocolate cookies filled with a delicious vanilla filling, these will be a new family favorite!
- Cherry cake – what you’d get if you mixed cherry pie with a vanilla frosted cake. Best served with fresh cherries or ice cream, always ice cream.
- Easy red velvet cake – talk about impressive, this gorgeous red velvet cake tastes as good as it looks!
- Homemade apple pie – this all-American dessert is great by itself or topped again with ice cream!
- Sopapilla cheesecake – cheesecake sandwiched between two cinnamon sugar layers, a family favorite for sure!
Chocolate Lava Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark baking chocolate (1 cup = 100 grams)
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup all purpose flour (sifted)
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray six small ceramic or aluminum ramekins with non-stick spray.
- Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler on the stove top, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs and egg yolks together then add powdered sugar and flour and mix well.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir the cooled, melted chocolate and butter into the egg, sugar and flour mixture. Stir until smooth.
- Pour batter evenly between the prepared ramekins.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until outside appears cooked. Center will be soft but not jiggly.
- Remove from oven, then run a knife around the inside edge of each ramekin, place a plate on top of the ramekin then flip over and carefully remove ramekin so lava cake is on the plate.
- Garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar and grated chocolate if desired.