Chocolate Fudge Cakes for 2

A chocolate fudge cake so rich, it puts all other chocolate desserts to shame. This small batch recipe makes only 2 and is perfect when you don’t need to feed a crowd.

Chocolate Fudge Cakes for 2! The simple recipe for these molten lava-type cakes is on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let me begin with: this is a recipe where diets do not belong.

I was going to wait until closer to Valentine’s Day to post this fabulously indulgent recipe, but I’m the queen of impatience. For me, “allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting” means putting them in the refrigerator to speed up the process. I also begin wearing flip flops in April and break out my scarves in August.

Speaking of impatience, I made a chocolate cake recipe that doesn’t require cooling before digging in. Hallelujah. And what’s more? These chocolate fudge cakes are ready in a flash.

Chocolate Fudge Cakes for 2! The simple recipe for these molten lava-type cakes is on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This recipe reminds me of a chocolate molten cake. Hey, did you know that I use to waitress at Chili’s restaurant in college? Fajita rita Mondays, anyone? Chili’s dessert recipe, the molten lava cake, is one of their most popular desserts and it’s clear why. Rich, chocolate cake oozing with chocolate inside. My homemade version doesn’t really resemble a soufflé like most molten cakes; it’s more of a tiny chocolate brownie cake.

Rather than completely underbaking the cakes, I submerge real chocolate into the centers before they go into the oven. The piece of chocolate melts and makes the cake surrounding it nice and gooey. See? It’s a beautiful thing.

Chocolate Fudge Cakes for 2! The simple recipe for these molten lava-type cakes is on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Chocolate Fudge Cakes for 2! The simple recipe for these molten lava-type cakes is on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This small batch recipe yields two undeniably fudgy cakes. One for you and one for your sweetheart or best friend/kid/sibling/parent/any chocolate lover in your life. You will need two 6-ounce ramekins, which is the common size used for most custards, soufflés, creme brûlées, etc. I’m unsure about the bake time for ramekins any other size. I highly suggest just buying the specified size. These are the ramekins I use. I’ll repeat that in my recipe notes in case you’re absolutely not reading any of this.

While the centers are melted chocolate, the outer edges of the cakes taste like a combination of my chocolate cupcakes and homemade brownies. In fact, those two recipes were my inspiration for today’s recipe.

About the ingredients used: I use brown sugar not only to sweeten the cakes, but to provide a little extra flavor and moisture. Vegetable oil makes the cakes extra moist while the egg provides richness. You will not use an entire egg. Rather, you will crack an egg, beat it, and use 2 Tablespoons in this chocolate batter. When testing this recipe, I found using the entire egg made the cakes taste eggy and spongey. Let’s avoid that. Flour gives the cakes structure while the leaveners lift the cakes as they bake.

Like my chocolate cupcakes, I use both baking soda and baking powder here. Why use both? Good question. In my recipe testing, I found that the amount of baking soda I was using was certainly enough to neutralize the acid (in this case, the brown sugar) but this amount was not enough to lift the cakes. Why not add more soda, then? Well, the cakes began to taste bitter. So, a little baking powder is used to give extra assurance and lift. It’s confusing, I know. It’s taken me years to understand. Moving along…

Heavy cream and pure chocolate are melted down to create the fudgy base of the cakes. The mix of these two ingredients is how both chocolate ganache and chocolate truffles begin. So, you can imagine what it does for little mini cakes! Yum.

The chocolate flavor is incredibly intense. Don’t expect a sickeningly sweet cake; semi-sweet chocolate is used and only 3 Tablespoons of extra sugar for the entire 2 cake recipe. All you’ll taste is rich chocolate. A total chocolate trance.

Chocolate Fudge Cakes for 2! The simple recipe for these molten lava-type cakes is on sallysbakingaddiction.com

We had these for dessert last night and it might just be enough chocolate to last me until next Valentine’s Day. Kidding, of course. Chocolate lovers, you’ve reached heaven.

Step by step photos below the recipe!

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Two Fudge Cakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cakes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A chocolate fudge cake so rich, it puts all other chocolate desserts to shame. This small batch recipe makes only 2 and is perfect when you don’t need to feed a crowd.


Ingredients

  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate*
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream*
  • 3 Tablespoons (36g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil*
  • 2 Tablespoons egg (crack 1 egg, beat it, use 2 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons (45g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  1. Spray each ramekin lightly with nonstick spray. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) degrees.
  3. Coarsely chop 2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate. Set the other ounce aside. Combine the chopped chocolate and heavy cream in a medium heatproof bowl. Microwave for about 25 seconds. Remove from the microwave and vigorously stir until melted and combined. Reheat in 5 second increments if needed, stirring after each increment. Once melted and smooth, whisk in the brown sugar until no lumps remain. Whisk in the oil, egg, and vanilla until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Pour into the wet ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula until all of the ingredients are mixed without any lumps. Pour evenly into the ramekins; they should be just around 3/4 of the way full. If you have too much batter (you shouldn’t), make a mini cupcake in a cupcake pan. Cut the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate in half. Drop it into the centers of the cakes and use a spoon to fully submerge it.
  5. Bake for 15-16 minutes, rotating the pan at the 8 minute mark. If you’re worried they are too underbaked, bake for another minute or two. The centers are supposed to be slightly gooey and there is melted chocolate inside. Serve warm.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: I do not suggest making these cakes ahead of time. They are so quick to make- about 30 minutes start to finish. If anything, prepare in full then reheat in the oven before serving. They may not be as gooey.
  2. Special Tools: Two 6-ounce ramekins (like these 6 ounce oven-proof custard cups or these 6 ounce ramekins)
  3. Larger Batches: If you would like more than 2 cakes, this recipe may easily be doubled or tripled. If making 6 cakes (tripling the recipe), use two full eggs. 1 full egg is not enough for making 4 cakes (doubling the recipe). You would need to beat 2 eggs and use 4 Tablespoons of egg.
  4. Chocolate: Quality chocolate is necessary. Chocolate is the main ingredient, so using cheap chocolate or even chocolate chips can heavily affect the taste and texture. For all my recipes calling for pure chocolate, including this one, I use either Baker’s or Ghirardelli baking bars- both sold in the baking aisle.
  5. Heavy Cream: I strongly recommend using heavy cream for best taste and texture. Half-and-half or whole milk could be used if heavy cream is not available. I do not recommend low fat milks; you need fat to melt down with the chocolate.
  6. Oil: Canola or melted coconut oil works instead of vegetable oil.
  7. Bake Time: I’m unsure about the bake time for ramekins any other size than 6 ounces. I highly suggest just buying the specified size if you do not own them already. These are the ramekins I own. The good news: this standard size is typical for other dessert recipes like custards, soufflés, creme brûlées, and mousse.
  8. Adapted from Chewy Fudgy Homemade Brownies, Classic Chocolate Cupcakes, and Cooks Illustrated.

Keywords: fudge cakes for 2, chocolate fudge cakes

Do you own an oven thermometer? Please get one! Extremely inexpensive, my oven thermometer is my #1 tool in the kitchen. When it comes to baking, it is– hands down– the most important thing you could own in your kitchen. You need an accurate 350°F (177°C) for these mini cakes.

Per the written recipe above, begin with quality chocolate. Melt it down in the microwave with heavy cream. I put mine in the microwave for 25 seconds, then stirred until the chocolate was melted and smooth. Do NOT overheat.

Chocolate Fudge Cakes for Two sallysbakingaddiction.com

Whisk in brown sugar– I prefer this over white sugar. (1) for taste and (2) for some additional moisture. White sugar is dry.

Then, whisk in oil, egg, and vanilla. For the egg: as I mention above in the post and again in the recipe, you need 2 Tablespoons of egg. So, beat 1 egg. Measure two Tablespoons from this beaten egg. Use those 2 Tablespoons in this recipe. There will be around 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of egg leftover. Mix it with more eggs to make some scrambled eggs for breakfast if you do not wish to waste it.

Chocolate Fudge Cakes for Two sallysbakingaddiction.com-2

Fold in the dry ingredients: a mix of flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Pour evenly into your ramekins. Stick 1/2 ounce of chocolate into the center of each.

Chocolate Fudge Cakes for Two sallysbakingaddiction.com-3

Use a spoon to get the piece of chocolate fully submerged. Bake cakes on a lined baking sheet (in case they overflow, which likely they will not) for 15 minutes.

Chocolate Fudge Cakes for Two sallysbakingaddiction.com-4

Serve immediately while the cakes are warm. Enjoy!

See many, many more chocolate recipes.

106 Comments

    1. Ditto that. This is my favorite recipe you have done thus far in my reading of you blog. I love the idea of a chocolate souffle dessert made in a ramekin?!? never even heard of that word, learn every day. Nice how it’s not like you say a sickening sweet dessert, it’s the chocolate flavor that rules. Cannot wait either to make this for V-day for my girls. But scarves in August? Flip Flops in April. Haha. You are ahead of the game =) By the time I figure I want a new bathing suit, the stores are all sold out =)

  1. Molten chocolate cakes have to be one of the most romantic desserts – even if you’re dining solo. There’s just something about the unbridled indulgence of the gooey molten centre and nearly not quite cooked nature of the cake that sings of romance. I’m sure my boyfriend and I will be hearing arias when I make these 🙂 thanks Sally!

  2. Yum!
    I was just scouring the web for quick recipes, and I was* looking for something more on the healthy side, but these will have to do!
    What a hard rock life 😉

  3. Chocolate trances are the best trances to be in. I’m pinning these little beauties to save for sometime closer to Valentine’s Day!

  4. I used to make these all of the time in a few restaurants I worked at. I love your take on them with the brown sugar. ^_^

  5. I rarely go out anymore because between life, schedules and the fact that I’m consistently underwhelmed with most restaurant food AND because I have so much food in my house at all times that I am giving away, daily, it seems a darn shame to go out and buy more overpriced food…that I may likely not even enjoy. But…last night I went out and was overwhelmed with a molten chocolate cake I had and I have been thinking about that thing ALL DAY. And now I see these! It’s taking everything in me not to go just pop these into the oven right now 🙂 They are stunning!!!

  6. I love chocolate lava cakes, and these look perfect. How clever with the piece of chocolate in the middle! I also love that the recipe is for two, I usually cook for myself and my boyfriend, and I always end up having to calculate parts of a recipe (how much is a 3/8th tablespoon?!). I’ll be trying this soon!

    1. Hahaha I know what you mean Laura, I often remake my recipes in smaller portions when we want something small for dessert. It’s like a huge math equation/problem/question mark how to divide 1 egg into fifths. This recipe solves it all. You’ll both really like these cakes.

  7. Intense fudginess AND portion control! I’m a big fan of both, so this recipe works perfectly. Plus, so much cheaper than going out and having a restaurant charge way too much for a result that is not as good!

  8. Why oh why did I have to start a diet today 🙁
    I did not realise brown sugar could work as an acid with the baking soda. I tend to use yogurt as the acid to help my cakes rise (if I’m not using baking powder), but I’ll have to experiment with this. Thanks for the tip Sally 🙂

  9. Since I’m single, I can have both servings, right?? haha 🙂
    Could I substitute coconut cream (diluted in a little bit of milk, since it’s thicker) for the heavy cream?

    1. Right! And I’m sure coconut cream would work, though I have not tested with it yet to be 100% sure. Let me know how it goes Matea.

  10. I definitely a have a “for two” recipe coming next where diets DO NOT belong either. I had to laugh at that!
    But, I TOTALLY believe that calories don’t count of Vday because all that love and chocolate goodness totally counteracts them. These look amazing Sally! Pinned 🙂

  11. “I’ll repeat that in my recipe notes in case you’re absolutely not reading any of this.” <– LOL

    A few months ago, I tried making chocolate cupcakes for 2. It was… A disaster. I wrote about it in my recipe fails of 2014 post and had many readers say they hope I get that one right. I do too! These look perfect, Sally!

  12. WOW these little cakes look AWESOME! I love all the chocolate goodness in here! And your photos are gorgeous! Love them too. Pinned 😉

  13. We all need a treat every now and then – and these are perfectly portion controlled to not over indulge!

  14. So timely! Just last night I was bemoaning the fact that I wanted to bake something sweet but did not want it hanging around and tempting me for a week. My husband and I can enjoy this sweet indulgence then jump back on the wagon. 🙂

  15. These look awesome. Valentines day is our engagement anniversary. Wow, sixteen years ago.
    I’ll have to double this because our boys would pitch a fit if there wasn’t a cute personal size dessert for them too.

  16. I am so making these (doubled) for the next time we have our friends over for our monthly dinner. I usually make dessert, and their favorite so far has been your Ultimate Fudge Brownies (no peanut butter chips for this crowd though, so we went all chocolate). I know they will LOVE these, as will my husband and I. Thanks!

  17. I CAN’T wait to make these! Pretty sure I will need to tonight 😉 Just a quick question, in the recipe it says 2, 6-inch Ramekins, but later you wrote 6 ounces. I’m assuming it’s the 6-ounces? I have 2 -7 ounce ramekins so I hope those work okay! Thank you so much for this recipe I can already tell they will be amazing 🙂

  18. Sally, so I was wondering do these go bad quickly I mean you probably wouldn’t know since indulging on these would be too much a temptation to leave then waiting for any time too long. But I’ve been looking for a dessert to send my boyfriend as a care package and these look amazing tho I doubt it would work he loves cheesecake and that is something I can’t definitely send him. Help!

    1. Hi Jeanette– these cakes are no ideal to send– the chocolate is no longer gooey and melty after a few hours. I suggest cookies for sending.

  19. Wow, Sally
    I was just about to search for a lava cake recipe for two online today and came here first. Talk about timing!
    These look amazing!!

  20. Looks great! Wondering about making them earlier in the day and gently reheating in the microwave in the evening. Think that would be ok?
    Thx!

    1. I’m sure that would be fine, but fresh from the oven tastes best. I fear they may get a little rubbery tasting from the microwave.

  21. Well….adding more to my must-buy kitchen tools list…6-oz ramekins! This is perfect for an intimate celebration….such as Valentines Day or our Wedding anniversary! But I am unsure I can wait quite that long (November) to make these. They look absolutely scrumptious (and, did I say decadent? If not, I meant to).

    Though I do some quantity baking, I do appreciate smaller recipes for two. In this case? I’d hate to have more of these in the house at one time. My hubby and I would probably gobble them all up and then regret it later at our physical training sessions at the gym! So thanks for that Sally!

  22. Oh my goodness. Chili’s molten lava cake is one of my all-time faves, so I can’t wait to try this! This looks like such a perfect at-home Valentine’s Day dessert for two. I think hubs will love it!

  23. Sally, Not a big fan of spray, I’m assuming a wee bit of butter won’t be bad in place of. And what do you think about some Grape Seed oil in place of the vegetable oil?

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