How to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes

Rich and fudgy chocolate lava cakes come together with 6 simple ingredients. Ready in just 25 minutes, this easy dessert recipe always impresses. If you don’t have ramekins, follow my instructions for using a muffin pan instead.

chocolate lava cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a white plate

Today, we’re making straight up chocolate lava cakes– though my peanut butter chocolate lava cakes are truly magical as well. I’ve gotten many requests for a plain chocolate version and I decided to finally make them because (1) chocolate molten lava and (2) chocolate molten lava. I love that these chocolate lava cakes are single serving just like my chocolate cupcakes— and that they’re even more rich and chocolatey than my chocolate cake recipe. If you enjoy this recipe but are looking for a gluten free option, try my flourless chocolate cake.

The secret for making chocolate lava cakes is… there’s no secret at all! You’ll be delightfully surprised at how easy these really are to make.

Chocolate Lava Cakes Are Easier Than You Think

I appreciate that making these lava cakes doesn’t involve anything complicated and if you don’t have the little ramekins I use– you can use a muffin pan. I’ll show you how to use both.

I worked at Chili’s throughout college– I know a good molten lava cake when I see one. While the molten cakes came to the restaurant frozen, a quick zap in the microwave made that chocolate completely ooze out with the first bite. Molten cakes are obviously a crowd favorite, but believe me when I say this: they’re infinitely better freshly made at home. Plus, they’re easy and here’s proof:

  • no mixer required
  • only 6 ingredients
  • bake time is extremely quick
  • no waiting for them to cool

chocolate lava cakes topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream on a white plates with spoons

Quick Lava Cakes Video Tutorial

Overview: Here are the Steps to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it quickly so you understand each step before you get started. 

  1. Prepare four 6 ounce ramekins. Grease each ramekin with a little non-stick spray and a dusting of cocoa powder before filling with batter. This preparation helps the baked lava cake release seamlessly from the ramekin onto the plate for serving.
  2. Make the chocolate cake batter.
  3. Spoon the batter evenly into each ramekin.
  4. Bake. The high oven temperature cooks the outside of the mini cakes but leaves the center slightly gooey. The tops may look slightly soft.
  5. Invert the ramekins. Carefully flip the freshly baked lava cakes upside down onto plates.
  6. Add toppings & enjoy!

And, if 4 or 6 lava cakes are simply too many to have around, try this 2 serving recipe for chocolate fudge cakes instead.

overhead image of 3 glass bowls of ingredients for chocolate lava cakes

You Need Ramekins or a Muffin Pan

I highly recommend using ramekins for these lava cakes. Here are the 6-ounce ramekins I use and recommend. They’re the perfect size for these single-serve lava cakes. You can use the same ramekins for chocolate fudge cakes, chocolate soufflé, peanut butter chocolate lava cakes, and lemon pudding cakes.

If you don’t have ramekins, you can use a muffin pan: Grease 6 muffin pan cups and dust with cocoa powder to prevent the lava cakes from sticking. Your lava cakes will be slightly smaller– you’ll get 6 lava cakes instead of 4. Bake at 425°F (218°C) for 8-10 minutes. Use a spoon to release the cakes from the pan and place each upside down on plates.


overhead image of white ramekins with a dusting of cocoa powder inside

Or the muffin pan option:

lava cake batter in a muffin pan

chocolate lava cakes in a muffin pan after baking

Optional Toppings for Chocolate Lava Cakes

Once you flip the warm lava cakes upside down onto plates, the fun really begins! There are so many toppings that pair wonderfully with these chocolate lava cakes– here are a few of my favorites: ice cream, chocolate ganache or red wine chocolate ganache, melted peanut butter, salted caramel, whipped cream, mocha whipped cream used on my flourless chocolate cake, sprinkles, chocolate chips, fresh berries, you name it. 🙂

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
chocolate lava cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a white plate

Chocolate Lava Cakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 or 6 cakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Here’s how to make incredibly decadent homemade chocolate lava cakes!


  • 6 ounces (170g) high quality semi-sweet chocolate*
  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks*
  • optional for topping: ice cream, raspberries, and/or chocolate syrup


  1. Spray four 6 ounce ramekin with nonstick cooking spray and dust with cocoa powder. This ensures the cakes will seamlessly come out of the ramekins when inverted onto a plate in step 7. *Or spray half of a 12-count muffin pan and dust with cocoa powder. If baking in a muffin pan, the recipe will yield 6 cakes.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  3. Coarsely chop the chocolate. Place butter into a medium heat-proof bowl, then add chopped chocolate on top. Microwave on high in 10 second increments, stirring after each until completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. Whisk the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt together in a small bowl. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together until combined in another small bowl. Pour the flour mixture and eggs into the bowl of chocolate. Slowly stir everything together using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. If there are any lumps, gently use your whisk to rid them. The batter will be slightly thick.
  5. Spoon chocolate batter evenly into each prepared ramekin or muffin cup.
  6. Place ramekins onto a baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes until the sides appear solid and firm– the tops will still look soft. *If baking in a muffin pan, the cakes only take about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool for 1 minute, then cover each with an inverted plate and turn over. Use an oven mitt because those ramekins are hot! The cakes should release easily from the ramekin. *If you used a muffin pan, use a spoon to release the cakes from the pan and place each upside down on plates.
  8. Add toppings. Serve immediately.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can prepare the batter through step 4. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Allow to come to room temperature before continuing with step 5. You can freeze the baked lava cakes for up to 3 months. Allow them to cool completely before freezing. Re-heat in the microwave.
  2. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Rainbow Whisk, Muffin Pan, Ramekins, and Baker’s Chocolate
  3. Chocolate: Make sure to use high quality chocolate, not chocolate chips. You won’t have much “lava” with chocolate chips! I suggest high quality chocolate baking bars sold in the baking aisle such as Baker’s, Ghirardelli, Nestle, or Lindt. They’re all typically sold in 4 ounce bars, so you will need 1 and 1/2 bars total.
  4. Eggs: For this recipe, you need 2 whole eggs plus an addition 2 egg yolks. (Use the 2 extra egg whites in an omelet or in any of my recipes with egg whites.) After 10-14 minutes in an oven this hot, the eggs should be cooked to 160°F which is considered safe to eat. If you’re concerned, you can take the temperature to be sure!

Keywords: chocolate lava cake, lava cake


chocolate lava cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a white plate


  1. Super excited about the challenges. Did the lava cakes and they turned out great! I cooked them in my muffin pan! Thanks for doing this Sally!

  2. Oh Sally, these turned out absolutely delicious last night … my 11-yr old was dying to make ‘cakes in a mug’ and I convinced her to use our baby ramekins instead.  She made them pretty much all by herself, with just a bit of supervisory help 😉 …. what a proud accomplishment! We topped ours with vanilla/strawberry swirl ice cream.  Pure yumminess! You might be an inspiration for us mom-daughter to bake together this monthly challenge each month!!

  3. Love your baking challenge idea! Made them for super bowl for the hubby and I! YUM! I also made the Baked Honey BBQ Popcorn Chicken. Super good!

  4. Made these last night for my husband’s birthday dessert – so easy and SO decadent and delicious. They did not disappoint. The ramekins I used worked perfectly. I might have to continue with the monthly baking challenge! 🙂

  5. Jessica Flory says:

    February challenge complete!! These were AMAZING!!!! I went the muffin pan route and those little cakes were soooo adorable. In my oven they took about 7 min, and the amount of lava was perfect. Served them with homemade vanilla ice cream and they were delish!! Guests were amazed and I was so happy with how easy they were! LOVE this monthly challenge idea!

  6. I made them, they came out delicious!

  7. I made these but I think I need to check my oven temperature because they were not as lava-y as I had expected. Still amazing though!! <3

  8. I love your blog and your recipe of the month!
    The chocolate lava cakes were amazing. I can’t believe how easy they were to make!
    All of your recipes are amazing! Baking is what I do to relax.

  9. Baking challenge is completed! I have been wanting to learn how to bake these and I’ve seen several different methods. But the search is over as these were amazing and tasted just as good if not better than ones I’ve had at restaurants! I first baked them for 12 minutes and after flipping one out of the ramekin, it was too undercooked (not that too much lava is a bad thing). But I put the rest of the cakes back in the oven for another 2 minutes and that seemed to be perfect! I also love the small size of these cakes in that I can indulge without feeling too guilty. Btw, we had an entire Sally meal consisting of your Skillet Chicken with Creamy Lemon and Thyme and then Molten Lava Cakes for dessert, all prepared after a full day at work! Thank you!

    1. What a meal! I’m glad you found the best baking time for your oven, Allison!!

  10. I made these for my family and they turned out amazing. We ate them right after they finished cooling down and they tasted great! I drizzled a little mixture of melted chocolate and butter over them and ate them with milk. WOW!!!

    1. Side note: I know this is late but I have made these at least five times since you posted this and they always turn out amazing! P.S is there anyway that I can add banana to the batter because that would be so good!!!

      1. Oh my gosh I’m so happy you love them so much! Don’t know how banana would do, but maybe mash one up and add it– then see how it tastes? Can’t be bad!

  11. Hey Sally!
    I want to make half of this recipe, so should I use one whole egg and one egg yolk?
    Thanks a ton!

    1. That’s what I would do, yes.

  12. Sally, what would be your thoughts of subbing the semi-sweet with Dove Milk Chocolate? It’s my go-to for your Oreo truffles, and the one time I subbed with the Bakers dipping chocolate my boyfriend was not happy! 

    1. Is that milk chocolate for baking? I really like Lindt’s milk chocolate bars. You can find them in the candy aisle!

  13. Delicious recipe, not too sweet which I loved. I overcooked mine but stayed in the time limit.  Used muffin tin. Anything else one should look for to avoid over baking? 

    1. I’m happy you tried them! The tops will begin to crack quite a lot when overbaking.

  14. I’ve never bothered with lava cakes before as I thought they wouldn’t work but these were sooo easy and delicious! Love your monthly baking challenge idea and can’t wait to see what you have next month!!

  15. Hi Sally! This might be a dumb question but where did you buy your ramekins? I’ve never seen them in stores but maybe I just haven’t been looking lol

  16. Can I make these fully and save for tomorrow night? 

  17. Just wanted to check back in and let you know that they stole the show at our Valentine’s day dinner! 🙂 I served them topped with caramel ice cream and salted caramel sauce. Even my non-chocolate loving hubby enjoyed them!

  18. Made this tonight for my husband and boys and everyone loved it! I should have pulled them out at 12 minutes but gave them an extra minute. I struggled to get a grip on the ramekins because of my oven mitts, so I’ll have to figure out something there. But the recipe was great! Easy to make with delicious results.

  19. Joining the baking challenge and sharing it on Facebook. Made these the other day in a regular cupcake pan. Topped them with mint chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate sauce. They were soo good. I put some in the freezer for later-any idea how long to re-heat them for from frozen?


    1. I’ve just used the microwave! About 20-30 seconds.

  20. I halved the recipe and made these for my husband and I for Valentine’s Day! It was a perfect gooey treat! I used the muffin pan option and made 3 small cakes. We served them with vanilla ice cream! Yummy!

  21. I made these for my husband & 2 boys last night for Valentine’s Day & they were a HUGE hit!!  I loved them, too!!  Perfect chocolate dessert & very easy to make.  Thank you for coming up with the idea for the baking challenge–I think it’s a great way for all of us to try new recipes & learn about the ingredients we’re using!  Also cool that they may be related to the season.  Thanks for all you do!  I really love your stuff & so does my family!!

  22. Made this last night in muffin tin, complete success!!!

  23. Hi Sally! Could I make this recipe in 8 oz ramekins? Would the bake time change? Thank you, your recipes are awesome. 🙂 

    1. Yes the baking time will be a bit longer, but I’m unsure of the exact amount. Maybe another 2 minutes?

  24. Challenge accepted!
    I just made them and they were perfect!!! First popped 2 into the oven and pulled them out at 12 min. Giant explosion of chocolate. Amazing. The other 2 stayed for 1 extra minute because I forgot to check the time, and didn’t have as much *lava* inside as the first ones. So I would say 12 minutes is the perfect time. Thank you, Sally!!! 

  25. My husband and two children, both under 5, made this for my birthday. It was the first time my husband had ever baked and they turned out very well! I think he must have taken st least 10 pictures of the final product and even called his mom, he was so  impressed! 

  26. Just made these tonight. Followed the recipe exactly but halved it since just two of us. Came out great!  Thanks for such a quick and easy recipe. 

  27. Heather Knudtson says:

    LOVED THESE! I’ve never been a huge fan of lava cakes (a little too rich for me), but my hubby was all for this recipe for V-Day and we both thought they were fantastic! The flavor was much better than anything served at a restaurant and so easy to make. Thanks for another good one, Sally!

  28. OMWord!! These were so good and so easy! YUM. Came out perfect! Can’t wait for March’s challenge recipe! Thank you.

  29. Made these for Valentine’s Day and they were amazing!! So easy and yummy … and I’m even a big chocolate fan. Thank you for the challenge, as I don’t think I would ever tried these otherwise. 🙂

  30. I made these last night and they were awesome! I halved the recipe and got 3 out of a jumbo muffin pan. The spoon trick was a fail for the first one (it fell apart) so for the other two I just inverted the pan onto a cutting board and they came out like magic! Perfect size for little scoops of ice cream. Fudgy, chocolate heaven.
    Can’t wait for next months.:) thank you!

1 2 3 10

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love



Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally