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.

How to make 6 ingredient chocolate lava cakes with easy step-by-step photos and a how-to video! EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

How to make 6 ingredient chocolate lava cakes with easy step-by-step photos and a how-to video! EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Overview: How to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes

  1. Prepare 4 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.

Chocolate lava cakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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, peanut butter chocolate lava cakes, and s’mores chocolate mousse.

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.

Ramekins:

Chocolate lava cakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Or the muffin pan option:

Chocolate lava cakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make 6 ingredient chocolate lava cakes with easy step-by-step photos and a how-to video! EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. 🙂

Print

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

Description

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


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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

 

How to make 6 ingredient chocolate lava cakes with easy step-by-step photos and a how-to video! EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make 6 ingredient chocolate lava cakes with easy step-by-step photos and a how-to video! EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

301 Comments

  1. Loved these! Turned out great. I used muffin tins instead of ramekins and that was more than enough for dessert. Very rich and chocolaty. I’ll have to try the peanut butter lava cakes next time.

  2. I made these today for Valentine’s Day they were delicious, but why were mine so light in colour ?

    1. Hi Gaby! It could be a variance in the chocolate brands/contents. I usually use Ghirardelli semi-sweet or even bittersweet. Glad you enjoy them!

      1. Ok. I’m in Australia I’ve never heard of that brand before, I ended up choosing Nestle plaistowe milk chocolate because I wasn’t too sure what semi sweet was.. I’ll have to make them again and try a different chocolate. They were delicious but didn’t have much of a chocolate taste to them more a caramel strange, I’ll have to test out different chocolates. Thanks for your recipe and your reply

  3. Can you use this recipe to make one large on in a baking dish instead or ramkins or muffin tins?

    1. No, this particular recipe needs to be in small serving sizes to get the desired texture. You can make my Triple Chocolate Cake in a 9×13 inch pan (see recipe notes) or if you want something even fudgier see my new recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake.

      1. Wonderful! Thank you so much for your quick response!

  4. Another winning recipe from Sally. Made exactly as written. So simple and so delicious.

  5. I just made them with granulated sugar and they came out fine. The only change I will make in future is to only use 3 ramekins instead of 4. the 4th was a little small and cooked all the way through/Still tasted good though

  6. I make SO many recipes that I get from online, however, for some reason I never leave reviews. Shame on me! BUT… I could not NOT leave a review for these lava cakes. OH. MY. WORD.!!! I made them for my mom’s birthday/Valentine’s day and they were absolutely to die for. I followed the recipe to a T and even did a few with the peanut butter in the middle, which I highly recommend! I tested them using the muffin pan and made them for real using ramekins and both ways worked perfectly. Muffin pan took 10 minutes and ramekins took 13 minutes. Served with a little vanilla ice cream and some strawberries… amazing recipe, Sally (per usual!) Thank you!!!

  7. The first time I made chocolate lava cakes was last year from a different recipe. It was good but not as much chocolate inside. I lost that recipe and couldn’t find it again. Since I pretty much learned how to bake using your recipes I decided to try your recipe today. It was absolute perfection. My friend that doesn’t really care for sweets was scraping the chocolate from her plate lol I’m very grateful now that I lost that other recipe. Thank you so much.

  8. Hey Sally, just wanted to say that I’ve never really been that big of a baker. I discovered your site a while ago and decided to try some of your recipes because they were so fun and seemed so delicious! I now bake 2-3 of your recipes every weekend and regularly check your site for new ideas! My partner also approves, as he’s always my test subject! Thank you for all you do!

    PS – will also be trying this lava cake recipe tonight! SO excited!

  9. It was the best thing I have made and I am only ten.

  10. Hi Sally, is it okay to pour the batter into the ramekins, put in fridge and then bring to room temperature layer before baking?

    1. I can’t see why not!

    2. I did that and it worked fine!

  11. I’m going to be making these for Easter, how do you reheat them in the microwave?

  12. Anna Stilewell says:

    I haven’t made it yet but it looks amazing!!! keep up the good work!!

  13. Peggy Barco says:

    when baking in large muffin tins can you use paper liners (sprayed) . How much time is required on bake on convection.

    Peggy Barco

  14. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, and these turned out great!

    1. How was the texture–did the chocolate center flow like it’s supposed to or was it more of just a gooey middle like a chocolate filled donut? I can see how either would be yummy! However I was planning to make these for company and while I’d like to avoid a store trip for bar chocolate, I also don’t want to give up “the prestige” if you will XD …

  15. This recipe calls for 6 oz. And it’s fantastic!

  16. Hi Sally! These are my go to Valentine’s dessert now! I misread your freezing instructions and froze one of the cakes unbaked. How do you recommend I proceed? Thank you!

    1. I have not tried freezing the batter so I’m unsure of the results. If the batter is already in the ramekin you can either try to thaw it in the refrigerator prior to baking or bake from frozen for an extra couple of minutes.

  17. Can this recipe be doubled successfully?

    1. Sure can!

  18. For those watching your carbs, I made these with Hershey sugar free chocolate mini bars and used Swerve confectioner sugar. They were great, and, most important, I didn’t feel cheated. Otherwise, all instructions are the same. Try raspberries and Swerve cooked down into a sauce, then strain out the seeds and drizzle around the cake.

  19. Ditto to all reviews….. made me like a seasoned baker! and very easy (just my speed). Keep those great recipes coming!

  20. Hi sally, just made these lava cakes today for an afternoon treat with my 2 best friends. They were soooo delicious. Very easy to make and never thought I could make desserts like these. You are my kitchen angel. Thank you so much for empowering me to take a chance.

  21. This is now my go to dessert for dinner guests. I make them in a muffin tray. I typically cut the sugar by half but serve with a bit of freshly whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar. Rave reviews every single time. Thanks for another winner, Sally.

  22. QUESTION!!!!
    How does the recipe/time change if you use larger ramekins? (16 oz)

    1. Hi Delilah, I have not tested these in 16oz ramekins so I’m unsure of exactly how much longer they would need.

  23. Miranda Burgett says:

    I love all the recipes from here but this one just didn’t really turn out. I bake this for my family and it ended up to be dry. It kind of tasted like a brownie but with out any flavor. Also the cake didn’t gush out any chocolate and I was very disappointed. I love all the recipes from here but this one is the exception.

    1. Hi Miranda! If the lava cakes taste dry, they are likely over-baked. If you ever decide to try the recipe again, bake for a few minutes less.

  24. Hi Sally, would a Hershey chocolate bar work for the chocolate?

    1. Hi Andrea! No, you need pure baking chocolate such as Bakers or Ghirardelli brand. They’re sold in 4 ounce bars in the baking aisle.

  25. Easy and delicious! Making it for a second time right now and bookmarked this page. Thank you!

  26. I’ve tried hundreds of lava cakes recipes and failed every single time, but this recipe changed my life. They come out PERFECT every single time. So satisfying! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!

  27. Brittney Tuschl says:

    I love this recipe but I have one problem. I’m not sure if it’s me or my dry ingredients but there has been a few times where my cakes didn’t rise and they were grainy and collapsed when I flipped them over even with allowing them to cool

    1. Would I need to change anything if using 9oz Ramekins?

      1. Hi Shelby, The bake time would be slightly longer for larger cakes but I’m unsure exactly how long they would take.

  28. Hello! I tried your recipe yesterday and it was INCREDIBLE. Although i think i might have missed the correct baking temperature. I preheated the oven to 425F but when baking i lowered it to 350F. Should i bake the cakes at 425F next time?

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed them, Catherine. Next time, yes, keep the oven at 425.

  29. So yummy!! I just made these for my birthday today and it was just me so I’m looking to freeze the rest. Would you recommend freezing them individually? Would a freezer bag work?
    Also, should I thaw before reheating in the microwave or can I do that from frozen?
    I love all of your recipes and was so happy with these lava cakes!

    1. Hi Katie! I usually individually wrap each and place into a freezer-friendly container. Reheat in the microwave until warm.

  30. Hi Sally, thank you so much for this recipe! As a chocohalic, chocolate lava cakes are one of my favourite desserts, so I was very happy to successfully make these myself. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be. My whole family absolutely loved them!

    My boyfriend is more devoted to white chocolate so I wanted to try to make a white chocolate version of this lava cake. I’m happy to let you (and other readers) know that this recipe worked excellently with white chocolate as well. I simply replaced the chocolate with white chocolate and added 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Also topped it with chocolate covered strawberries and some salted caramel ice cream on the side – I actually ended up preferring it to the chocolate version!

    Thank you once again, I look forward to continue trying more of your recipes as I’ve never been disappointed 🙂

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