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

Today, we’re making straight up chocolate lava cakes– though my peanut butter chocolate lava cakes are truly magical. 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 with pure chocolate and lots of butter.

Chocolate lava cakes are so simple and here’s proof:

  • no mixer
  • 6 ingredients
  • bake time is 12-14 minutes
  • 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

How to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes

Chocolate lava cakes may look fancy and complicated, but you’ll quickly realize just how simple they are to make. Let’s review the steps:

  1. Prepare 4 ramekins.
  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. 12-14 minutes and they’re done! 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

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 suggest you pick up as well. They’re the perfect size for these single-serve lava cakes. 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.

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.


Chocolate lava cakes on

Or the muffin pan option:

Chocolate lava cakes on

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

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 🙂

Chocolate Lava Cakes Video Tutorial


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


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

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


    1. Quite short. But I’m unsure of the exact time. I’ve never baked lava cakes in that small of a ramekin before. Sorry I don’t have more advice!

  1. Made these for dessert tonight. 12 minutes was the perfect amount of baking time to get just the right lava flow. They are literally sooo much better than any molten lava cake I’ve ever ordered in a restaurant. These will definitely earn me brownie points with dinner guests in the future! Thank you thank you for writing and posting such an easy-to-follow delicious recipe! Love the video too 🙂

  2. Great recipe!!! Amazing taste! I made these last night using the muffin pan. I baked them at 425 for about 6 minutes. But I had one issue, (not the recipe, all me…by myself) my lava wasn’t as flowy it was more tacky, gluey. If that makes any sense. Do you have a clue as to what I may have done wrong? I used Ghiraldelli chocolate and followed everything in the recipe accordingly. Although I did melt my butter and chocolate on the stove, I hate doing it in the microwave. I appreciate your advice! Thank you for the video as well! 🙂

    1. I usually melt my chocolate on the stove too! I baked mine for about 9 minutes and the inside wasn’t really that lava-y just the bottom section was. I also didn’t have any cocoa powder and it worked just fine without it. I don’t know but maybe you didn’t leave them in the oven long enough.

      1. *UPDATE* I finally had a chance to remake these! I was able to get a glorious lava flow this time by stirring the batter with a whisk until completely smooth. Last time I used the spoon but didn’t stir the batter to a smooth finish afraid of over stirring. But the whisk was great and the “lava” had a beautiful flow! So the lesson… make sure you stir to a smooth finish! 🙂

  3. Is there any advice for making in mini muffin pans? Id love to make a bunch of mini ones for a kids birthday party coming up!

    1. Keto lava cakes might be the answer for you, look them up on pinterest. Anything keto or paleo is usually gf.

  4. Wow….Love this recipe….Such a mouth watering recipe for the chocolate lovers like me. Easy & amazing. Thanks for the sharing.

  5. This recipe is totally awesome. The cakes are divine. An absolute hit with hubby and kids. Thank u Sally for sharing this treat.

  6. Hi Sally 
    Could you advise the baking chocolate bar should it 
    Be milk chocolate , dark , semi sweet etc 

  7. Hi, can this recipe be halved? The ingredient amounts are easy to divide,
    I’m just making sure they’ll still come out right.

  8. My husband and I enjoyed a sweaty labored 5 mile walk in the lovely South Carolina heat after dinner and I thought “how best to celebrate this effort and hard work???”… hmm… “chocolate lava cakes”! Trust me, since we’ve been careful about calorie intake to lose weight, I knew I’d need the effort to enjoy a baked dessert without guilt (and these puppies were over 500 per serving). I had your recipe saved for a while now waiting for the perfect chance to make it. But after I baked them, thought for sure I failed, turned them over into bowls and added our chosen accompaniments we both declared “the work was SO WORTH IT!” Turns out they came out perfect, but I hadn’t made them before so didn’t know what exactly to expect. These were absolutely the best chocolate lava cakes I’ve ever had… the restaurant I used to get them at absolutely pales in comparison to this recipe, just sayin’. You blew this one out of the water, it was super easy, quick, and utterly decadent! 
    I halved the recipe to make two ramekins and it worked perfectly. My husband chose our breyers PB dairy free ice cream to go with his (that stuff is amazing), and I poured homemade raspberry coulis on mine… each of us loved our choice, and we will absolutely make this again! And again, and again! Guess there’s a lot more long walks in my future 🙂

  9. Hi Sally, 

    I’d like to make these for a family picnic tomorrow.  Can I make today and then pop in the microwave before serving?


  10. I made this with out looking at the recipe notes. It worked fine with the chocolate chips. Does it taste any better with the chocolate bars?

  11. Made these last night after saving so many yummy looking treats from Pinterest. So glad I chose this one to attempt. So easy to make, simply follow the directions, though I used a jumbo muffin pan which has the same capacity as the 6 ounce ramekins. They were perfect, delicious, rich, chocolatey (I could go on!). Oh, and definitely add some vanilla ice cream on top. Thank you for this recipe!

  12. Using this recipe, I baked the best lava cakes I have ever eaten! Sally, thank you so much for taking time to create this recipe and share it with us. Much appreciated!

  13. I would like to make these for a friend’s birthday. Would these be just as delightful warmed up? I don’t know if it’s going to lose it’s fabulousness because they won’t get them fresh. 🙁


  14. I have made these chocolate lava cakes several times. Every single time they have come out perfectly. This is a recipe that I will for sure use for a very long time. I did use cheap tollhouse chocolate chips and they turned out amazing. I’m sure better quality chocolate would make them even better, but this is one of the few recipes where cheap chocolate works just spectacularly.

  15. I made these tonight & they were divine! So chocolatey & very rich. I used the ramekins & as my electric oven is a bit slow, I ended up cooking them for 14 mins, checked them, then put them back in for another 2 mins. Can’t wait to make these again & share with my chocolate loving friends!

  16. Hi Sally. I made these yesterday. And my family loved them. Thank you so much for posting this incredible recipe. Lots of love all the way from Sri Lanka ❤️

  17.  These look fabulous, however I am Looking forSomething similar that doesn’t need to be served immediately. Something  as easy as this,  hopefully with a bit of a shelf life. Any suggestions?

  18. Hi Sally I love your recipes and recently tried tasted awesome !!! But though I waited a minute to take it out some was still stuck to muffin pan.pls advise

  19. Just wow!! My 17 yo son and I just made these – so so amazingly good!! We just used half the batter (the other half is in the fridge for tomorrow). We put peanut butter in one of the ramekins and left the other only chocolate…… Served up with some ice cream – I’m usually not a chocolate dessert fan, but this is just awesome!! We are having friends over during the upcoming holidays and I know what dessert will be!!

  20. How would you prepare, and heat if you froze them
    I like to make ahead but only use one or two at a time. 
    I read heat them in a microwave but for how long?

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