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

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.

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, 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.


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. 🙂

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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. Thanks for your reply. I am going to try them again.

    1. Omggg! This recipe was perfect and delish! I did not change anything and the taste was amazing. Only one question: for presentation.. I made them on ramekins and they came out a bit lopsided when they came out of the oven. What can I do, so it bakes equally and looks smoothly when they are done and they dont sink in?

  2. Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t even put into words… so good. Added a touch of bourbon vanilla.

  3. I don’t see where the butter is added in the written directions.

    1. Hi Beth, you’ll add butter in step #3. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe + instructions.

  4. Hi Sally. Just wanted to know if the oven temperature you mention in your recipes is for fan force ovens or regular ones?

    1. Hi Amna, When I’m baking, I prefer the traditional conventional setting because I feel things overbake quickly when using the convection/fan setting.

  5. These are amazing!!! They look fancy but they are really easy! Perfect for a special occasion. I triple the recipe and baked in a muffin tin, they can out great!

  6. Wow, these were great! Good directions. Served with whip cream.

  7. I am SO impressed with this recipe! They turned out GREAT, and they were SUPER easy to make! Thank you so much for this!

  8. Taara Parmar says:

    Loved it!!!!!!

  9. Have you ever tried these with German’s Sweet Chocolate?

  10. How much time would I bake it for if I halved the recipe?

  11. adela Uribe says:

    5 stars they are great did them with gluten free flour thanks

  12. I skipped the sugar, it turns out very rich and delicious.

  13. This is my second time attempting this recipe, and it has failed yet again. I can assure you that I followed the recipe EXACTLY both times, yet it was overcooked in the middle & no chocolate lava poured out. Maybe it is because I attempted this recipe using the muffin-pan method instead of ramekins, yet this is still an issue as the recipe DOES NOT work this way. I am really disappointed as I wanted to believe all the other amazing reviews, yet now I am left with a bunch of wasted ingredients and a mess to clean up. Please revise this recipe so that it suits the muffin-pan method accordingly, thank you

    1. Hi Melissa! I’m sorry you’re having trouble with this recipe. The muffin pan version is my go-to and I’ve made them plenty of times this way. Thanks for the feedback. If you ever try the recipe again, you can reduce the bake time. The only reason the cakes are setting is because they’re fully baking through.

  14. Hi, I’ve made these a couple of times and they’ve turned out really good. I have one question though. I know you freezing instructions are mentioned but say it’s put in the refrigerator the day before or has been made 4-5 hours before it’s needed, do we still reheat in the microwave? And for how long?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Radhika, They are best served warm so that the center is molten. How long you warm them up really depends on your microwave and their starting temperature. Try just 10 seconds at a time until you reach your desired temperature.

  15. Oh. My. Goodness!! This is amazing! My granddaughter asked for a molten lava cake for her birthday, and I was slightly freaked out! Your recipe was a lifesaver; so easy and so delicious! We have a new birthday favorite in our family!

  16. Hi
    Can I use 10 ounce ramekins? If so how much longer should I bake them?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  17. Wow Sally. It was really good and chocolatey . Soo delicious

  18. SIMMY JACOB says:

    this is amazing recipe very good for beginners .

  19. Thank you for the recipe. Turned out to be good but while choco lava flowed out from two, the other three were almost fully cooked. Maybe the placement of ramekins in the oven matter as well? Is there no baking powder to be added? Although I didn’t see any baking powder in the recipe, I added a generous pinch. Thr cakes had too much of an eggy flavour – how can I get rid of that? I used 2 eggs and 1 egg yolks as mentioned in the recipe..

  20. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, baked for 12 mins , and had the molten lava effect, no problem! Absolutely delectable, fast, simple and fancy 🙂

  21. Jami Dickson says:

    Just made these tonight for my son’s 12th birthday. He requested lava cake and I was so happy to see you had a recipe. We doubled the recipe and did 12 in a muffin pan. The whole family loved them! Thanks again for another amazing recipe!

  22. My 10 year old has been watching a baking show all summer and decided she wanted to make a confection 🙂 She made these all by herself and did a fantastic job for her first time doing anything like this. Great recipe, easy to follow.

  23. These were delicious and super easy to make! Great recipe!

    I made them in a muffin tray because I didn’t have any ramekins. Came out perfect. Lowered temp to 195c because my oven is fan assisted. Took them out just before 6 min. My oven cooks fast! I added a tiny bit of vanilla because I love vanilla + chocolate. Thanks for another great recipe

  24. So we’ve made this like 8 times. We just use 1 cup of semi sweet store brand chocolate chips and it turns out perfectly every time. We also have subbed Bobs red mill 1 to 1 GF flour and it turns out just as great for a gluten free option. Anyways, if you’re on a budget I wouldn’t buy expensive chocolate, the chips were totally great for us.

  25. I made these cakes exactly as directed in ramekins. I cooked them eight minutes and the cakes had a lovely molten interior. The recipe is perfection. Thank you for the tip of preparing the ramekins with cocoa. The cakes were a great hit and I would highly recommend this recipe.

  26. Super easy and crazy yummy! Mine stuck a little to the pan so the chocolate oozed a little early. But we ate it all up !

  27. Mine were delicious but they didn’t ooze lava. Should I try reducing the baking time? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, a minute or two less bake time is an easy fix for next time!

  28. Hey, if I’m using a muffin pan can I double the recipe to make 12 cakes? Will it come out the same?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tani, yes you can double this recipe for 12 cakes made in a muffin pan!

  29. I made these and they were incredible-thank you!!! I made a few extra and put them in a container and left them on the counter. Do you think that’s ok? I can rebake them…

  30. Just made these! I looked at them after 12 minutes and couldn’t decide if they were done so left them one more minute. Probably wrong as although they were really gooey, they didn’t flow when opened! Next time will stop at 12 minutes. Needless to say, we finished them off as they were still absolutely delicious!

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