Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Chocolate lava cake

Soft moist cake surrounds ooey gooey chocolate in the middle. A dessert that looks SO impressive yet only take minutes to make!

I had grand plans of making a fancy dinner for Ryan and I for Valentine’s Day, and I even had a brand new recipe to try. But then we ended up with heart shaped pancakes (okay, let’s be serious, they did NOT look like hearts, but I tried) on the table. Please tell me I wasn’t the only one that failed a little with the V-Day dinner? See, I had some dental work done in the morning, but by evening, my mouth was really sore,  I was tired, and the last thing I wanted to do was stand in the kitchen making a fancy dinner. So pancakes it was. Even though I didn’t feel like making dinner, I still wanted to try the recipe I had planned for dessert because I knew I could have it made in 20 minutes. It turned out to be the best use of 20 minutes when we ended up indulging in insanely delicious, ooey gooey molten chocolate lava cakes.

You know lava cakes, right? Like the kind you see in restaurants with moist cake on the outside, and then you cut open to find chocolate oozing out? These turned out just like that, and the “secret” ingredient I added gave just the flavor I was looking for! Talk about a beautiful presentation, you could easily use these for entertaining. They are so easy, yet look SO impressive. My husband thought I spent a good chunk of time somehow creating the cake and getting the gooey “chocolate” in the middle. Little does he know (okay, now he does, because I told him) that the entire recipe is whipped up in one bowl, and all ya do is pour the batter into the cups and bake. No muss, no fuss!

Please note I did NOT say “no mess, no fuss” because I did end up with a mess. I’m only telling you about it so that hopefully you avoid the same problem. So I baked these delicious little cakes and once they come out of the oven, you let them cool for just a minute, then you flip the cup upside down onto a plate. My first attempt at this was an absolute fail. Fail! You want to grease your little custard cups (which is what you bake this in) really good so that the cakes come out easy. However, I didn’t realize just how easy they would come out. In the middle of flipping the first cup over onto the plate, the cake flopped out of the cup and onto my counter where it immediately starting oozing all of the chocolate yumminess out. “Ahhhh geeeez” is all that came out of my mouth as I watched warm chocolate lava spreading across my counter. Lesson learned, place the plate on top of the cup, THEN flip.

Without trying, you actually get two desserts out of the deal. Serve with strawberries and you instantly have chocolate covered strawberries. You could also serve with cool vanilla ice cream which would be absolutely wonderful, or maybe even drizzle some warm caramel on top? You could also simply sprinkle them with powdered sugar and top with whipped cream. They are delicious in their own right, but anything you add makes these little Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes even better.

*Note: if you’re new to baking and are wondering how the heck you get just the yolk from an egg, it’s easy. Crack open the egg down the middle, and use each half of the egg shell to pour the egg back and forth until you’re left with just the yoke. Try it, it works. Alternatively, you could crack the egg into a bowl and scoop out just the yolk.

Also, you use custard cups for this recipe. They are just little glass bowls. I bought a set of 4 at Target for about $5.00.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Chocolate lava cake

Prep Time: 5mn
Cook Time: 14mn
Total Time: 19mn


  • 4 cubes (4 ounces) semi-sweet baking chocolate (found in the baking aisle, sold in boxes)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (this is the “secret” ingredient that gives it such great flavor)
  • 6 tablespoons flour


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Grease 4 custard cups (6 ounces) really well. You want these cakes to just plop out onto a plate once they’re done baking.
  3. In a medium/large bowl, add 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) and 4 cubes semi-sweet baking chocolate. Microwave on high for about 1 minute. Stir and keep stirring until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the butter.
  4. To the melted butter and chocolate add powdered sugar and stir well.
  5. Add in 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks and stir until incorporated.
  6. Finally, add cinnamon and flour and stir well.
  7. Distribute batter evenly among your 4 greased custard cups.
  8. Bake for 13-14 minutes, then remove from the oven and let stand for 1 minute.
  9. After 1 minute, carefully place a plate on top of a single custard cup and flip. If you greased well, the cake should easily drop onto the plate.
  10. Top with powdered sugar, whipped cream, or whatever toppings you’d like, and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Comments (30)

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  1. Such a beautiful cake!! Loved the photographs!

  2. These “cubes” – how much in weight is that? I’ve not seen cubes in the UK I’m afraid…

    BUT these look amazing, I shall be experimenting :D

  3. These look amazing! I am always a sucker for Molten Chocolate Lava Cake!

  4. How many cakes does this make?

  5. I had this recipe forwarded to me by my daughter who made them. I am making them this weekend, no special occasion. Just because they look so good and seem amazingly easy. My new year’s resolution was to make a list of food I have never made and do it. Lava cake was one of them…thank you so much. I am a seasoned cook and baker, but there are certain dishes I have not ever prepared like angel food cake, risotto, so, it is my year to do this.

  6. Hi I loved your cake by seeing this now itself.I have a big party of couple friends I want to know whether I can make 100 of them early(3-4 hrs before) and preserve it ?and just bake 1 min at the time of serving.can this batter be made very early and cake refrigerated.Please give me ideas of serving this beautiful recipe without making a mess :)

  7. So easy and so yummy! Love them!!

  8. Great recipe. So easy and delicious. The batter can be put into cups and frozen for baking later. Try it with the chilli-chocolate from Aldi. I’ve used their 4.4 ounce bars of the chilli, 70%, and 80% cacao chocolates and they were all good!

  9. These cakes turned out wonderful. I made them for a friend and I and we just couldn’t stop eating them!

  10. This is one of my favorite desserts I’m so happy i finally have the recipe :D

  11. My grandma use to make it every once in a while , always a fan favorite!!!

  12. needs to state how many ounces those custard cups should be!

  13. Crystie Ann Lovell

    Can you do this with a white chocolate lava?

  14. can you substitute butter with margarine?

  15. Wow!! These look wonderful!!

  16. Hi! There’s another way to bake this lava cakes? Cause I have ramekins but I don’t now if its measures 6 ounces! Or how do I know the ounces of my ramekins? Please help! Thanks!

  17. this is fat free I am not eating the fat lol

  18. Dear Ashley,
    I absolutely adore your blog and the fact that you always get back to people personally. <3
    I had this recipe pinned for ages until one cold evening I finally decided to roll up my sleeves and whip this up, trusting your word for it. And The thick, ooey gooey lava, super moist cake surrounding it, piping hot from the oven just warmed by chocolate starved soul. Thanks for such a great recipe!
    My heart went out for you and your family when i heard that things have been really rough for you lately. Stay strong. <3

  19. can these lava cakes be made in an angel food cake pan…..want to make it for my grandsons birthday in February…..thought it would be easier than individuals….have never made a lava cake before….thank-you

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