Chocolate Lava Cakes

Chocolate Lava Cakes

By Tessa Arias
  |  
January 25th, 2018
4.98 from 37 votes
4.98 from 37 votes

Chocolate Lava Cakes are made with 7 ingredients and have rich molten chocolate centers. So easy to make, and can be made ahead of time!

Yield: 6 cakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Ultra chocolatey and decadent. I love pairing this with fresh raspberries and dusting with powdered sugar or even cocoa powder. Texture: Definitely the best part of lava cakes! The cake itself is moist and tender around the edges but once you get into that molten ooey gooey rich and thick chocolate lava filling it is HEAVEN on earth. Ease: So surprisingly easy. I don't know why I was ever intimidated to make these. AND they can be made ahead of time. Appearance: Gwahhhhjussss. Like a fancy schmancy restaurant dessert. Pros: One of my all time favorite desserts, and it's easy! Perfect Valentine's day recipe. Cons: Decadent. Would I make this again? YES. I fell in love with this recipe the first time I used it in culinary school and it is a go-to for special occasion desserts.

Chocolate lava cakes might be one of my favorite recipes on the entire planet.

It’s too quick and easy not to want to make these chocolate lava cakes all the time. They look so complicated and intimidating, like something you’d only get to indulge in at a restaurant.

Chocolate Lava Cake Batter

I made a video for you guys to show you how truly easy they are. You can’t mess these up, as long as you don’t overbake them.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes are perfect for Valentine's Day and can be made ahead of time!

I remember the first time I ever ate a chocolate lava cake at a local restaurant that soon became a family favorite throughout my childhood. I think that was the moment I became a true chocoholic.

Because seriously, what’s better than that molten chocolate lava filling!?

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes are perfect for Valentine's Day and can be made ahead of time!

There are so many possibilities with these chocolate lava cakes to switch up the flavor profile and plate presentation. Add in a tablespoon of espresso powder to the batter for a mocha flavor, or a tablespoon or two of flavored liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Chambord.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes with gooey chocolate centers are perfect for Valentine's Day and can be made ahead of time!

I hope you enjoy. Whoever you bake these chocolate lava cakes for is surely going to enjoy!

YouTube video

How to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes

Only 7 basic ingredients for homemade lava cakes:

  • Sugar
  • Semisweet chocolate (not chocolate chips!)
  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract

Can I use chocolate chips instead of baking chocolate?

DO NOT use chocolate chips. These have added ingredients that help them to maintain their chip shape when exposed to heat and will not melt down smoothly.

Baking chocolate is essential to creating a molten lava center in this recipe. I like to use bars of Ghirardelli baking chocolate or E. Guittard chocolate baking wafers.

This recipe calls for semisweet chocolate which I find provides the perfect balance of chocolate flavor and sweetness. You could also use bittersweet chocolate or dark chocolate if you prefer, but not white or milk chocolate.

Can you halve this recipe?

Yes! Feel free to halve this recipe if you don’t want to have 6 lava cakes on hand, which can be dangerous since the batter can be made, divided into ramekins, and refrigerated for a day to make ahead of time. I usually make the full recipe and we just have a crazy chocolate lava cake weekend.

Can you make lava cakes ahead of time?

Absolutely! After making the batter and filling the ramekins, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Can you freeze lava cakes?

Sure! Bake, and let cool completely. Freeze until solidified. Wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. You can thaw frozen lava cakes overnight in the fridge and reheat them in the oven at 350°F for about 8 minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat them from frozen in a preheated 400°F oven for 15-18 minutes.

What can I use instead of ramekins for chocolate lava cake? Can I use a muffin pan?

You can bake the batter in 10 paper-lined muffin tins for 10 minutes for smaller, more portable servings.

What to serve with chocolate lava cakes:

I serve my chocolate lava cakes with some fresh raspberries and dust with powdered sugar. You could also do:

  • Strawberries
  • Fresh mint
  • Whipped cream
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Melted peanut butter
  • Whatever your heart desires!

Chopped chocolate for baking

More Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes:

Check out our entire collection of even more Valentine’s Day recipes HERE!

4.98 from 37 votes

How to make
Chocolate Lava Cakes

Yield: 6 cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Chocolate Lava Cakes are made with 7 ingredients and have rich molten chocolate centers. So easy to make, and can be made ahead of time!

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter, plus more for coating ramekins
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, plus more for coating ramekins
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped*
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh raspberries or strawberries
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease 6 (6-ounce, 170 gram) ramekins generously with butter. Coat the insides of the buttered ramekins with granulated sugar, tapping out the excess.

  2. Combine the 10 tablespoons of butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir, then continue heating in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Let cool.

  3. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until slightly thickened and pale in color, about 90 seconds. Gently fold in the melted cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.

  4. Gently stir in the flour and salt. Divide the batter among the ramekins.

MAKE AHEAD:

  1. At this point, the batter-filled ramekins can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

  2. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are firm and the top is set but the center is runny. Add an additional minute of baking time if baking straight from the fridge.

  3. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and let cool for 1 minute. Invert onto dessert plates then let stand inverted for about 30 seconds. You can also serve straight from the ramekin. Serve with fresh berries and powdered sugar, whipped cream, or ice cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

*Don't use chocolate chips.
You can bake the batter in 10 paper-lined muffin tins for 10 minutes for smaller, more portable servings.
You can also easily cut this recipe in half.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : chocolate lava cakes, lava cakes

*This post was originally published in 2014 and updated in 2018 with new photos and metric weight measurements. Photos by Jess Larson.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Carolyn — July 16, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    How do you make the lava balls that you put in the middle?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 18, 2022 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Carolyn. This recipe doesn’t use any type of ball in the middle; it’s simply a really rich, decadent chocolatey batter, baked to perfection so that the center is not set and flows out like lava when you cut into it! Check out the pink Tip Box above the recipe for all Tessa’s tips and much more information!

  2. #
    Eileen — May 4, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    I would like to make your lava chocolate cakes, but I can’t find a PRINT button. It’s much easier to print than to have to continue look back through ads, etc. Thank you

    • #
      Emily — May 12, 2022 at 9:09 am

      We’re actually in the process of updating our recipe templates to include easier-to-find print buttons! Currently, we offer two different areas to print from: one at the top of the page, right below the Yield, Prep Time, and Cook Time (it’s a red printer icon), and the second if you jump down to the recipe, it’s the same red printer icon, right below the title of the recipe. Make sure you don’t have popups blocked as the printable recipe does open in a separate tab. I hope that helps! Please email me at [email protected] if you still experience issues, I’m happy to help further!

  3. #
    Anna — February 15, 2022 at 1:50 am

    I followed the recipe and made them yesterday for my family. I can tell you – the recipe is simply amazing. It’s not hard to make but the result is perfect! My dad even said that this is the best lava cake that he have ever eaten. Thank you so much for the great recipe!

    • #
      Emily — February 15, 2022 at 9:38 am

      Yay! So happy to hear this recipe was such a hit! Thanks for taking the time to comment and let us know, we appreciate it! 🙂

  4. #
    Anna — February 14, 2022 at 5:05 am

    Shall I bake it a fan or not?

    • #
      Emily — February 14, 2022 at 11:39 am

      Hi Anna! We don’t recommend using a convection setting for any delicate foods like custards, souffles, cakes, quickbreads, or anything that raises tall like a muffin or cake – it will make it develop an a-symmetrical shape due to the windy environment. I hope that helps!

  5. #
    Barbara Cardinal — January 20, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    This recipe is SO easy…plus, it is absolutely delicious and impressive! Tessa’s video is very helpful. She’s a great teacher! I will make these Chocolate Lava Cakes again and again.

  6. #
    Samantha — January 19, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    These lava cakes were so easy to put together but so decadent! Tessa gives lots of great tips for how to ensure they turn out perfectly. Mine had the most amazing lava centre! Easy enough for an everyday dessert but decadent enough for company. Will make these again!

    • #
      Emily — January 20, 2022 at 12:02 pm

      So happy you loved them!

  7. #
    Robin — January 19, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    So easy to make and delicious! You will definitely get oohs and aahs for anyone you make it for.

  8. #
    Melissa Wiegand — January 18, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    So, so good! I love baking and this is a new favorite and so easy to make.

    • #
      Emily — January 19, 2022 at 9:42 am

      So happy to hear that!

  9. #
    David Burnett — January 18, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    This is just an amazing cake. Whether you bake it right away of chill it for a day or so. IT is rich, fudgy, and oh so full of chocolate. Easy to make and easy to bake. Such a winner.

    • #
      Emily — January 19, 2022 at 9:42 am

      Glad you enjoyed them, David!

  10. #
    Lesa Cooper — January 18, 2022 at 2:28 pm

    This was the most amazing dessert ever!! It was so very easy and comes out just like you would expect at a high-end restaurant. My SO loved them so much!! Will become a staple in our home. Thanks Tessa!!!

    • #
      Emily — January 19, 2022 at 9:51 am

      Yay! So happy to hear that your lava cakes turned out perfectly and oh-so beautiful!

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