Chocolate Lava Cakes

Recipe By Tessa Arias
January 25th, 2018
4.94 from 15 votes
4.94 from 15 votes

Chocolate Lava Cakes are ultra right, decadent, and gourmet but surprisingly simple! Make them for Valentine's Day this year, just follow the video to see how they're made. 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, it’s a wonderful combination.
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 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 for Valentine’s day.
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 things on the entire planet. So that means this recipe is particularly dangerous.

It’s too quick and easy not to want to make these babies 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 overcook 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 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 are perfect for Valentine's Day and can be made ahead of time!

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

How to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes

You’ll only need 7 basic ingredients:

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

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.

What to serve with chocolate lava cakes:

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

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

Chopped chocolate for baking

More Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes:

4.94 from 15 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 ultra right, decadent, and gourmet but surprisingly simple! Make them for Valentine's Day this year, just follow the video to see how they're made. Can be made ahead of time!


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


  1. Preheat the oven to 425ยฐF. Spray 6 (6-ounce, 170 gram) ramekins with nonstick baking spray. Coat the insides of the buttered ramekins with granulated sugar, tapping out the excess.

  2. Combine the chocolate and butter 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. Gently stir in the flour and salt.

  3. In a medium bowl vigorously whisk the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until thick and pale in color. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Divide the batter among the ramekins.


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

  2. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are firm 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 invert onto dessert plates, if desired. You can also serve straight from the ramekin. Serve with fresh berries and powdered sugar.

Recipe Notes

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: 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

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!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness — January 29, 2014 at 4:26 am

    Thank you SO much for this video! My hubby is a lava cake FIEND but I had no idea how to make them…and how easy they are! Like you said, dangerously easy! Pinned!

  2. #
    Jenny Flake — January 29, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Tessa!! You are adorable! Love your video and this yummy recipe!! xo

  3. # — January 29, 2014 at 8:15 am

    My favorite….nothing beats this dessert! Thanks for the recipe.

  4. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — January 29, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Chocolate lava cake is the best!

  5. #
    Gaby — January 29, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    This is the perfect Valentine’s dessert and I would not be able to resist baking them all up and eating every bite!

  6. #
    Eleni — February 1, 2014 at 7:16 am

    These look unreal!!! Just curious though – since the centre is liquidy and contains eggs is there a chance that they’re unsafe for pregnant women to consume? Or do they bake long enough for the eggs to pasteurize?

    • #
      Tessa — February 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      I hesitate to make any recommendations one way or another for pregnancy-safe foods. With the amount of chocolate lava cake recipes that exist that are similar to this one I would say it should be fine, but that’s really the decision of the pregnant person eating. If you’re really concerned you can use pasteurized eggs, preferably whole pasteurized eggs like Safest Choice Eggs:

  7. #
    Heidi — March 30, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Hi Tessa,

    I am making these as we speak & wondering when you incorporate the flour?
    Thank you!!

  8. #
    Heidi — March 30, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Oh my goodness, never mind…I see where!! How embarressing ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the recipe.

    • #
      Tessa — March 30, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Phew! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. #
    Lauren — December 19, 2015 at 8:21 am

    If I want to add Grand Marnier, do I add it to the chocolate/butter mixture or the egg/sugar mixture?


    • #
      Tessa — December 19, 2015 at 10:59 am

      You can always add flavorings and liqueurs in with the vanilla ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #
      Lauren — December 21, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks! Can’t wait to make these for Christmas dessert!

  10. #
    Emily — January 9, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Made these for my family and everyone loves them! SO delicious and easy!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  11. #
    Elizabeth — February 1, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Can they be prepared and put into a fridge until the next day and then bake them

    • #
      Tessa — February 2, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Yes, your question is answered in the recipe.

  12. #
    Peggy — February 6, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Can they be cooked at 4, and not served until 6? Will they lose the lava insides if they sit too long? Would you put them on the counter or in the fridge until read to serve?

    • #
      Tessa — February 7, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Hi Peggy, did you see that the batter filled ramekins can be refrigerated for up to 1 day ahead of time? They need to be served right after baking, so refrigerating the batter is the best way.

  13. #
    Anam — February 19, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Hey i wanted to ask why do you use egg yolks besides eggs? Whats the use of so many eggs?

  14. #
    Annabelle — October 15, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Hey Tess:
    I have read this recipe several times and I must be missing something, when do you add the flour into the batter. Can you fix the recipe? Thanks in advance.

  15. #
    Me — November 5, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Made these lase night, sorry to say but they were not very good. I made exactly by the recipe, and they had a rubbery texture. I did make the batter ahead of time and refrigerated for about 5 hours. Maybe that’s what did it, but recipe said it’s ok to do. I would not make this recipe again.

  16. #
    Obat Wasir — January 26, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    If I want to add a cheese mozarella, do I add it to a chocolate / butter mixture or egg / sugar mixture?

  17. #
    Leah Rosenberg — February 11, 2018 at 12:24 pm


    In your Instagram video you put “lava balls” in the center of the batter before baking. Is that something extra you just did in that video, or am I missing it in the recipe above?

  18. #
    simran — February 12, 2018 at 1:15 am

    Great job! keep it up, as every step is nicely explained so i can try this at home and will also advise my friends to try this. This is such an amazing cake that you will love the cake.

  19. #
    Christina — February 14, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Tessa,

    I found you on Instagram and just made these for Valentines Day and there were AMAZING! I added espresso for a little extra kick!

    I had to bake longer because I used 20oz mugs. But I was wondering if something else made a difference as well. I noticed you wrote “Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture”, but in your video, you added the egg mixture into the melted chocolate. I followed the written recipe, but in your video, your batter looks smoother than mine did. I know it could be that I didn’t blend it properly, but I was just wondering if there was a difference.

    Also, is it ok to store any leftovers in the refrigerator after it has cooled?

    Thank you!

  20. #
    Sari — April 18, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    so yummilicious cakes, i am liking your content to bring such nice cakes collections.

  21. #
    Lia — December 13, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Hi. I usually end up with amazing stuff when I follow your recipes but somehow, this went wrong.
    The lava cake was dense! It wasn’t like a cake. It was all clogged up (super dense ). I don’t know what I did wrong ๐Ÿ™
    Could you please help me out?
    Thank you!

  22. #
    Ian — February 14, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    This took closer to 15-20 minutes to bake so that it was set enough to remove from the ramekins, but they were delicious once they got there. I checked my oven thermometer and it was at the right temp so Iโ€™m not sure why it took almost double the recommended time.

  23. #
    Sunil — March 4, 2019 at 2:42 am

    This look good, I remember Chocolate lava cake from domino

  24. #
    Juliette Exupery — April 16, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Your story about how Handle the Heat evolved popped up on my phone today and I was intrigued by your story. I went to my computer to look up other emails from you – emails do get lost or out of control at times, and I couldn’t find anything at all. So I did an email search of your name and Holy Moly! I’m too embarrassed to say how many emails were stuck in limbo because I had failed to confirm my email when I first signed up. Duh! Anyway, after visiting your website, I realized your Chocolate Lava Cake was the first one I ever made. I have been cooking and baking since I was 17 (decades and DECADES), and it was the most glorious dessert I had ever put in my mouth. 10 STARS! I’ve been making it ever since. I’ve even learned to make smaller cakes in a paper-lined muffin tin and freeze them so I can have Lava Cake more frequently without guilt. I’m so glad I’m now connected to your site, and within a few days I’ll get caught up on your emails.

    • #
      Tessa — April 22, 2019 at 3:48 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that, Juliette! Thanks for leaving this comment. I hope you enjoy the emails!

  25. #
    ayushi — May 11, 2019 at 10:16 am

    got it right in one try! best thing ive ever baked <3

  26. #
    Winni — May 30, 2019 at 3:56 am

    Very Delicious cake, I am really fond of baked food and especially choco lava cake, a worthy post to read, Thank you for sharing it, I would definitely try it. keep updating us with these baking recipes.

  27. #
    Sara — June 12, 2019 at 3:35 am

    My daughter would like this as her “Birthday Cake” and I’m wondering whether the recipe would work in a large basin rather than in individual ramekins? And if so what changes would I need to make to cooking time? Thanks

    • #
      Tessa — June 13, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      I’ve only tested this recipe in ramekins!

  28. #
    Floranet — June 26, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Your ebullience is refreshing!!

  29. #
    Floranet — June 26, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    Great info thanks buddy! Will surely utilize your research resources.

  30. #
    Achutam — July 15, 2019 at 10:17 am


  31. #
    Shabnam — July 31, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Great and very easy recipe of choco lava cake. Thank you sharing this, I tried to make this cake with your recipe. My famiy oved it. Thanks again.

  32. #
    Jennifer — August 2, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Perfect!! And super easy to make. Amazing recipe

  33. #
    Emily — August 5, 2019 at 2:17 am

    I love the chocolate lave cake recipe shared by you !

  34. #
    Drishti — August 31, 2019 at 3:04 am

    Looking so yummy and mouth-watering chocolate Lava Cake.
    Thank you for sharing this impressive article

  35. #
    Drishti — August 31, 2019 at 3:07 am

    This looks amazing and yummy, I am craving to eat it now.
    Thank you for sharing this impressive article

  36. #
    Ella — November 20, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    These were not very good. I followed the recipe EXACTLY and they had a rubbery texture and no lava whatsoever. Probably wonโ€™t be making these again.

  37. #
    Rohini Shetty — March 18, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Amazing it is!
    I want to try this absolutely.

  38. #
    ANKITA — March 20, 2020 at 10:45 pm


  39. #
    Suki — April 15, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Who knew Lava Cakes were so easy to make? I followed this recipe exactly and had delicious cakes for Valentine’s Day this year.

  40. #
    Anne Kridle — May 2, 2020 at 12:34 am


  41. #
    Kimie — June 15, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Best lava cakes recipe!! So easy and delicious!!

  42. #
    Shivam Dubey — August 28, 2020 at 3:16 am

    Well done keep it up everything is a very clean simple great job This is such an amazing cake that you will love the cake

  43. #
    Cake2homes — September 7, 2020 at 12:07 am

    Looks Really Delicious and Soft
    Surly i will try at my Place

  44. #
    Maria — February 9, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    Would love to make this recipe however I only have 9 oz ramekins is it possible to still make them?

    • #
      Tessa — February 10, 2021 at 2:04 pm

      To be safe, I would recommend baking them in muffin tins instead of a different sized ramekin. Directions for how to do that are under the Recipe Notes section. Does that help?

  45. #
    Ali Michael — May 14, 2021 at 8:19 am

    I assume the flour is added with the sugar into the eggs?

    • #
      Tessa — May 14, 2021 at 12:48 pm

      No, please see the end of the second paragraph in the directions ๐Ÿ™‚

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