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They’re so quick and easy, you’ll 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 – but I promise, they’re secretly SO simple.
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.
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!?
These Chocolate Lava Cakes are perfect for date night, a dinner party, or Valentine’s Day. Anyone you bake these for is surely going to enjoy!
How to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes
Can I Use Chocolate Chips Instead of Baking Chocolate?
- DO NOT use chocolate chips! Chocolate chips contain added ingredients that help them maintain their chip shape when exposed to heat, so they 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 I don’t recommend using white or milk chocolate.
Can I Make Chocolate Lava Cakes in Different Flavors?
Yes! There are so many possibilities with these Chocolate Lava Cakes to switch up the flavor profile. Add in a tablespoon of espresso powder to the batter for a mocha flavor. Add the zest of an orange, or a tablespoon or two of flavored liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Chambord – anything your heart desires!
What Can I Use Instead of Ramekins for Chocolate Lava Cakes? Can I Use a Muffin Pan?
You can bake the batter in a muffin tin! Divide the batter between 10 muffin pan cavities and bake for 10 minutes for smaller, more portable servings. Be sure to use high-quality muffin pan liners, like these ones.
Can I Halve This Recipe?
Yes! Feel free to halve this recipe – or make the whole recipe and see the freezing instructions below!
Can You Make Chocolate Lava Cakes Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! After making the Chocolate Lava Cake batter and filling the ramekins, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Can You Freeze Chocolate Lava Cakes?
Sure! Bake the Chocolate Lava Cakes, and allow to cool completely. Freeze until solidified. Wrap well in plastic 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 to Serve with Chocolate Lava Cakes
I serve my Lava Cakes with some fresh raspberries and dust with powdered sugar or a little cocoa powder. You could also serve your lava cakes with:
- Fresh mint
- Whipped cream
- Vanilla ice cream
- Melted peanut butter
- Whatever your heart desires!
More Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes:
- Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
- Valentine’s Day Cake
- Cookie Dough Hearts
- Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
- Chocolate Strawberry Galette
- Chocolate Souffles for Two
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 the melted cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
- Gently stir in the flour and salt. Divide the batter among the ramekins.
- At this point, the batter-filled ramekins can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.
- 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.
- 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.
*This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated with new photos and metric weight measurements. Photos by Jess Larson.