Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

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This molten chocolate lava cake recipe is easy to make with 6 ingredients in 20 minutes. These lava cakes are a decadent gourmet dessert that’s perfect for special occasions.

front view of a Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with a little bit of chocolate filling oozing out


Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes are a decadent, gourmet dessert that are surprisingly easy and uncomplicated to make! They come together from start to finish in under 20 minutes, and will wow your dinner guests!

Once you make lava cakes at home, you will never need to go out to a fancy restaurant to satisfy your molten chocolate cake craving again! (gooey chocolate cake in my sweatpants, yes please)! Serve them with fresh homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for total dessert nirvana.

Not only are these molten chocolate cakes simple and special, but they are easily made gluten-free to comply with your (or your guests’) dietary needs.

Front view of a Molten Chocolate Lava Cake oozing chocolate filling

Chocolate Lava Cake: Ingredients & Substitutions 

overhead photo of the labeled ingredients in this chocolate lava cake recipe
  • Salted Butter.  unsalted butter works well too.
  • Semisweet Chocolate. You can use chocolate chips or a chopped chocolate bar, just be sure to use 6 ounces (or ¾ cup).
  • Granulated Sugar. white sugar and organic cane sugar are great choices.
  • Flour.  There are many options that I have tried and have worked well for the flour in this recipe. Since it only calls for 1 Tablespoon, it’s easy to make substitutions that comply with your dietary needs. I have successfully used the following flours when making this chocolate lava cake recipe:
    • all-purpose flour
    • almond flour
    • all-purpose gluten-free flour
    • oat flour
    • tapioca flour
four Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes on a plate, one cut open with chocolate spilling out

How to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes

These chocolate lava cakes are easy to make. However, as always, I want to walk through the steps with you to ensure your success! You can also watch the video in this post to see exactly how they are made.

Begin by melting the butter and chocolate together either on the stovetop over low heat, or in the microwave.

One the butter/chocolate mixture is silky smooth and fully melted, set it aside to use later in the recipe.

two overhead photos showing how to make chocolate lava cakes - melting chocolate and butter together

Using either a standing mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachement, or hand mixer, beat the eggs until they are light and pale (for about 60 seconds). This is an important step for the overall texture and heartiness of this chocolate lava cake recipe, so please don’t skip it!

two overhead photos showing how to make chocolate lava cakes - beating eggs

Once the eggs are light and pale, add sugar and salt and beat until the sugar is completely dissolved.

I used a hand mixer for the sake of making a video, but I usually use a standing mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment.

two overhead photos showing how to make chocolate lava cakes - beating in sugar and salt

By this point the melted chocolate should have cooled slightly, and is ready to be added to the molten lava cake batter (along with the vanilla).

Beat until the mixture is homogenous (uniform throughout) and smooth.

two overhead photos showing how to make chocolate lava cakes - beating in melted chocolate and vanilla

Once the mixture is smooth, add the flour and mix the batter on low speed until it’s just combined.

The final batter will be thick with a rich chocolate color (pictured below).

two overhead photos showing how to make chocolate lava cakes - stirring in flour

Bake

Place the silicone baking cups or silicone muffin pan on a flat baking sheet. Use a ½ cup measuring cup to scoop the batter evenly into the baking cups or the wells of a muffin tin. These are large baking cups (3 ½”), so the recipe yields four chocolate lava cakes which take roughly 10-12 minutes to bake.

If using a smaller baking vessel, be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly. I have made smaller molten lava cakes & this recipe has yielded 6, however if you do that baking time will be between 8-9 minutes.

Use large Silicone Muffin Cups

The one “special” item I recommend buying if you are a chocolate lava cake fan and plan on making this recipe over and over again, are these Silicone Mini Cake Pans/Large Muffin Cups or this Large Silicone Muffin Pan!

two overhead photos showing how to make chocolate lava cakes - in the silicone baking cups before and after baking

Cool Slightly & Serve

Let the molten lava cake cool for 2-3 minutes in the baking cups before removing. This will ensure that the cakes hold up when transferred. The tops will sink a little bit as they cool, which is normal.

Carefully turn each chocolate lava cake out onto a serving plate, and gently remove the silicone cup from over the top of it.

I recommend putting the molten lava cake directly onto the plate that it will be eaten from. They are not easy to move once they have been plated, and you run the risk of them falling apart in the process if you transfer them twice.

Front view showing four Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes on a plate after baking

The sky is the limit with how you can serve this chocolate lava cake recipe. Here are a few of my suggestions:

front view of a Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with a little bit of chocolate filling oozing out

Store

Store leftover lava cakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven set to warm.

Front view of a fork taking a bite of a Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

To Prepare in Advance

The batter can be made up to one day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Just return it to room temperature an hour before baking and then bake as the recipe directs.

I often prepare these before dinner guests arrive, and then pop them in the oven when we’re halfway through the meal so that I can serve them fresh and warm.

I recommend storing the batter in the refrigerator if you plan on waiting more than one hour after it has been made to bake!

Front view of a Molten Chocolate Lava Cake oozing chocolate filling

Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe FAQs

What is inside lava cake?

The only thing inside a chocolate lava cake is the batter! Baking molten chocolate cakes at a very high temperature (450 degrees F), causes the outside to bake faster than the inside. This leaves you with a perfectly cooked shell loaded with gooey, to-die-for, chocolate lava filling!

Can you reheat lava cake?

Yes! Warm the chocolate lava cake in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.

Do lava cakes need to be served warm?

Yes, if you want them molten they should be served no more than 5 minutes after being removed from the oven (and I recommend closer to 3 minutes).

How do you know when lava cake is done?

You will know the molten chocolate lava cake is done when the top is puffed but doesn’t look totally set. It will still be jiggly which is a good thing. 

front view of a Molten Chocolate Lava Cake on a plate with the filling spilling out

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Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

Laura
This molten chocolate lava cake recipe is easy to make with 6 ingredients in 20 minutes. These lava cakes are a decadent gourmet dessert that's perfect for special occasions.
5 from 9 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Lava Cakes
Calories 516
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Grease four silicone baking cups and place them on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  • In the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat, melt butter and chocolate and stir until smooth. Set Aside.
  • Beat eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment for 1 minute, or until pale yellow.
  • Add sugar and sea salt to the beaten eggs and beat until sugar dissolves (about 1 minute).
  • Add chocolate mixture and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  • Beat in flour until just combined.
  • Pour batter evenly into 4 silicone baking cups.**
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until the batter puffs and the center is just barely set (it will not seem done but it is).
  • Remove from oven and let the cakes sit on the baking tray in the silicone cups for 2-5 minutes.
  • Turn the cakes out onto the plates you plan to serve them on.
  • Serve warm with fresh whipped cream, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, fresh berries, etc.

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions
  • Salted Butter.  unsalted butter works well too.
  • Semisweet Chocolate. You can use chocolate chips or a chopped chocolate bar, just be sure to use 6 ounces (or ¾ cup).
  • Granulated Sugar. white sugar and organic cane sugar are great choices.
  • Flour.  There are many options that I have tried and have worked well for the flour in this recipe. Since it only calls for 1 Tablespoon, it’s easy to make substitutions that comply with your dietary needs. I have successfully used the following flours when making this chocolate lava cake recipe:
    • almond flour
    • all-purpose gluten-free flour
    • oat flour
    • tapioca flour
Baking Vessel
You can use a standard muffin tin that is greased very well, however silicone cups are by far the easiest way to ensure that these molten lava cakes are removed in-tact. **
To Prepare in Advance
The batter can be made up to one day ahead of time. Simply return it to room temperature an hour before baking and then bake according to the recipe.
I often prepare these before dinner guests arrive, and then pop them in the oven when we’re halfway through the meal so that I can serve them fresh and warm.
Store
Store leftover lava cakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven set to warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cake | Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 6.9g | Fat: 39.3g | Saturated Fat: 23.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11.6g | Cholesterol: 201mg | Sodium: 221.4mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 35.9g | Vitamin A: 935IU | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. I just ordered the silicone cups you recommended from Amazon. They say they are good for temps up to 446 degrees but your recipe calls for a baking temp of 450. Is this a problem?

  2. 5 stars
    I love the flavor and ease. In my silicone muffin tray the natter made 6, and the edges had burned by 10 minutes so I’;; check earlier next time. After melting the chocolate & butter in the microwave, I did all the mixing in my bullet, including adding the melted chocolate-butter combo. I’m following Paleo, so I used almond flour and coconut sugar, reducing the latter to 1 TBLS. I enjoyed these sooooooo much. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe twice now: once for a coworker with Celiac’s disease, then a second time for my boyfriend’s family. Both times it got rave reviews. My boyfriend’s sister actually started tearing up when she was eating the last few bites because it was the best thing she had ever eaten. I like to serve it with a whipped cream flavored in a way the person I am baking for enjoys (first time around was a chai spiced whipped cream, second time was peanut butter whipped cream). I’m definitely keeping this recipe in my go-to desserts file.

  4. Hi! Thank you for the recipe. I have two questions. Is it better for the eggs to be at room temp before beating? When you prepare ahead do you store them in the baking container or do you put them in the baking container once ready to bake? Thank you!

  5. Hi there, my cakes tasted delicious but they were not molten anymore after microwaving them a day later. I was really hoping they would be. Is that to be expected or am
    I doing something wrong? Thank you so much!

  6. 5 stars
    My 11-year-old son made these for us and they were perfect! He did it all on his own and was so proud of how they turned out. He sprinkled powdered sugar on top and it looked like we were dining at a fancy restaurant. Thank you for creating recipes for people like us who aren’t pros. 🙂

  7. our batter is much more runny than your photo. I have checked all the numbers carefully! Was your batter cooled a bit ahead of time for the butter to harden a little?

    1. Hey Laura! YES the batter thickens as it sits! I have baked these cakes both immediately after mixing and have waited hours and they always turn out great! The batter should be a touch thick after beating the eggs/sugar mixture! How did it end up working for you?

    2. Mine also turned out more pourable than the pictures look. We shall see how it comes out. I beat the eggs for about 2 minutes, they didn’t thicken up a much so was expecting, it may have had to do with my eggs being the wrong temperature.

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve never made molten chocolate lava cakes!!! The pool of chocolate pouring out of the middle is just so exciting to me.