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The Best and The Easiest Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes — One bowl, no mixer, so easy! The warm, gooey, fudgy chocolate lava cake center is heavenly! Better than any restaurant versions! Best chocolate cake EVER!!
Molten Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe
This is some of the best chocolate cake of my life. It’s so rich, dense, and fudgy it reminds me of my favorite brownies. These chocolate lava cakes blow any restaurant molten chocolate lava cake I’ve tried out of the water.
Thankfully for my thighs this lava cake recipe only makes two cakes, but it’s easily doubled or triple depending on your needs. I’d like to say that I split one of these with my daughter but no. We both inhaled our own.
The molten chocolate lava cakes are rich, decadent, moist, robustly chocolaty, sweet enough but not too sweet. I used Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar and recommend using your favorite dark chocolate bar.
The molten, barely-set chocolate that oozes from the center is my idea of heaven.
Ice cream and 10-Minute Homemade Hot Fudge aren’t required but yes, they are. They’re the final icing on these perfect little cakes that remind me of something you’d get at a fancy restaurant. Actually, they’re better than the Ruth’s Chris chocolate lava cakes if you’ve ever tried those.
What’s in Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes?
To make this molten chocolate cake recipe, you’ll need:
How to Make Lava Cakes
When you find out how fast and easy these molten chocolate lava cakes are to make, you’ll never settle for a restaurant version again!
Simply melt butter with chocolate in one bowl, no mixer is needed. Stir in sugar, eggs, instant espresso, and flour, then pour into ramekins and bake.
You want to bake these chocolate molten lava cakes until the edges are set but the centers are still soft. Whatever you do, do NOT over bake the lava cakes, otherwise they won’t have gooey centers.
Want to know how I made these molten chocolate cakes? Watch this video!
Can I Prep Lava Cakes in Advance?
I’ll be honest, this is one of the very few desserts on my site that isn’t really suitable for making ahead.
You have to make the batter, then bake it, then eat it, all in short order – or the molten chocolate lava cakes won’t turn out, or won’t turn out well.
Can I Omit the Instant Espresso?
Yes, but note that the instant espresso doesn’t make the cakes taste like coffee. It just serves to enhance the chocolate flavor!
Tips for Making Chocolate Lava Cake
I prefer using bars or baking chocolate rather than chocolate chips because I prefer the flavor, texture, and they melt more smoothly, which is important for a recipe like this.
If including the instant espresso (which you definitely should!), be sure to purchase INSTANT espresso granules and not regular espresso or ground coffee.
Instant espresso granules completely dissolve when mixed into the cake batter, whereas regular ground coffee would make for gritty lava cakes.
As I mentioned above, you can easily double or triple this lava cake recipe to feed a crowd.
But you’ll need to prep, bake, and enjoy the molten chocolate cakes immediately otherwise they’ll lose their gooeyness.
- 2 ounces dark chocolate or bittersweet baking chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar; I prefer bars or baking chocolate to chocolate chips)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 of 1 stick)
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk (discard white or save for another use)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee granules, optional but recommended (doesn’t make cakes taste like coffee and serves to enhance the chocolate flavor)
- ice cream for serving, optional but recommended
- hot fudge for serving (homemade or storebought), optional but recommended
- Preheat oven to 425F and spray two ramekins (about 3-4 inches in diameter or about 4 ounces each) with cooking spray, place ramekins on a baking sheet; set aside.
- To a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate, butter, and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Stop to whisk until smooth. If needed, return bowl to micro and heat in 15-second increments until chocolate can be whisked smooth.
- Add the sugar, egg, egg yolk, and whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour, optional espresso granules, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared ramekins, divided evenly.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, or until edges are set but center is still soft; don’t overbake. Baking times will vary based on oven, ramekins, and climate variances; bake until as done as desired.
- Allow cakes to cool in ramekins for about 1 minute, gently rim the edges of ramekins with a paring knife, and invert over serving dishes to dislodge cakes.
- Optionally top with ice cream, hot fudge, and serve immediately. Cakes are best warm and fresh.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 867Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 278mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 86gFiber: 6gSugar: 61gProtein: 13g
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Originally published February 13, 2019 and republished September 22, 2022 with updated text.
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