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Easy Lava Cake Recipe

Raise your hand if you have been intimidated by the popular chocolate lava cakes popping up all over? This easy Lava Cake recipe is so easy though! In less than 25 minutes you will have hot, chocolatey, gooey pudding centered lava cakes on the table.

Let’s take the intimidation out of this elegant dessert! Whether you are making them for Valentine’s day or any special occasion, this is the easy lava cake recipe for you!

Chocolate fan? You are in luck, check out these reader faves: Easy Chocolate Loaf (or Bundt) Cake; Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake, Mini Chocolate French Silk Pies.

lava cake on gray patterned plate open with oozing "lava" dusted with powdered sugar with blue napkin below.

SPECIAL OCCASION MOLTEN LAVA CAKE RECIPE

I made these first awhile back for my chocolate loving son’s birthday! and it didn’t disappoint.

The original which I tweaked slightly is from Sally’s Baking Addiction. This was perfect! To say he liked it would be an understatement! I’m pretty sure he licked his plate.

image of easy lava cake recipe ingredients. L-R unsalted butter, chocolate chips, eggs, powdered sugar, salt and all purpose flour

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

This easy lava cake recipe uses 7 all-natural ingredients, pure and simple, collect the following ingredients:

  • COCOA POWDER | unsweetened, for dusting the ramekins, just a few teaspoons
  • SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE* | High quality chopped chocolate bar or high quality chocolate chips are fine but won’t yield quite as gooey a center!
  • UNSALTED BUTTER | normally I do not worry about this, but in this recipe, simple is better, keep it unsalted.
  • ALL PURPOSE FLOUR | I use organic all purpose unbleached flour
  • POWDERED SUGAR | also known as confectioners sugar or icing powder
  • SALT | regular fine, table salt works best here
  • EGGS | provides the lift for the gooey-goodness; you will need both egg yolks and whole eggs, I always use Large eggs in baking. See notes below regarding how to make eggless.

*Use a good quality chocolate (I used Ghirardelli baking bars), chocolate chips may be used, but will not melt the same; you will still get a gooey cake, but not nearly as lava-y as you will using a chopped chocolate bar.

How to Make Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes

Preheat oven to 425° and prep 4 6 oz ramekins*. Using spray oil; spray ramekins well and then dust using unsweetened cocoa powder. I used oven safe, 8 oz ramekins.

*If not using ramekins, spray a 6 cup muffin tin or 6 out of 12 count muffin tin and dust with cocoa powder.

4 dusted ramekins on parchment lined quarter sheet pan.

TFC PRO TIP | Place on parchment lined quarter sheet pan, for easy baking, removal and clean-up.

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES

With just 10 minutes of prep, you will have this decadent molten lava cake recipe on the table.

image with 3 images side by side. chocolate cubes and butter after 30 seconds microwaved, 2nd image after another 30 seconds and final image after additional 20 seconds chocolate is melted and combined.
  1. Coarsely chop chocolate or measure out chocolate chips and cold butter. Place butter first in microwave safe bowl, then heat for 30 seconds in microwave, stir well.
  2. Microwave for 30 seconds again, stirring well, if further melting still needed, continue.
  3. Microwave in 20 second increments stirring well between, mine above only took 3 times. NOTE|Chocolate and Butter continue melting so stir well between heating.
    Set aside to cool slightly 5-10 minutes.
flour and powdered sugar whisked together in white bowl, next to image of eggs whisked well in bowl for easy lava cake recipe
  • Step two, whisk together in small bowl flour and powdered sugar. In another small bowl whisk the egg yolks and eggs together well.
two images left image chocolate, egg mixture and flour and sugar mixture, 2nd image spatula mixing chocolate, eggs, flour mixture for easy lava cake recipe
  • Pour flour/sugar mixture into chocolate mixture, then pour whisked eggs.
  • Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon gently combine ingredients until incorporated.
Whisking easy lava cake batter first image, second image scooping batter into prepared ramekins
  • If batter is slightly lumpy, gently whisk out lumps, do not over mix
  • Scoop or spoon batter into prepared ramekins evenly
Batter for easy lava cake recipe in ramekins, on quarter sheet pan
  • Place filled ramekins on quarter sheet pan <– my favorite brand!
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes* until sides are solid (dull looking) and centers are soft and glossy.

*If baking in muffin tin, bake only 8-10 minutes.

fresh from oven chocolate lava cakes on sheet pan
  • Let cool for one minute, then invert (using a hot pad) the ramekin onto the plate, jiggling and tapping to get it to release.
  • Serve immediately. If desired, serve with a scoop of your favorite vanilla or chocolate ice cream and a squeeze of chocolate.
LANDSCAPE image of gooey, molten lava cake on a white plate with a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream and spoon.

CAN I MAKE LAVA CAKES AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes! I love simple recipes like this! Follow the simple steps below:

  • Make up the batter ahead of time, store in fridge and when ready, pour or spoon the batter into prepared ramekins* and bake.
  • In just 12 short minutes you will have warm, ooey-gooey, dark, rich and chocolatey lava cakes. Simple enough for a weeknight, elegant enough for a fancy dessert.

*Be careful if you pour into ramekins and refrigerate and then go straight into the oven, many glass products will shatter with big temperature changes. Remove and allow to come to room temperature for 15-20 minutes before baking.

CAN I BAKE AND FREEZE EASY CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES?

Again, yes!

  • Bake the lava cakes, cool completely, wrapping in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to serve, allow to thaw at room temp for 20-30 minutes, then reheat in microwave for 20-30 seconds until warmed through.
Easy Lava Cake on pattered gray and blue plate with spoon in background, easy lava cake recipe shown open with oozing chocolate sprinkled with powdered sugar

Look at that ooey-gooey lava like mess! You may need a fork and a spoon for this dessert!

High Altitude Adjustments for Molten Lava Cake Recipe

I did not have to adjust any ingredients for high altitude on this recipe, but do watch the baking time, high altitude will require less time, I baked for about 12-13 minutes tops!

Can I Make Easy Molten Cakes Gluten & Dairy Free

Absolutely! I recently held a cooking class (virtually) making these delicious lava cakes and several were dairy and gluten free. Here’s what to do:

  • DAIRY FREE | Substitute butter with equal amounts of coconut oil and of course make sure your chocolate is dairy free.
  • GLUTEN FREE | Replace the small amount of all-purpose flour with equal amounts of gluten free all-purpose flour <– my favorite brand.

How About a Vegan or Egg Free Lava Cake?

I have not tried this personally, but when I have had to make other baked goods egg free I have used a banana to replace the egg, here are all of your options

TFC FIRST CHOICES

  • OIL| 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil + 1 teaspoon baking powder + 1 ½ tablespoons water = 1 egg
  • APPLESAUCE | ¼ cup applesauce = 1 egg
  • BANANA | ¼ cup mashed banana = 1 egg

More Egg Replacements

  • AQUAFABA | 3 tablespoons aquafaba = 1 egg
  • AVOCADO | ¼ cup mashed avocado is equal to one egg
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar + 1 teaspoon baking soda = 1 egg
  • FLEGG | Aka Flax Egg; 3 tablespoons warm water + 1 tablespoon finely ground flax seeds + 10 minutes standing time = 1 egg

If you give any of these a try, don’t forget to comment below if it worked or it did not work!

More satisfying chocolate recipes!

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Easy Lava Cake Recipe on square plate oozing chocolate with scoop of melting vanilla ice cream
Yield: 4-6 servings

Chocolate Lava Cakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes

Easy Lava Cakes are a rich chocolate cake, filled with warm, soft, gooey molten "lava" pudding like chocolate center. An easy to make special occasion treat or just because.

Ingredients

  • unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
  • 6 oz high quality semi-sweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 4 oz bittersweet 60% and 2 oz semi-sweet), rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, I used organic unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, fine
  • 2 large eggs, room temp if possible
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temp if possible

Instructions

  1. Using spray oil, spray four ramekins (6 or 8 oz size) well with baking spray.
  2. Dust ramekins with cocoa powder, turning until entire ramekin is dusted in cocoa powder. Or spray and dust 6 cups in a 12 cup muffin tin.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°.
  4. Coarsely chop chocolate and cold butter. Place butter first in medium microwave safe bowl, then place chopped chocolate on top. Heat in 30 seconds, stir well, then another 30 seconds, stirring really well.
  5. If another heating is needed, heat for 20 seconds and stir until melted until completely smooth. Set aside and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes while prepping rest of ingredients.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk flour, powdered sugar and salt together. Set aside.
  7. In another small bowl, crack 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks, whisk until thick and combined.
  8. Pour flour/sugar mixture along with eggs into the bowl of chocolate and stir gently until smooth. If needed, use whisk and gently whisk until smooth. The batter will be thick!
  9. Pour or spoon batter into prepared ramekins or muffin* tins evenly. Place ramekins onto a baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes until sides are solid (dull) and centers are soft (glossy). If baking in muffin tins, only bake 8-10 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 minute. Cover ramekin with serving plate and invert (using a hot pad, ramekins will be hot) upside down onto plate. Shake or jiggle gently if not easily coming out. If you used a muffin pan, use a spoon to gently release the cake from tin and invert onto serving plate.
  11. Add a sprinkle of powdered sugar, a scoop of your favorite ice cream, berries or chocolate syrup. Serve the gooey-chocolatey deliciousness immediately.

Notes

Can I Use Chocolate Chips?

Chocolate chips may be used, they will not yield quite as gooey of center as chopped chocolate will, but they work nicely in a pinch. If using chocolate chips, splurge for high quality chocolate chips.

Can I Make Chocolate Lava Cakes ahead of time and or freeze baked cakes?
Make up the batter ahead of time, store in fridge and when ready, pour or spoon the batter into prepared ramekins* and bake according to directions.

Freeze | Bake the lava cakes, cool completely, wrapping in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to serve, allow to thaw at room temp for 20-30 minutes, then reheat in microwave for 20-30 seconds until warmed through.

*Be careful if you pour into ramekins and refrigerate and then go straight into the oven, many glass products will shatter with big temperature changes. If you pour into ramekins and store in fridge, then remove and allow to come to room temperature for 15-20 minutes before baking.

This recipe was adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 156mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 8g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc.

Did you make this recipe?

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Pinterest Image for Easy Molten Lava Cake with image of cake gooey and oozing lava on patterned plate with spoon behind, dusted with powdered sugar
kathleen

ABOUT KATHLEEN

I enjoy sharing easy recipes that are wholesome and delicious. I am fed by my faith, family, friends & food! Welcome to my kitchen! Read more...

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