Chocolate Lava Cake – I Heart Naptime


Indulge in the decadent world of chocolate with this irresistible chocolate lava cake recipe! It’s a dessert lovers dream with a velvety exterior and gooey, molten center that oozes with dark chocolate.

Chocolate lava cake on a white plate.

Table of Contents

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

Our mouthwatering chocolate lava cake recipe has a crisp outer layer and a luscious, molten core. Each bite delivers the perfect balance of sweetness and indulgence.

Whether you’re a chocolate lover or just seeking to impress your guests, this chocolate lava cake will elevate your dessert game! For more delectable chocolate desserts, try this chocolate bundt cake, chocolate souffle and chocolate dump cake.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Perfect proportions: The precise balance of ingredients guarantees a gooey center without compromising the cake’s structure.
  • Quick baking time: A short period in the oven ensures the edges are set while the center remains delightfully molten.

Recipe Ingredients

Chocolate lave a cake ingredients.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder. Gives the lava cake even more chocolaty flavor and is also used for dusting.
  • Unsalted butter: No need to soften it as it will be microwaved, however, it will help it melt faster if it’s brought to room temperature first.
  • Dark chocolate chips or morsels. You can also use milk chocolate chips if you prefer.
  • Eggs and egg yolks: Binds the cake together while adding richness and moisture.
  • Baking stapes: Salt, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, sugar.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Gluten-free option: Substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free alternative 1:1 all-purpose flour.
  • Nutty crunch: Add a handful of chopped nuts to the batter for a textural contrast.
  • Slow cooker: Slow cooker chocolate lava cake is a great option for when your don’t have any custard cups or ramekins on hand.

How to Make Chocolate Lava Cake

Showing how to make chocolate lava cake in a 4 step collage.
  • Melt the chocolate chips and butter. Add both to a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir, then continue in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
  • Start the batter. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Using a hand-held mixer, beat on medium speed until well combined.
  • Fold in the chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate into your egg mixture. Add the flour and cocoa powder, and stir until combined.
  • Bake and serve. Divide batter between prepared custard cups and bake for 12-14 minutes until sides are set, but center is still jiggly. Cool molten chocolate cakes for 1 minutes before turning them out onto individual dessert plates. Garnish and serve.

Tips for the Best Lava Cake

  • Try to use high-quality chocolate morsels, such as Ghirardelli or Guittard. Nestle dark chocolate morsels do work as well.  
  • Make sure not to overbake. You want the center to appear a little jiggly as you take them out of the oven. This will leave you with the gooey lava center you are looking for!
  • For that desired molten center, chocolate lava cakes taste best when served right away.
Chocolate lava cake with raspberries.

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between molten cake and lava cake?

Typically, lava cakes are little cakes baked in separate ramekins. In short, lava cake is the term for a particular kind of chocolate cake that has a melted center, whereas molten cake is a general term for cakes with a gooey center.

Can I use milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate?

While dark chocolate adds depth, milk chocolate can be used for a sweeter flavor profile.

What if I don’t have custard cups?

Ramekins work just as well, ensuring the cakes maintain their signature shape.

How to store leftover chocolate lava cake?

While these lava cakes are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, you can refrigerate any leftovers. Reheat them briefly in the microwave or oven to revive the molten magic before serving.

Chocolate lava cake on a white plate.

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Chocolate lava cake with ice cream and hot fudge on top.

Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe

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This irresistible chocolate lava cake recipe is a dessert lovers dream with a velvety exterior and gooey, molten center that oozes with dark chocolate.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Optional toppings: ice cream, powdered sugar, berries, or chocolate sauce

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray six 6-ounce custard cups or ramekins with non-stick cooking spray and then dust the inside of the cups generously with cocoa powder.

  • Add butter and chocolate chips to a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir together, then continue microwaving in 30 second intervals (stirring each time) until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Using a hand-held mixer, beat on medium speed until well combined.

  • Fold the chocolate mixture into your egg mixture. Add the flour and cocoa powder and stir until combined.

  • Divide the batter between the prepared custard cups or ramekins and place on a baking sheet.

  • Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the sides are set, but the center is still a little bit jiggly. Watch closely because you do not want to over-bake.

  • Allow to cool for 1 minute, then turn them out onto individual dessert plates. Serve immediately with your choice of topping!

Notes:
  1. Try to use high-quality chocolate morsels, such as Ghirardelli or Guittard.  Nestle dark chocolate morsels do work as well.  
  2. Make sure not to overbake.  You want the center to appear a little jiggly as you take them out of the oven.  This will leave you with the gooey lava center you are looking for!

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 220mg | Sodium: 183mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 726IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 167mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

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