Get 5 Secrets to Make Homemade Taste Food Better + New Recipes Weekly!
Published February 9, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
You will absolutely love simply prepared chocolate lava cake with a molten center that makes for the perfect dessert. Your guests or significant other will be blown away at how rich and decadent this is.
Our family has a serious sweet tooth issue that never seems to be satisfied. If you’re anything like us and are looking to try out some new sweet treats, then for sure make my Angel food cake or homemade churros.
The lava cake was invented by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at his restaurant in New York. There is some dispute as to the original founder, but Chef Jean-Georges has been serving it on his menu for decades.
A lava cake is essentially a sponge cake that isn’t fully cooked and has a runny center. Not to worry, the eggs are mixed with very hot chocolate tempering and cooking them. This is actually a dish that I learned how to make at Cardwell’s in St. Louis over 20 years ago and this is that recipe.
Lava Cake Ingredients
- Eggs – You will use cold large whole eggs and egg yolks for this recipe.
- Sugar – Any branded or store brand granulated sugar will work great.
- Salt – I like to use sea salt for this recipe.
- Vanilla – A good pure vanilla extract is what you should use.
- Chocolate – Use 70% bittersweet cacao for this lava cake.
- Butter – Unsalted butter should be used.
How to Make a Chocolate Lava Cake
Follow these easy step-by-step instructions to make this homemade molten lava cake recipe:
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on high-speed whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla extra until it turns white and is light and fluffy, which takes about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
Melt together the butter and chocolate in a metal bowl over a double boiler until smooth.
Pour the melted chocolate into the whisked egg and sugar mixture and fold together using a rubber spatula until completely combined.
Next, fold in the flour using a rubber spatula until mixed in.
At this stage, you can add them to buttered and floured ramekins and bake or spread out on a 13×9 casserole dish and place them in the refrigerator until completely cool, which takes about 30-45 minutes.
Butter and flour 8-ounce ramekins or 3 inches in diameter baking cylinders and place on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
Scoop out the batter and evenly distribute it across the ramekins or cylinders.
Bake in the oven at 450° for 9 minutes on the dot.
If using a ramekin, invert on a plate for 10 seconds and remove or pull the cylinder up and use a spatula to transfer it to a plate.
Garnish and serve.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: The batter can stay covered in the refrigerator up to 2 days before being transferred to the buttered and floured ramekin and baked.
How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can freeze this, but the soft inside will harden once reheated. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
How to Reheat: This will harden quite a bit in the center when reheating. Place on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake it in the oven at 350° for 3-4 minutes.
chef notes + tips
- To make extra-large lava cakes, simply double the amount of batter into the cylinders or ramekins, which would take the number of servings from 6 to 3. Bake for the same amount of time.
- You can add 1 ounce of Baileys Irish Cream or Kahlua when folding in with the chocolate to enhance or change the flavor.
- Feel free to use semi-sweet chocolate if dark or bittersweet is not available.
- It is best to use good baking chocolate for melting purposes as opposed to chocolate chips.
- When the batter is cool, it will resemble a firm ganache.
- You will know the water in the pot for the double boiler is lightly simmering when you see little bubbles collect on the bottom of the pot.
More Dessert Recipes
Molten Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on high-speed whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla extra until it turns white and is light and fluffy, which takes about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
- Bring a medium-size pot a third filled with water to a low simmer over low-medium heat. Add the butter and chocolate in a metal bowl and place them onto the pot once it is lightly simmering. Constantly stir using a rubber spatula until completely melted and smooth.
- Pour about a ½ cup of the melted chocolate into the whisked egg and sugar mixture and fold together using a rubber spatula for 20 to 30 seconds to temper the eggs. Pour in the remaining chocolate and fold until completely mixed in.
- Next, fold in the flour using a rubber spatula until mixed in.
- At this stage, you can add them to buttered and floured ramekins and bake or spread them out on a 13×9 casserole dish and place it in the refrigerator until completely cool, which takes about 30-45 minutes.
- Butter and flour 6 8-ounce ramekins or 6 3 inches in diameter by 4” tall baking cylinders and place on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
- Scoop out the batter and evenly distribute it across the ramekins or cylinders. See note on doubling batter for bigger taller lava cakes.
- Bake in the oven at 450° for 9 minutes on the dot.
- If using a ramekin, invert on a plate for 10 seconds and remove or pull the cylinder up and use a spatula to transfer it to a plate.
- Garnish with optional whipped cream, chocolate sauce, strawberries, ice cream, a dusting of cocoa powder, or a dusting of powdered sugar, and serve.