Chocolate lava cakes are a favorite among many dessert fans, with their rich flavor and ooey-gooey center, they are a chocolate lover’s dream.
With just 6 simple ingredients and a prep time of 20 minutes, this decadent dessert is surprisingly easy and will always impress your guests.
Whether it is for Valentine’s day, date night or you want to spoil yourself with something sweet, chocolate lave cakes will never disappoint, and they’re way better when you make them yourself than buying them from the store.
As you bake them in single servings, like cupcakes or muffins, they are done quite quickly. If you want to make a gluten-free option, you can opt to make this fudgy chocolate cake with gluten-free flours, such as almond or coconut (keep in mind that proportions will be different).
What to do if you don’t have ramekins?
We recommend using smaller ramekins for these chocolate lava cakes to make them in single-serving portions, as they are highly versatile for other chocolate baked desserts such as soufflés, pudding cakes or muffins. But if you don’t have ramekins, you can use a muffin pan instead. Dariole moulds are also another option that can be used if you don’t have ramekins.
Grease the muffin pan cups and coat them with cocoa powder to prevent the cakes from sticking. Your lava cakes will be a bit smaller so you will have to portion the batter into more cakes. This also means the baking time will be reduced to 8-10 minutes.
Choosing the chocolate
In this recipe, chocolate is the main star, so make sure to use a bar of high-quality chocolate. As it is the main flavor, you will immediately taste the difference when you use premium ingredients.
Do not use chocolate chips! The chips have certain stabilizing agents that prevent the chocolate from staying melty after they cool down. And we all know the gooeyness on a lava cake is its main selling point. Use high-quality chocolate baking bars such as Nestle, Baker’s, Ghirardelli, or Lindt. As they come in 4-ounce bars, you will need 1 and 1/2 bars for this recipe.
To get that molten center, make sure not to over-bake your chocolate lava cakes. The bake time will vary depending on the size of your ramekins and your oven’s baking capacities.
You can play with the flavor of your lava cakes, you can add some orange zest, caramel or some raspberry syrup.
What is inside the lava cake?
The “lava” in the chocolate lava cake is just the batter that has not fully set. The secret to getting the middle just right is to bake the cakes until only the sides are set. To get that rich creamy consistency, you will need to use a small amount of flour in these cakes.
Reheating your chocolate lava cakes
These chocolate lava cakes can be reheated in an oven heated at 350 degrees. Let them warm for 10 minutes while upside-down on a baking sheet.
Can you freeze these lava cakes?
After you have prepared your 6-ingredient batter, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and you can store it in your fridge for up to 2 days. When you take them out of the fridge, let the batter warm to room temperature before baking them. Baked lava cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months and reheated in the microwave.
What toppings can you use for your chocolate lava cakes?
Once you’ve got your warm lava cakes are on your plates, you can go over the top with your toppings! There are many toppings that go well with these chocolate lava cakes, such as:
- Vanilla, raspberry, caramel (or any kind of flavor) ice cream
- Chocolate ganache
- Peanut butter cream
- Salted caramel
- Whipped cream
- Expresso whipped cream
- Raspberries, or any other type of fresh berries
What you’ll need
- 100g butter, and a little more for greasing the pan
- 100g dark baking chocolate
- 150g soft or confectioners’ sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 50g plain flour
- Preheat oven to 200C/180C.
- Grease four 6-oz ramekins with nonstick spray or butter, and dust them with some cocoa powder before you pour in your batter. This prevents the lava cakes from sticking and allows you to easily remove them from the ramekin.
- Coarsely chop the dark baking chocolate. In a medium heat-proof bowl, add your butter and the chopped chocolate on top. Let it heat at 10-second intervals, stirring after each round until all the ingredients have melted. Set aside the bowl to cool slightly for 15 mins.
- You can also melt the chocolate and butter over a pan of hot water and stir until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Add in your sugar, the eggs, one at a time, ½ tsp vanilla extract and finally 50g plain flour. Mix until everything is incorporated.
- Divide your batter between the ramekins or your muffin pan shapes.
- You can now freeze or store your batter in the fridge for later. From the freezer, you can directly cook the cakes for 16 mins.
- Take your freshly made batter and bake for 10-12 mins until the tops and sides have set and are firm to the touch but the middles are still soft.
- If you are using a muffin pan to bake, your baking time is around 8-10 minutes.
- Take your chocolate lava cakes and let them cool for 1 minute.
- Cover each cake with an inverted plate and flip them over. If you made them in a muffin pan, use a spoon or run a knife around the edge to release the cakes from the pan and place them on plates upside down.
- Serve with your topping of choice.
We hope that you liked our recipe for chocolate lava cakes and that you will make your own when you are in the mood for something rich, smooth and chocolatey.