This Chocolate Lava Cake recipe is the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day, or any other special romantic occasion! (Or when your kids request it every time you ask, “What should we have for dessert?”) Deceptively simple and quick to make, you can whip these up from start to finish in less than 30 minutes!
But if there’s one dessert that gets made more than any other at my house, it has to be these Chocolate Lava Cakes. This is the perfect dessert for several reasons:
- They taste amazing and are fun for kids to eat.
- They look fancy and are impressive.
- They are so quick and easy to make.
- They use regular ingredients that I always have on hand.
- This recipe just makes six lava cakes, which means there isn’t a ton of extra leftover dessert that I will feel obligated to eat.
Ingredients for Chocolate Lava Cakes
- semi-sweet chocolate chips (or a mix of semi-sweet and dark/bittersweet chocolate)
- powdered sugar
How to make Chocolate Lava Cakes
First, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
While that is heating up, get your large muffin tins or ramekins ready. (You’ll want a jumbo muffin tin with space for six muffins, or six (6 ounce) ramekins).
Thoroughly grease them with softened butter or shortening. Then dust them with cocoa powder. This is optional, but you REALLY don’t want the lava cakes to stick, so make sure you thoroughly grease everything!
Then add butter and the chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and and heat on high in the microwave for 30 seconds.
After heating for 30 seconds, remove from the microwave and stir. Put back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove and stir again.
If everything isn’t melted yet, put back in the microwave in 15-second increments until everything is melted and blended together.
Now stir in powdered sugar and salt. The mixture will be thick.
Now it’s time to add the eggs. We’re using three full eggs in addition to three egg yolks here.
Stir everything together. Take your time. It will take a little bit to get the eggs fully incorporated. You also want to add some vanilla here.
Lastly, you’ll add some flour and fold that in until you have a medium-thick batter.
Now just divide the batter evenly between your ramekins or muffin wells. Fill them about 2/3 of the way full. I like to use my OXO Medium Cookie Scoop to make sure I divide everything evenly.
Now pop those in the oven and bake for 11-12 minutes. (If you are using ramekins, place them on a baking sheet before putting them in the oven).
The edges should be set, but the center should still be soft. You’ll see the top begin to crack.
Now let them sit for a minute or two. Run a knife (I use a plastic knife so I don’t scratch my tin) around the edges of the lava cakes. I sometimes do a little “lever” motion with the knife at the bottom of the lava cakes to kind of lift them off the bottom of the tin. I just want to make sure everything is nice and loose and ready to fall out when I flip the tin over.
Once I’ve carefully loosened everything, I place another baking sheet or cutting board over the top and then flip both the cutting board and muffin tin at the same time. (Hopefully that makes sense).
Now you carefully transfer the lava cakes to dessert plates and serve warm with whipped cream, fruit, a sprinkling of powdered sugar, or ice cream.
Can Chocolate Lava Cakes be made ahead of time?
If you want to prep these ahead of time, I suggest you just whip up the batter and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Then about 20 minutes before you want to serve them, pop them into the oven so they can be fresh and warm with that ooey gooey center.
You can also bake these ahead of time, and the centers should still stay liquid. However, they won’t be warm when they are served.
Can you reheat Chocolate Lava Cakes?
There is really no good way to reheat Chocolate Lava Cakes. Putting them in the microwave will alter the texture. Additionally, microwave ovens heat unevenly and only penetrate about an inch into your food.
I don’t suggest using an oven or toaster oven, either. This will just result in an over-baked exterior.
Can you freeze Chocolate Lava Cakes?
You can, but prepare for the texture to change. Once thawed, the center will be more like fudge instead of liquid. And based on the fact that you can’t successfully reheat these, I would suggest not freezing them.
The bottom line is, these are best made and eaten all within a half hour period! If you have guests over for dinner and want these to be fresh, just mix up the batter and pour it into your ramekins or large cupcake pan. You can leave the batter on the counter (no longer than two hours), but it’s preferable to put it in the refrigerator.
Then about 20 minutes before you want to serve the lava cakes, put them into the oven (they only take 11-12 minutes to bake).
How to store Chocolate Lava Cakes
If you have any leftover lava cakes, just place them in the refrigerator, loosely covered with plastic wrap. As mentioned above, I don’t recommend reheating them, but they are delicious cold, too!
This recipe adapted from Cooking Classy.
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, or a mix of semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate. (About a total of one cup of chocolate chips).
- 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 cubes), cut into 1-tablespoon pats.
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup flour
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Thoroughly grease 6 jumbo muffin wells, or 6 (6 ounce) ramekins. Sprinkle greased interiors with cocoa powder if desired.
- Place the chocolate and butter in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Put back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove and stir again. If everything is not fully melted, return to the microwave in 15-second increments, stirring after each time.
- Stir in the powdered sugar and salt. Batter will be thick.
- Add the three large eggs and three egg yolks, along with the vanilla. Slowly stir until everything is fully incorporated.
- Add the flour and fold in until fully mixed.
- Divide the batter evenly between the six jumbo muffin wells or ramekins. Each should be about 2/3 full of batter.
- Place in the oven for 11-12 minutes, until the edges are set but the center is still soft. The top should be cracked and the center should jiggle a little when you shake the pan. (If using ramekins, place them on a baking sheet before inserting into the oven).
- Allow the lava cakes to cool for 1-2 minutes. Then slide a knife around the edges to loosen.
- Invert the lava cakes onto a cutting board or baking sheet. Then carefully transfer to dessert plates. (It's best to slide a spatula under them so that the center doesn't leak out during transfer).
- Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, fruit, or powdered sugar sprinkled on top.