Warm, rich, indulgent lava cake is the perfect dessert to complete any romantic dinner. Easy to make and comes together in just 30 minutes. Top with vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries for a dessert that is sure to impress!
I am a chocolate lover through and through! And I absolutely love chocolate lava cake. I remember having my first lava cake at a nice restaurant my husband and I went to on one of our date nights. I thought about making lava cakes myself at home, but I assumed they must be tricky to make. Boy, was I wrong!! These are easier to make than most desserts. So if you have some basic baking ingredients and 30 minutes to spare, you could be making these amazing chocolate lava cakes yourself! And trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
Chocolate Lava Cakes Really Are Easy…
There really are no tricks or secrets here…Just a simple recipe with delicious results. But I’ll go through the steps.
- This recipe is written using 8-ounce ramekin dishes. You could use different-sized baking dishes, but you will need to adjust the baking time. I recommend using something comparable to this 8-ounce size.
- Begin by greasing the ramekin dishes with butter or shortening, then lightly dust them with cocoa powder. This allows the baked cakes to release cleanly from the dish when you flip them over to serve.
- Next, you need to melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. To speed up melting time, cut up the butter and chocolate into smaller pieces. Stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate are both completely melted, smooth, and creamy. You could also melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave. Place the cut-up butter into a medium heat-proof bowl, then add the chopped chocolate on top. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, then in 10-second increments, stirring after each until completely smooth. Set aside.
- A note on the chocolate – Do not use chocolate chips. They have an ingredient in them that prevents them from melting smoothly. That is why they hold their shape when used in chocolate chip cookies. Whenever you are melting chocolate, you want to use the chocolate baking bars because they are made to be melted and will yield smoother melted chocolate.
- Sift together the flour, powdered sugar, and instant coffee. **Instant coffee really enhances the chocolate flavor, and I highly recommend using it to get that rich, decadent chocolate flavor.
- Whisk the eggs until they are pale and foamy.
- Add the chocolate mixture, eggs, vanilla, and salt to the flour mixture. Stir with a whisk until combined.
- Pour equally into the prepared ramekin dishes and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. **They will look under-baked. The sides should look done, but the center should still be soft. If you bake these too long, the center won’t be runny like you want it to be.
- Allow to cool for two minutes. Then place an inverted plate on top of the cake, and using a kitchen towel or oven mitts, flip the cake and the plate over. It should release easily from the ramekin.
Lava Cake Toppings:
This is where you can get creative! Once you flip the cakes over you, have all kinds of options for toppings. I typically go with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and strawberries or raspberries. But you could use any flavor of ice cream you like; chocolate, mint chocolate chip, rocky road, etc…Some other great options are salted caramel, whipped cream, raspberry sauce, sprinkles, chopped nuts…Let your imagination run wild! Whatever you decide, Enjoy!
Chocolate Lava Cake for Two
- butter or shortening for greasing ramekins
- cocoa powder for dusting ramekins
For the Cakes:
- 4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, (not chocolate chips)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Prepare your 8-ounce ramekins by greasing the bottoms and sides with butter or shortening. Then dust with powdered cocoa, making sure all surfaces are covered. Set aside.
- Cut up the butter and chocolate into smaller pieces for quicker melting. Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when mostly melted and stir until smooth and creamy. **Microwave Instructions: Place the cut-up butter into a medium heat-proof bowl, then add chopped chocolate on top. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, then continue in 10-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, powdered sugar, and instant coffee together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl until pale and foamy. Set aside.
- Add the chocolate mixture, the eggs, vanilla, and salt to the flour mixture and whisk slowly until just combined and smooth.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared ramekins, filling almost to the top. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. **Do not overbake! The sides should look done, but the center should still look soft and jiggly. Also, it should look slightly underdone.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Then using a kitchen towel or oven mitts, place an inverted plate on top of the ramekin and flip it over. The cake should release easily from the ramekin.
- Serve immediately while still warm.
- Topping Suggestions: Vanilla ice cream (or other ice cream flavor), chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, raspberries, or strawberries.