Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes


I’m not one to turn down a chocolate dessert…or any dessert for that matter! However, I don’t actually make desserts myself that often. I’m more likely to rip into some Haagen Daz than bake a cake. But I got the itch a few weeks ago when my friend Anna was coming for dinner and I saw this recipe for molten lava cake by the Neelys. Gooey chocolate cake? Yes, please.

This recipe was actually quite easy for a from-scratch recipe. Melting chocolate is always a little tedious, but that’s about the extent of it. And these cakes came out delicious! Perfectly cooked on the outer edges and hot, gooey chocolate meltiness in the inside. I loved the touch of putting granulated sugar in the ramekins before you add the chocolate — you get a little sugary crunch on the outside. And the pinch of cayenne was just right for a little bit of heat. I cut the recipe in half to make four mini cakes. And I’ll be honest — even I couldn’t finish a whole one. Heads up that I had to bake these a while longer than the recipe called for — they clearly weren’t done enough yet — so you might need to check them and proceed accordingly. Just look to see that the top is firming up and cracking a bit.

TW’s Tips

  • These are as good as the chocolate you use — so I recommend picking something a step up from the usual chocolate chips, although those work just fine as well.
  • Serve with ice cream to cut the richness.
  • Make sure you have oven-safe ramekins to bake these in. Muffin tins might also work (haven’t tried it) to make smaller cakes — adjust bake time accordingly.
  • I could take a bit more of the cayenne — I like a little spice — so add a couple pinches if you’re daring.

Molten Lava Cakes


  • 2 sticks butter, unsalted, plus more for ramekins
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 large egg yolks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 8 (6-ounce) ramekins and sprinkle each with about 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

In a saucepan combine butter, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg, and chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth; stir frequently. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, confectioners’ sugar, eggs and yolks, vanilla extract and almond extract until creamy. Add melted chocolate to the batter and whisk together. Pour into prepared ramekins.

Bake cakes until the top is stiff and cracked and the edges are dark, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake with a small paring knife then invert onto plates while warm.


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