With my experience as a baker and as a certified cake enthusiast, I do not use the words "easiest ever recipe" lightly. BUT this Chocolate Lava Cake recipe undoubtedly snags that title! This recipe is done without freezing the batter, using eggs, dusting the ramekin, and double boiling. You also won't be using an electric mixer! Like I said, this is one the easiest Lava Cake recipe that you will surely fall in LAVA with!
A Piece of (Chocolate Lava) Cake!
It is totally unconventional but highly doable. This is the ultimate sweet treat to make on your next date night if you want to impress! It looks like a million bucks but takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Just looking at the heavenly molten chocolate oozing out of perfectly moist chocolate crumb cake is an art in itself. Who can resist this wickedly indulgent dessert?
What is a Lava Cake?
This luscious French dessert is a cross between classic chocolate cake and a soufflé. It is also called Molten Chocolate cake because the centre of the cake remains liquid after baking and trickles out of the baked outer layer exactly like molten lava, thus the name. The classic recipe usually contains eggs, but this recipe is equally moist and light without them.
Turn these six simple pantry staples into a chocolatey dessert in 25 minutes! Here's what you'll need:
- Dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips: You can use 50 g of chopped dark chocolate instead of ¼ cup of chocolate chips.
- Can I use milk chocolate instead? I would not recommend substituting dark chocolate with milk chocolate, or the cake will be too sweet.
- Unsalted butter: This will give the chocolate lava cake a rich and creamy taste.
- Can I use unsalted margarine? Yes, you can. In fact, this is the best substitute for butter.
- Can I use dairy-free butter? Absolutely, you can substitute it 1:1.
- Plain flour: This flour may already be at your disposal; it is suitable for many types of pastries!
- Can I use gluten-free flour? Yes, that is not a problem at all.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: I use Hershey's (US) or Nestle (AUS/UK) brand. Do NOT use hot cocoa powder or raw 'cacao powder.'
- Icing sugar / powdered sugar: Adds more sweetness and moisture to the batter.
- Can I use white sugar? I don't recommend using white sugar or brown sugar instead of icing / powdered sugar. You can however make your own powdered sugar by blending white sugar in a high-speed blender like a Nutribullet.
- Milk: makes it easier to mix the batter while giving it a creamier taste.
- Can I use dairy-free milk? Yup, soy, oat, and almond are your best options.
How to Make Chocolate Lava Cake
You don't need to prepare much. Your delectable dessert will be ready in no time!
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355°F (fan-forced/convection) or 190°C / 375°C (standard).
- Generously grease a large 1-cup capacity ramekin with canola spray or cooking spray (the spray works much better than melted butter).
- Melt chocolate chips and butter in a large heat-proof jug using the microwave. Whisk until smooth.
- Mix the flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar, and milk (in that order) until thick, shiny, and smooth.
- Pour into the prepared ramekin and bake.
- Place a plate upside-down on top of the ramekin and flip.
- Gently lift the ramekin up to dislodge the cake. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
Tips when Making Chocolate Lava Cake
- Make sure you grease the ramekin very generously with cooking spray. I've tried using melted butter, and it doesn't work as well. This ensures that you can easily dislodge the cake without breaking the thin barrier on top that keeps the hot liquid from spilling immaturely.
- You do NOT need to dust the ramekin with cocoa powder as this will make the cake stick.
- Do not overbake the cake of the center will set. You will lose the lava-ble surprise!
- You can make 2 small-serving chocolate lava cakes. Just split the mixture across 2 small ramekins and reduce the baking time to 10 minutes.
- Let the Lava Cake sit in the cooling rack for a minute or two before serving. This will allow the top to set better. Do noy wait too long though, these yummies are meant to be served hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the best toppings? You can really be spontaneous with this one, but my favourites are melted peanut butter, a dollop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate ganache, sprinkles, or even fresh berries.
- Are chocolate lava cakes safe to eat? Despite having a "liquid" centre, the internal temperature still peaks at 160°C / 320°C making it safe for consumption.
- I do not have ramekins; what can I use instead? The best substitute is a muffin pan. It can get a little tricky to dislodge them as you cannot turn them over on a plate. Use a spoon instead and gently pry them off.
- Can you serve chocolate lava cakes cold? It is not ideal for serving them cold, for the "lava" will not ooze out.
Lava cakes are ideally consumed after they are baked, but when need be, here are the steps to follow in storing them. First, allow the cake to reach room temperature. Remove from the ramekins or muffin pans, then Securely wrap each cake with plastic wrap. Place them in zip bags or airtight food containers and label them with the date. Consume within 2 days if stored in the fridge, but it can last for 3 months frozen.
To reheat, place the cake on a microwave-safe plate or in a microwave-safe container. Heat it in the microwave for 30-40 seconds on medium power or until the molten chocolate centre reaches the right consistency. Enjoy it as is or with your topping of choice.
- ¼ cup (48 g) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 60 g (2 oz / ¼ cup) unsalted butter, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup (38 g) plain flour
- ¼ cup (25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup (35 g) icing sugar / powdered sugar
- ¼ cup (63 mL) milk
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355°F (fan-forced/convection) or 190°C / 375°C (standard). Generously grease a large 1-cup capacity ramekin with canola spray or cooking spray (the spray works much better than melted butter).
- Place chocolate chips and butter in a large heat-proof jug. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Whisk together with a fork until smooth.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar and milk (in that order). Whisk with the fork until thick, shiny and smooth.
- Pour into the prepared ramekin and bake for 15 minutes. Place a plate upside-down on top of the ramekin and turn both the plate and the ramekin over. Gently lift the ramekin up to dislodge the cake. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
- Please note that my recipes are measured in metric cups and spoons which are larger than US cups and spoons. Most recipes will be fine if measured in US cups and spoons, but please use the weight (grams) measurement for the most accurate result.
- The lava cake must be served immediately.
Substitutions & Tips
- Chocolate chips: you can use 50 g of chopped dark chocolate instead of ¼ cup of chocolate chips. I would not recommend substituting dark chocolate with milk chocolate or the cake will be too sweet.
- Can I use a muffin tin instead of a ramekin? Yes, you can use a muffin tin. The batter will fit into one hole of a texas muffin pan, or you can split it across two holes in a regular muffin pan. Make sure to grease the pan very well.
- Can I make a couple of smaller lava cakes? Yes, you can split the mixture across 2 small ramekins. Reduce the baking time to 10 minutes.
- How can I stop the cake sticking to the ramekin? Make sure you grease the ramekin very well with cooking spray. I've tried using melted butter and it doesn't work as well. You do NOT need to dust the ramekin with cocoa powder as this will make the cake stick.
- Serving suggestions: this cake is delicious served with ice cream or whipped cream! You can also chop up some strawberries or serve with raspberries for a decadent dessert.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 Lava Cake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1034Total Fat: 70gSaturated Fat: 41gUnsaturated Fat: 16.8gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 27.2mgCarbohydrates: 98.7gFiber: 12.8gSugar: 67gProtein: 13.9g