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.
The Easiest Chocolate Lava Cake (No Egg!)
This chocolate lava cake needs no eggs, no dusting the ramekin, no freezing, and no electric mixer! Try the easiest recipe ever for a chocolate lava cake.
- 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
Sai Deshpande says
I tried this recipe and the cake turned out to be delicious.
Thankyou, you really made baking so easy.
Loving your recipes !
Thank you so so much Sai! I’m so glad you enjoyed 🙂
Can you tell me how much gram is 1/4 of a cup?
Hi Sara! This recipe in grams is 50 g chocolate chips, 60 g butter, 30 g flour, 30 g cocoa powder, 50 g icing sugar and 60 mL milk. Hope you enjoy 🙂
Hi dear I tried the recipe. But used two small cuos to bake.. but don’t know where I went wrong they were cakey.
Was diving the mistake I did??
Kindly fly help me please.
Hi Devi, it sounds like you baked the cakes a little bit too long. I would reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes and see how you go!
Bonjour est-ce que ça marche avec de la farine non farine de blé ? (Sans gluten?)
Oui, c'est bon! J’espère que ça te plaît 🙂
This recipe is amazing!!
I just want to ask, If I wanted to make the center a bit more runny rather than gooey would you recommend I add more milk or just decrease baking time?
And are there any recommendations if I were to plan on reheating them after a while? I read that 30 seconds in the microwave should do the trick, so Im considering decreasing baking time by a minute or two as to not overcook the cake after reheating.
Oooh that is a good question! I would start with adding 1 tbsp extra milk and 1 tbsp extra butter. This will thin out the batter. Note that this will also make the cake less stable so perhaps keep it in the ramekin to serve and reheat it! If the cake is going to be cold before you reheat it, cook it as normal, it should still be fine if you microwave it for 30-60 seconds. If it will still be lukewarm then I suggest undercooking it by a 2 minutes as you said, so it doesn't overcook in the microwave! If it's lukewarm, it definitely wouldn't take more than 30 seconds in the microwave 🙂 Hope that makes sense! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Hi I really want to make this but I don't have chocolate chips, can I use little pieces of chocolate ?
Hi Raphaella, you can definitely use little pieces of chocolate too! Make sure you have 50 g (1.75 oz) in total, as it can be difficult to accurately measure chocolate pieces in a measuring cup.
What size ramekin did you use?
I use a 10 cm / 4" diameter (7 cm / 2.75" inch tall) ramekin. Hope that helps 🙂
Can you double the recipe? Thanks so much!
Hi Toni! You can easily double the recipe and split it across two of the same size ramekins. If you bake both lava cakes at the same time, I'd suggest adding 2-3 more minutes to the baking time. I don't recommend doubling the recipe and attempting to make one extra large lava cake, as it will fall apart if you attempt to take it out of the ramekin.
Found this recipe looking for an eggless chocolate cake. This was definitely delicious and quite rich in flavour! not so much a lava center, but soft. (I get ovens vary so this may have had aneffect on the lava factor).
Easy to make as others have commented....
BUT!.....I'm glad I looked at the calorie count before eating though...over 1000 calories for just one serving. So glad I shared one with my boyfriend even though we made two!
So glad to hear you and your boyfriend enjoyed it, Tas! It's definitely a special occasion dessert. Thank you for the lovely feedback 🙂
Hey ! I don't have an oven. I want to make it in microwave, can you tell me the baking duration ?
Hi Dolly! I've tried making this in the microwave and have never had as much success, as it tends to cook the middle all the way through. I would try 90 seconds in a large microwave safe mug (based on 1100 watt microwave) and see you how go. Be wary that it may spill over the edge!
Jerri Larsson says
I am an old beginner (79) and there are just 2 of us. I made this recipe using 2-4 oz ramekins. I set my oven temperature by an oven temperature gauge and not the oven display. I have a convention oven and used your 355°F setting and rotated the ramekins halfway through. They were so soft at 10 minutes that I increased the time by 2 more minutes before taking them out. They collapsed on the plate. They were good! but would like them a little firmer. Can you suggest what I might be doing wrong or how to tell when they are ready. would appreciate any suggestions. thank you
Hi Jerri, I'm so glad you still enjoyed them! Your oven settings sound correct, I would just continue to bake them for a little longer - I recommend 14 minutes to begin with even with the 2 ramekins. Keep everything else the same as last time. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a plate to prevent them collapsing. Hope this helps! Enjoy 🙂
Gerald Larsson says
One more question. If I use 4 oz aluminum foil ramekins, would you leave the cooking time the same. Sometimes I am lazy and don't want to wash a lot of items.
Hi Gerald, apologies for the late reply. Yes, I would leave the cooking time the same. Enjoy!
Hi, i have a question, what happens if i don't have chocolate chips or small chocolate piecess? I really want to make ths recipe 🙁
Hi there, can you access any sort of chocolate? Chocolate blocks, chocolate chips, or chocolate pieces will all work fine. If you are using chocolate blocks then just chop them up very small. Hope that helps 🙂
Will this recipe work if I triple the ingredients? I need 6 small ramekin cups.
Hi Debbie, yes this recipe should work if you triple the quantities and bake in 6 smaller ramekins. I'd reduce the baking time to approx 10 minutes. Hope you enjoy.
I initially followed the recipe exactly as it is but found myself making a cake that felt extremely clangy to eat - too gooey even though I baked it for around 25 minutes - I probably put too much butter the first time. I tried it a second time and had the same result. I know chocolate lava cake is supposed to be gooey but this was like WAY too gooey (almost uncooked). The cake wasn't cakey at all - only had a structure on the top but below it was almost completely runny.
Since I was only making it for myself and found the recipe to be too sweet and a bit of a large portion for myself, I halved it and it came out PERFECT - just the way I like my chocolate lava cake where there was structure and the centre was runny and fudgy and it was SO GOOD and the halved portion was perfect for me. I still end up baking it for 15 minutes to get my result so it's not too gooey but just runny enough. Came to the conclusion that I likely needed to keep it in the oven for way more time and that's where I could have gone wrong the first few times.
The ingredients halved is as follows for those interested:
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
*I mix all the ingredients in the single ramekin and just plop on ice cream after baking so I don't use up another dish* 🙂
Thank you for this recipe! It's perfect for my late night cravings, so fast and easy! Definitely definitely recommend this for people with a sweet tooth - it's my go-to!
Hi Luna, I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe in the quantities that you used 🙂 thank you for the lovely feedback!
Is 1/4 cup of chocolate chips correct for 1/2 of recipe?
Hi Sheila, for half the recipe you would need to use 2 tbsp of chocolate chips only.
Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe.my family loved it.will be sharing this recipe with my friends.they will like it.
I just want to make sure, you make the chocolate chip and butter thing then you mix in the other ingredients, not mix the other ingredients in a bowl and add it, right?
Hi, that's correct. You mix the melted butter and chocolate together, then you can straight away add the other ingredients into the chocolate/butter mixture.
do you mix the butter and chocolate and then add all of the other ingredients
Hi, that's correct 🙂 Hope you enjoy.
I love your recipes, Keep it up!