Chocolate Lava Cakes

Chocolate Lava Cake

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Cool: 10 mins
  • Yield: 2 cakes (2 servings)

These chocolate lava cakes are the perfect easy and elegant dessert for two. It is the ideal dessert when you are planning a romantic evening at home and need a sweet treat to end the meal. Of course, if you are serving four or six guests, the recipe can certainly be doubled or tripled.

The history of chocolate lava cakes is a bit of a mystery. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten claims to have invented it at his restaurant in New York City in the 1980s. However, fellow New York-based French chef Jacques Torres argues that this dish already existed in France.

Some call chocolate lava cakes, molten chocolate cakes, or chocolate moelleux (from the French for "soft.") No matter who invented the dish or what you call it, this sophisticated dessert has become a classic offering on high-end restaurant menus as well as for home cooks.

Here, the lava cake batter is whipped up in a matter of minutes in the microwave, then it's spooned into a standard size muffin pan and baked just until set on the sides, but not yet set in the middle. When they are inverted onto the serving plates, the rich molten chocolate center spills out with that first bite.

To complete the dessert each lava cake is topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The rich, warm chocolate paired with the smooth, cold ice cream creates an irresistible contrast. For added color and flavor, each plate can be served with fresh raspberries and a sprig of fresh mint.

Ingredients

  • For the Cakes:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • For Serving:
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Fresh mint sprigs

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place 2 cupcake liners into a standard-size muffin tin. Spray the liners with nonstick spray and set aside.

    Chocolate Lava Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate chips. Heat on high for 45 seconds. Remove and stir vigorously to completely melt chips. (Return to microwave for a few seconds if they aren’t melting.)

    Chocolate Lava Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine the egg, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Whisk for about 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.

    Chocolate Lava Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Add the egg mixture into the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

    Chocolate Lava Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Stir in flour until just blended.

    Chocolate Lava Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Carefully spoon the mixture into each cup. The cups will be filled right to the very top. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are firm but the middle is still soft.

    Chocolate Lava Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Remove from oven and place on wire rack. Cool the cakes in the pan for 10 minutes.

    Chocolate Lava Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. After 10 minutes, lift cakes out of muffin tin being careful not to squeeze the cakes. Gently flip cakes out onto small serving dishes and slowly peel away the liner.

    Chocolate Lava Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. Top each cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint. Serve warm.

    Chocolate Lava Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  10. Enjoy!