Molten Chocolate Cakes

in Cakes & Cupcakes, Chocolate, Valentine’s Day

Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes

This is the final recipe of two weeks of Valentine’s Day chocolatey desserts. And, personally, I think we saved the best for last (although the Dark Chocolate Mousse is a very, very close second).

The people who have opinions on these sorts of things say that molten chocolate cakes (or chocolate lava cakes… whatever you call ’em) are most decidedly “out.” As in, done. Yesterday’s news. I question how anyone can make such a declaration about a dessert from which chocolate flows when you cut into it. Melty chocolate. Flowing, melty chocolate.

Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes

They may be very 2002 but me and my Valentine absolutely love us some warm chocolate cake with a melty center. They really are very easy to make – you just need a muffin pan, 8 ounces of your favorite chocolate, and some standard baking ingredients. 5 minutes to mix, 10 minutes to bake, 10 minutes to rest after baking. And then it’s dessert time!

Molten Chocolate Cakes

My Valentine and I absolutely love this warm chocolate cake with a melty center. They are very easy to make – you just need a muffin pan, 8 ounces of your favorite chocolate, and some standard baking ingredients. 5 minutes to mix, 10 minutes to bake, 10 minutes to rest after baking. And then it’s dessert time!


  • 8 oz semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp butter, room temp*
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray 6 wells (and the surrounding tops) of your muffin tin with baking spray.
  2. Melt the chocolate and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar on medium-high together for ~3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  4. Scrape down the sides and add 1 egg at a time, waiting until the egg is incorporated fully before adding the next one.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Switch mixer to lowest setting. Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Add the melted chocolate and mix on low until thoroughly combined.
  7. Fill each muffin tin almost to the top (the cakes will rise, but only very slightly; I left less than 1/4 inch space). Bake for ~10 minutes. The cakes will look done on top and will jiggle if you give the pan a light shake.
  8. Remove from oven, let sit for 10 minutes. Place a plate on top of the muffin tin and invert to remove the cakes.
  9. Serve warm with whipped cream, ice cream, confectioner’s sugar… or just a fork!
*I almost never think far enough ahead to properly bring my butter to room temp. I usually cube it, throw it in the stand mixer cold, and let the mixer run the 2-3 minutes it takes me to gather the remainder of the ingredients. Most recipes start out by beating the heck out of the butter, anyway 🙂


Yields: 6 servings

Adapted from Everyday Food

30 comments… add one
  • Um, how can these EVER be out!? They look amazing and um, have chocolate…so really, they will always be in for us.

  • These are definitely the most classic chocolate dessert to win someone over. These can not be out for Valentine’s Day!

  • I am still on the chocolate molten cakes train…10 years later. I love these things! I especially love that your recipe can be divided easily by three to make just two cakes for Valentine’s Day!

  • I agree, I still think this dessert is the best!!! I want to make this for my husband but his favorite chocolate pie of all time is the Ancho Chile Fudge Pie from Z Tejas- I got it online and he has to have it. Or maybe I can make both!

  • No you are so right. Melting, flowing chocolate could never be out. Chocolate in GENERAL could never be out. Weird people. They must be sadists.

  • Emily O.

    I think someone on The Next Iron Chef or some program like that scorned a lava cake for being outdated. I’ve only had one or two, but I am most definitely in the camp of chocolate + chocolate= always appropriate.

  • One of my favorite chocolate desserts! I’ll always love it. 🙂

  • Julie

    Wow…. I cannot believe how easy these look to make…. and so gorgeous and yummy.

    I will have to make them this weekend, before next weeks diet!

    Any suggestions on the Chocolate?

    • Shawnda

      @Julie, I’m just about to finish the big block I got for my Christmas baking. It’s a 62% (or 65, I forget) semisweet.

  • I love molten chocolate cake and don’t care what anyone else says. It’s super comforting, chocolaty, and one of the best desserts in my opinion!

  • If you ask me, these will never be out! In fact, I just made them for dessert last night, but I put a salted caramel in the middle. Delicious!

  • Any storage and rewarming tips? I would think they’d be fine in a tupperware, but I’m not sure if I should reheat in the microwave or oven. Suggestions?

    • @Christine, I put two in a leftover bowl in the fridge. I let them warm to room temp and then reheated with two 15-second trips through the microwave at 50% power. They were just warm and still underdone in the center, though not as free-flowing as fresh. The other two I froze and am thawing overnight in the fridge. I plan to reheat them the same way.

  • Beautiful dessert, I am always wondering how is it possible to make it 🙂

  • Jenny

    These cakes are the best! I first had them on our cruise and now I’m addicted. I love that I can make two at a time so I don’t have to worry about eating more than I should. I use Ghiradelli 60% dark chocolate as well. Pair it up with some vanilla ice cream and it’s delicious! My husband agrees!

  • I also don’t care who says these things are “out”. I LOVE molten lava cakes and even have them on my 30-by-30 list. I think I’ll be using this recipe to make them. Thanks for sharing.

  • I absolutely adore Molten Lava Cake. There is nothing more comforting and delicious and this will always be one of my favorite desserts.

  • Shawnda, I had been in need of a new molten cake recipe for a while, and I made these for Valentine’s Day with great success! They were absolutely perfect and SO delicious with a little vanilla ice cream. My hubby loved ’em, too! Thanks so much for this recipe, it’s a keeper!

  • Chocolate molten cakes are so not out in my book. In fact, they’re probably one of my favorite desserts. Of. All. Time. These look just fab, by the way!

  • Ahh I love these! I never bother myself with the trends, and I’ve been making these constantly ever since i began baking. Always great to have a new recipe to try 🙂

  • catherine *K

    Made this a few days ago with Belgian Chocolate 58%….its very nice & moist.
    Love the easy 1,2,3 recipe…thanks for sharing this …My husband was very happy!!

  • Becky

    These are the best. I had tried another receipe but those ones tasted slimy from them eggs. Thankfully I came across this receipe and am in love. I baked them in my pudding dishes making only 4 and baked them slightly longer due to their size but this receipe is fantastic…now just have to make sure I don’t make them all the time and have to exercise more to keep the pounds off. GREAT for a chocolate lover like me…

  • My greatest problem in losing weight are carbs! I love them and they love me!

  • JC

    I found your recipe on Pinterest and made these for Valentines day last night. So good and surprisingly simple. Thanks for the great dessert!! My hubby and I loved it!

  • Debbie Moore

    Not runny in the middle but were gooey. Flavor was great.

  • Malia

    Is it normal that the batter is not runny at all?! Oh well, i guess i will find out the answer in 10 minutes! 😛

  • Elaine

    This was a great recipe; it was so easy and delicious. I made the batter ahead of time (and put it in the muffin tins), and then refrigerated it. Everyone loved it, and I will definitely make it again.

  • JoAnnP

    Can I make the batter a day ahead?

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