Molten Chocolate Cakes

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Molten chocolate cakes, also known as lava cakes, are rich individual chocolate cakes with oozing molten centers.

Molten chocolate cakes — also known as chocolate lava cakes — are rich individual chocolate cakes with oozing molten centers. The original recipe was created by master chef  Jean-Georges Vongerichten fortuitously, when he pulled a chocolate cake out of the oven before it was done and discovered the center to be enticingly warm and pudding-like.

Surprisingly, molten chocolate cakes are easy enough for even the novice baker to make at home. What’s more, they can be prepared ahead of time, stored in the fridge, and then baked at the last minute. The key is to serve them right out of the oven; if they sit too long after baking, the molten centers will cook through.

What you’ll need to make Molten Chocolate Cakes

molten chocolate cake ingredients

Because chocolate takes center stage in this recipe, make sure to use a high-quality chocolate like Ghiradelli or Guittard.

How to make Molten Chocolate Cakes

You’ll need six oven-proof 6-ounce ramekins for the recipe, which you can find at any kitchen store. If you have ramekins that are slightly larger, the recipe is still doable, but you’ll likely need to add a minute or two from the baking time (and this will also impact the number of servings you get from the batter).

Begin by buttering the ramekins liberally to ensure the cakes release easily.

buttered ramekins

Melt one stick of butter and add the chopped chocolate to the bowl.

melted butter and chocolate in bowl

Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. If a few chunks of chocolate remain, place the bowl back in the microwave for 20 seconds, then stir again.

melted chocolate and butter mixture

Next, combine the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a bowl.

eggs, vanilla, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl

Beat until pale and thick, about 4 minutes.

beaten egg mixture

Add the flour and melted chocolate mixture (the chocolate mixture sinks to the bottom).

adding the flour and melted chocolate mixture to the egg mixture

Gently fold to combine.

folding the chocolate and egg mixtures

It will deflate a bit — that’s okay.

molten chocolate cake batter

Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared ramekins.

molten chocolate cakes ready to bake

Bake for 10 minutes in a 450°F oven. (If you’re not ready to bake the cakes right away, you can cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and store them in the fridge; just bring them to room temperature before baking.)

baked molten chocolate cakes

They’ll puff up just over the edge of the ramekins. Be sure not to overcook them, or the centers won’t be molten. Let the cakes sit in the ramekins for a minute, then carefully invert them onto plates.

inverting the cakes onto plates

Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream and berries.

You may also like

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Molten chocolate cakes, also known as lava cakes, are rich individual chocolate cakes with oozing molten centers.

Servings: 6
Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the ramekins
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, best quality such as Ghirardelli
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour

For Serving (optional)

  • Confectioners sugar, vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream, and berries


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Generously butter six 6-ounce ramekins (really be generous, and do not substitute non-stick cooking spray). Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium bowl in the microwave. Immediately add the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted. If a few chunks remain, place the bowl back in the microwave for 20 seconds, then stir again. Repeat if necessary. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle or beaters, beat the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla and salt at high speed until thickened and pale, about 4 minutes. Add the melted chocolate mixture and flour to the egg mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined (the chocolate sinks to the bottom so be sure to scrape it up into the batter).
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared ramekins and bake for 10 minutes, until the cakes are set and puffed over the edges of the ramekins. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 to 2 minutes; then, holding the hot ramekins with a dish towel, carefully invert the cakes onto dessert plates. They should pop right out, but you can run a thin-bladed knife around the edges if necessary. Serve immediately. (It's important not to let the cakes sit after baking, as the centers will continue to cook.)
  5. Make-Ahead Instructions: The batter can be spooned into the ramekins, covered and refrigerated for several hours before baking. Take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking so they come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 416
  • Fat: 31 g
  • Saturated fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Sugar: 29 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 85 mg
  • Cholesterol: 174 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Reviews & Comments

  • WOW! Another huge hit and so easy to make! These were delicious (used choc chips!) My kids and husband raved about them for taste and of course the impressive “lava”. Jenn, your recipes are now staples in our kitchen. Your website is my absolute go to for chef quality and fool proof recipes. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and skills. I love the photos of the ingredients needed and the clear instructions. Your outstanding Caesar dressing and insane key lime pie are also some of the many favorites. Thank you!!

    • — Carolina on August 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Carolina, The Caesar dressing and the Keylime pie are my absolute favorites as well☺️ And the cheesecakes.

      • — Renee on September 8, 2020
      • Reply
  • Airy and light and fairly easy to make!

    • — Lisa on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • Just simply amazing! Your key lime pie and now the lava cakes – my friends and family were so impressed! I just ordered your cookbook! I know where to go when I want to entertain with a foolproof recipe. Thank you!

    • — Vicki on July 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • 🙂 Thanks for your support with the cookbook!

      • — Jenn on July 17, 2020
      • Reply
  • The recipe came out great but there was only enough batter for three. Also when i was mixing the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla the batter didn’t thicken up and was still light brown but it worked anyway

    • — Lulu on July 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Did you beat till it got fluffy? Could also beat the two egg whites for the folding process.

      • — Mark Stefaniw on September 19, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jennifer

    Could I make these ahead and freeze them. If so, what is the best way of doing so?


    • — Karen on June 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, You can freeze them raw and put them in the oven frozen; they’ll take a few more minutes to cook. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi! Would it be possible to bake this in a bigger pan like a 6” or 8”? Thanks!

    • — Leilani on June 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Leilani, I think you’d need to make a few adjustments. If you email directly ([email protected]), I will send you a recipe that will work.

      • — Jenn on June 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • Loved this recipe and turned out great in just cupcake pans. This time I’d like to half the recipe to make 2 cakes in 10oz ramekins since that’s all I have – would that work? And how long would you suggest baking them?

    • — Asha on April 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked them! I’d recommend baking them for about 13 to 15 minutes, but keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • Thank you yet again for another amazing recipe! This dessert was fabulous and we all loved it. It was also easy to make. This type of molten lava cake usually intimidates me, but they came out perfectly the first time! Thank you again!

    • — Wendy on April 28, 2020
    • Reply
  • What an appetizing dessert. I’m 14 years old and it was my first time baking something from scratch. Thanks to you, my family loved it! I didn’t have unsalted butter so I used salted butter and then I didn’t add any salt to the batter.I added baking powder as it became more fluffy. I also reduced the time to 6 minutes. They were full of lava.😋🤤

    • — Kalsoom Soni on April 7, 2020
    • Reply
  • Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!

    • — Anne on March 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • Aloha Jenn,
    Thank you for all your amazing recipes! I am getting ready to make these chocolate molten cakes for my grandchildren tonite. I only have dark brown sugar. Can the light brown sugar be replaced with dark? If so do the measurements change?

    Many thanks
    Patricia from Maui

    • — Patricia on February 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Patricia, Yes they are interchangeable here – no changes necessary. Hope your grandkids enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 20, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you, Jenn, for your very quick response ! Oh yes, my grandchildren will LOVE❤️ I have tried other recipes before and can’t wait to try yours! Looks and sounds amazing. I will let you know.

        Many thanks

        • — Patricia on February 20, 2020
        • Reply
  • I was not able to bake the cake and the mixture has been refrigerated for 5 days. Is it still usable or should I throw it out?

    • — Marilyn on February 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • I’d probably toss it at this point, Marilyn. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on February 17, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    First if all, thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes! Everything I’ve made so far has turned out delicious!!!
    I was wondetring, could I freeze this mix? and if I can for how long could I do it?

    Thanks again!!!

    • — Adriana on February 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes! Yes, you can freeze these (unbaked) for up to 3 months. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • question, I mistakenly bought semi sweet chocolate, should I reduce brown sugar or leave as is?

    • — Janis Burke on February 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • You could reduce it a tiny bit, but it’s really not necessary. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • Dear Jen, Planning to make this for Valentine’s Day. Can I use Turbinado sugar instead of light brown sugar?

    • — Madhuri Krothapalli on February 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • If you don’t have light brown sugar, I’d actually replace it with granulated sugar. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • Would 6 oz pyrex glass bowls work instead of the ceramic ramekins?

    • — Nancy on February 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Nancy, while I suspect it would work, the high oven temp makes me a little nervous (that the bowls would crack) so I’d reduce the oven temperature to 425° and just keep them in the oven for an extra minute or 2. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on February 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • Can you re-heat the cakes after it is already baked? If so how is the best way?

    • — Amber H on January 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Amber – you could warm them briefly in a low oven or in the microwave, but you’ll likely lose the molten center.

      • — Jenn on January 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • Absolutely fabulous! I made these for my son’s birthday. They were a huge hit, and the best part, very easy to make.

    • — Kathy Laudick on January 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • Love this recipe! I’ve made it twice now – following the instructions precisely – and they come out perfectly! It’s like magic. Ten minutes at 450 degrees and they are baked with a gooey center. Beautiful, delicious, and impressive for company.

    • — Jill on December 26, 2019
    • Reply
    • I followed the recipe to the letter, but I only got enough for four 6oz ramequins (with a little bit left over). Did anyone have the same problem?

      • — Anne on February 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • What’s the recipe if I only want to make two?

    • — Gordhan Rajani on December 4, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Gordhan, You’d need to cut all the ingredients by two thirds. If you want to make it easier on yourself math-wise, you could cut the recipe in half and freeze one of the cakes (unbaked). They freeze nicely and can go straight from the freezer to the oven.

      • — Jenn on December 4, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe for my girlfriend’s birthday. She has always enjoyed a good lava/molten chocolate cake in a restaurant. It turned out terrific and was super easy.
    I used white sugar instead of brown sugar because thats all I had in the kitchen. I also used only 1/4 cup of white sugar rather than 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp as the recipe calls for. We prefer desserts that are less sweet rather than too sweet.

    What can I say, it was a hit!

    • — CHRISTOPHER SHARP on July 17, 2019
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe several times and it always comes out perfectly. I haven’t been able to actually taste it though because my grandkids devour the cakes all the while telling me how delicious they are. Thank you for all of your great recipes Jenn.

    • — Maria on June 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 17, 2019
      • Reply
  • Can I use chocolate chips instead of chocolate bar? Thank you.

    • — Kristine on May 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Kristine, Because chocolate chips have stabilizers that help them maintain their shape (like for chocolate chip cookies), I prefer chocolate using chocolate bars for this recipe. That said, a number of readers have commented that they’ve used chocolate chips with success. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

      • — Jenn on May 18, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this for a dinner party, and it turned out perfectly. I followed the make-ahead directions and refrigerated it the morning of my dinner. It took exactly 10 minutes to bake, with molten chocolate centers and a delicious crust on the outside. All my guests raved about it, and it is a wonderful stress-free dessert because it can be made ahead of time. I will definitely be adding it to my repertoire!

    • — Barbara on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • I cant buy Ghiraradelli chocolate and wondered if Lindt 85% would substitute

    • — HL on March 21, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi HL, I think that should work but the finished cakes may be a bit sweeter. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on March 21, 2019
      • Reply
  • These look amazing! I’m going to make tomorrow, but I only have milk chocolate chips and unsweetened cocoa powder on hand. Would you recommend one over the other? If it’s cocoa powder, can you advise on the amount? Thanks so much, can’t wait to try these!

    • — GMC on March 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi GMC, I haven’t made these with chocolate chips (or milk chocolate in any form), but I would go that way instead of the cocoa powder. The finished cakes may not be quite as rich but they should still be good. Please let me know how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on March 19, 2019
      • Reply
      • Best molten chocolate cakes I have made (and I have tried lots)! The method and timing are perfect. I have substituted gluten free flour and still had great results!

        • — Alisa on April 11, 2019
        • Reply
        • That is wonderful that you had good luck with gluten free flour. Which one did you use? By the way, Jenn, this recipe showed up in the NY Times years ago, when he first featured these. I had made them over and over when I wasn’t gluten free. They are foolproof! Thanks for the reminder of the recipe. We are cooking for ourselves tomorrow night for Valentine’s Day, and I’m in charge of a chocolate dessert.

          • — Alene on February 13, 2020
          • Reply
      • I only have a 10oz ramekin. Any suggestions?

        • — AS on March 17, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi AS, It should work, but keep in mind that you’ll get fewer servings with bigger ramekins. I’d recommend baking them for about 13 to 15 minutes, but keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on March 17, 2020
          • Reply
  • I’ve made this several times and my goodness, nothing comes close. I am wondering though, instead of standing with a hand mixer for 4 minutes, can I mix the eggs and sugar in a stand alone mixture with a whisk attachment instead? Wasn’t sure if using a whisk attachment for that portion is ok so wanted to ask.

    • — Seema on February 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • Glad you like these, Seema! Yes, a mixer with the whisk attachment will work here. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 17, 2019
      • Reply
      • Thank you! Also one more question, can these be frozen for a few days after they’ve been baked? Or can the batter be frozen in the ramekins and then be baked a few days later?

        • — Seema on February 17, 2019
        • Reply
        • Hi Seema, You can freeze them unbaked and put them in the oven frozen; they’ll take a few more minutes to cook.

          • — Jenn on February 18, 2019
          • Reply
  • We made this tonight, and it was perfect! I was worried that the inside wouldn’t be molten, but it was! Just as good as our favorite restaurant, if not better. The chocolate flavor was rich and delicious. They came out of the ramekin’s easily. I followed the instructions to the letter, and wouldn’t change a thing. Just note we only got 4 servings.

    • — Jill on February 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • I am going to make your recipe for Valentine’s Day. I have a Wolf Steam oven that I was going to use the steam setting at 210* for 10 min. I’m will make a “test” batch in advance. Let me know your thoughts.

    • — Samantha Russell on February 12, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Samantha, I have never cooked in a steam oven so I’m not sure how you’d adjust the cook time, or if you’d need to. Sorry I can’t be more helpful…I’d love to know how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on February 13, 2019
      • Reply
    • I stuck with your recipe exactly and it turned out faboulously! I’m already making it again. Thank you!

      • — Samantha Russell on February 24, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen! I’m planning to make this for Valentine’s Day but I won’t have time to make the batter before dinner. How far in advance would you be comfortable leaving the batter in the ramekins in the fridge? Is 24 hours too long
    Thank you!

    • — Flo on January 20, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Flo, I think you could get away with refrigerating them for 24 hours. Just make sure they’re covered while in the fridge so they don’t form a film on top. Hope everyone enjoys! 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 22, 2019
      • Reply
  • I have tried several molten chocolate cake recipes and yours is by far, the best! The cakes popped out of the ramekins easily and were gooey inside, but not runny!!

    • — Maren on January 2, 2019
    • Reply
  • Making molton lava cakes, but only have 8oz ramekins and want to lower the temp to 425.
    What your suggestions on baking time?

    Happpy holidays and thanks1

    • — Karen on December 24, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, I’m guessing 10 to 12 minutes. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 25, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’d love to incorporate raspberries into the chocolate, any suggestions? Can’t wait to make these for the Christmas holiday. Thank you !

    • — Susan on December 23, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, I think raspberries would be nice here, but I’d serve them fresh on the side or on top of the cakes. A raspberry sauce would also be good.

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2018
      • Reply
  • These lava cakes made my granddaughters eyes pop! She had one in a restaurant once, then when she was at my house I made these for dessert. She couldn’t believe it! All the adults were impressed as well. It’s on the Christmas menu again this year.
    I love all your recipes Jen. Have passed your site to many friends and family members. Always impressed!
    Patiently awaiting more ‘delicious’ from you in 2019
    The best to you and your family!

    • — Jeanette on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • I have made these three times and have encountered the same problem each time. I follow the cooking time/temperature exactly, yet the top of the cake browns (some would say slightly burns). And yet after cooling, I can’t get a pretty release from the ramekin as the bottom is slightly undercooked (more lava than cake) so it doesn’t hold it’s shape. Tastes great, but would love to master the presentation. Ideas on what I could adjust?

    • Hi Tracy, Sorry to hear you’ve had a problem with these! It sounds like maybe they need to bake at a slightly lower temp for you so that the bottoms get more done before the tops start to brown. I’d decrease the temperature by 25 degrees. They may take a few more minutes in the oven, so keep a close eye on them. Please let me know if you get a better result!

    • Also, invest in an oven thermometer to make sure your oven temp is accurate. Some of us with older ovens may not have accurate temps. I know mine runs 50 degrees hot, so I always have to set my temp 50 degrees cooler!

      • — Mojan on January 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    Love the look of this recipe. However, could you possibly translate how much butter and sugar I should use – I am in the UK and I am not sure about sticks and cups – and should I use plain or self-raising flour?
    Thank you very much.

    • Hi Sally, Most of my recipes actually have metric measurements. If you look in the top right corner of the recipe, you’ll see a button that allows you to toggle between metric and cup measures. And you should use plain flour. Hope that helps!

  • Super easy and delicious! I am no fan of baking and love a homemade receipe that is easy to follow and turns out great! Kids love them and hit at dinner parties. Thank you!!!

  • I have 9oz ramekins that say highest oven temp is 400F. Is there a way to make this recipe using a 400F oven?

    • Yes, I think it will work, but keep in mind that you’ll get fewer servings with bigger ramekins. I’d recommend baking them for about 15 minutes, but keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn! I don’t have any ramekins so would I be able to use a standard 12 cupcake tin? Would the cooking time be the same and how much would I have to fill them up? Thank you in advance! 🙂

    • Hi Matthew, That should work — I’d fill them about 3/4 full.

  • Hi, How do you assure they pop out? I have done this recipe and they did not pop out.

    • Hi Brian, the key to getting them to release from the ramekins is to generously coat the ramekins with butter. Did you do that when you tried these?

  • Absolute perfection.

  • Hi Jenn! If I make them in muffin/cupcake tins, is the cooking time going to be the same? thank you!

    • Yes, the cooking time should be about the same; just keep an eye on them. Enjoy!

  • So good !! My kids love it !!

  • Made this for Valentine’s Day and was perfect. The chocolatey lava was perfect with the dark chocolate not too sweet and overpowering. I made them in little heart shaped ramekins and they turned out amazing. Will definitely make these again and the recipe is fantastic as it; no changes needed! You will not be disappointed!

  • Made these for Valentines Day for my family. They were easy to make and what a payoff! Tasted just like the flourless chocolate cake I ordered in a restaurant. I served them with raspberries and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. I put three uncooked ones in the refrigerator, brought them to room temperature today and cooked them. They were still great. My 19 year old son was impressed and shared a pic with his friends. I’m planning to make this again when I have my friends over for dinner.

  • I have tried many recipes for Molten Chocolate Cakes, and this is by far the best! I will stick with this one from now on. My search is over. Highly recommend for quality of product and ease of method plus great instructions. Great molten center and delicious crust portion. I served with both a high quality vanilla ice cream on the side of the plate and a small bit of whipped cream right on top with one strawberry sliced in a fan.

  • I have 2-16oz and 6-2oz ramekins. Would either of these options work? If so, how long would you recommend for the cooking time?

    • Hi Kathryn, The 16 oz. ramekins should work, but will probably give you just 2 servings. They will probably take about 1.5 times the normal time in the oven, so I’d check them at 12 – 15 minutes. Enjoy!

  • Made this for my hubby and son for Valentines Day. Didn’t change a thing and they turned out absolutely stunning. Had heart shaped ramekins which made them even prettier to present. Thanks for an amazing dessert Jenn…

  • I have 9 oz ramekins. How full should I fill them and do I need to adjust baking time? Thank you!

    • Hi Tonya, I would fill the ramekins just under halfway. I suspect they’ll take an extra minute or so in the oven. Hope you enjoy!

  • Can I prepare the batter a day in advance and keep it in the fridge overnight? Thank you!

    • Yes, Vanessa — The batter can be spooned into the ramekins, covered and refrigerated for several hours before baking. Just be sure to take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking so they come to room temperature.

  • Sounds wonderful but I can’t find what heat for the oven nor for how long. Probably being thick but please help!

    • — Diana Lovell-Pank
    • Reply
    • Hi Diana, no worries – the oven should be set to 450 F and baked for about 10 minutes, until the cakes are set and puffed over the edges of the ramekins. Hope you enjoy!

  • Question….Do these cakes need to be served hot or does it matter?

    • I definitely think they’re best hot, but you could serve them at room temperature. (They won’t be gooey, though, like they are when served hot.)

  • I’m a big fan of your recipes. These look amazing! Have you ever tried them with nondairy margarine (like Earth Balance)? Some members of my family cannot eat dairy.

    • So glad you like the recipes, Sharon! I can’t say that I’ve ever made these with anything but butter, so I’m not sure how it would impact them – I’m sorry! Please LMK how they turn out if you do try them with a non-dairy alternative.

  • Can I use white sugar or dark brown sugar?

    • Dark brown sugar should be fine. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Jen I want to make this chocolate molten cake but I want to use the Nordic crown bundt cake pan should double the recipe or is it fine the way it is?

    • Hi Toni, I’m not sure how this recipe will work in a bundt pan but if you want to try it, I’d definitely double or even triple the recipe.

      • Outstanding and so easy to make. Thank you so very much, Jenn!!

        • — Mimi on February 16, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I would like to make this dessert for Christmas dinner however I have 7oz ramekin dishes and need to make 9 servings.
    Should I double or triple the recipe and how long would you recommend cooking with a slightly larger dish?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Claudia, I’d double it (but still only fill the ramekins halfway) — and I’m guessing they’ll just need an extra minute or two in the oven. Merry Christmas!

  • These molten chocolate cakes are delicious gooey indulgences. They aren’t too sweet and are terrific with vanilla ice cream and raspberries on the side. I live at a high altitude and baking for 10 mins is a little too long. I find 8 mins works great.

    • — Karen Hildebrandt
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Do you think I could bake them in a large muffin pan? I suppose they would be more than 6 and I need to adjust the time in the oven. If you think this is doable, how long do you think I should keep them in the oven for? Thanks. Lara

    • Hi Lara, what size muffin tin are you referring to? A standard muffin tin or one for jumbo muffins?

      • Would it work to cook these in a standard 12 muffin tin?

        • Yep – that’ll work. Enjoy!

  • I have only 4 6 oz. ramekins… should I fill to the top or leave some room, since I will have extra. My family is not huge dessert eaters so 4 would be plenty. Thanks Jenn.

    • I wouldn’t overfill them because they will already puff over the edges. You could keep the extra batter overnight and make two more the following day! Hope everyone enjoys. 🙂

  • Hi Jenn, Any idea why my chocolate molten cakes didn’t rise to the top of the ramekins. I used 6 oz ramekins. I stored them in the refrigerator and brought them to room temp before baking. Thanks for your help. Maria

    • Hi Maria, Did you beat the egg mixture for the full 4 minutes?

      • I beat my eggs for 4 minutes, but didn’t notice until after I added the chocolate and looked at your pictures that mine were not as pale as your mixture. Now I’m afraid they won’t turn out right.

        • — Christy on February 14, 2020
        • Reply
        • How did they come out Christy?

          • — Jenn on February 15, 2020
          • Reply
  • Can I substitute the bittersweet choc for semi sweet?

    • Sure, Nav – that’ll work.

  • These were incredible. Made for my boyfriend and I, prepped the ramekins and refrigerated earlier in the day, let come to room temperature while we had dinner. Topped with powdered sugar, a scoop of raspberry sorbetto and a little whipped cream. He still raves about them weeks later!! Definitely a keeper (him and the recipe 😉 )

  • Hello- can these be cooked a day before serving & kept in fridge or freezer? How do you suggest warming them up at serving time?
    Thanks- William

    • Hi William, These really can’t be baked in advance, but you can do all of the prep ahead of time and store them in the fridge so they’re ready to pop in the oven right before serving. Enjoy!

  • Just tried this, I didn’t have the chocolate listed in the recipe and substituted chocolate chips, and used salted butter as I didn’t have unsalted. Hands down the best chocolate molten cake I have ever had and so easy to make following the directions. Whole family loved it and wanted more.

  • Hi, I’m trying to make these for a Mother’s Day dinner but I believe my ramekins are 4 oz. Would I still fill only half-way? How long would I cook for? Should I reduce the oven temperature?

    • Hi Nancy, Yes, I’d still fill them about half-way. The oven temperature can remain the same, but the baking time will be slightly shorter. Another reader that used 4 oz. ramekins said she baked them for a little over 8 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

      • I really appreciate you taking the time to get back to people with their questions. I’m sorry but I have one more…you say to use a hand mixer. Is there a reason why you are not using a stand mixer or is it ok to use a stand mixer as well?

        • No need to apologize- I’m happy to answer questions! You can get away with either mixer here. If you use a stand mixer, just adjust the speed down a little. Hope you enjoy!

          • Thank you. These came out so good and as soon as my husband and I took them out to our guests, served with raspberries, powdered sugar and vanilla ice cream, you heard everyone going “WOW” and then once they tasted them and saw the nice chocolate deliciousness coming out, you could only hear the “hmmmm” throughout the table. Needless to say, all plates were completely cleaned up by the time we picked up dishes. Thanks for helping make my dinner extra special with your fabulous recipes.

            • — Nancy A
  • Made these for my birthday. They were delicious!

  • Made these last night, and they were absolutely delicious! I ended up eating two 🙂 paired with vanilla bean gelato and dusted with powdered sugar. The centers were molten-y but didn’t have quite the lava flow I was expecting. I think I may have over-beat the egg mixture because the batter was quite thick. I will try less mixing and bake time 8-9 minutes next time.
    All your recipes turn out great, and I especially loved this one!

  • I made these tonight for Valentines Day and they were delicious but not much lava. I did 9 minutes and decided to take them out just because they were starting to look over cooked. Next time I would try 8 minutes. The taste was great! I served with vanilla ice cream and raspberries, just like the pic ?

  • Any reason not to just leave them in the ramekins and serve them that way?

    • Hi Susan, it’s perfectly fine to eat them right out of the ramekins. Enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn, Could this be made in a soufflé or casserole dish? If so, what size and how long should it be baked? Thanks for all of your great recipes. Sharon

    • I’ve never tried it this way, Sharon, but I imagine it’d work in an 8-inch baking dish or equivalent. The bake time should be about the same.

  • This may have been the best dessert I’ve ever made, restaurant quality. Huge hit!

  • I tried last evening for birthday party. Should have tried a few days in advance as well. Why did the centers all sink all the way to the bottoms? Served with chocolate ganache and ice cream. Was voted to be “10” even with the funkey centers. I live at over 5300 feet, how can I adjust receipt? Can I use cup cake tin?

    • — Doris L. Hurtado
    • Reply
    • Hi Doris, The centers of these really do kind of collapse due to their very “molteny” center. I do suspect, though, that the altitude can have an effect on anything you bake. I don’t know much about baking at high altitude, but here are some helpful tips. And yes, these could be made in a cupcake tin.

  • Also, the only changes I made was that I dusted the buttered ramekins with cocoa powder, and baked them at 425 degrees instead of 450.

  • I loooooove this recipe. Looooove. I tried the original and it was good. But then I tried this one and it was awesome. Genius move on using brown sugar because it makes a huge difference in the texture. I have one more cake sitting in the fridge and I keep debating about whether to bake it and eat it right now… even though I already had one today. We ate ours with coffee ice cream and fresh raspberries. So good. I’ve made this recipe 3 times in the past 2 weeks and every time people raved. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars. Thank you!

  • Hi Jen, Can you tell me why you use brown sugar in this recipe? I have done a lot of searching and most use confectioners sugar, and a few regular white sugar. I’m curious as to why you use brown. I am planning to make these for a dinner party tomorrow night and am scared they’ll be overdone after reading some reviews. But I am really wondering about your choice for the sugar. So far EVERY one of your recipes I have made has been delicious, so I am not questioning your decision, just curious. Thank you!!

    • Hi Dany, So glad you’ve been happy with the recipes! No reason really, other than I like using brown sugar with chocolate for the deeper extra flavor.

  • Jenn, I made these for a dinner party last night and they were a huge hit! For me, I would have liked LESS lava. Is there a way to have a more cake-like middle? I did cook them @450 for 10 min and it looked like the top was just getting ready to burn at the 10 min. Thank you

    • Hi Marcy, If they were starting to burn on top, but were a little too “molteny” for you, I might suggest reducing the oven temp a bit next time, so they can cook on the inside a bit longer without burning on the top.

  • Hi
    How can I make it eggless?

    • Sorry Sonia, I don’t think this one would work without eggs!

  • No lava. Tasty, but they were brownies & a little burned on top. On the plus side, they rose well & did release from the ramekins easily, which is why I decided to try this recipe after having sticking issues with my old recipe. I’ll try them again with a lower oven temp &/or less cooking time.

  • Hi Jenn,
    I will be using 8 oz ramekins. Do you think I need to change the baking time/anything else? Thanks so much. -Christine

    • Hi Christine, If using larger ramekins, I’d probably reduce the number of ramekins to 4 or 5, and increase baking time by a few minutes.

  • Hi. Thinking of trying this recipe. Would it be okay to use custard cups instead if ramekins? Thank you!

    • Hi Carla, I haven’t tried these in custard cups. They may not rise quite as well, but will still be tasty. If you make them, please let me know how they turn out!

      • It worked out well! Awesome recipe!!! Thank you.

      • Made them for Valentine’s Day in custard cups….delicious. Next time I would bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees.

  • I have to add that I bought the wrong size ramekins, I think they were 12 oz. I made three cakes instead of six and we shared….it was still perfect! I baked 13 minutes instead of 10. 🙂

  • LOVED THIS!!! The recipe is perfect and foolproof. Thanks, Jen, for another amazing recipe!

  • ARGH! I under cooked them and the bottom and top separated as I was taking them out of the ramekins! So, it was more of a puddle of yummy goodness (with vanilla ice cream, of course) than a lava cake. I left them in the oven for 10 minutes but maybe my oven is funky…still five stars because I had to restrain my family from licking their plates…I’ve got two left in the fridge and will try again this evening..

    • ARGH!! AGAIN! This time I left them in the oven for too long! Not that anyone complained about the flavor! But, my son did say that I needed to try again, preferably as soon as possible…

  • Making this now…I’m sure it will be just a delicious as everything I have made that you have posted!

    Thanks for all of the delicious inspiration!

  • I made these this evening. Great tasting but no lava though. I then realized that I did not pay close enough attention and added the flour to the egg and sugar mixture instead of adding the flour after I mixed the egg mixture…Could this be where I went wrong…? Thank you.

    • Hi Susan, Possibly, but it could also be that your oven was a little too hot or they cooked a little too long. Next time, reduce the cook time by a few minutes.

  • Love this recipe. It was amazingly simple to make! I put it together while preparing my family dinner. Popping it in the oven while everyone was finishing dinner was brilliant. Can’t wait to try it with other varieties of chocolate.

  • I have tried this one so many times! My kids absolute favorite. I follow the recipe not changing one thing and it comes out perfect each and every time. Two thumbs up!

  • Made these once but they came out all cake and no lava. Searched and found the original recipe on Food and Wine and this recipe makes only 4 servings, not 6. Made recipe again for 4 and it worked! Lava!

    • Recently tried these in 6 – 4 oz ramekins. They came out the best yet with just the right amount of lava!

  • At first I felt intimidated thinking this recipe for molten chocoate cakes would be difficult. The last time I tried molten cakes was in a restaurant in Kuai for dessert years ago. It just happened that my children gave me 6 rankings for a holiday gift a perfect size to make molten cakes. Your pictures helped me over come my fear and then become excited to shop for ingredients and make it. Thank you for such a rich, delicate dessert. I made it last night for dessert. My kids loved adding ice cream and raspberries. So scrumptious All of loved eating each delicious bite.
    The lesson form me is to read and study your pictures prior to making which gave me more confidence.
    This is my families favorite dessert now.
    Thank you

    • — Michele Nastarin
    • Reply
  • I make these cakes every year for a Christmas dinner party and my guests ask for them! They are wonderful served with Graeter’s Peppermint Ice Cream!!!

  • Fabulous dessert and super easy to make especially in a busy kitchen. We used 4oz ramekins and baked for about 8:30 minutes…they were delicious. Next time will serve with small scoop of vanilla ice cream. This will be our go-to super delicious dessert to impress our friends! Thank you!

  • Hi Jennifer,
    I would like to know what size ramekin you used? And do you fill the ramekin to the top?

    • Hi Richard, I use 6-ounce ramekins; you’ll fill them a little more than halfway.

  • I am searching for a molten chocolate cake recipe to make for my bestfriend’s birthday. I found your website:). Could you please explain to me how the proportion of butter to chocolate will affect the cakes? I noticed you have a bit more butter than chocolate in your recipe, but I also saw lots of recipes with the same amount for chocolate/butter and also some with more chocolate than butter. Please enlighten me, this will help me understand what texture to get:)

    Thank you for your lovely blog and sharing with us your expertise!


    • Hi Hanh, To be honest, I really haven’t compared this recipe to others in terms of the chocolate-butter ratio. There are so many factors in each recipe — such as the amount of flour, eggs, cook time, etc. — that affect the the quantities of the all the ingredients so it’s really hard to say. But I can tell you is that this recipe is based on the original and works really well. I hope you’ll try it 🙂

  • Hi Jenn

    How long can these sit after baking before eating them. I want to make these for a dinner party but don’t want to bake after guests arrive. thanks.

    • Hi Maria, Unfortunately, they really can’t be kept long — maybe 20 minutes at most. You can do all of the prep ahead of time so they’re ready to pop in the oven, but it’s best to bake them right before serving. Sorry!

      • Hi, I really want to make these little cakes but my oven temp can’t be trusted. With the center being molten how do you check for doneness? Thank you, Dolores

        • — Dolores Dolan on July 18, 2019
        • Reply
        • Hi Dolores, it’s a little bit challenging to tell with these because of the molten centers! You could insert a toothpick on the edge of the ramekins to make sure it comes out clean and then again in the center to see if that’s still a bit gooey. Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on July 19, 2019
          • Reply
  • I don’t think my cakes rose enough in the oven. Still delicious though I left them in a couple more minutes to see if rise more so not molten in middle, just undercooked. Delicious though! Any idea where I went wrong?

    • Hi Molly, Did you beat the egg mixture for the full 4 minutes? Were your ramekins a bit bigger than mine?

  • Finally got around to making this dessert. Simplistic, delicious. To top it off, I made my own raspberry sauce by sprinkling some sugar on raspberries and threw them into a food processor with a few drops of water. Really brought it all home for me, much like I imagine the ice cream or fresh raspberries would.

    • I was not able to bake the cake and the mixture has been refrigerated for 5 days. Is it still usable or should I throw it out?

      • — Marilyn on February 17, 2020
      • Reply
  • While I didn’t make this dessert, it was made for me, it was quite tasty and seemed really simple to put together. And I had it served with a raspberry sauce- totally pulled it together.

    I had some leftovers and they didn’t do well the next day, but they did taste like a brownie- so they didn’t go to waste!

    I think I’ll try this again and add some cayenne spice to it- making it more like a “mexican molten lava cake”.

  • Taste good and easy. A keeper.

  • I made these for my sister on her birthday and she loved them! I did everything that the recipe called for and just added strawberry syrup that I made on top and that was it… She loved them and wants me to make them every year for her birthday. 🙂

  • Would it be possible to have metric equivalents of the amounts? I looked at an online conversion, but I really want to make these and I’m nervous about trusting the online conversions because the amounts look weird.

  • These look great! If I freeze them should I bake them first or freeze the batter? Also – once I take them out of the freezer do they need to come to room temperature before I bake them?


    • Hi Christina, You can freeze them raw and put them in the oven frozen; they’ll take a few more minutes to cook.

  • Hi- How many days can the batter stay in the fridge covered?
    Thank you-

    • Hi Jessica, I’d say 1-2 days. Hope you enjoy!

  • WOW!!! These we’re AMAZING! And I’m so glad they were not overly sweet, since we added a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries on top. And it was so quick and easy to make, too. Thanks Jenn, for another perfect recipe!

  • A really easy recipe with delicious results! If you want to impress but want something easy to prepare, this is a fantastic recipe!

  • OK, i love chocolate….no, really, i LOVE chocolate. These molten chocolate cakes are wonderful! They are chocolatey, gooey, and wonderful! I have made them for guests before also – made the batter earlier in the day & covered ramekins like she suggests, took them out of refrigerator & let sit out for 30 min & they were perfect! Easy, yummy, and everyone loved them! I’ve also made them just for my husband & I (no, we didn’t eat all 6 at one time) – another great recipe! Try them!

  • Hi. I’m 12 years old and I want to become a baker. How can I start a website for tasty treats like yours?

    • Hi Alexandra, It’s easy to start a blog. Look into or google’s and maybe ask a parent to help you set it up. You can also look for videos that take you through the process. If you have questions along the way, you can email me at [email protected]. Good luck!

  • I don’t have ramekins. Is there any way I could make this recipe in muffin tins or something else?

    • Hi Naomi, Yes, it should work in muffin tins.

  • What if I have 4 oz ramekins? Would that work with a smaller amount in each?

    • Yes that’s fine…baking time will be slightly shorter too.

  • just made this for my daughter’s birthday dinner, huge success!!!!
    everyone loved!!!!

  • These are wonderful!! They turned out perfectly! I substituted the flour with my Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix that I make and it turned out perfectly. They really are to die for! My hubby is a chocolate lover and he was smitten.

  • I had not made these in years and your recipe was just right! 10 minutes was perfect timing! I did not have bittersweet chocolate so used semi-sweet chips which worked quite well.

    • — Meredith Loveless
    • Reply
  • I made this for Valentine’s Day. It was easy to make and turned out very well. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe other than cooking it a little longer than it called for. Unfortunately, I over-baked it slightly, but it still was a winner recipe. I served it with a little bit of vanilla ice cream, which definitely was needed.

  • I was looking for a good molten cake recipe for a little while, and this one came up on the first page of the Once Upon a Chef newsletter a few weeks ago. It looked so decadent I decided that this was going to be the one I was going to try. I am glad I did! I followed the recipe as is, and it turned out perfect: moist, rich and delicious!!! Being a cook myself, it gave me inspiration to develop a dulce de leche molten cake recipe, which I am planning on making in a few weeks (we just need a small break in between two molten cakes 🙂 Thanks for sharing such a great recipe again!!!

  • I made these for dinner a few times and they are amazing. The first time I made them I forgot the flour and they still turned out delicious, just a little flat. That way, if you have glutton free people these are easy to transform.

  • I made these on valentines day for my husband! Huge hit.

  • What an easy recipe, it’s so fast to make and cooks up so quick. One of our favorite desserts. Thank you Jennifer !!

  • This was so good I could have made them every day but… they are perfect for that special dinner with friends or family. My husband was very impressed with my skill. Thanks for making me look good!

  • gorgeous pics. my husband has been asking me to make molten lava cakes… need to do this very soon. 🙂

  • Made this tonight for a small dinner party. It was delicious! Easy to follow recipe. I will definitely make again. Thanks!

  • I can’t wait to try these! Have you tested these to a gluten free recipe? I was wondering if a flour substitute could be used.

    • I haven’t, Tess, but I imagine a flour substitute would work.

  • I made something like this during a cooking class last year…always wanted to try them at home! Yummy!

  • Those look glorious!! I’m sure they taste the same. Beautiful pics!

  • If these are made ahead stored in the fridge, do they need to come to room temp before baking and does refrigerating the batter first change the cooking time? Also, to make ahead is it okay to refrigerate in the ramekins or should I leave the batter in the mixing bowl? Sorry for all the questions ; )

    • Hi Robin, You can pour the batter into the ramekins and cover them with plastic wrap, then definitely bring them to room temperature before baking. There are instructions for this in the recipe, but I should definitely include it in the post as well…updating it right now. Thank you!

      • Thank you, Jenn! I have only made this recipe when we were going to have it right away….sooooo glad I can make it ahead and still know the “lava” part won’t change. My boys will be thrilled to have this tomorrow night! Thank you!!!

  • Oh yea, this looks simple and yummy. The best part, just in time for a sweetheart dinner/dessert.

  • Bake at 450 degrees? That seems hot!

    • Yep, 450. It is hot, but they’re only in there for 10 min.

Add a Review or Question

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.