These molten chocolate lava cakes for two are perfectly portioned, made from scratch with six simple ingredients, and ready in about 30 minutes start to finish. Use your highest quality dark chocolate for best results. Great for date night or Valentine’s Day dessert!
I am about to give you some very dangerous information. This rich, melty, positively sinful molten dark chocolate lava cake can be yours in about a half hour. You probably already have the ingredients in your pantry/fridge. And the recipe makes exactly two cakes.
Today is Galentine’s Day, and I think this would be the perfect dessert to make for you and your best friend. It also happens to be the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day, if you’re celebrating that tomorrow.
And hey, if you aren’t celebrating either one – just cut the recipe in half for a single serving molten chocolate cake. Or don’t, and have both cakes for yourself. I don’t judge 😉
Molten or “lava” cakes seem like they are one of those fancy desserts that we should leave to the experts at restaurants, right? No. Don’t let their feigned fanciness fool you. These may be one of the easiest desserts you can make, as long as you have two 8-ounce ramekins (or other 1-cup oven-safe dishes).
These little lava cakes look and taste so impressive, though, that everyone will think you’re a kitchen genius and no one, not even your significant other, will be the wiser. So grab a glass of wine, and let’s do this.
The ingredients and steps for these molten chocolate cakes couldn’t be simpler. Only one bowl required and no mixer!
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly grease two ramekins with butter and dust them with cocoa powder. Do this by putting just a pinch of cocoa powder into the ramekin after greasing, then tap it around in a circle while turning the ramekin in your hands (watch the video to see how I do it!). Get it all over the bottom and sides, as above.
The purpose of this cocoa dusting is twofold: (1) it helps the cakes release and (2) normally flour is used for dusting, but cocoa powder blends right into the chocolate cakes rather than leaving unsightly white streaks!
Put chopped dark chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave them in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth and glossy. Let it cool for a couple minutes, then whisk in your sugar and salt.
You can use chocolate chips if that’s what you have on hand, but be forewarned: they don’t melt as well as a chopped chocolate bar. I highly recommend using your favorite high-quality dark chocolate in these molten cakes. It makes a difference in the flavor of the final product!
Whisk in the eggs, vigorously, until the mixture thickens and becomes viscous – this takes about a minute of whisking. Then stir in the flour until just combined. We’re only using a tiny amount of flour here to provide a bit of structure. You can use gluten-free flour if you’d like.
Divide the batter evenly between the two ramekins and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees, until the cakes have risen a bit, the edges are puffed and dry, and the tops are shiny, but the center is still jiggly.
The lava cakes will be quite molten in the center at 12 minutes, and closer to solid with just a soft and gooey center by 15 minutes. Bake to the texture you’d prefer!
Now, the fun part. Put the cakes on a rack, wait for 2 minutes, then put a plate over top, flip carefully using an oven mitt, and pull the ramekin off. Be careful – they are VERY hot!
If you’re nervous about the cake sticking, you can run a knife along the edges of the cake before you flip. But be bold – fear has no place in the kitchen.
BAM. See that melty chocolate already oozing out? Do we care that it’s not perfect? Not after we taste it…
I like topping mine with ice cream and raspberries, but whipped cream and strawberries would also be glorious. Or just, you know, plain with some powdered sugar. But it’s Valentine’s Day, so let’s be over the top.
My favorite part, right here. Cut into this little cake and watch the ice cream start to melt and mingle with the chocolate lava…
OMG. Just…please go make it, right now. Thank me later.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, but just know that they don’t melt as well as chopped chocolate due to the wax coating on them. I highly recommend using your favorite dark chocolate bar here, as it makes a difference in the final product’s flavor!
Yes! Just use an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose flour, or oat flour. I don’t think almond or coconut flour would work here.
Yes. It provides a bit of structure to the cakes without drying them out.
Yes – you can prepare the batter up to a day in advance and divide among the ramekins, then store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. You’ll likely need to add an extra minute or two to the baking time; just watch carefully.
Other chocolate recipes you might like:
I hope you love this recipe for molten chocolate cakes for two! If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating and review. It helps other readers and helps me improve my recipes! Thank you!
Molten Chocolate Cakes for Two
- 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (85g) chopped dark chocolate* (or chocolate chips)
- 4 teaspoons (17g) granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons (5g) all-purpose flour (or GF all-purpose flour)
- Vanilla ice cream and raspberries, for topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter two 1-cup ramekins generously, and dust evenly with cocoa powder in the bottom and around the inner sides of the ramekins. Set aside.
- Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and glossy. Let cool for 2 minutes.
- Whisk in sugar and salt, then eggs. Whisk the eggs vigorously until the mixture thickens, about one minute. Gently stir in the flour until just combined.
- Divide batter evenly among the two ramekins and place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cakes are slightly risen, the edges look puffed and dry, the top is shiny and the middles still look a bit jiggly. At 12 minutes, the cakes will be quite molten in the center; by 15, the cakes will be mostly solid with just a gooey center. Bake to your preference.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the ramekins for two minutes, then carefully invert onto plates using a towel or oven mitt. If you're nervous about the cakes sticking, just run a knife along the inside edges of the ramekins to separate before flipping.
- Top with ice cream and raspberries and enjoy immediately!
And in case you’re wondering how I got these shots in broad daylight…yes, I did eat one for lunch. I regret nothing.