Molten Lava Cakes are the go to dessert in my house. These little beauties are quick and easy to make. Whenever I ask my children what dessert they want for their birthdays or another special day, they always say, Molten Lava Cakes.
There is hardly any flour in these Molten Lava Cakes, but there are lots of eggs, butter, chocolate and deliciousness. Seriously, when you read the recipe you will see how little effort and time they take to make.
How to Make Molten Lava Cakes
1. Start with good chocolate. I could write a whole blog post about how to choose good chocolate, but if you do not have the time to figure it out, trust the experts. Good chocolate for my culinary treats is purchased at Gygi’s in Salt Lake City. For these little treats, I purchase Callebaut Chocolate Chips. My purchase always includes milk chocolate, semi sweet and bittersweet chocolate. For this recipe, the better the chocolate you use, the better the lava cakes will be. I have included the links to Amazon if you cannot find time to go to Gygi’s.
Guittard chocolate chips are available in most grocery stores. This is the same chocolate See’s candy uses on their fine candies. These chocolate chips are a great choice, too.
Purchase good chocolate to make Molten Lava Cakes
If you have never been to Gygi’s, I beg you to go! They have amazing chocolate selections, Peter’s caramel, baking pans, utensils and so many things you never knew you needed.
They also offer amazing classes. There is a huge kitchen with lots of different cooking stations to learn so many culinary skills; caramel apples, macarons, ramen cooking, pizza essentials, knife caring and cutting instructions, etc.
2. Heavily grease jumbo muffin tins. Use softened butter and leave traces of the butter in whatever vessel you are using. The best part of this dessert is the presentation. You cannot have that unless the cakes come out easily. Heavily buttering the muffin tins guarantees an easy exit.
I use a jumbo muffin tin that has six wells. I have also made these in ramekins of all different sizes. You can use any small dishes that are heat resistant and can be baked in the oven. The jumbo muffin tin is my favorite for several reasons. After cooking the cakes, I use a 1/4 sheet pan to turn the muffin tins over. It fits perfectly on the jumbo muffin tin and all 6 lava cakes drop out on the pan at the same time.
3. Place the chocolate and butter in a microwaveable dish and melt in the microwave. My favorite chocolate melting dish is a Pyrex measuring cup. Cook on high for 3 – 30 second intervals. Stir each time you take the chocolate out of the microwave. If the chocolate is not completely melted, let it rest on the counter and stir occasionally. The glass Pyrex measuring cup warms up in the microwave along with the chocolate. It continues to melt the chocolate when outside of the microwave.
The thing you do not want to do, is overheat the chocolate. Chocolate that has burned is thick and has the consistency of toothpaste. It becomes grainy and losses it’s shine.
Preheat an oven to 400°.
3. Crack three eggs in a bowl. Separate the other three eggs. Place the three yolks in the bowl with the three eggs. Beat the eggs and yolks together with a wire whisk. Place the egg whites in the refrigerate and use for omelets or macarons.
Separating eggs can be challenging. If you are using egg whites, you cannot have any of the yolk in them or they will not whip up. Here are three methods I like to use.
a. Break the egg over a bowl and use the shells to separate the yolk from the white. Drop the yolk back and forth into each shell until all the egg white has dripped out into the bowl.
Tips on how to separate eggs.
b. Break the egg into your hand over a bowl. The whites will slip in between your fingers and you will have the yolk left in your hand. You might have to softly detach the white from the yolk so it will slip in between your fingers.
c. You can use an empty water bottle. Break the eggs on a plate. Take the lid off the water bottle and gently squeezing out the air. While the bottle is still contracted, bring the lip of the bottle next to an egg yolk. Release the bottle and the egg yolk will be sucked up into the water bottle.
Using a wire whisk to beat ingredients until
they are smooth, is very important!
4. Mix 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into the melted chocolate and butter mixture. Use a wire whisk and beat until smooth. Then add the vanilla.
5. Mix the chocolate mixture into the eggs a little at a time. The chocolate mixture will cook the eggs if you add them all at once. By adding a little bit of the chocolate to the eggs you are tempering them. Whenever adding hot liquid to eggs, this is the best way to do it. You prevent the eggs from scrambling and having cooked egg bits in your chocolate.
6. Add the the rest of the powdered sugar, flour and salt. Mix until everything is a smooth batter.
7. Pour batter equally into the muffin tin.
8. Place in a 400° preheated oven. Cook for 12 minutes. Here is where you can decide how much lava is in your cakes. If you like more liquid, cook for 11 minutes. If you like less liquid, cook for 13 minutes. Ramekins placed on a cookie sheet will need to cook longer, 18 minutes depending on your oven. The heat takes longer to go through two bottoms, the ramekin bottom and the cookie sheet bottom. If you place the ramekins in the oven, it will not take as long.
9. When the cakes are done, take out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. Let them sit for 10 minutes. They need to set up a little before turning them over.
10. When the 10 minute timer goes off, use a knife to loosen the cakes. Use a cookie sheet and place on top of the muffin tin. Hold the muffin tin to the cookie sheet and turn over. You should have 6 beautiful lava cakes.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve with ice cream.
*If you want more of a dark chocolate flavor, flip the amount of chocolates. Use 4 oz. of dark chocolate and 2 oz. of milk chocolate.
Here are a few products I like to use when making Molten Lava Cakes.
When you purchase items from the Amazon links below, I receive a small commission.
Molten Lava Cakes
- 4 oz. Milk Chocolate Chips
- 2 oz. Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar divided
- 3 Eggs
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a microwave.
- Whisk together eggs and egg yolks.
- Mix 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into chocolate butter mixture. Add the vanilla.
- Temper the eggs with the chocolate.
- Sift the flour, salt, powdered sugar together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate/egg mixture and mix well.
- Heavily grease muffin wells.
- Pour batter into muffin wells.
- Bake for 12 minutes.
- Cool for 10 minutes.
- Loosen cakes and turn over on a cookie sheet.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve with ice cream.