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Molten Chocolate Cake

Molten. Chocolate. Cake.

Three words that both excite me and elicit skepticism.

Let me explain.

Almost every time I see this cake on a menu, I order it. There is nothing like a rich, chocolatey cake that is gooey at the same time. Add a scoop of ice cream on top and it’s perfection.

 

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But about 60% of the time, I get a cake that is NOT molten! No gooey center at all. My assumption every time is that they overcooked it, but who knows what actually happened. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves EVER! How DARE you serve me this cake that is simply just a cake. I demand a molten, lava-esque center!

So now, I am so skeptical when I see it on a menu. I even ask the server if it’s really a molten cake or just a really moist cake. This question may or may not elicit an eyebrow-raise.

Okay rant over.

But seriously though…has this happened to you?! Does it make you just as peeved?!

When I received a request from one of my frequent readers, Marie, to make a molten chocolate cake, I was so excited! Finally, I can make my own molten chocolate cake at home and never order it from a restaurant again.

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And man, did it hit the spot. And it was molten! In fact, the first one I took out was a little too molten. Okay, maybe it was pure lava. But it still tasted amazing. Not so photo-friendly, though. So back in the oven they went.

When they finally finished, I was able to really indulge. I flipped one over onto a plate and took my first real bite. It was it the most decadent cake I’ve ever had. Every bite was pure happiness. It was moist yet had a cakey brownie texture on the edges. Yesssssssss.

I didn’t even want anything to accompany it. It was the perfect balance of chocolate that I didn’t need to mellow it out with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. The key to this? Using amazing chocolate! I used Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips for this recipe and it made more of a difference than you can imagine. With a recipe where chocolate is at the forefront, you just can’t use anything less than the good stuff. And Ghiradelli is some of the best, plus it’s affordable and easily accessible. No specialty-foods trip required!

And did I mention how easy it was? 30 minutes from start to finish.

Before you get started, I have a few tips that will help you make these molten cakes:

  1. You will need individual oven-safe ramekins. I used 6-ounce ramekins for this recipe but you can also use 4-ounce. But you will have to decrease the cook time since they cook faster. I don’t recommend using any larger than 6 ounces because the portion will be too big. If you don’t have ramekins, you can find a great set in the link above. You’ll find many so many uses for them. I love eating ice cream from them since they are smaller than my cereal bowls (hence, smaller portion). I also used them to make these cheese souffles.
  2. Use good-quality chocolate. Remember what I said about garbage in, garbage out? The better chocolate you use, the better these will taste. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips from Ghiradelli.
  3. Do not over mix the batter. I like the texture of these cakes because they resemble a brownie more than a cake. That’s because I didn’t over-mix them. If you let too much air get into the batter, they will be lighter, and thus, more cakey. Mix the ingredients until just combined.
  4. Read through the recipe at least twice before you begin. Since it’s such a quick recipe, you should be familiar with it so you don’t miss any steps or ingredients. I say this from past experiences. Trust me.

Alright guys. There you have it. The best cake I’ve ever had. You’re gonna love it too. Let me know how it comes out by leaving a comment below!

Or let me know what other food pet peeves you have when you go to a restaurant. I’m curious what you guys find frustrating!

Here are all the kitchen tools and serveware that I used in this post. For each item that is sold, I receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting the brands that support CPA!

Recipe (adapted from Simply Home Cooked):

Print Recipe
Molten Chocolate Cake
Now you can make one of the best restaurant desserts right at home! Rich chocolate cake, with a gooey center. Sure to impress any guest!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
cakes
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces butter salted ( 1.5 sticks)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • berries, ice cream, or whipped cream for presentation (optional)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
cakes
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces butter salted ( 1.5 sticks)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • berries, ice cream, or whipped cream for presentation (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 410 degrees. Grab 6 ramekins and place them on a baking sheet. Spray each one with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Create double-boiler by filling a medium sauce pan with water. Turn the heat to medium. Once it begins to boil, reduce to medium-low and place a large bowl on top. The bowl should rest on top and NOT touch the water.
  3. Cut butter into tablespoons and place into bowl. Place chocolate on top of butter. They should slowly begin to melt. Stir regularly to combine butter and chocolate together, forming a silky smooth chocolate sauce. Remove from heat when completely melted. Let it cool slightly so it's warm, but not hot.
  4. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla together. Sift powdered sugar into the egg mixture. Add 1/4 cup slightly cooled chocolate to egg mixture and combine. Add remaining chocolate and combine. Do not over mix.
  5. Sift flour into chocolate mixture. Fold flour gently into chocolate mixture with a spatula just until combined.
  6. Grab baking sheet with greased ramekins, Fill each ramekin with the cake mixture about 80% of the way.
  7. Place baking sheet with ramekins into preheated oven and bake for 11-14 minutes. The cake will be done when you see that the perimeter is cooked but the center is still wet. If you have smaller ramekins (less than 6 ounces) you may find that they cook faster than 11 minutes. Just keep an eye on them.
  8. Once they're done, pull them from the oven. Using a heat-proof mitt or pot-holder, grab a ramekin. Use a sharp knife to cut around the edge to release cake from the ramekin. Put a dessert plate on top of the ramekin and gently flip over so that the cake releases from the ramekin and onto the plate. This makes a nice presentation but you can always eat straight from the ramekin.
  9. It tastes amazing without any ice cream or whipped cream. But feel free to serve with either of those if you want. Berries also add a nice touch.

molten-chocolate-cake

38 comments

  1. Oh yea! I honestly thought I would have tried the Oreo Truffles first.

    I mentioned the Molten Lava Cake to my girls and it was on. We were at Walmart getting the few things we didn’t have on hand. There was tons of excitement. They were all ready to eat up dinner, as it was a requirement before having a molten lava cake.

    It was super easy. Getting in the kitchen with my girls is always fun. So on a Saturday night, while we listened to Michael Jackson and watched his videos, we made the 6 inch cakes. The taste was nothing short of amazing. Molten Lava Cakes & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. #OMG #yummy #fun #girlsnight #thriller #michaeljackson #saturdaynightfun

    Thanks Sharon!

    • Aw what a fun night! I love me some MJ! I’m so glad you and the girls could make these together. Thanks for sharing your experience!!

    • Thanks so much! Omg I love it so much too! And it’s so easy. You don’t even have to flip them over to serve. We ate a few right out of the ramekin.

    • Oh girl…I get my biggest chocolate cravings right when I wake up. Chocolate and coffee taste so great together, so that can’t be a coincidence right?! Thanks so much for the kind words!

  2. Sadly I’m unable to enjoy the gooey-ness of this decadent treat, however, I can certainly make it for the family and I will be the coolest mom ever 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe…can’t wait to surprise them 🙂

    • Aw no! I’m sorry that you can’t enjoy these cakes. But man, you deserve an award for making them for the family anyway! You have more self-control than me. Thanks for the comment!

    • Haha I do that all the time. My eyes draw me to recipes I want to try. I would stick to just Guittard if I could, but my local grocery store doesn’t carry it. Maybe one day, I’ll go to Whole Foods and stock up. Lord knows I’ll use it all!

  3. Dear Sharon,

    Your GORGEOUS molten cake looks to be my next favorite cake. I would love to formally invite you over so we can make …like… TEN of them, and then eat them all. Without judgement.

    Let me know when you can pencil this in,
    Sara 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the compliment!! I’d love to come and make these with you. They are so easy. And holy crap are they delicious. We just ran out of them at home and I want more!! And this is a judgement-free zone. So I won’t judge you on eating that whole flatbread if you won’t judge me for making these again tonight!

  4. Sharon!! These look delish!! I want to make/eat these asap. I may have to send the kids away for a few days to hash it out a couple times in silence. If I can learn to make these, I’m so gonna bring them to every party and outshine everyone-HAHA! Thanks for this, and the detailed steps are great!

    • Haha! Yes!! I bet it will only take you one try with these. They are so simple. And I am so glad you found the tips helpful. I love sharing my little tricks!

    • Aww that sucks! I feel like, sometimes, those classes make me nervous. Like, I have to do well or I’ll let them down. Hopefully your own kitchen is less intimidating and will give you the confidence to pass this time! Let me know how they turn out!

  5. OMG WOW!!! I had the pleasure of getting to eat one of Sharon’s incredible Molten Cakes and every bite was so delicious. After reheating the cake in the microwave for 15 seconds it tasted like it just came out of the oven and did the lava effect perfectly. Every bite was so chocolately and rich, and satisfied my sweet tooth so well. It has been quite some time since I’ve had a molten cake but after diving in to this divine piece of goodness my interest has been sparked to make these amazing little cakes. Thanks Sharon for such a great recipe and allowing me to share in all the goodness!

    • What a review!! Thanks for the kind words, Sarah! I hope I inspired you to make them yourself. You could even drop a tablespoon of peanut butter in the middle before baking. I know how much you love that peanut butter 😉

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