This indulgent Chocolate Lava Cake is easy to make and pleasurable to eat with its molten center. The perfect cake to celebrate World Chocolate Day with!
Raise your hand if you, like me, have a stash of chocolate hidden away in a place that nobody else knows about! I think my fellow chocolate-lovers reading this would agree that the world is a much much better place thanks to chocolate– in particular, bittersweet chocolate. I love them so much! I’m actually quite pleased there’s a food day dedicated to chocolate, because it certainly deserves it.
To celebrate, I decided to make what I feel is one of the simplest but most indulgent things you can make with chocolate. It features rich deep chocolate flavor through and through, and while a bit novel, it’s the sort of thing a true chocoholic will love digging into. I don’t know why I’m writing in a suspenseful manner when you all already know what I’m talking about. Chocolate Lava Cake. Simple pleasures, you know? I even made a little video to show you just how easy it is to make these.
As you can see, making a Chocolate Lava Cake isn’t terribly involved. You just mix everything into the melted chocolate-butter base and get all that into ramekins to bake. I added some chili powder to mine just to spice things up, but you can do cinnamon if you like. This recipe makes four solo servings, but one is more than enough for a single person because this dessert is so rich.
The main issue you will face with this Chocolate Lava Cake recipe is definitely the baking time. Ovens differ from home to home so it might take longer for you to bake your cakes than the time stated in the recipe. I know that mine took longer than the original recipe from Cleobuttera. The trick here is to get the magic baking time, which for me was around 18 minutes. Hers was 12 to 14.
To get the molten center but still get a cake that can stand up on its own, you have to be careful not to overbake or underbake these. Using the baking time in the instructions as a guide, check your cake for readiness once you hit the 12th minute just to be sure. The outer part of the cake has to be set and firm to the touch, but the center has to jiggle a little when you give the cakes a little shake. It should NOT jiggle excessively. If you overbake, the worst that will happen is that you end up with a fudgey brownie-like cake.
I honestly think having a cake that collapses is worse than overbaking it. If you underbake and the edges of the cake aren’t set enough, it’s impossible to flip the cake out of the ramekin without breaking it apart. It’s messy. And personally, seeing my cakes sink in destroys my self esteem lol. I suggest you unmold ONE cake first to check if it’s ready. If it’s not, then you can just shove the unmolded mess back into the ramekin and bake the destroyed cake into a fudge cake, but then you’ll have three more chocolate lava cakes to bake to perfection. It’s really all about the timing with this cake.
Regardless, the cakes will be sweet and chocolatey. Plus, they’re so indulgent I cannot in good conscience recommend it to people who are on a diet. Maybe share it with someone if you are? I do highly recommend serving these Chocolate Lava Cakes with vanilla ice cream. I used strawberry for the video since it was what I had but in terms of flavor, I definitely think vanilla is the best option to provide some contrast in flavor.
Also, I do not recommend using anything below 72% chocolate because it might turn out too sweet. Make sure to use GOOD QUALITY CHOCOLATE because you will definitely taste it in the cake. Also, in the original recipe it says you can refrigerate the unbaked batter if you’re planning to bake them during a later time. I haven’t tried baking this cold but that’s still good to know. What I have tried is to refrigerate leftover lava cake, and it turns into this intense fudge that still goes well with vanilla ice cream.
Spiced Chocolate Lava Cakes
- 113 grams 4 ounces good-quality 72% chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 stick, ½ cup or 4 ounces unsalted butter, cold
- 1 cup 4 ounces confectioners' sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or cinnamon powder
- 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1. Place the oven rack to the middle portion of the oven. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Butter four 6 to 8-ounce ramekins and dust with unsweetened cocoa powder. Place all four on a baking sheet, then set aside while you prepare the batter.
- 2. In a medium oven-safe bowl, melt together the chopped chocolate and butter either using the microwave or the double boiler method. Heat until the butter and chocolate are almost melted, then remove from heat and stir until completely smooth.
- 3. Sift in the confectioners' sugar and whisk until fully incorporated.
- 4. Add in the eggs and egg yolks and whisk until well combined.
- 5. Finally, add in the chili powder or cinnamon powder (whichever you decide to use) and the flour. Whisk until completely smooth and shiny.
- 6. Scoop the batter into the prepared ramekins, dividing evenly. Place the entire baking sheet with the ramekins in them into the oven and bake for 12 to 18 minutes. Since oven temperatures differ, check your cakes on the 12th minute. You want to bake the cakes until the edges are firm and spring back to the touch, but the centers should still be slightly jiggly. (If it's super jiggly it's under-baked and needs a few more minutes in the oven.)
- 6. Take the cakes out of the oven and let cool for at least 2 minutes. The cakes will continue to set during this time. Gently run a knife around the cakes to loosen them from the ramekins. Invert onto the serving plates.
- 7. Dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
To celebrate World Chocolate Day, I have selected some more yummy chocolate recipes that you can check out below!