Chocolate Lava Cakes have become a holiday tradition. The rich chocolate, sweet berries, and individual servings make for an elegant dessert.

Molten Lava Cakes are perfect for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or even an après-ski treat to take the chill off.

Chocolate Lava Cakes broken open on a white plate with raspberries and mint.

Why You Must Make

I’ve made nearly a dozen different chocolate lava cakes AKA molten lava cake recipes. Some in sugar-crusted ramekins, others in buttered and floured ramekins, but these from Pam Anderson were to be made in muffin tins filled with extra-large paper cupcake liners. A novel procedure that works!

  • Everyone gets their own chocolate cake!
  • The warm fudgy sauce in the middle pushes the over-the-top!
  • They’re easier to remove than many other lava cakes since they’re baked in muffin tins with paper liners!
Chocolate Lava Cakes on a white plate with raspberries and mint.

How to Make Molten Lava Cakes

Whether you’ve returned from a run down the slopes or are just enduring the frigid temperatures at home, a warm, comforting dessert is just what the doctor ordered. Though my family loves these enough to indulge on a 90º summer day! Here are some tips for making the perfect molten lava cakes.

  • PRO-Tip: These molten lava cakes can be prepped ahead of time and popped in the fridge. Just bring them back to room temperature before baking and in minutes you will have a chocolate lovers’ dream before you!
  • The key to a perfect chocolate lava cake recipe is timing. Bake too long and there’s no molten center. Too short and they will collapse. Both ends of the spectrum are still delectable, but watch for the perimeter to look firm and the center (less than the size of a quarter) to appear soft. This could take as little as 8 minutes or up to 12—all depending on the heat of your oven. Mine were perfectly cooked at 11 minutes.
  • The rest of the recipe is easy. Melt the chocolate and butter, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla, then combine the two into one luscious batter. Make sure you use the best quality ingredients for the most delicious results.
  • Divide and pour batter into either muffin tins or ramekins. Note that each lava cake is made with ½ cup of batter, so it may be too much for your muffin tin. Doubling the paper liners and spraying with non-stick cooking spray may help increase the capacity. Otherwise, use ramekins.
  • I’ve made many other lava cake recipes without paper liners, just make sure to grease the ramekins well. I like lining the ramekins with a round of greased parchment to avoid any chance of sticking.
  • Since the molten centers may not come up to 160º which will kill salmonella, you may want to use pasteurized eggs, especially when serving to children or the elderly.
  • I only made half a batch (FYI, half a beaten egg is approximately 1½ tablespoons plus a ⅛ teaspoon) so I used ¾ cup capacity ramekins instead of a tin. 

And here were the thoughtful comments from my family—brace yourself. “They complement the beer well.” “Thems good eats.” “Better than Arby’s.” Did you know Arby’s is now serving molten lava cakes? Me, either! So if you don’t want to get carryout lava cakes from Arby’s, I recommend making these in a couple of weeks for your Valentine or surprising your family any day of the year when they need to warm up from the inside out. This Chocolate Lava Cakes Recipe is a winner!

Chocolate Lava Cakes broken open with the fudgy centers exposed on a white dessert plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Lava Cake?

The original molten lava cakes were created by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Made with a brownie-like batter versus a typical cake batter, the insides remain liquid or lava-like, while the edges are cooked enough to hold in the molten center.

Why Are These Called Lava Cakes?

These individual chocolate cakes have thick fudgy centers which ooze out when cut into, resembling lava flowing out of a volcano.

Is It Safe to Eat a Lava Cake?

Though the middle of these cakes is warm, the centers are not cooked up to the temperature at which salmonella is killed, or 150°. So it’s best not to serve these to the very young, very old, or anyone with a suppressed immune system.

How Do You Garnish and Serve Lava Cakes?

PRO-Tip: Make sure to let these cool for a few minutes before inverting them onto a serving plate. If the edges don’t have time to cool and firm up, the lava will ooze out before your fork can break it open.
Once these babies are baked, carefully remove the paper liners and transfer them to serving plates. Garnish these chocolate lava cakes with a sprig of mint and a few sweet raspberries. A dollop of whipped cream would be marvelous, too.

How Do You Reheat Lava Cakes?

Gently reheat leftovers in the microwave, but note that some of the lava may cook and solidify. They’ll still be mighty tasty!

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Chocolate Lava Cakes broken open on a white plate with raspberries and mint

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 8

Decadent individual chocolate cakes with a fudgy, molten lava center!!!


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ⅓ cups chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • Fresh raspberries and mint to garnish, optional


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    2. Line 8 cups of a muffin tin* with extra-large paper liners. Coat with non-stick cooking spray like Pam.
    3. Gently melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave in a large heat-safe bowl. Use 30-second increments, stopping and stirring until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.
    4. With a hand mixer, beat eggs, sugar, and salt in another medium bowl until the sugar dissolves.
    5. Beat the egg mixture, then the flour, into chocolate.
    6. Divide batter among muffin cups.
    7. Bake until batter puffs but centers are not set, 8 to 10 minutes.
    8. Let stand in the tin for 5 minutes. Then carefully move each cake to a dessert plate, remove paper wrappers, and garnish with berries and mint if desired.


*The muffin tin should be able to accommodate ½ cup of batter or you can double up your muffin papers and add ½ cup of batter. I like to use ½-cup capacity ramekins with paper liners as an alternative.

Recipe adapted from Pam Anderson's Perfect Recipes for Having People Over.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 177mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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