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Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes

Hot with a captivating aroma that takes over the senses, molten lava chocolate cakes soothe my deepest and splendid desires for chocolate whenever I have a craving. That luscious sauce that seeps out of the steaming cake as the spoon sweeps through is one of the most dramatically delicious moments that I can think of. It makes a great treat for Valentine’s Day. This recipe is based on the one by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. 

  • Yield: 4


4 oz/115 g unsalted butter, cubed plus a little extra to grease the ramekins

2 tsp all-purpose flour plus a little extra to dust and coat the ramekins

6 oz/170 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped (70% or greater cacao)

2 large eggs

2 large yolks

1/4 cup/50 g sugar

1/8 tsp fine sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
  2. Generously butter and lightly flour four 5 oz/150 ml ramekins. Tap gently to remove the excess flour and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Place the butter and the chocolate in a double-boiler or set a stainless-steel bowl over a pot containing 1 in/2.5 cm of barely simmering water. At no point should the base of the bowl touch the water. Stir with a silicone spatula until the chocolate is smooth and combined, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. While the chocolate melts, prepare the eggs. Place the eggs, yolks, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk over medium-high speed using an electric whisk until the mixture turns thick and pale yellow, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Once the chocolate is smooth and shiny, fold in the flour. Pour this mixture into the eggs and fold using the silicone spatula until smooth and combined. Divide the mixture equally between the prepared ramekins and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. There’s no need to rotate the baking sheet halfway through during cooking, and it’s better to undertake than overbake these cakes. Once baked, the sides should be firm, but the center should be soft and jiggly. Remove from the oven and let the cakes sit for 1 minute. To serve the cakes, place an inverted serving plate over each ramekin, carefully flip the ramekin with the plate, sit for 1 minute, and tap gently to help release the cake. Serve immediately.


  • Avoid using too much flour to dust the ramekins, or it will show up on the surface of the cake after baking. I’ve tried dusting with sugar, but it doesn’t work as well in this instance as in bundt cakes because they are very moist.
  • It is better to underbake than overbake these cakes, or the centers will cook and lose their saucy appearance.
  • Since this dessert’s flavor depends on the chocolate’s quality, use your favorite.
  • Add 1/4 tsp instant coffee powder to the melted chocolate for an intense chocolate flavor.
  • The batter can be made a day ahead, poured into the ramekins, covered with clingfilm, and refrigerated. When ready to bake, remove the film and bake in the preheated oven.
  • It’s okay if the sides of the cake crack slightly during release if you’ve underbaked them. The important thing is not to overbake and lose that decadent chocolate sauce. 

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