chocolate lava cakes

How to Make Decadent Chocolate Lava Cakes at Home

Khara Westergard shares the recipe for decadent chocolate lava cakes.

Find more desserts from Khara on Instagram, @balsamicbaker.


Chocolate Lava Cake

Serves 4 – 6

Use four 6 oz. Ramekins, Or six 4 oz. Ramekins.

Ganache Lava Center


  • 3 oz. Chocolate of choice
  • 2 oz. Heavy Cream (1/4 C.)
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanilla


  1. Warm heavy cream & chocolate together until melted over a double boiler. Or 30 seconds in the microwave, stir well. Warm 15 sec. more, & stir until completely melted. Warm 7 more seconds if absolutely needed.
  2. Depending on the brand & type of chocolate you use & it’s fat content, this should be smooth at this point. If not, you may need to add just a bit more heavy cream. If it looks grainy & you’re sure it’s warm enough, first stir more. It should come together. If it’s almost plastic like or too thick, add a bit more cream. Should be fluid, but not watery.
  3. Stir in salt & vanilla.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic food wrap & chill in fridge or freezer while you make the cake batter.


Chocolate Lava Cake


  • 4 oz. Unsalted Butter (1 stick, or 1/2 C.)
  • 6 oz. Bittersweet or Dark Chocolate (60%-72% cacao)
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp. Flour or GF 1to1 (fluffed, then scooped)(20g)
  • 2 Eggs (L or XL) – room temperature
  • 2 Egg Yolks (L or XL) – room temperature
  • 3 oz. Sugar (1/4 C. + 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1/8 + 2 pinches Salt (there are 4 pinches in 1/8 tsp)(only use 1 pinch total salt if using salted butter above)



  1. Melt chopped chocolate & butter together using either the double boiler or microwave method in short stints. Add Vanilla & whisk in the flour. Set aside.
  2. Generously butter your ramekins. Sprinkle sides & bottoms well with cocoa powder being sure to cover the bottoms thoroughly.
  3. In another bowl, whip eggs, sugar, & salt together on high with an electric mixer for about a minute until much lighter in color & it has lots of air worked in.
  4. Scrape the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula into the egg mixture & immediately fold all ingredients together until just incorporated & egg streaks are gone.
  5. Pour into prepared ramekins until 2/3 full. Scoop chilled chocolate ganache into balls* & drop into centers of each ramekin. If your chocolate was still very warm the batter will be thin & you can allow the weight of the ganache to pull it down. If your batter is thicker, push it in some but not to the bottom. Add remaining batter to tops to cover ganache. Bake 450 F immediately, on a baker’s sheet pan, on a low oven rack. Or cover & chill in the fridge up to 24 hrs. until ready to bake. Freeze for longer storage. Thaw overnight or most of the day in the fridge.
  6. 6 oz ramekins bake 13-15 minutes, 4 oz ramekins bake 8-10 minutes, or, until sides are well puffed & tops are not wet to the touch but not too well done.
  7. Cool 2 minutes. Loosen top edges carefully. Use a strong spatula or tongs to help you carefully tip up the ramekin & pick it up with a hot pad. Place a dessert plate over top & flip them both over. Allow ramekin to remain on plate for at least 10 seconds while the cake naturally loosens itself. Use a clean damp thick kitchen cloth to grip & slowly remove ramekins. If cake did not come out, do not shake! This will tear your cake in half! Turn back upright, & carefully run a thin knife around all edges to loosen it further. Invert back onto plate. Consider baking a little longer if too underdone to remove cleanly. This is where generous cocoa on the bottom, & baking in the lower part of the oven helps the bottoms come out cleanly.
  8. Dust each lava cake with powdered sugar. It’s pretty & balances out that cocoa we dusted the ramekins with. Add vanilla ice cream on the side & fresh berries. Serve immediately.



  1. Use a cookie scoop. A generously rounded 1/2 Tbsp. Scoop for the 4 oz. ramekins. & another generously rounded Full Tbsp. Scoop for the 6 oz. ramekins. You can use a melon baller instead. Small side for smaller ramekins. Or just shape balls with a spoon & gloved hand (it’s messy).
  2. Did yours burn a bit? Eat it anyway! I bet you won’t taste it, & that fool proof lava ganache has you saved inside. Yes, it even saved you. Turn that cup upside down & sprinkle powdered sugar over top. Most likely, no one will ever know!
  3. Can I do this in a muffin tin? Yes! Lower temperature to 400 F & keep an eye on them!
  4. You can make this recipe without the ganache center & still achieve “lava” if you time it just right. This recipe is a spruced-up version of the first original raw centered lava cake. But, in comparison, our taste tests still voted ganache centers supreme.
  5. Use Quality chocolate choices! If you don’t like it before you make this, it won’t make great cake! I recommend Ghirardelli or Guittard but there are many great choices.

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