Molten Chocolate Cakes

These luscious chocolate cakes are the perfect ending to a romantic dinner for two.  For an extra special touch, sometimes I omit the espresso powder and sprinkle liquor over the cakes right after unmolding.  Whiskey, Cointreau, Frangelico, and Amaretto are all welcome here.

In my experience, the fluted Pyrex cupsunmold easier than straight-sided ramekins. 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Molten Chocolate Cakes
Makes 2 cakes.
  • ⅓ cup (2 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (I like Medaglia D’Oro brand)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Spray two small custard cups liberally with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler over low heat, or in the microwave using 30-second pulses until the mixture is homogenous. Whisk eggs, sugar, espresso powder and vanilla using an electric hand-held mixer until thick ribbons form, about 3 minutes. If you’re doing this step by hand, use a big wire whisk and don’t stop until the mixture turns a pale yellow and forms ribbons. Fold the flour into this mixture, and then the chocolate. Divide between the two custard cups and bake for 13-14 minutes, until the tops of the cakes look well done. If you under-bake, the center of the cake will pour out the top when unmolding. Let stand for one minute before inverting onto plates. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.


  1. Melissa says

    After mixing and pouring the batter into the cups, can these be held in the fridge or freezer? Or do they need to be baked immediately?

    • says

      Yes, Melissa you can actually hold them in the fridge. Thanks for the reminder! Hold them in the fridge for 4-6 hours max, then add 1-2 minutes to the baking time. Enjoy! :)

  2. Diana says

    Just made them! Fabulous!! I have a recipe that makes 4-6, this is perfect for two! I substituted Splenda for the sugar and I loved these. I mixed them incorrectly because I did not read the recipe correctly and they still were great.

  3. Bonny says

    We had a sweet tooth and decided last minute to make this. I didn’t have the espresso powder so made it without. It was perfect. Sprinkled a little powdered sugar on the top & we loved it!

  4. Janan says

    I have a soy allergy and cannot use 1/3 cup chocolate chips All commercially made chocolate has soy and/or soy lecithin in it. I have not had a chocolate bar for over 18 months. Canned Hershey’s chocolate sauce however, does not have soy in or I can make my own. Can this be substituted for the chocolate. chips, or can I do something with cocoa? I don’t have the cash or know how to make my own soy-free chocolate chips.

    Also, I don’t like espresso. So, is it a necessary texture/recipe ingredient or is it just for flavoring?

    Please help. Thank you.


    • says

      Hi Janan!
      Thanks for writing. I have not tested this recipe without chocolate chips. Chocolate chips have an almost wax-like coating that contributes to the consistency in baked goods. You know how they don’t melt so easily in chocolate chip cookies, but a chocolate bar does? For this reason, I don’t think you could use chocolate sauce in place of chocolate chips in this recipe. I would hate for you to have a complete recipe failure. I’m wondering if you could use chocolate syrup, but cook the cakes for longer until they’re all the way done instead of molten? This might address any texture issues. Good luck!
      Also, re: espresso. You won’t really taste the espresso in a baked good, it just enhances the chocolate flavor. Leave it out if you like.
      Let me know how the experimenting goes!

  5. Louise says

    I have to admit that I didn’t expect such a simple recipe with so few ingredients to look so perfect and taste so good – I am happy to say that I was proved very wrong as this recipe is absolutely brilliant!!! Thank you Christina – I can’t wait to try more of your recipes now!!!

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