Molten chocolate cakes for two are the quintessential Valentine’s Day dessert for two. There is no other thing to make on love day! These come together in just 20 minutes, and are best served right out of the oven.

Molten chocolate cake on a plate with raspberries and fresh mint.

Do you think two warm, gooey chocolate cakes are the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert for two? Oh, me, too; me, too!! I’m so glad we agree. This recipe is from the archives, but I made it again and created a video to walk you through every step. The video has lots of tips on the types of chocolate to bake with, the best ramekins to use (spoiler alert: flared edges, not straight-sided), and even a flashy little trick for un-molding the cakes while they’re piping hot. 

Tiny chocolate cakes with a molten hot fudge center are a classic dessert that typically serve 6-8. Due to the fact that they need to be baked and served immediately, it’s hard to make these for a dinner party. This is why chocolate lava cakes should only be a dessert for two, in my opinion. Just like I think a mini chocolate chip cookie cake is the only size cookie cake needed, too.

These chocolate lava cakes for two just the thing to make after a date night out or a date night at home! I also think they’re great on a random weeknight! If you want these without their molten center, try my chocolate cake for two in ramekins.

Ingredients for chocolate lava cakes:

  • chocolate chips: semisweet chocolate chips are best here. Milk chocolate chips might be too sweet–it depends on your taste.
  • butter: Unsalted butter that doesn’t need to be at room temperature works here, because we’re going to heat it with the chocolate chips.
  • eggs: We need one large egg plus one extra egg yolk. Save the egg white for another use; browse my recipes to use egg whites here.
  • sugar: Just three tablespoons of granulated sugar here, but others in the comment section have reduced this amount.
  • salt: Fine sea salt for baking is my preference.
  • instant espresso powder: This is optional. The flavors of coffee enhance the chocolate, so if you have it, add it, but if not, don’t worry about it. This Italian brand of instant espresso powder is what I buy. I also use it in my espresso chocolate chip cookies.
  • vanilla extract: Another way to enhance the chocolate flavor is with the sweetness and depth of vanilla extract.
  • flour: We just need a small amount of flour, 1 tablespoon per cake, to hold the cake together enough to set around the edges. 

How to make molten chocolate cakes for two:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 425 and spray 2 small ramekins with cooking spray.
    Melted chocolate chips and butter in a bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, add the chocolate chips and butter. Melt it in the microwave using 15-second pulses while stirring in between. Be careful not to scorch the chocolate. It’s best to take the mixture out of the microwave before the chocolate is melted all the way, and stir until everything melts smoothly.
    Eggs beaten with a hand mixer.
  3. Next, beat together the egg plus extra egg yolk and granulated with an electric hand mixer. Beat for quite a while, nearly 5 minutes. It will be light, fluffy and fall off the beaters in ribbons when its ready. Once it’s the proper texture, beat in the salt, espresso powder, and vanilla extract.
  4. Stream the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl with the eggs, and beat until combined.
    Two ramekins of chocolate cake on a baking sheet.
  5. Finally, stir in the flour and divide between two ramekins. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 13-14 minutes, until the top and edges of the cakes feel set. Let rest for 1 minute only, and then run a knife around the edge to dump out the cakes onto serving plates. If they sit for any longer, they could cook completely inside, and then they wouldn’t have a molten lava center!

How to make molten chocolate cakes ahead of time:

It can be hard to make a recipe that needs to be baked and served immediately. So, you can make the batter for this recipe entirely, and then refrigerate it until ready to bake. When you’re baking refrigerated batter, you’ll need to add 2 minutes of cooking time. But be careful–if you cook these cakes too long, they won’t have a molten center.

Before removing the cakes from the oven, give them a poke with your finger. The top should feel set all across the top. Peek at the sides of the cakes in the ramekins–they should appear set and be dark brown. Now, poke the very center. It should feel firm on top but you can detect a wiggly center underneath.

What if I don’t have 6 ounce ramekins?

The ramekins needed for this recipe are 6-ounce ramekins. To test what size ramekins you have, fill them with 6 ounces of water. It should come all the way to the rim. They measure 3.5 inches across and 1.75 inches high. However, thanks to a reader, she baked these in a muffin pan and they turned out great! Use a muffin pan if you don’t have ramekins.

If you’re needing chocolate cakes and all you have is coffee cups, you’ll need to make my microwave chocolate mug cakes! And if you love the idea of a small chocolate cake, I’ve also got mini chocolate layer cakes that are made from an 8×8″ brownie pan, cut and stacked together! I’m just here to make sure all of your chocolate needs get met! 

Two molten chocolate cakes on plate with berries and a glass of red wine.

Yield: 2 cakes

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Molten chocolate cake on a plate with raspberries and fresh mint.

Delicious chocolate cakes with a melted chocolate center.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (2 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425, and spray 2 6-ounce ramekins very well with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the chocolate chips and butter. Heat in 15-second pulses in the microwave, stirring in between each pulse until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove it from the microwave before the chips melt all the way, and stir to melt them entirely. The mixture should be smooth and shiny.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed the egg, egg yolk and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy--it will fall off the beaters in ribbons.
  4. Next, add the salt, espresso powder and vanilla extract. Beat until just combined.
  5. Stream in the melted chocolate and butter, and beat until combined.
  6. Finally, fold in the flour with a spatula.
  7. Divide the mixture between the two ramekins. Place the ramekins on a small baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 13-14 minutes, until the tops of the cakes appear dry and the edges are starting to turn dark brown.
  9. Let the cakes rest for 1 minute only on the baking sheet. If you let them sit longer, they will finish cooking al the way through.
  10. Run a knife around the edges of each ramekin, and tip the cake out onto the plate.
  11. Serve immediately.

Notes

chocolate chips: semisweet chocolate chips are best here. Milk chocolate chips might be too sweet--it depends on your taste.
butter: Unsalted butter that doesn't need to be at room temperature works here, because we're going to melt it with the chocolate chips.
eggs: We need one large egg plus one extra egg yolk. Save the egg white for another use; browse my my recipes to use egg whites here.
sugar: Just three tablespoons of granulated sugar here.
salt: Fine sea salt for baking is my preference.
instant espresso powder: This is optional. The flavors of coffee enhance the chocolate, so if you have it, add it, but if not, don't worry about it. This Italian brand of instant espresso powder is what I buy.
vanilla extract: Another way to enhance the chocolate flavor is with the sweetness and depth of vanilla extract.
flour: We just need a small amount of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon per cake, to hold the cake together enough to set around the edges.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 339mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 9g

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