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Satisfy your sweet tooth in minutes with this easy single serve Chocolate Lava Cake! This decadent dessert features a warm, gooey chocolate center nestled within a moist cake – perfect for one. Ready in under 25 minutes, it’s ideal for when cravings strike and you don’t want leftovers tempting you.

If our single serving Chocolate Lava Cake has you craving more, try our Mini Devil’s Food Cake, our extra-rich Mini Texas Sheet, our Mini Flourless Chocolate Cake, and our decadent German Chocolate Cake. Each mini cake recipe is perfectly sized for a delightful, personal dessert experience.

Why This Recipe Works

  1. Easy to Make: With just a handful of ingredients and simple steps, you can create a restaurant-quality dessert at home.
  2. Perfectly Portioned: Our lava cake recipe is the ideal size for a personal dessert, preventing waste and meeting sweet cravings with ease. Instead of a mug, use a 10-ounce ramekin—consistent with the containers we recommend in our White Cake and Carrot Cake recipes—for easy portion control.
  3. Indulgent: It’s the ultimate treat when you’re craving chocolate.
  4. Foolproof: The small cake recipe is straightforward, making it nearly impossible to mess up, even for beginner bakers.
  5. Elevate Your Celebration: Whether it’s for a date night, anniversary, or any occasion that calls for a touch of elegance, this recipe is effortlessly doubled to cater for two. For an exquisite meal, pair this fancy dessert with a succulent Beef Tenderloin and creamy Risotto, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

Check out our other Mini Cake Recipes for more wonderful small cake ideas!

chocolate lava cake topped with berries and powdered sugar on a plate.

What Is Lava Cake?

A lava cake, also known as a Molten Chocolate Cake or Moelleux au Chocolat, is a dessert that’s cakey on the outside with an irresistible center of flowing warm dark chocolate. This dessert offers a delightful contrast of textures, featuring a tender, cake-like exterior surrounding a gooey, molten middle.

The first time you try one, it may seem like culinary magic, but rest assured, this chocolate molten cake recipe is surprisingly easy to make and can be ready in about 30 minutes. One of the best parts? This recipe is designed for a single serving, baked to perfection in a 10-ounce ramekin.

It’s the ideal portion to satisfy your chocolate cravings without going overboard. Perfect for special occasions or anytime you’re craving a decadent chocolate treat.

Ingredients

chocolate lava cake ingredients on a kitchen counter.

For complete measurements and step-by-step instructions, please scroll to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: These are the key players for that deep chocolate flavor in the cake. If you prefer a less sweet and more intense chocolate kick, bittersweet chocolate is a great alternative. Leftover chocolate chips can be used in a small batch of Blondies, S’mores Dip, or Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
  • Butter: Choose between salted or unsalted butter based on your taste. Melting the butter with the chocolate chips results in a velvety and deeply rich chocolate base.
  • Sugar: This ingredient is what makes the cake pleasantly sweet.
  • Egg: The egg, particularly the yolk, enriches the cake, making it soft and tender. It also acts as a binding agent, helping to hold all the ingredients together.
  • Vanilla: This is more than just a background flavor; vanilla enhances the chocolate and adds a subtle aromatic complexity to the cake.
  • Flour: A key structural element, the small amount of flour used gives the cake its shape and helps create that cakey outer layer while leaving room for a gooey center.
  • Powdered sugar: For dusting, adds an extra layer of sweetness and looks beautiful.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

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How To Make A Chocolate Lava Cake

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a molten lava cake. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Generously coat a 10-ounce ramekin with 1/2 tablespoon of butter, ensuring the cake will come out effortlessly.
a generously buttered ramekin on a kitchen counter.
  1. Create a double boiler by filling a medium pot with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a gentle boil. Place a heat-proof bowl on top, ensuring the boiling water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Add chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of butter to the bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula until fully melted. Set aside to cool.

Note: For a quicker method, you can also melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 15-second intervals, stirring between each.

melted chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl.
  1. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, and vanilla until the mixture turns foamy, taking about 30 seconds.
sugar, egg, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  1. Whisk in the flour until the mixture is smooth, which should take about 10-12 seconds.
flour, egg, sugar, and vanilla whisked together in a mixing bowl.
  1. Gently stir the cooled, melted chocolate into the egg mixture until well combined.
lava cake batter in a mixing bowl.
  1. Pour this mixture into the prepared ramekin and place the ramekin on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any possible spills.
unbaked chocolate lava cake in a ramekin on a baking sheet.
  1. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. The cake’s edges should be set and slightly puffy, while the center should be soft to the touch. Avoid overbaking to maintain the molten center.
  2. After baking, use the tip of a knife to carefully loosen the cake’s edges from the ramekin. Let the cake sit for 3 minutes.
baked chocolate lava cake resting on a baking sheet.
  1. Place a plate over the ramekin and carefully flip it to invert the cake onto the plate. Hold it in the inverted position for about 20 seconds to ensure the cake releases properly.
a ramekin inverted on a plate waiting for its release from the ramekin.
  1. After the cake has successfully released onto the plate, dust it lightly with powdered sugar for a final touch of sweetness and elegance. Now, it’s ready to be enjoyed!
a molten chocolate cake dusted with powdered sugar next to a bowl of berries.

Expert Tips

  • Before you start cooking, make sure to read the entire recipe, including the Ingredient Notes section, and examine the process photos. This detailed guide will help you understand how the recipe unfolds, ensuring your chocolate lava cake turns out perfect every time. All the information you need is found within the body of this recipe post, so don’t miss a thing!
  • Properly Melt Chocolate: Use a double boiler or microwave in 15-second bursts to avoid burning the chocolate.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix just until the ingredients are combined to ensure a light, fluffy texture.
  • Preheat Your Oven: Make sure your oven is at the right temperature for even baking.
  • Use a 10-Ounce Ramekin: This is the perfect size for a single serving and helps the cake hold its shape.

Serving Suggestions

To make your single serving chocolate lava cake even more unforgettable, consider these elevated serving suggestions:

  • Vanilla Ice Cream: A scoop of ice cream not only adds a delightful contrast in temperature, but it also melds beautifully with the warm, flowing chocolate center, enhancing each bite.
  • Add Fresh Berries: A small pile of fresh berries like blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries next to your lava cake will add a burst of natural sweetness and a pop of color that can be downright irresistible.
  • Whipped Cream: A dollop of homemade whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint not only add aesthetic appeal, but the mint’s freshness cuts through the richness of the chocolate, balancing out the flavors.
cutting into a chocolate lava cake with the melted chocolate dripping off the spoon.

Storage Instructions

Given that this is a single serving dessert, the chance of leftovers is pretty slim (because who can resist, right?). However, if you’ve doubled the recipe or you’re in the rare mood to save some for later, here’s what you need to know:

  • Refrigerator: Place the lava cake in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Be aware that the center will start to firm up and won’t be as gooey when reheated.
  • Freezer: If you want to go the frozen route, wrap the cooled lava cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Note that freezing may alter the texture slightly.
  • Reheating: Reheat the refrigerated or thawed cake in a microwave until warmed through.

Remember, the magic of this dessert really comes alive when it’s fresh out of the oven, but these options are there if you need them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is doubling this lava cake recipe possible?

Absolutely, just double the ingredient amounts and distribute the mixture into two 10-ounce ramekins for baking.

Can I prep the lava cake batter in advance?

Yes, you can make the batter and fill the ramekin up to 2 days ahead. Just cover it tightly and refrigerate. Before baking, allow the ramekin to come to room temperature. Note that it’s not advisable to bake the lava cake in advance, as the gooey center will begin to solidify.

Which ramekin size should be used when making a single serving lava cake?

For optimal results, go for a 10-ounce ramekin.

Why wasn’t my lava cake molten in the middle?

Overbaking is usually the culprit here. If your oven tends to run hot, consider checking the oven temperature or removing the lava cakes a bit earlier next time.

Are lava cakes undercooked?

Lava cakes are not undercooked, despite their gooey centers. They’re specifically designed to have a molten core by using a high oven temperature for a short period of time. This method sets the outer layer while keeping the inside warm and liquid. So, the end result is a fully-cooked yet uniquely textured dessert.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve made this easy chocolate lava cake recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Please rate the recipe and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Snapped a photo? Tag us on Instagram; we’d be thrilled to see your creation!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Chocolate Lava Cake For One

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Savor a single-serving Chocolate Lava Cake with a gooey molten center, ready in 25 minutes. Perfect for indulging your sweet tooth without leftovers. Irresistible, quick, and perfectly portioned.

Ingredients 
 

  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon butter , plus ½ tablespoon more for greasing the ramekin.
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • powdered sugar , optional for topping
Save this Recipe!
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Generously coat a 10-ounce ramekin with 1/2 tablespoon of butter, ensuring the cake will come out effortlessly.
  • Create a double boiler by filling a medium pot with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a gentle boil. Place a heat-proof bowl on top, ensuring the boiling water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Add chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of butter to the bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula until fully melted. Set aside to cool.
    Note: For a quicker method, you can also melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 15-second intervals, stirring between each.
  • In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, and vanilla until the mixture turns foamy, taking about 30 seconds.
  • Whisk in the flour until the mixture is smooth, which should take about 10-12 seconds.
  • Gently stir the cooled, melted chocolate into the egg mixture until well combined.
  • Pour this mixture into the prepared ramekin and place the ramekin on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any possible spills.
  • Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. The cake’s edges should be set and slightly puffy, while the center should be soft to the touch. Avoid overbaking to maintain the molten center.
  • After baking, use the tip of a knife to carefully loosen the cake’s edges from the ramekin. Let the cake sit for 3 minutes.
  • Place a plate over the ramekin and carefully flip it to invert the cake onto the plate. Hold it in the inverted position for about 20 seconds to ensure the cake releases properly.
  • After the cake has successfully released onto the plate, dust it lightly with powdered sugar for a final touch of sweetness and elegance. Now, it’s ready to be enjoyed!

Notes

  • Before you start cooking, make sure to read the entire recipe, including the Ingredient Notes section, and examine the process photos. This detailed guide will help you understand how the recipe unfolds, ensuring your chocolate lava cake turns out perfect every time. All the information you need is found within the body of this recipe post, so don’t miss a thing!
  • Properly Melt Chocolate: Use a double boiler or microwave in 15-second bursts to avoid burning the chocolate.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix just until the ingredients are combined to ensure a light, fluffy texture.
  • Preheat Your Oven: Make sure your oven is at the right temperature for even baking.
  • Use a 10-Ounce Ramekin: This is the perfect size for a single serving and helps the cake hold its shape.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 587kcal, Carbohydrates: 72g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 216mg, Sodium: 166mg, Potassium: 256mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 53g, Vitamin A: 642IU, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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7 Comments

  1. KD says:

    Hi Would it still work out if it was prepared ahead of time ?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      We’ve covered this topic in our FAQ section. You can definitely make the batter up to two days in advance, fill the ramekin, cover it tightly, and refrigerate. Just remember to let the ramekin reach room temperature before baking. However, it’s not advisable to bake the cake in advance, as the signature gooey center will begin to set. For more tips on storing your baked cake, you might find the Storage Instructions section of the blog post helpful.

  2. Karen says:

    So easy and so satisfying. I didn’t have a 10oz ramekin so split it between two 4oz ramekins and pulled them out of the oven a minute or two early. It worked.

  3. Jenreads says:

    Absolutely delicious!

  4. Andy says:

    very enjoyable

  5. J. Hegyi says:

    Terrific recipe.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you.