Molten Chocolate Cake

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Known by many names, Molten Chocolate Cake is famous for it’s tender, moist cake, a light crispy crust, and gooey rich chocolate middle.

Molten Chocolate Cake Recipe

There must be hundreds of recipes for this delicious, chocolate lover’s dream come true but I’ve found it comes down to just two popular baking methods for Molten Chocolate Cake. One is made by preparing the chocolate batter, then placing a chilled chocolate ganache / truffle ball in the center, and covering it completely with additional batter. The center, made mostly of chocolate, melts and flows like lava when eaten. There’s nothing wrong with that idea!

Molten Chocolate Cake Recipe

However, I am partial to the second method which is a little easier. My favorite is achieved by simply under-baking the chocolate cake batter creating a “just right” middle that oozes a little without making a puddle of melted chocolate. For the chocolate lover like me, this is heaven. I’ve read that chocolate loses some of it’s flavor when baked and that’s why this little under-baked Molten Chocolate Cake has the intense taste we crave.

Molten Chocolate Cake Recipe

Molten Chocolate Cake is warm and gooey, sweet and rich, and it’s a good thing you can make just a few at a time as needed. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a dinner party, but is best served just after baking. The cakes can be made ahead of time and refrigerated (before baking), then brought to room temperature 30 minutes before baking. Most of all, if you’re looking to impress your guests with a warm-from-the-oven treat, this is the one!

Molten Chocolate Cake

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • 4-ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (plus extra for buttering the ramekins)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 whole large Eggland's Best egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: Raspberries or strawberries, and whipped cream or ice cream for serving
  • Extra powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Butter 2 ramekins or custard cups (see Notes below).  Place them on a baking sheet so they are not touching; set aside.
  2. Add the butter and chocolate to a large microwave-safe mixing bowl.  Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute.  Stir and repeat if needed at 30 second intervals until the chocolate pieces are almost melted.  Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth and all chocolate is melted.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the powdered sugar, a dash of salt, flour and espresso powder but don’t worry if it’s not completely mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl lightly whisk the egg and egg yolks.  Add the vanilla and whisk until blended.  Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth and fully combined.
  5. Divide the batter between the 2 ramekins and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  The edges will be firm but the center will be runny.
  6. Allow the cakes to rest for 5 minutes before serving.  Gently run a knife around the top edge of the ramekin to loosen the cake.  Place a serving plate over the top of the ramekin and flip it over / invert onto the serving plate.  Slowly remove the ramekin making sure the cake has released.  If the cake has not dropped to the plate, allow it to rest for a minute or two then gently pound the plate on a counter top.  Sift a little powdered sugar on top, add fresh raspberries or strawberries and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.  Serve and enjoy.
  • This recipe has been tested using two (7-ounce) 4” x 2.5” ramekins. If you’re not positive about the size of your ramekins, test by making sure they'll hold about 1 cup of water and have similar dimensions as those mentioned above.

Here are a few more chocolate cake recipes you might enjoy:

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Tricia Buice

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  • Roshani Khanna wrote:

    This looks incredibly delicious! My boys would devour them quickly.

  • Karen @ The Food Charlatan wrote:

    Ain’t nothin wrong with essentially underbaked cake. YUM!