Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

Cooking Light Magazine has some really good recipes….like REALLY good. Some of my all time favorites can be found on their website. From cumin crusted pork tacos to a peppermint ice cream cake, they do it all. 

This particular beauty has been on constant rotation, for many years. It’s awesome for a large crowd or you can scale it back for two. I suppose it all depends on how many ramekins you have! 

It all comes down to chocolate ….and  high quality chocolate is a must!

Once it’s chopped, it is added to a double boiler.

You want to remove it from the heat, just when it begins to melt. 

The recipe calls for less sugar than you’d expect. The brown sugar definitely adds to the richness.

Gently fold in the dry ingredients. You want the batter to be fully mixed with minimal air bubbles.

It will look lumpy but that’s ok. 

To prep the ramekins, spray them with vegetable oil and lightly dust the walls and rim of the ramikens with sugar. This will help the chocolate climb the walls.

Divide the batter among the ramekins. The recipe suggests adding a little of the melted chocolate to the center but I opted to added some more chopped chocolate. You can skip this step, altogether, and have more of a soufflé type dessert. 


They’re going to hang in the fridge for an hour. When you’re ready to bake them, let them sit at room temp, while the oven preheats.

Exactly 13 minutes later, you have yourself an amazing dessert. You can run a knife around the edges to invert it on a plate or go hand-to-hand combat in the ramekin. Dust it with confectionary sugar or add some ice cream. 


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 ounces high-quality dark or bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cacao), chopped

3 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (about 2/3 cup)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

Baking spray with flour

Powdered sugar (optional)


1. Combine butter, oil, and chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water until chocolate almost fully melts, stirring gently with a spatula. Remove top of double boiler; stir until chocolate fully melts.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.

3. Place granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Set aside 2 1/2 tablespoons chocolate mixture. Gradually pour remaining chocolate mixture in a thin stream over egg mixture, beating at medium speed. Gently fold flour mixture into egg mixture. Divide batter evenly among 10 (5-ounce) ramekins coated with baking spray. Working with 1 ramekin at a time, spoon 3/4 teaspoon reserved chocolate mixture into center, pushing teaspoon toward center of batter. Repeat with remaining ramekins and chocolate mixture. Arrange ramekins on a jelly-roll pan. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 400°.

5. Let ramekins stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Uncover and bake at 400° for 13 minutes or until cakes are puffy and slightly crusty on top (centers will not be set). Place a dessert plate on top of ramekin. Using a dry kitchen towel to steady ramekin, invert each cake onto plate. Garnish with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.

Sidney Fry, MS, RD, Cooking Light


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