I was saving this one. For a Celebration. It's one of those desserts you know? No matter how many times I have had it (and trust me there have been a few these last few months) I always am excited for that first spoonful. That first spoon that pushes just beyond the cakes firm exterior to reveal it's world of melty chocolate. Add on some vanilla ice cream and Bliss is the word that comes to mind. Sheer bliss.
These days we can all use a little bit of that right?
Without further ado let's break down what you need to know about making a Lava Cake so you can get to it.
The Two Most Important Things about Making a Lava Cake:
The most important thing hands down is getting the timing right. The batter is easy enough to put together, but these two are the make or break (literally).
1.) Prepping the ramekins - you MUST make sure you get a thin layer of butter into ever crevice of the pan then add in a spoonful of flour or cocoa powder, shake it around to coat evenly and tap out the excess. There must be NO 'empty' spots especially along the bottom inside edges.
2.) Timing. Ovens are different, ramekins are different, chocolates are different, so the time of the bake will vary. The thing to watch for is this: The edges of your ramekins will feel 'cooked' and soft and slightly puffy. The middle will not and should not.
What are the right Ingredients: Talking Chocolate
Lava Cake Ingredients are straightforward
- unsalted butter
- cocoa powder (dutch or natural)
I have now made these cakes with everything from chocolate chips to the grocery store baking chocolate to lindt to el camino. It works every time. Conventional wisdom has been to buy the darkest chocolate that you eat, but I do find that doesn't always work. The Lava Cakes become darker tasting than the chocolate you add because of your cocoa powder. If you decide to dust your ramekins with cocoa powder instead of flour that depth will be amplified. For my family I now stick to semi sweet. For adults who prefer a darker flavor you can absolutely go darker.
Making Lava Cakes in Advance
One of the beauties of lava cakes is that you can absolutely prep them the day ahead and pop them in the fridge. Just remember to cover them with plastic wrap or whatever covering you choose. Remove them from the fridge prior to preheating your oven. Each time I have done this it has added about a minute to my bake time vs the ones I have made and baked right away.
I do not recommend baking them in advance and warming before serving, because then they just aren't the same.
No Ramekins? No Problem
You can make these lava cakes in a cupcake pan. It will make 6 instead of 4 and you can buy a foil pan for six cupcakes or just use a regular one and prep only six molds. The timing will reduce and I would recommend keeping an eye on them after the 6 minute mark.
Looking for more Chocolate Recipes?
Hope you LOVE this classic Lava Cake as much as we do. Please do share your feedback and rate the recipe below by clicking the number of stars you want to give it! Do tag me in your recreations on Instagram @flourandspiceblog
- 4 oz chocolate (semi sweet), chopped 115 g
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- additional butter and flour/cocoa for prepping the ramekins
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Prep the ramekins by rubbing butter on the insides or using a pastry brush to lightly but evenly spread oil on the insides. Then place a spoonful of flour or cocoa in your ramekin, shake it around to coat evenly and tap the excess out - ensure that there are no 'empty' patches especially in the inner edges. Place them on a baking sheet.
Melt the chocolate and butter together on low heat over a stove or in 30 second increments in a microwave until just melted, stir smooth and set aside.
In a mixer (or by hand) whisk your egg and yolks together till foamy and well combined, about a minute with an electric mixer.
Add the sugar and beat for two minutes at which point it'll look thicker and lighter.
Gently stir in (by hand using a spatula) your cocoa powder, flour, salt and then finally the chocolate. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl.
Divide your batter among your prepared ramekins, place back on the baking sheet and bake until the edges are puffy and set, the middle should not be. This usually takes me about 10 minutes, but please do check on it around 8. Depending on your chocolate it can take up to 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let sit for a minute, then carefully run a butter knife along the sides to make sure nothing has stuck and invert it on to your plate. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Or as is.
- All ramekins are not the same size and as discussed in the post all chocolates are not the same. The variance in cooking time with my ramekins has been from 10-13 minutes depending on my choice of chocolate.
- Dusting the inside of your ramekin with cocoa powder will lead to a final result that will be darker (and prettier) looking