Chocolate Lava Cakes

Dessert lovers, beware. Your diets are about to go downhill.

Who doesn’t love a spoonful of molten chocolate? Well, minus me. Sure, I generally opt for the fruit dessert, but even I can’t resist a warm chocolate cake sometimes.

After reading Megan’s last few dessert-oriented posts, I couldn’t help but think how great a spoonful of gelato would taste atop a warm chocolate cake. I first made this dessert when my friend Lucy came to visit me. Lucy studied abroad in Florence at the same time that I did, and I was lucky enough that she was already living with my host family when I arrived. She was a great resource when I first moved to Italy, and I’m glad to count her among my friends. I wanted to make a special treat when she came, so I chose to make these chocolate lava cakes as the perfect ending to our Italian meal.

This recipe produces a dessert that is quite rich, and the cakes taste great with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla (or crème fraîche!) ice cream. The molten chocolate inside is always a great surprise to guests, and the instant gratification of a warm, gooey cake is hard to beat!

I hope you consider making these next time you are craving some chocolate. Even better, make this with some crème fraîche gelato; I’m pretty sure that’s a pairing that’ll be hard to beat! Happy eating!

….and on a completely unrelated note: If you haven’t had any artichokes yet this season: RUN. I am currently eating a bowl of lightly braised baby artichokes with garlic and onions, and I am in foodie heaven. GAH.

Chocolate Lava Cakes
Recipe taken from Martha Stewart 


  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces – plus extra to grease your ramekins
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (to dust ramekins)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 5½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5 large eggs (or 4 extra large), room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  • Butter six, 4-oz ramekins. You may have some extra batter, so you might want to keep an extra ramekin or muffin tin on hand. Dust the buttered ramekins with your cocoa powder and set aside.

Make sure they are well coated!

  • In a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt your butter and chocolate.

  • In the meantime, whisk together your eggs and sugar in a medium-size bowl until they are pale and thick. This takes about four to five minutes. In a small bowl, combine your flour and salt. Whisk together.
  • Once the chocolate and butter have melted, stir them together and remove from the heat. Fold your egg mixture into the chocolate mixture; then, immediately fold in the flour mixture.

  • Divide the batter evenly among the ramekins until they are just about ¾ full.
  • Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour. You can refrigerate the cakes for up to two days.

  • When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until the cakes are just set, 12 to 16 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto plates.

It's just calling for ice cream...

  • Serve hot with a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream!

Serves 6.

3 responses to “Chocolate Lava Cakes

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