Chef John’s Chocolate Lava Cake

  • Recipe By
  • Published Jun 8th
  • Ready In1h 15m
  • Servings4
  • Calories394
Legend has it that this dessert was the result of a major catering disaster. The dessert for this particular event was to be individual chocolate cakes, but someone took them out of the ovens too soon and the centers were not cooked enough and still liquefied. Well, there was no time to take them off the plates and bake them more, so the chef simply had his wait staff introduce the dessert as Chocolate 'Lava' Cake! Brilliant!

Chef John’s Chocolate Lava Cake Ingredients

The following are the ingredients needed to make delicious Chef John’s Chocolate Lava Cake for 4 servings:

  • butter as needed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces chopped dark chocolate
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chef John’s Chocolate Lava Cake Cooking Instructions

  • Prep5m
  • Cook25m
  • Ready In1h 15m

To cook Chef John’s Chocolate Lava Cake, you need about 5 minutes of preparation time. The time needed to cook this Chef John’s Chocolate Lava Cake is about 25 minutes , and you can serve your Chef John’s Chocolate Lava Cake within 1 hour 15 minutes . The following are the steps to cook Chef John’s Chocolate Lava Cake easily:

  1. 1 Generously butter the inside of 4 (5 1/2 ounce) ramekins. Place them in a casserole dish.
  2. 2 Whisk together egg yolks, eggs, and sugar in a bowl until light, foamy, and lemon colored.
  3. 3 Melt chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting, 1 to 3 minutes.
  4. 4 Stir melted chocolate mixture into egg and sugar mixture until combined.
  5. 5 Sift cocoa powder into the mixture; stir to combine.
  6. 6 Sift flour and salt into the mixture; stir to combine into a batter.
  7. 7 Stir vanilla extract into the batter.
  8. 8 Transfer batter to a resealable plastic bag. Snip one corner of the bag with scissors to create a tip.
  9. 9 Divide batter evenly between the prepared ramekins; tap gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  10. 10 Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  11. 11 Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  12. 12 Arrange the ramekins in a casserole dish. Pour enough hot tap water into the casserole dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  13. 13 Bake in the preheated over for 15-18 minutes. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  14. 14 Loosen the edges from the ramekin with a knife. Invert each cake onto a plate and dust with powdered sugar.


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 394 calories; 28.7 grams of fat; 32 grams of carbohydrates; 6.9 grams of protein; 241 milligrams of cholesterol; 207 milligrams of sodium.

  1. Oct 18th 2012

    Wonderfully rich! Warning however!! I tried this recipe to test it before I served it to company and made 4. With 4, as the recipe called for, it turned out exactly as expected at 18 minute ...

  2. Jul 8th 2012

    Followed the recipe exactly and they didn't rise at all. The batter was really thick which is when I got suspicious. Basically made brownies.

  3. Jul 3rd 2012

    oh wow!!!! This is unbelievable! My daughter and I were watching MasterChef and they made a chocolate lava cake. I had to make it, so I went to my favorite website! This recipe was so s ...

  4. Jun 18th 2012

    I hate leaving bad reviews, but this just didn't work. I went over the recipe last night 20+ times. I did everything as stated. The batter was so thick, and came out like a brownie. I ev ...

  5. May 21st 2012

    Tried this recipe tonight for dinner. It was fantastic, just like you would get a restaurant. I made 4 of them. My hubby ate 2 right away! Was very easy, though I didn't use the ziplock ...

  6. May 12th 2012

    Outstanding! I made it and I've never made anything as exotic before and it turned out incredible! Thanks for the detailed instructions!

  7. May 12th 2012

    This is a great easy recipe. Just a little note. If you are not as strong as John you should definitely use a hand mixer. So that you get the right consistency with your eggs and sugar mix. ...

  8. May 5th 2012

    Followed the recipe to the dot. Crunchy exterior until you hit the center---dark molten choco delight!!! This recipe is a keeper. Thanks Chef John.

  9. Apr 10th 2012

    I had a similar old recipe which I love, but then I tried to follow this recipe, just change a little bit of the way to melt the chocolate (I melted it on a steamer, beware of the condensati ...