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Mini Chocolate Cake with molten center from the center
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5 from 4 votes

Mini Chocolate Cakes Recipe

These Mini Chocolate Cakes come with a gooey center and are so easy to make. Learn everything you need to know about making lava cakes. With video and step-by-step photos.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lava cakes, Mini Chocolate Cake Recipe
Servings: 6 lava cakes
Calories: 347kcal


  • 1 ½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean* or (1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • In a heatproof bowl, combine chocolate and butter and microwave for about 2 minutes, until fully melted. Stir every 15-20 seconds to prevent seizing. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla* to combine. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt to combine. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, slowly stir just until combined. Use a whisk to remove any lumps, if there are any. The batter will be thick. Set aside.
  • Butter and flour six 1-cup-sized (6oz / 240ml) ramekins. 
  • Spoon batter evenly into the ramekins. Bake for 11-13 minutes. I baked mine for exactly 12 minutes. The edges will look solid and firm and the center soft. Remove from the oven and let stand 1 minute. Then place an inverted plate on top of each ramekin and turn over. Caution: the ramekins are still super hot! Use a napkin or oven mitt. Top with powdered sugar, ice cream, berries, or chocolate fudge sauce to your preference. Serve immediately.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 1 day. Reheat in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. However, they are best eaten fresh on the same day.  Freeze up to 3 months. 



*First, cut off the straight end of the vanilla bean. Then place the tip of your sharp knife below the curled end and cut the vanilla bean through the middle of the bean lengthwise. Although you don't need to cut it all the way through, it's ok when you do so. Then open the vanilla bean and scrape out the flavorful seeds with the back of your knife. Just use the seeds.

Top tips
  1. I recommend using high-quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate bars. My personal favorites are Ghiradelli and Lindt. Chocolate chips are not a good choice because they are not as tenderly melting as high-quality chocolate and the core wouldn’t be that gooey. 
  2. Don't overbake them. Remove them from the oven as soon as the edges are set and dry and the center looks still wet. 
  3. Let them stay 1 minute before you invert the cakes onto plates. They continue baking and they need that little extra time that they come out of the ramekins beautifully. 

Muffin pan
If you don't have ramekins, you can make them in a muffin pan instead. You will have enough to get about 8 mini cakes. In this case, I recommend reducing the baking time to 8-9 minutes. Don’t use muffin liners, and butter and flour the muffin pan exactly like the ramekins.

Small batch
Just divide the ingredients by half, and you end up with 3 instead of 6 cakes.

Additional flavors
You could also add some additions. Think of melting caramel, peanut butter, or pure melting chocolate in the center. Therefore, place a piece of soft caramel candy, a dollop of peanut butter, or a piece of chocolate in the center. 

You can make the batter in advance for up to 2 days. Therefore, keep the prepared batter in the mixing bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake them. Let them come to room temperature before you spoon the batter into the ramekins.


Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 881IU | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg