How to make the perfect chocolate lava cake Photos and story by Hannah Schmidt '19

Lava cakes. One of the most fundamental dish for any dessert enthusiast. The delectable taste of rich gooey chocolate gushing from a warm cake and already-melting vanilla ice cream together is something many agree is really heaven on a plate. Lots, however, overestimate the simplicity of this recipe, and only wait to spend a wallet's worth for one at the most high-end restaurant they can find. The fact is, lava cakes are a quick, simple, and easy to follow recipe for any beginner or advanced baker.


  • 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp flour
The ingredients you'll need are: chocolate, butter, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, espresso powder and olive oil/butter.
Recommended tools include a small bowl, measuring cups, a whisk, a rubber spatula, a small sheet tray and two large or three small ramekins.


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray the inside of each ramekin with olive oil or cover with softened butter.

2. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring the mixture in between each interval. Whisk in sugar, espresso powder and vanilla.

Chocolate and butter make up the foundation for this recipe, providing a rich gooeyness to the inside of the cake.

3. Let cool for one minute before adding the eggs, to avoid prematurely cooking them. Then whisk in the egg and the egg yolk. Add the flour and whisk until batter is homogenous.

4. Pour the batter evenly into each ramekin, about halfway full. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until the tops have lightly crusted.

The goal of lava cakes is for them to spill out with molten chocolate from the inside. It's important lava cakes are perfectly cooked, so the outside can be cakey and the inside gooey.

5. Cool for 2-3 minutes, remove from ramekins and sever immediately with any toppings.

Lava cakes can be topped with many different sweet and savory foods, like fruit, ice cream, confectioner's sugar, etc.

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