Molten Chocolate Cakes 2.0


Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so if your true love is chocolate, put away the boxed brownie mix and whip up these oozy chocolate cakes instead. Seriously – you have to trust me on this one. Super easy to make, and guaranteed to WOW. Plus, they can be prepped up to 2 days ahead and baked right before serving. I first posted this recipe back in 2012, but the photos were pretty weak. (I’m blaming the old iPhone camera.) Molten Chocolate Cakes 2.0 now includes a printable PDF for the recipe, because this is one you’ll make again and again. And again.

Molten Chocolate Cakes                    

(Click for Recipe PDF:   molten-chocolate-cakes-recipe )

Makes 4 small cakes; recipe can (and should!) be doubled. Batter can be made up to 2 days ahead and baked just before serving.


  • 4 oz. (approx. ¾ cup) good-quality bittersweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli (or same amount of chopped bittersweet chocolate)
  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz. or ¾ stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing ramekins
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving (such as Haagen-Dazs)


In the top of a double boiler or bowl set over (not in) hot water, combine chocolate, butter and sugar until just melted; whisk smooth. Remove chocolate mixture from heat (lift bowl off of double boiler) and set aside.


I’m making a double batch here. This is just a metal bowl set over a pan with some simmering water.


I like this method because you can just walk away and not worry about scorching the chocolate. You could also do this step in the microwave (in 30-second intervals), but that’s riskier and almost more work.

So while the chocolate/butter/sugar is slowly melting . . . 

Using softened butter, generously grease 4 (or 8 if doubling) 4-oz. ramekins or Pyrex custard cups (available in the bakeware section of many supermarkets).


Use a plastic sandwich bag as a “glove” to spread butter around the ramekins/custard cups.


The better you butter, the easier the cakes will pop out onto your dessert plates.

Crack eggs into a small bowl first (because you don’t want any shell bits in your cakes), then add eggs to cooled chocolate mixture (because you don’t want scrambled eggs) and whisk until smooth. I just noticed that the recipe says to whisk before adding to the chocolate; turns out that’s not necessary since I just added them straight this time and the cakes turned out just fine. Will be sure to capture that in Molten Chocolate Cakes 3.0.


Remember – I’m making a double batch here. Only 2 eggs for a single batch.


Add flour and whisk to incorporate.



Distribute chocolate batter evenly among the 4 (or 8) dishes. (A spring-release ice cream scooper makes easy work of this.) Set filled dishes onto a baking sheet. Cakes can be made up to this point and kept in the refrigerator (covered with plastic wrap) until ready to bake. Remove from refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to baking; better if they can sit out for a few hours. Also note, you might need to add another minute or two to the baking time if the cakes have been refrigerated.

img_1490 img_1492

When ready to serve . . .

Heat oven to 400ºF. Bake cakes for exactly 12 minutes.  The sides of the cakes should be set but the centers should still be soft. The centers might look slightly sunken– this is OK. If the sides of the cakes do not look quite set (all ovens are different), bake for another minute or two. Do not overbake if you want that oozy center!


This is how the cakes should look; notice the set edges and sunken center.

With a paring knife, cut around edges of cakes to help them release from the ramekins.


If you buttered well, the cakes should release easily.

Wearing rubber gloves (because these ramekins are HOT!), carefully invert the cakes onto dessert plates.



Serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. (The hot/cold play is important!) If serving more than 4 or for entertaining, I like to pre-scoop the ice cream and keep the balls in a container in the freezer.




If by chance there are any leftover cakes, they can be refrigerated and then microwaved for 15 seconds or so to warm. The centers will most likely not be “molten”, but the cakes will taste like really good brownies.

4 thoughts on “Molten Chocolate Cakes 2.0

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