You might know these chocolate cakes as chocolate lava cakes or warm chocolate cakes, but regardless of their name, these seemingly modest cakes are big in flavor. Their big ta-da is that when you sink your spoon in, you’ll find molten, fudge-like centers.


  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened 2 Tbsp. sugar 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder


  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cubed 6 oz. bittersweet bar chocolate, chopped (70% cocao) 1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • BEAT:
  • 3 eggs 3 egg yolks 6 Tbsp. sugar 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, sifted ¾ tsp. instant espresso powder ½ tsp. table salt


  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Combine 2 Tbsp. butter, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and cocoa; generously coat eight 4-oz. ramekins with butter-cocoa mixture. Arrange ramekins on a baking sheet.
  • Melt 1½ sticks butter and chocolate in a double boiler until nearly smooth. Off heat, stir in vanilla; let mixture cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Beat together eggs, egg yolks, and 6 Tbsp. sugar in a bowl with a mixer on high until batter lightens in color and thickens, 7 minutes. Add flour, espresso powder, and salt; beat 30 seconds more. Fold in cooled chocolate.
  • Spoon generous ⅓ cup batter into prepared ramekins.
  • Bake cakes until sides are set and centers are a little sunken and somewhat soft, 8–9 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cakes cool on baking sheet 30 seconds; carefully run a paring knife around edges of ramekins.
  • Cover each cake with an inverted dessert plate and carefully turn over. Let cakes cool in ramekins 5 minutes more; unmold and serve immediately.
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Recipe adapted from cuisineathome