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Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes

It’s Mother’s Day here in the States, and I’d planned to do a post on my mom’s coffee cake recipe, which is the best thing ever and perfect for Mother’s Day brunch or breakfast in bed. Alas, I’m still getting used to the lighting in my new kitchen and I HATE the pics I took of the recipe, so I’ll have to make it again (I know, the sacrifices I make…). So in lieu of cinnamon-sugar goodness, I bring you gooey, chocolatey goodness.

easy chocolate lava cake finished

I adapted this from a lemon white chocolate lava cake recipe my mom and I tried a few months ago. What’s great about these vs. a lot of chocolate souffle-like recipes is that you don’t end up wasting gobs of egg whites or egg yolks due to separation, and they’re not temperamental at all (no sad, deflated souffles here!). Also, they are the easiest thing ever and take under a half hour from start to finish. And with them being chocolate, they’re a total crowd-pleaser.

easy chocolate lava cake finished4

Want proof that these are the easiest, fastest thing ever? Well, a few months ago, when I tried the recipe for the first time, I had my family in town and a friend over. We’d made a big, elaborate dinner and were sitting on the couch in a food coma, drinking wine and talking. I got up and went into the kitchen—open kitchen, I might add, so they could see me—made these and put them in the oven, then came back to the living room and sat back down. About 10 minutes later, my mom goes, “Should we go ahead and get dessert going?” “It’ll be ready in about 5 minutes,” I said. They couldn’t believe I’d thrown this together in mere minutes with no fuss at all.

easy chocolate lava cake chocolate butter

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Put the butter and chocolate chips in a large bowl and microwave for 1 minute, 20 seconds. This melts everything so you can whisk it all together.

easy chocolate lava cake powdered sugar

Whisk the butter and chocolate, then whisk in the powdered sugar.

easy chocolate lava cake eggs

Add the eggs and egg yolk, whisk in. Go ahead and add the vanilla, pinch of salt, and any extract if you’re using it.

easy chocolate lava cake flour

Flour, you know the drill.

easy chocolate lava cake ready to bake

Et voila. That seriously took like five minutes, right? And most of that was trying to figure out where on earth you put the powdered sugar, and whether you wanted to use orange or hazelnut extract…

Pour into greased ramekins or a greased muffin tin (I prefer silicone, if you’re going this route). Ramekins would be my first choice, but both work equally well.

easy chocolate lava cake finished3

Place the ramekins or muffin tin on a baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes, until the sides are firm and center is still soft and wiggly. Definitely err on the side of undercooked, they’ll still bake a little bit and solidify/set up once you pull them out of the oven.

easy chocolate lava cake finished2

Let stand for a few minutes to cool, then serve while they’re still hot. With vanilla ice cream if you roll that way. Or plain if you don’t. I like the purity of the chocolate lava all by itself.

easy chocolate lava cake finished5

I was so stoked to find a great go-to recipe like this that wasn’t fussy or time-consuming, and have made it a few times since first trying it. I prefer it in small ramekins because I feel like the surface area-to-gooey center ratio is perfect, and that the muffin tin ones were a little cake-y (though I think I may have left them in the oven a minute or two too long).

Chocolate Lava Cakes

  • 4 ounces of dark chocolate chips
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar (you could increase this slightly, it could stand to be a little sweeter)
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray 4 custard cups or ramekins liberally with non-stick spray and place on a baking sheet. Note, I used two small ramekins and one larger one, but I wouldn’t recommend that because the batter in the larger ramekin had trouble reaching the right consistency inside and out.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a large, microwavable bowl for 1 minute and 20 seconds. Whisk together till completely melted. Add powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla, and whisk until combined. Add eggs and the one egg yolk with a pinch of salt, and combine this as well. Finally, whisk in the flour.

Pour the mixture evenly into the sprayed cups or ramekins. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the sides are firm and center is soft. Once cooled, invert onto a plate (if it’ll let you), and serve (with ice cream, if that’s how you roll).

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