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These decadent Molten Chocolate Cakes with Sugared Raspberries are incredibly fast and easy to prepare and just like the lava cakes on restaurant menus!
This magical chocolate dessert is one of the most elegant recipes in my collection. It is also happens to be one of the easiest.
Molten Chocolate Cakes, also known as Lava Cakes, are so frequently found on restaurant menus that I’m sure most of you are familiar with these gooey little delights. This easy make-ahead method is going to knock your socks off and the end result will rival some of those fancy-schmancy restaurant versions.
My boys request these little cakes all the time, and when they do I’m thrilled because they are incredibly simple to prepare. Anyone who is lucky enough to eat them will think you have gone to great lengths to produce them.
The Ingredient List
- Bittersweet baking chocolate
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Pure vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- A touch of all-purpose flour
- Fresh raspberries
The stars of the show are both bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate. I like the Ghirardelli Bittersweet Baking Bars but any nice quality brand will work just fine. I also add good old-fashioned semi-sweet chocolate chips.
A Make-Ahead Dessert
Do yourself a favor and get the batter made a day in advance. The cakes bake quickly once the batter is chilled and you’ll have the most incredible chocolate dessert for guests in a matter of minutes.
When I’m busy readying for a party or special meal, it is so fabulous to get the dessert made and check it off the list.
How to Make Molten Chocolate Cakes
Melt the chopped bittersweet baking bar, chocolate chips and unsalted butter in a saucepan. Simmer it over low heat until smooth. Be sure to stir frequently so the mixture doesn’t scorch.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the melted chocolate to cool a bit. To help it cool more quickly, transfer it to a mixing bowl and let it rest while you move on to the next step.
Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large mixing bowl. With the beaters running, add the egg mixture in a steady stream to the slightly cooled chocolate and continue to beat it until smooth. Lastly, mix in the flour, just until combined.
Allow the batter to cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator to chill. The batter will firm up quite bit as it chills and be very easy to portion out with a spoon.
When you’re ready to bake the cakes, remove the bowl from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes, just to take the chill off a little. The batter will still be cold and that’s okay. I will usually take the batter out of the fridge just when I’m sitting down to dinner. Then, right after we finish dinner, I can pop the cakes in the oven.
Place foil baking cups in a muffin pan and spray them lightly with non-stick cooking spray. I use foil baking cups because they hold their shape really well and can also handle being sprayed with non-stick cooking spray far better than paper liners.
This recipe makes 10 cakes and you can bake them all at once or just portion out as many as you need and return the rest of the batter to the refrigerator. You can keep the batter refrigerated for 2 to 3 days and have warm, fresh-baked Molten Chocolate Cakes at a moment’s notice.
Watch the Molten Chocolate Cakes closely, baking until the batter puffs but the center is not completely set, about 8 to 10 minutes. The batter will puff and set up around the edges but the center will remain wonderfully lava like.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for about 5 minutes.
Remove the slightly cooled little cakes from the cupcake pan, carefully peel the foil cups away, and transfer them to dessert plates.
We just aren’t complete in this house unless these luscious lava cakes are served with vanilla ice cream and simply sugared raspberries.
This post was originally published on June 13, 2013. It has been updated with new text and images.
Molten Chocolate Cakes with Sugared Raspberries
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 ounce Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar (or similar brand)
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Melt butter and chocolate in a large, heavy saucepan over low heat; stirring frequently. Remove from heat when completely melted and set aside to cool slightly. If you'd like to cool it a little faster, transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt with a hand mixer until the sugar dissolves.
- With beaters running, add the egg mixture into the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Beat in the flour until just combined. Allow the batter to cool for about 10 minutes then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour or more. Batter can be made the day ahead if desired.
- Remove the bowl from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking just to take the chill off. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with 10 foil baking cups (or less) and spray baking cups lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Divide the batter evenly between the cups. You can bake them all or just fill as many as you need and keep the remaining batter in the refrigerator for up to two days to bake when needed.
- Bake until batter puffs but center is not fully set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Carefully lift the cakes out of the pan. Pull the foil cups away from the cakes and transfer the cakes to dessert plates.
- Toss the raspberries with 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Top each cake with some of the sugared raspberries and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Adapted from Allrecipes