Single Serving Molten Lava Cake Recipe Recipe | PBS Food

Single Serving Molten Lava Cake Recipe

This single serving molten lava cake recipe is extremely easy and quick to prepare as well as impressive when plated with a little garnish.


Prep time: 5 Minutes

Cook time: 10 Minutes

Total time: 15 Minutes


  • ¼ cup semi chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (room temperature), beaten
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Optional Garnishes: ½ teaspoon confectioners’ sugar for dusting, fresh fruit, and a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Fill a small pot with 1-inch of water. Fit a larger stainless steel or glass bowl on top of the pot to make a double broiler.
  3. Heat the pot of water on medium-high heat.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and butter to the stainless bowl. The chocolate will quickly begin to soften and melt.
  5. Quickly whisk the chips until nearly completely smooth. Turn off the heat and add the sugar and vanilla. Continue to whisk the chocolate until completely smooth.
  6. Carefully remove the bowl from the hot pot to the counter. Allow the chocolate to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Whisking continuously, slowly add the egg into the chocolate mixture a teaspoon at a time, incorporating the egg addition each time completely before adding more. You don’t want to add the egg too quickly because the warm chocolate will cook the egg. Continue to do this until the chocolate batter looks smooth.
  8. Stir in the flour until mixed in.
  9. Generously spray the bottom and sides of one 4-ounce ramekin or coffee mug. This will help the cake to release from the ramekin after baking.
  10. Add the batter to the ramekin. It will be about ¾ cup full.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the cake will appear to be baked but when touched in the center will feel very soft.
  12. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it rest on the counter for a minute.
  13. You can serve the cake in the ramekin or turn it over onto a plate.
  14. If you gently touch the sides of the cake with your finger, it should pull away from the sides.
  15. After one minute, cover the ramekin with a serving plate and flip the plate to right side up. Slowly and carefully begin to lift the ramekin off the plate. If it appears the cake is not releasing, lower the ramekin back down to the plate and gently shake the ramekin back and forth and try again. If it still does not release, invert the cake back to the ramekin and use a thin paring knife to release the cake from its side and flip again.
  16. Dust the lava cake with powdered sugar and dollop with a small spoonful of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. A small berry and fresh mint leaf also make nice garnishes.
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