Even if baking is not your forte, preparing a delicious lava chocolate cake is within your culinary grasp. These rich, decadent treats ooze melted chocolate with the first bite. And this recipe, made for two, will make a perfect chocolatey conclusion for a stay-at-home Valentine’s Day dinner.

lava cake
Yield: Makes 2 cakes
Homemade: Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes à la DiSomma

Homemade: Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes à la DiSomma


To prepare the ramekins or custard cups:
  • Two 6-ounce ramekins or tempered glass custard cups
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate bar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray two 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Dust the inside of the ramekins/cups with the cocoa powder. Place ramekins/cups upside down over the kitchen sink and gently tap to remove excess cocoa. Place on a baking sheet pan.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl. Heat in 15-second intervals in the microwave, stirring chocolate after each interval, until chocolate is melted. Be careful not to overcook the chocolate or it will burn. Total microwave time will be about 45 seconds.
  3. Place the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium-high until the mixture is thick and light lemon in color. The egg mixture should fall in a ribbon when the beaters are lifted.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg mixture into the melted chocolate until just combined. Fold in the flour, being careful not to deflate the batter.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the two prepared ramekins. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until the edges of the cake rise and turn a darker brown. The top should be set (firm to a light touch) but still jiggle a bit in the middle.
  6. Remove sheet pan with cakes from the oven. Let cakes rest in the ramekins for 3 minutes then carefully run a knife around the edge. Place a serving plate on top of one of the cake filled ramekins. The ramekin will be warm so a kitchen mitt may be needed. With your hand on the ramekin to keep it on the plate, carefully flip the plate over so the ramekin filled cake is now on top of the plate. Let the flipped cake sit on the plate, in the ramekin, for 1 minute then carefully remove. Repeat with remaining chocolate cake. Serve immediately with a garnish of ice cream and fresh berries.
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February 05, 2021 — Mary DiSomma