Dessert for Two: Chocolate Lava Cakes

Calling all chocolate lovers…you do not want to miss this simple yet decadent dessert! It’s actually so simple you might just whip up a batch whenever a chocolate craving strikes, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. Not that I would ever make chocolate cake in the middle of the afternoon just because it sounded good, oh wait…moving on.

Most chocolate lava cake recipes I have seen make anywhere from four to six cakes, but I thought it seemed rather dangerous, or um, tempting to have that many lying around so I figured out how to make a recipe that only makes two. Feel free to double the recipe if you need (or want) to make more than two.

Since the recipe makes two small cakes, it also makes a great dessert for a special date night at home. Valentines Day is coming up soon…hint, hint. You can even make it up to a day in advance and bake it while you’re eating dinner so it’s ready just in time for dessert.

Another feature of this recipe that is slightly different from others is the hint of mocha flavor you get by adding instant coffee. I like adding it to chocolate desserts because it gives it a bit of a different depth to the flavor that I enjoy. If you don’t have any instant coffee or would rather not put it in, then just leave it out.

One last tip about lava cakes: It may take some practice at figuring out the perfect amount of time to cook the cakes depending on your oven or other factors. They are supposed to be slightly gooey on the inside, hence lava cake, but it should be mostly set all the way around. It’s fine if it is a bit too gooey, it’s just not ideal. The opened cake in the picture above could have probably used another minute or so of cooking time, but it was still delicious anyway. If you over cook it a little, you will still have a nice chocolate cake but it might not be very lava-like. So don’t fret too much about getting it right the first time. It just gives you a good excuse to try it again!

Chocolate Lava Cakes

Yield: 2 cakes

Serving Size: 1 cake

Chocolate lava cakes are a simple and decadent dessert for two.


  • coconut oil or butter for greasing
  • cocoa powder for dusting
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup semi sweet or milk chocolate chips (or a combination of both)
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder (optional)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour (all purpose or white whole wheat)
  • powdered sugar, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and/or berries for topping (optional)


  1. Grease two 3-1/2 inch custard cups or ramekins with butter or coconut oil. Lightly dust with cocoa powder. Place on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in microwave or a small sauce pan on the stove. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until melted. Heat for a few seconds longer if needed to completely melt the chocolate. Add coffee powder if desired and stir. Set aside.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk egg and yolk. Add powdered sugar and continue to whisk until well combined. Add chocolate and flour. Stir until well combined, but do not over-mix.
  4. Evenly divide batter among custard cups or ramekins. Bake at 450° for 12-14 minutes. The top of each cake will puff and be slightly cracked. Do not over-bake. The centers are supposed to be slightly gooey.
  5. Let sit for a few minutes then place a small plate on top of ramekin. Flip the cake onto the plate using an oven mitt as the ramekin will still be very hot. Top with any desired toppings (powdered sugar, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, berries).
  6. Serve and enjoy!


Tip: To make ahead, do everything except bake the cakes. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Cakes may take 1 or 2 minutes longer to bake as they will be cold.

Don’t forget to check out my homemade pasta sauce and meatball recipes to make for dinner along with your dessert.

What is your favorite dessert to make (or eat) for a special date night?

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