Molten Chocolate Cake :: The Ultimate Dessert Recipe for any Valentine’s Day Celebration!


Molten chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and berries

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and whether you’re hosting children, your girlfriends, or a date night at home, this Molten Chocolate Cake is the perfect dessert for you. (Gluten-free friends, there’s a special note at the bottom of the post for you!)

Molten chocolate cake - such a pretty presentation!

Molten cake, or lava cake as it’s sometimes called, is an iconic 90s dessert. It’s still very popular and usually reserved for restaurant menus, but don’t let that scare away you from making it at home. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy this recipe comes together, and with the most impressive results! It begins with simple chocolate chips, and the whole thing can be prepped in minutes. And, in case you didn’t know, I’m going to let you in on a little secret . . . This dessert is foolproof because an over-baked molten cake is just a delicious regular chocolate cake. Your guests won’t have a clue. (If you’ve already promised them the “lava,” then a spoonful of prepared hot fudge sauce over the top will save you!)

Molten chocolate cake - baked in individual ramekins

I’ve used this recipe for Chocolate Molten Cakes from Jenny Steffens Hobick at Everyday Occasions blog probably a dozen times and love it! The ingredients can be found at any grocery store, and the instructions are easy to follow. In case you need a gentle nudge in the right direction, here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for the perfect cake:

  • Plan ahead! The raw batter will need to chill for at least an hour, or up to a few days. This is a huge time saver if you are the hostess. Keep the batter in the fridge and pop the cakes into the oven before serving.
  • Grease your pans VERY WELL. After baking, run a knife along the edge before you flip the cakes onto the serving plates.
  • Try using heart shaped silicone baking cups for a sweet Valentine’s Day surprise!
  • Adding in a teaspoon of espresso powder to the dry ingredients will deepen the chocolate flavor and make this dessert even more decadent.
  • Since this cake is served warm, I’ve found it helps to have plates and toppings set out before baking; once the cakes are out of the oven, you can just flip and go! 
  • I think it’s so much fun to set out a spread of different toppings and let guests choose their own adventure. My husband prefers a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but fresh berries and whipped cream, salted caramel sauce, a pretty dusting of cocoa or powdered sugar, and sprinkles are all crowd pleasers.

Gluten-Free Baking Note: The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but I prefer to use Cup 4 Cup gluten-free flour. This is my very favorite gluten-free flour, and I use it almost exclusively in my baking with amazing results! 

Recipe credit: Jenny Steffens Hobick

How are you making this Valentine’s Day special, Mama?