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These chocolate lava cakes for two are the perfect romantic Valentine’s day treat that is so easy to make! They come together super fast. Top them with ice-cream for a perfect way to end a dinner!
I think if I had to rename this dessert, I would call it “How To Get A Valentine” chocolate cake. Many years ago now I was living with my best friend in Buffalo. And she had met who she called her “McDreamy”. And asked him over for dinner.
The plan was for her to make the dinner and impress him. The only thing was she didn’t know how to cook. Enter me.
I planned this elaborate dinner for her ending with the lava cakes at the end for her to make. We were going to make the dinner together step by step. She, however, decided we needed new plates. We couldn’t possibly serve “McDreamy” on mismatched plates leftover from our college days. Heavens no!
So off she went to Target. I got to cooking. So in the end..yup I made the dinner. She had to pretend like she did and act her a** off. And act she did. Until…The timer went off. “What’s the timer for?” He asked.
Well she had no idea. Luckily, she peeked into the oven, and realized it was for these cakes. Managed to play it off..and he was never the wiser. Oh did I mention those two are now happily married with two children? Like I said these lava cakes should be renamed.
What Ingredients Do You Need To Make A Chocolate Lava Cake?
The best part about these lava cakes is the simplicity of ingredients.
- Butter – You want to use unsalted butter for this. Not all brands use the same amount of salt in their salted butter so you could end up with a dessert that’s too salty.
- Bittersweet chocolate – You want to use good quality chocolate here. If you don’t prefer dark chocolate you could use semi-sweet or milk chocolate. I don’t recommend using chocolate chips. You won’t get as much “lava”. I prefer and recommend using chocolate bars (sold as 4-ounces) and then chop the chocolate myself. For this recipe you will need 1 and 1/2 bars total. I love using Ghirardelli but other brands work well too – Lindt, Nestle, or Baker’s.
- Eggs – You will use both eggs and egg yolks. Make sure they are room temperature before using. Place them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before using.
- Sugar – I’ve started using organic cane sugar in my recipes! I love the hint of natural molasses flavor it imparts.
- Salt – Not all salt is created equally. I generally use table salt in my recipes.
- Flour – You simply need a little all purpose flour to bind the recipe together.
Related: You might also like the rest of these 5 Ingredient Desserts
How Do You Make A Lava Cake?
Prep your ramekins. You want to butter and lightly flour your 6-ounce ramekins so they are ready for you when your batter is. And don’t forget to preheat the oven! Having a hot oven is key to making sure these rise and bake correctly.
Melt the chocolate and butter. To start making these cakes, you are going to melt your chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Basically set a heatproof bowl of a pot of simmering water. And allow the chocolate and butter to melt. You want to use good quality chocolate in this dessert. My two favorite choices are Valhrona and Ghirahdelli.
Whisk the remaining ingredients together. Then whisk your eggs and yolks, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy in a second mixing bowl.
Combine the ingredients. Once the chocolate and butter mixture has cooled slightly, you can add it to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Then add in your flour. That’s it. Seriously.
Time To Bake! Are you starting to wonder why you haven’t made these before? Then time to pour into your ramekins. These only take about 12 minutes in the oven. Allow them to cool about a minute then invert them onto a plate. The point is that the center of course isn’t baked and flows out like lava when you cut into it.
How Do You Know When A Lava Cake Is Done?
So telling when a lava cake is done can be tricky. Because it is meant to be underbaked slightly so it has that lava center. To tell if your cakes are done:
- The edges of the cakes become firm while the center will still have some jiggle to it.
- A toothpick stuck in the cake – only about a half inch from the edge comes out clean.
- Some of the cakes start to rise above the ramekins with sharp edges protruding. The edges don’t always protrude, but if they do, then that is a sign the cake is done.
Tips For Making These Lava Cakes
- Use good quality chocolate. You really will taste the difference. And I recommend bars over chips. You won’t get as much lava otherwise.
- Prep Your Ramekins! Make sure to grease your ramekins well with butter and flour so they can be easily released.
- Cool For A Minute. Let the cakes sit for a minute after tipping them upside down. I find that if I immediately tip them out they tend to fall apart. So give them a minute before tipping them over.
- Cool The Chocolate Mixture Slightly. Be careful to let the chocolate mixture cool before adding to the egg mixture or you risk ending up with chocolate scrambled eggs and nobody wants that! You can always temper the eggs, but adding a little bit of the melted chocolate first to the eggs and stirring before adding the rest of it. This helps bring the eggs up to temperature and avoids a scrambled mess!
How Long Do Lava Cakes Last?
Well when I make them…um…minutes. I mean I want to enjoy them immediately. However…
These can last 1 to 2 days at room temperature. Just make sure they are properly covered so they do not dry out.
Can I Make The Lava Cake Batter Ahead Of Time?
Here’s the best part. Yes!
You can make the batter up to day in advance. Place the batter into the molds, and then cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to bake. Then let them come to room temperature before baking.
I do NOT recommend baking these ahead of time and then re-heating them. I’ve tried it and all it ends up doing is cooking the center too much. All you will have in the end is a chocolate cake. No lava.
Can I Use Chocolate Chips?
You want to use good quality chocolate here. If you don’t prefer dark chocolate you could use semi-sweet or milk chocolate.
I don’t recommend using chocolate chips. You won’t get as much “lava”. I prefer and recommend using chocolate bars (sold as 4-ounces) and then chop the chocolate myself. For this recipe you will need 1 and 1/2 bars total. I love using Ghirardelli but other brands work well too – Lindt, Nestle, or Baker’s.
Can I Freeze Lava Cakes?
You can freeze them. Allow to cool completely and wrap well. Freeze for up to 3 months. You can reheat in the microwave (you may lose some “lava”).
Can I Make A Larger Portion?
You can! Try my regular Chocolate Lava Cakes!
What Do I Top These Lava Cakes With?
- Whipped cream <– add a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder and make it chocolate whipped cream.
- Ganache – A 2-ingredient chocolate sauce you can drizzle over for chocolate heaven.
- Powdered sugar – Just dust it with a little powdered sugar before serving.
- Ice-cream – A warm chocolate lava cake and a scoop of ice-cream is one of my favorite things in the world.
- Fresh raspberries – I mean chocolate and raspberries, is there anything better?! I think not.
Tools Needed To Make This Chocolate Lava Cake For Two Recipe:
- Ramekins or Muffin Tin
- Microwave safe bowl – Pyrex is my preferred brand!
- Rimmed Baking Sheet
Chocolate Lava Cakes For Two
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon flour
- Put the butter in a medium bowl and melt it in the microwave. Add the chocolate to the hot butter and stir until melted.
- Crack your egg into a bowl, and add the 1 yolk. Add the sugar, and beat or whisk until light and thick, about 1 minute. Add egg mixture and 1 teaspoon flour to the melted chocolate; beat until combined.
- Butter and lightly flour two 4-ounce molds or ramekins (make sure not to miss any spots, or the cakes will stick). Tap out the excess flour. Divide the batter among the molds. (At this point you can refrigerate them for up to 3 hours; just bring them back to room temperature before baking.)
- When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 450. Put the molds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the cakes have puffed up a bit, the tops are barely set and the cakes still jiggle slightly when shaken, 7 to 9 minutes (better underbaked than overbaked). Let sit for 1 minute.
- Put a plate on top of the ramekin and (with a potholder to protect your hand) carefully invert the cake onto the plate. Let it sit for 10 seconds, then lift up the ramekin. Serve immediately. My preference is a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top!
- Use good quality chocolate. You really will taste the difference.
- Make sure to grease your ramekins well with butter and flour so they can be easily released.
- Let the cakes sit for a few seconds after tipping them upside down.
More Desserts For Two Recipes:
- Easy Chocolate Fondue For Two- Dessert For Two
- Creme Brulee For Two – Boston Girl Bakes
- Mini Oreo Cheesecakes For Two (Home Cooking Memories)
- Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes For Two (Cooking Light)
- Apple crisp for two (Live Well Bake Often)
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet For Two (Fox And Briar)
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