Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

This quick and easy recipe produces elegant results, which Richard Cadbury certainly would appreciate,

Valentine’s Day is all about romance, red wine, roses and chocolate — pulled together with a special meal. 

It dates to the Middle Ages, but chocolate and Valentine’s Day didn’t go hand-in-hand until in 1861. Richard Cadbury that year began putting cupids and rosebuds on heart-shaped boxes filled with his chocolates. After eating the candy, many used those boxes to store love letters. 

As a lover of chocolate and easy recipes, I know this one will impress the lucky recipient(s). It can be made ahead of time and then baked shortly before serving. The trick is not to overcook it.

Ingredients: 4 Servings

½ cup butter, unsalted
4 ounces sweet baker’s chocolate, broken into pieces
1¼ cups powdered sugar
2 extra large eggs
2 extra large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup flour, gluten-free*
⅛ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon instant coffee
Pinch of salt
Powdered sugar for dusting

*Flour blend:
1¼ cups sorghum flour
1¼ cups white rice flour
1 cup potato starch (not flour)
1 cup sweet rice flour


Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat four ramekins or baking cups with baking spray.

In a medium size Pyrex bowl, melt butter and chocolate in the microwave — about 2 minutes. Watch closely. Whisk the butter and chocolate until well blended and then add the sugar and stir until blended. Whisk in the eggs and yolks and add the vanilla. 

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, instant coffee and salt. Add the flour to the chocolate mixture and blend completely. Divide the mixture equally among the four ramekins or baking cups.

Place the cups on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. The edges should be firm while the center remains soft. Let sit 2 to 3 minutes before serving. Using a potholder, run a knife around the edges to loosen. Invert on individual dessert plates and dust with powdered sugar.

For added decadence, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Make it ahead

The batter can be spooned into the ramekins, covered and refrigerated for several hours before baking. Be sure to take them out of the fridge about one hour before baking so they come to room temperature.