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Molten Chocolate Cake


molten cake


In 1987 a chef in New York City claimed to have invented the molten chocolate cake when he took a chocolate sponge cake out of the oven too soon. The chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, decided the center, which was still runny, actually had a good taste and texture. Chef Vongerichten's claim to have invented this decadent dessert is disputed by a French chef, Jacques Torres, who professes it already existed in France. Whether the dish was actually invented in the U.S. or in France, Chef Vongerichten is given credit for introducing and popularizing it in the United States.


Molten chocolate cakes are made in individual serving dishes, usually ramekins. They have a pudding-like center, a rich chocolate flavor, and are very dense and moist. Descriptions for this cake include such terms as soufflé-like, cake-like, brownie-like, mousse-like and pudding-like — all at the same time! They are served warm usually with either whipped cream or ice cream. The molten lava cakes have a thinner chocolate that actually runs out of the cake when you cut into it.

Many high-end restaurants include some form of molten chocolate cake on their dessert menu. You may be asked to order it at the beginning of your meal so it can be prepared fresh for you and served nice and warm for the best taste experience. You can make molten chocolate cakes or molten lava cakes at home. Below are some delicious recipes for your baking and eating pleasure. They are sure to impress even your most discriminating guest.


Molten Chocolate Cake #1:

8 ounces plus 6 tablespoons butter
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
6 yolks
6 eggs
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup flour


Melt the chocolate and butter together. Cool slightly. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks and eggs. Mix in the powdered sugar. Whisk this into the chocolate mixture then whisk in the flour. Fill 12 greased 4-ounce foil tins with the batter and refrigerate until ready to bake, or bake immediately. Bake in a preheated 450 degree F oven for 5 to 6 minutes from cold, or 4 to 5 minutes from room temperature. Turn out of tins immediately onto the plate.


Molten Chocolate Cake #2:

2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, divided
8 oz. NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® CHOCOLATIER 62% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar, broken into pieces
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar


PREHEAT oven to 425° F. Generously butter six 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups with two tablespoons butter. STIR 3/4 cup butter and chocolate in medium, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until thick and pale yellow, about 8 minutes. Fold 1/3 of chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Fold in remaining chocolate mixture and flour until well blended. Divide batter evenly among prepared ramekins. Place on baking sheet. BAKE for 12 to 13 minutes or until sides are set and 1-inch centers move slightly when shaken. Remove from oven to wire rack.


TO SERVE, run a thin knife around top edge of cakes to loosen slightly; carefully invert onto serving plates. Lift ramekins off of cakes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.


Molten Lava Cakes:

5 – 6 ounces dark chocolate
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease four 4-ounce custard cups. In double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. Stir in sugar. In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add some chocolate mixture to eggs to temper eggs. Carefully, stir egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Add flour and combine completely. Add batter to custard cups. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Centers should be soft but sides should be done. Invert cups on individual serving plates. Remove cups after 2 minutes. Serve warm with whipped or ice cream.