Chocolate Lava Cake for Two Recipe (2024)

By Yossy Arefi

Updated Feb. 29, 2024

Chocolate Lava Cake for Two Recipe (1)

Total Time
25 minutes
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Chocolate lava cakes gained popularity in the late 1990s thanks to the chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and they have stuck around on dessert menus for good reason: They are rich chocolate cake and velvety sauce all in one, and they are surprisingly easy to make in under an hour. If you like to plan ahead, you can prepare the batter a day in advance, refrigerate it, then pop the cake into the oven when you are ready for dessert. This recipe, made in a 10-ounce baking dish, is meant for sharing, but you can also make it in two 6-ounce ramekins. Just cut the baking time to 7 to 9 minutes. Also, be sure to use chopped chocolate bars or chocolate fèves rather than chocolate chips here. Chips are made with stabilizers that inhibit melting and will negatively affect the texture of your dessert.

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Yield:2 servings

  • 3ounces/85 grams bittersweet chocolate, 70 to 74 percent cacao (not chips), chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 3tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for the ramekin
  • 3tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for the ramekin
  • 1large egg
  • 1large egg yolk
  • ½teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar, to serve (optional)

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (2 servings)

533 calories; 35 grams fat; 20 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 11 grams monounsaturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 54 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 44 grams sugars; 7 grams protein; 165 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Chocolate Lava Cake for Two Recipe (2)


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    Heat oven to 425 degrees and butter a 10-ounce ramekin. Dust the buttered ramekin with granulated sugar.

  2. Combine the chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter in a heat-safe bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, combine in a bowl and microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring in between, until melted and smooth, about 1 minute.) Remove from the heat and set aside.

  3. Step


    In a medium bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla and salt. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is thick, foamy and pale, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour until smooth.

  4. Step


    Using a spatula, add the chocolate to the egg mixture and stir gently until combined.

  5. Step


    Pour the mixture into the ramekin. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges are set and puffed, but the center is still soft when lightly pressed. (You can also cover and refrigerate the batter up to a day in advance. Add an additional minute or 2 to baking time if you are baking the cake directly from the refrigerator.)

  6. Step


    Use an offset spatula or small knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the ramekin. Place a plate over the ramekin and carefully invert the warm cake. Use an oven mitt or clean kitchen towel to remove the ramekin, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.



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Cooking Notes

naomi dagen bloom

Am 85, no ramekins either...helpful alternative!


So good! Am 25, don’t own ramekins. Muffin tins worked fine. Made 4.


Have made this for 4 people this year. Singlehandedly soothed roommate relationship during dark period of quarantine; staved off a breakup at least 2.5 weeks. True rating is 4.99/5 to account for the time it falsely raised hopes of intense seriousness and perhaps love in a casual relationship.

Shawn N.

60. Had ramekins. No joy. Gave them to Goodwill. Missed ramekins (creme brûlée!) so bought more. Found the box that never made it to Goodwill. Felt bad for having a ridiculous number of ramekins. No joy. Made this recipe. The joy is back

Mary ann

Pat, It's illegal,I'm most states to own a ramekin if you are under the age of 30.


Am 55. Had ramekins. Had teens too. Teens broke ramekins. Used pyrex cups. Tremendous.


Ha ha, reading the notes on this about ramekins is probably almost as good as eating the cake (which I haven't tried yet)! Y'all are funny!


Am 65, realized the dish I was using for our dog’s water was in actuality a ramekin!


I have saved small cans - chilis actually - that I cut both ends from. Gives me a perfect 2&1/2" form. I set them on parchment to cook and can slide knife around edges to release.


I reduced baking time by two minutes! Also, I bought some ramekins this weekend. Used them twice already. Everything I eat will be in individual serving sizes from here on out.

Marta Frijole

Am 63. Own ramekins. Bought them on the sly many years ago (I was young then; am older now). I keep them off-scene, hidden away. Why? Husband (67) believes they take up an obscene amount precious storage space. (He did buy crumpet rings, however, at the start of the pandemic).I will make lava cake. I will demonstrate the redeeming qualities of ramekins. I will fantasize about replacing crumpet rings with ramekins in the coveted drawer.


I have ramekins and kept them, I guess they “sparked joy”.


They are perfectly safe to eat. A little bit of science: only 1 in 20,000 eggs possibly carry salmonella; salmonella is destroyed at 160*F; cakes are set at 200-210*F; and the internal temp of the lava cake reaches that magic number of 160*F. Also, if you are basing this concern on being told not to eat raw cookie dough because of eggs, the truth is people were getting sick from the flour in the cookie dough, not the eggs. So you can have your cake and eat it too!


The article above the recipe says you can use 2 - y ounce ramekins and cut the baking time to 7-9 minutes. My first attempt was also over cooked. 7 minutes was a flop. On the third attempt, I turned the temp down to 400, baked 9 minutes - perfection!


When you grow up you can get some ramekins. :)


So good, so easy, we save it for special occasions or we'd eat this everyday!


Yes this was so wonderful!!!! Made as described in 2 ramekin-sized dinnerware bowls that are probably not ramekins (age 48)…. Kept an eye on during baking as cook time was shorter due to smaller size of dish.


Luckily we still had 6 oz ramekins. So easy and fast to make. 8 minutes in our oven was just right. No substituted ingredients or method changes like one sees so often here and they turned out perfect. Next time will serve with ice cream. Whipped cream deflated quickly from the heat. Thanks NYT for an uncomplicated fast and easy special dessert.

Kathi in VA

I am 58, so I have various ramekins, but decided to try the muffin tin option. Doubled the recipe for the four of us tonight. Four muffin tins held 70 grams each. That left me with a little over 200 grams that I put into a 16 oz. Corning ware French white ramekin for “later.” Cooked the muffin tin batch for 8 minutes and probably should have done 7… they had about a tablespoon of lava. Still delicious.

Kathi in VA

Follow up… Everyone decided there was no point saving the other one for another day, so into the oven it went, 12 minutes, more lava this time but 11 would have worked. We all decided this recipe is a keepe!!


I would give 10 stars if I could we’ve made for Valentine’s Day the last several years and it is so good and easy.


Had 2 red le creuset ramekins that were smaller than the 10 oz size called for in recipe. Poured batter half and half into each ramekin and baked for 11 minutes. It was so delicious I ate them both. Perfection.


Great excuse to buy ramekins if you don’t have any. Used two 6oz ramekins. Used the convection setting on my oven (so 425° became 400°), and 8 min was right on the nose. I will absolutely make this again


Am 20. Bought a ramekin for this recipe. Zero regrets. I apologize to anyone who lacks this essential kitchenware item. You need this cake in your life.

Sue J

This is easy and delicious! I made it for my husband for valentines. I like that it can be prepared in advance and cooked when you are ready.

Nicki Pogue

I, too, age 55, realized I Goodwill all of my ramekins [these are hands down the funniest comments I've ever read at NYT Cooking]. I improvised with a Crate & Barrel dip bowl (after confirming it could withstand 375 degrees). Baked it a bit longer at that lower temp, but it came out stunning. Huge Valentine's Day hit. I used the cheater's microwave-the-chocolate-and-butter method advised in the accompanying video and I don't regret it.

Linda W

Can the batter be split between two 5 ounce ramekins? If so, what adjustment to baking time and temperature should be made?

Jenna P.

Surprisingly, not very sweet. Next time, I might add a bit of cinnamon for more complexity/warmth. Delicious topped with strawberries.


Made for Valentine's Day 2024 with great success! 44, no ramekins. Used a small-ish Pyrex glass storage container (oven safe!) instead. Put in a full bar of Lindt 70% dark (8.5 oz). Lots of joy! Will def put this on regular rotation.


This was so good and easy. I made it in a small Pyrex bowl and made ahead of time and baked for 14 min.

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Chocolate Lava Cake for Two Recipe (2024)


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