Molten Chocolate Cakes

This recipe was printed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel circa Valentine’s Day of 2011, I’m assuming (there’s no date on the clipped page that my grandma sent me). I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a long time but haven’t had the circumstances to do so – the recipe yields only two cakes and it’s been a while since I’ve had any sort of celebratory dinner that called for something special and/or chocolate.

After eating Salted Caramel Cake all week, Dad said he didn’t need dessert for Christmas dinner. But I didn’t think he would object to a small chocolate dessert that serves two.


  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 T. granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 T. flour
  • Powdered sugar for garnish


  1. If making and serving the cake at once, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Butter two ¾ cup ceramic ramekins or ovenproof glass custard cups.
  3. In a heavy small saucepan over low heat, melt butter with the chocolate, stirring to combine. As soon as all is melted, remove from heat. (Watch this carefully. I walked away from the stove to glance at my phone and answer a few texts and when I returned the butter was sizzling on the stove and the chocolate chips were burning.)
  4. In medium bowl whisk egg and yolk lightly, then add granulated sugar and salt and whisk until blended and slightly paler and thickened, about a minute. Slowly whisk in the chocolate in a stream, then whisk in flour. Divide batter between buttered ramekins/custard cups.
  5. At this point the ramekins/custard cups can be refrigerated for a day if preparing in advance; cover them loosely with plastic wrap once they are cooled.
  6. Bake cakes on a baking sheet in preheated oven about 10 minutes if baking immediately, up to 14 minutes if baking after refrigerating. Go by appearance, rather than time. The cakes should be firm on the outside and dry across the top, but the center 1-inch or so should still be quite wobbly.
  7. When cakes are done, remove from oven and let stand one minute. Run knife around sides to loosen then turn them out onto a plate or shallow bowl. Sift powdered sugar over the cake and serve with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream.

If you’re cooking for one, you can easily reduce this recipe by half for a single serving. This is one of the easiest and quickest desserts you can make. Bonus: for someone who doesn’t know how easy it is to make this it appears as an impressive dessert. In case there are any guys or gals out there who are reading this who would like to impress his or her significant other.

I prepared the dessert in advance by a few hours and cooked the cakes for 14 minutes, as suggested. The top looked done when I pulled it out of the oven. Actually, I thought it was possibly drying out from its appearance. When I turned the custard cups over onto the serving dish both cakes broke, which I interpret to mean the cakes were slightly under-done despite the dried-out appearance.

This cake literally melts in your mouth. The inside is a warm, buttery, chocolate lava. Delicious. Dad says the vanilla bean ice-cream cuts the sweetness of the dessert. I just think any cake tastes better accompanied by a scoop of ice-cream!

Recipe rating: 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s