A rich, decadent chocolate lava cake that’s made without flour so it’s naturally gluten free! The perfect dessert for the holidays or date night in.
These Flourless Chocolate Lava Cakes are the ultimate chocolate dessert for chocolate lovers (even the gluten-free ones!).
It’s prepped in just 20 minutes and bakes up quickly thanks to individual ramekins. They also make for a really pretty presentation — perfect for Valentine’s Day or date night in!
You can also serve with fresh strawberries and Homemade Whipped Cream.
One thing I love about these is that you can prep them ahead to bake later — simply store them in the fridge and add a few minutes to the bake time.
- Chocolate: choose good quality solid chocolate here! Dark or semisweet chocolate will work best.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter in this recipe. Salted butter will work but you may want to reduce the added salt.
- Sugar: Sugar provides a lot of the structure for our lava cakes — don’t reduce it!
- Eggs and egg yolks: eggs and egg yolks also provide a lot of the structure for our cakes. They make it rich but also add stability.
- Cocoa powder: Cocoa powder adds more rich chocolate flavor and also thickens our cake batter slightly.
- Salt: to balance out all the flavors
- Vanilla: is a must!
How to make Flourless Chocolate Lava Cakes:
Here are a few step by step photos to guide you — see the complete recipe down in the recipe card.
- Melt butter and chocolate together. Do this over a double boiler to make sure it melts down smoothly.
- Whisk in the sugar well
- Add eggs, one at a time, and then add the remaining ingredients.
- Fill ramekins and either bake or refrigerate until ready to bake.
Tips and Tricks for making Molten Lava Cakes:
Getting the center on these Molten Lava Cakes just right can be tricky! Here are my top tips to help you see success:
- Don’t mess with the recipe: the ingredients and amounts are chosen for a reason — if you mess with them, you risk not having a molten center or having a lava cake that falls apart and doesn’t come out of the pan.
- Grease well: it can be really tricky to get the lava cakes out if your ramekins aren’t greased well. Grease with butter or non-stick spray, then dust with cocoa powder for extra insurance.
- Don’t bake too long: you don’t want the cake set all the way through. Instead, look for a slightly jiggly center that is maybe a little bit glossy. The edges should appear set.
- Don’t wait too long: wait just a few minutes before turning the lava cakes out onto a plate and serve immediately. The longer you wait, the less molten your molten lava cakes will be.
- Don’t stress it! This recipe can be a bit finicky, but with practise you will do just fine. I promise if you do get a flop it will still be delicious.
Canadian Living: The Ultimate Cookbook Review
So far, I’ve made 3 recipes from The Ultimate Cookbook from Canadian Living, and they’ve all been spot on. These Flourless Chocolate Lava Cakes I’ve already made twice, and I also made the Sticky Toffee Cake and the Pineapple-Glazed Ham.
Here’s an overview of my thoughts on the book.
Things I love:
- It’s a comprehensive (read:huge) book. There is a recipe for pretty much anything you’d ever need, which I guess is why it’s called The Ultimate Cookbook.
- It includes nutritional information for all of the recipes.
- It speaks to my Canadian heart. Recipes for Butter Tarts, Nanaimo Bars, Tourtiere, Date Squares, “Canoe Paddle Doughnuts” (known to me as BeaverTails) stir up my fierce pride in the Canadian culture and its incredible culinary traditions. I can’t wait to dig into them more deeply!
- The recipes are “tested till perfect”. From my first few experiences with the recipes, I believe this to be true. Obviously I can’t speak for all of them.
Things I’d love to see:
- More photos. This is really, honestly, the only thing that stuck out to me. I understand that when you have a cookbook with 450+ recipes, to include a photo of all of them might be crazy. But I do really love to see a photo of what I’m making.
I think this is a really solid, thorough resource to add to your kitchen library. I made my first 3 recipes in maybe the first week I had it, and I feel like it’s destined to be that book on the shelf that gets dog-eared, and stained, and passed on 30, 40, 50 years with my scribbles all over it, just as it should be.
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Flourless Chocolate Lava Cakes
- 170 grams bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
- ¼ cup butter cubed
- 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
- pinch of salt
- fresh strawberries and whipped cream for serving if desired optional
- In a heatproof bowl over hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring until smooth. Remove chocolate mixture from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, stirring each time until combined. Stir in cocoa powder and salt.
- Grease 6 greased 6-oz (175mL) well — I like to grease with butter or non-stick spray and then dust with cocoa powder to ensure they come out easily.
- Pour batter into ramekins; place on rimmed baking sheet. (Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours; add 5 minutes to baking time.)
- Bake in 425 F (220 C) oven until edges are set and centres are slightly jiggly when tapped, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 3 minutes. Run knife around edges of cakes; turn out onto plates. Garnish with strawberries and whipped cream (if using).
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Recipe photos taken by Ashleigh Scott Creative.