Flourless Chocolate Lava Cakes

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 lava cakes

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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.

lava cake cut open with ice cream on top.

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!

I love serving these with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream but this Coffee Ice Cream or this Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream would take it up a notch!

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.

If you are a chocolate lover like me, try this Grandma’s Hot Fudge Sundae Cake, my Best Homemade Brownies or these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies next!

Ingredients Needed:

chocolate lava cake ingredients.
  • 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!
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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.

  1. Melt butter and chocolate together. Do this over a double boiler to make sure it melts down smoothly.
  2. Whisk in the sugar well
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, and then add the remaining ingredients.
  4. 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.
whole molten lava cake on plate with strawberry.

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.

cover of the ultimate cookbook by canadian living

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.
molten lava cake with ice cream on top open on plate.

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

5 from 6 votes
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.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 6 lava cakes
Calories 435cal


  • 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).


*I don’t usually have vanilla beans, so I used a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I also tried halving the recipe once, and it works wonderfully and the measurements are easy to figure out! Perfect for a smaller crowd.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 435cal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 201mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Vitamin C: 16.7mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2.8mg
Keywords lava cakes

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Recipe photos taken by Ashleigh Scott Creative.

Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Judi P says

    Hey Ashley, these look amazing. I’ve got lactose allergies tho and just wondering if I can use vegan butter. Has anyone tried?

  2. Susan says

    We made them and they were delicious. I was wondering if anyone has tried cooking these in the microwave? We are considering making these as part of a group class, but don’t have access to an oven at the class location.

  3. Debbie says

    I made these for our family for Valentines day and after reading many other recipe options decided to use Ashley’s recipe. It was so simple and well explained! And they turned out perfect! Worth the time! They were a hit!

  4. Dara says

    These look delicious I want to make them ASAP! What do I do with the melted butter and chocolate mixture do I add it in the center? There is also a typo for (now boiling) isn’t it not boiling?

  5. Samantha says

    Hi, these look delicious! I have a question about the eggs though as I am a bit confused; what do you mean by 6 eggs and 6 egg yolks? Does that mean 6 total eggs with the whites removed (so you have 6 yolks), or 12 eggs with 6 of them having only the yolk? Im planning to make these tomorrow and I really don’t want to mess them up!

  6. Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl says

    Ooozy chocolate goodness – I have not made a lava cake in forever. Gonna have to change that!! That cookbook sounds great! I know what you mean about pictures – I am such a visual person, I always feel that way when I’m looking at restaurant menus – I need a pic. Haha! It sounds like a winner though!

  7. Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel says

    Yessss!! Lava cakes are my FAVORITE dessert to order at restaurants… because, hello, molten chocolate! I’ve never attempted to make them at home because I’m afraid they just aren’t going to be as good. But I think now I need to try!! These look perfect!

  8. Rachel @ Bakerita says

    Is it acceptable to have lava cake for breakfast? Cause I want one of this right now!! They look so gooey and perfect. Love that they’re naturally flourless. I must make these for my dad (and me of course :))

  9. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! This is very much like a recipe I have! I made mine a couple of years back for my chocoholic sister in laws and they were wowed! They look so elegant and yet they are really quite simple to make! I totally agree that cookbooks should be scribbled in – that’s what the margins are for! 🙂

  10. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    It sounds like you found a winner in that cookbook, Ashley! Lava cakes just happen to be my absolute favorite, yet I hardly ever eat them unless I order dessert at a restaurant, which is usually rare, haha. I will definitely have to try this out! Love that it’s flourless and so decadent!

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