Individual Melting Chocolate Cake (Carnival Copycat)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cakes

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This Individual Melting Chocolate Cake is life-changing! They come together with minimal prep, can be baked or microwaved and best of all — that gooey, melty chocolate center! Don’t forget the scoop of ice cream. Includes how-to recipe video

individual melting chocolate cake carnival copycat in white ramekin

SO. In case you missed it (or tried to avoid my Instagram posts while you were shoveling snow or huddled in your cozy blankets), we had the most amazing holiday this winter on a Carnival cruise in the Southern Caribbean (see more about our holiday here!).

Naturally, I came home with a list of recipes I wanted to recreate and this was my first project.

If you’ve ever been on a Carnival Cruise, you know the famous Melting Chocolate Cake.

overhead image of ramekin of melting chocolate cake with spoon stuck in

It’s a ramekin of the meltiest, chocolatiest cake you’ve ever had and cannot be eaten without a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It comes hot straight from the kitchen and literally melts in your mouth. It is simply the best chocolate cake you could ever eat.

Essentially, it’s a lava cake minus the difficult removing-from-the-ramekin part.

So I got home and went straight to the kitchen as soon as the holidays were over (Boxing Day, in fact!), and threw a few ingredients in a bowl. I figured I need a lot of chocolate (melted and cocoa powder), eggs, flour and sugar to start. I think a bit of coffee really brings out the chocolate flavor, so I threw in a touch of that for good measure.

I was really determined to create a recipe that could be baked and microwaved (because we all know those times you need chocolate and can’t stand to wait even 10 more minutes!), but my first microwave experiment burned. My second microwave experiment I cooked for only 45 seconds and it was overcooked too!

I decided to cook the recipe in one mug in the microwave and had much better results. You’ll find additional instructions for microwaving cooking in the notes below the recipe!

ramekin of chocolate cake with scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

But as soon as I took it my first oven test out I knew it was bang on. My husband and I were taste testing and really couldn’t believe how much it tasted like the real deal!

And because it’s January and we all had a few too many cookies last month, I calculated the nutrition information for you and each cake (½ the recipe) comes in at 326 calories. It’s not the skinniest dessert out there, but I think it’s pretty reasonable considering how incredibly decadent it tastes!

close up of melting chocolate cake with ice cream and spoon scooping a bite

WARNING: This recipe is highly dangerous. You may find yourself eating more and more Melting Chocolate Cake, simply because it’s so easy to whip up a single serving or two. Please bake and share responsibly, particularly during the post-holiday diet craze.

*Disclosure: My family and I traveled with Carnival free of charge so that I could share our experience with you. I was not compensated for my time in creating this post.

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Individual Melting Chocolate Cake (Carnival Copycat)

5 from 2 votes
This Individual Melting Chocolate Cake is life-changing! They come together with minimal prep, can be baked or made in the microwave and best of all — that gooey, melty chocolate center! Don’t forget the scoop of ice cream.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 2 cakes
Calories 326cal


  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips 45g
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 45g
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour 35g
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 6g
  • 1 tablespoon leftover coffee or water


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 2 7oz/200ml ramekins (for microwave instructions, see notes below).
  • In a medium bowl, stir together chocolate and oil. Microwave on high for 10-20 second intervals, stirring well each time, until completely smooth. Stir in sugar and set aside to cool slightly (about 5 minutes).
  • Stir in egg until completely combined. Add flour and cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Slowly stir in coffee.
  • Divide evenly between the 2 prepared ramekins and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the outer ½” appears dry but the center is glossy. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving with ice cream.


I also tested this recipe in a single, large mug (14-16oz). Prepare the same but pour into greased mug and cook on high for 40-45 seconds. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
You may also divide into 2 servings to cook in the microwave, but because it cooks so quickly and the servings are small, I had better results microwaving in one large mug.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 326cal

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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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  1. Dolly V. says

    Hi, Ashley! This looks so amazing…I want to make it right now! Would you tell me the measurements of the flour and choco chips? I’m not sure if it’s 1/4 or 1/2 cup each. Thanks and I love your recipes

  2. Kara says

    I just made these, and let me just say…WOW!!! Deliciously rich chocolate…and easy! I made them in the oven, and they came out perfectly. I may try the microwave next time (probably tomorrow ;)). My family loved them, as well. This may be a “dangerous” recipe to have in my repertoire! Love it! Thanks for another fantastic recipe. 🙂

    • Ashley Fehr says

      I’m so glad to hear that! It has been a dangerous recipe for us to have around here too — my 4 year old asks about 8 times a day if I’ll make the “melty cake” again!

  3. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    Lava cakes are my absolute favorite! I’ve only made it once before, but I need to do it again after seeing this recipe. Now I’m craving this for breakfast! Sounds so delicious and so easy to make, too. What a fun dessert to have on your trip!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      What I love about these is that you don’t have the pressure of trying to dump them out onto the plate! Lol. You can just dig right in. We definitely indulged more than a few times!

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