These Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes for Two are the perfect small batch dessert!  These lava cakes are incredibly easy to make and ready in less than 30 minutes.

Two chocolate lava cakes topped with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Both are on white dessert plates.

Do you ever have those moments when you want something sweet, but you don’t want to make a huge batch? Maybe it’s just you and one other person living in your home and you really don’t have a need for a lot of desserts. That’s where small-batch desserts come in super handy.  

And can I just tell you something? These molten chocolate lava cakes may be my favorite small batch recipe to date, and that’s saying a lot given the number of times I’ve made my small batch chocolate chip cookie recipe.

You can mix everything up for these lava cakes in one bowl and be eating them in less than 30 minutes.  Oh, and how perfect would these be for Valentine’s Day?!

Recipe Ingredients 

This simple dessert for two comes together with minimal ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need to make these molten lava cakes: 

  • Unsalted butter: I recommend using unsalted butter since the amount of salt in salted butters can vary between different brands.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate: I like to buy a 4-ounce bar of semi-sweet chocolate and save it for whenever I want to make these lava cakes. You’ll only need 2-ounces, so I just cut it in half and save the other half for later.
  • Powdered sugar: Be sure to use powdered sugar for this recipe and not granulated sugar. Granulated sugar won’t give you the same texture and the lava filling won’t be as smooth. 
  • Eggs: Note that this recipe calls for one whole egg and one egg yolk. Save the egg white for breakfast the next morning! 
  • Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor. 
  • All-purpose flour: Just 1/4 cup flour is all you need in this recipe. 
  • Instant espresso powder: The espresso powder just enhances the chocolate flavor in these cakes, it won’t make them taste like coffee. I love to add a little espresso powder to chocolate desserts to make them even more chocolatey. 

A molten chocolate cake topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce on a white plate. The cake has been cut into and the filling is oozing out.

How to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes 

You’ll start out by melting the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, you’ll whisk in the powdered sugar, an egg, one egg yolk, and a little vanilla extract. Then, you’ll mix in some flour and a little instant espresso powder.   

I also used two 6-ounce ramekins to bake these and they worked perfectly for this recipe. I have ramekins in a few different sizes and use them all of the time, they’re inexpensive and great to have on hand!

The cakes won’t take very long in the oven, I typically bake mine for right at 13 minutes. The edges should be firm, but the center will be just a little soft.  That’s when you want to remove them from the oven, so the center flows out like the picture above!

A molten lava cake topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce on a white plate. The cake has been cut into and the filling is oozing out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Omit the Espresso Powder? 

Like I mentioned above, the espresso powder won’t make the lava cakes taste at all like coffee; it simply enhances the chocolate flavor. However, if you don’t have any espresso powder, you can feel free to leave it out of the recipe. You can also substitute instant coffee, if needed. 

Can I Make This Recipe in a Muffin Tin? 

If you don’t have ramekins on hand, you can likely bake the chocolate lava cakes in a muffin tin. I’m not sure if using a muffin tin will affect baking time, but I would just check and remove the cakes from the oven once the edges are firm and the center is still soft.

Can I Prepare These Ahead Of Time?

Yes, absolutely! After you fill the ramekins, cover them tightly with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for one to two days. When you are ready to bake them, place them on the counter and let them come to room temperature, then bake as directed. 

Baking Tips

  • I really love Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate bars for this recipe and I use them all of the time in other recipes as well.
  • I prefer using Medaglia d’Oro or King Arthur espresso powder. But use whatever kind you like! 
  • You can really top these molten chocolate cakes with anything you like. A few of my personal favorite toppings are ice cream, chocolate sauce, and homemade salted caramel sauce.

More Small Batch Desserts to Try! 

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes For Two

4.93 from 39 ratings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
These Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes for Two are the perfect small batch dessert! These lava cakes are incredibly easy to make and ready in less than 30 minutes.


Servings: 2 lava cakes
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate , chopped
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray two 6-ounce ramekins well with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  • Add the butter and semi-sweet chocolate to a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 20-30 second increments, making sure to stir well after each increment, until melted and smooth. Remove from the microwave and whisk in the powdered sugar until well combined, then add in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully combined.
  • Add in the flour and espresso powder and mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared ramekins.
  • Bake at 425° for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are firm and the center is slightly soft. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 1 minute. Carefully invert each ramekin onto a small plate, serve, and enjoy!
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Danielle
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Adapted from The Pioneer Woman