Flourless Chocolate Lava Cakes Recipe

Satiny molten flourless chocolate cakes are the ultimate chocolate fix in under 30 minutes.

Chocolate lava cake in ramekin, not yet opened up with a spoon

Serious Eats / Qi Ai

Why This Recipe Works

  • Whipped eggs and sugar provide the base for melted chocolate and butter.
  • Use bittersweet chocolate for the best chocolate flavor.
  • The cakes are baked just until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C) to keep the center gooey.

I once interviewed a local Singapore chocolatier for the popular food website, HungyGoWhere. Megan Lin ran the ship at Cacao7, a unique chocolate shop which specialized in low-carbohydrate/low-GI chocolates and desserts. During the interview, Megan offered to let me sample a few of her creations, including a flourless warm chocolate lava cake made with her organic Ecuadorian chocolate. Based on my previous experiences with diabetic-friendly "sweets", I was really skeptical, but I love Ecuadorian chocolate (yes, I know, it's a hard life being a food writer).

After a few minutes Megan came out to the counter from behind the back with a tiny little paper cup and plunked the warm chocolate cake in front of me. Each spoonful of molten chocolate was absolute heaven. Without any flour, the chocolate flavor was completely pure and the texture like pudding. On top of that, I seriously would never have been able to tell that there was anything other than pure sugar in it. This was really diabetic? How can she do it? By using an all-natural product called Whey Low to sweeten up her chocolates and desserts. I was so in love with the flavor and texture of this molten chocolate cake I was inspired to make my own version using sugar, which is what most of us bake with at home.

I fiddled around with the very few ingredients that make up chocolate lava cakes. I took out flour, and tried both unsweetened chocolate and rich 70% bittersweet (which had the best flavor). The method couldn't be simpler: Whip the eggs with sugar till light, then stir in the melted chocolate and butter. After a super brief bake in the oven, the cakes emerged with a gooey center that still read 160°F (71°FC) on a thermometer. I was in chocolate heaven. Again.

March 2013

Recipe Details

Flourless Chocolate Lava Cakes Recipe

Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
Active 10 mins
Total 25 mins
Serves 6 to 7 servings

Satiny molten flourless chocolate cakes are the ultimate chocolate fix in under 30 minutes.


  • 8 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter seven 4-ounce ramekins (see notes).

    Buttered 4-ounce ramekin

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

  2. Using a microwave or a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

    Chocolate melted with butter inside a bowl set over a pan of simmering water

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

  3. While chocolate is melting, whip eggs, sugar, and salt using a mixer fitted with a whip attachment on medium-high speed until mixture is lightened and pale in color, about 5 minutes.

    Eggs, sugar, and salt whipped in a bowl until mixture is lightened and pale in color

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

  4. Reduce speed to low and mix in chocolate mixture until combined. Spoon into cups and place on baking sheet. Bake until edges are set but center is underdone, about 10 minutes. Avoid over-baking. Let cool 3 minutes and serve.

    Chocolate mixture mixed into egg mixture until combined inside bowl, and batter spooned into ramekins

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

Special Equipment

Hand or stand mixer, 4-ounce or 6-ounce ramekins


I used paper baking cups which held 7 tablespoons of batter. Either 4-ounce or 6-ounce ramekins will also work. If using 6-ounce ramekins, divide batter between six ramekins instead of seven and increase bake time by 2 minutes. The Interior of the cake, while still gooey, should register 160°F when it comes out of the oven.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
464 Calories
36g Fat
29g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 7
Amount per serving
Calories 464
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 21g 105%
Cholesterol 160mg 53%
Sodium 86mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 277mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)