Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

February 10, 2010 by Ali


For Valentine’s Day this year, thought I’d post a classic favorite from my kitchen — these adorable little chocolate molten lava cakes! Little did I know when I first tried them years ago (at Chili’s…yes….) that they are so simple to whip up. Just 7 minutes of prep, and 7 minutes in the oven, and voila…a classy and delicious dessert ready to go!!

There are many other recipes out there far more complicated, and far more time-consuming, but I’ve been a fan of this one (from Martha herself) for years. Calls for simple ingredients that I almost always have on hand. But for a twist this year, added in some chili, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne to give them the Mexican hot chocolate kick. And no surprise…loved it! (But feel free to be a chocolate purist if you’d like. :-))

Wishing you all a Valentine’s Day full of much love! (And much chocolate!!) ♥

Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 mini-cakes


  • cocoa powder (for dusting ramekins)
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ounces semisweet, bittersweet, or dark chocolate
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • powdered sugar, for serving


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Butter two 4-ounce ramekins (or regular-sized muffin tins) and lightly dust the inside of each ramekin with cocoa powder, tilting to coat; tap out any excess and set aside.

Heat butter and chocolate in heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water until chocolate is almost completely melted. (*You can also do this carefully in the microwave.*)

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until light and thick. Slowly add butter mixture to mixer; add flour, cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne and mix until well combined. Divide batter between prepared ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake until sides are set and center is soft, 7 to 10 minutes.

Invert each mold onto a plate and let stand for about 10 seconds. Gently tap the tops of molds and carefully lift to remove. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, if desired. Serve immediately - either solo, or accompanied by ice cream, whipped cream, berries, or whatever else sounds good! :-)

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

Ali’s Tip:

Be careful not to over- or under-bake these! The top and sides should definitely feel cooked, and just slightly jiggle if you tap the pan. But resist the urge to leave them in a few extra minutes, as they will just turn into fully-cooked cakes! :)

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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25 thoughts on “Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

  1. How spicy “hot” are these little lava cakes? Thinking of making these for my spice-loving 19 year-old. However my 11 year-old does like spicy food. Thanks.

    - Eileen

    i made them, and they turned out eggy in taste (i used a different recipe with 2 eggs and a 3 TB of flour) but how long are you supposed to mix the eggs for? 8 min? b/c the other recipe said 8 min and i thought it was too long so i didn’t mix it that long, maybe that’s why they turned out tasting more like chocolate omelet? lol

    - Eva

  3. hello ali! i just wanted to let you know i linked your recipe & lava cake photo to this site on the facebook fanpage: —if there’s a problem please don’t hesitate to contact me! thank you, have a great day!-jenny

    - jenny

  4. Couldn’t wait to try this little dessert for my sister and I (celebrating with an old fashioned slumber party after seeing Eat Pray Love, the movie.) Followed instructions to a “T”. Wondering if you can tell me if you use baking chocolate with stabilizers or will any good chocolate do? We purchased a Dagoba 54% Dark bar and although tasted wonderful, these did not set up as well as I would have liked on the outsides. Is it possible that just 1 more minute in the oven would have done it, or could it have been the type of chocolate bar I used?

    - Heather

  5. just made this…delish! may i suggest pinch of salt? it’s somehow makes chocolate more chocolate-y.

    - sylvie

  6. This was a lovely dessert to surprise my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. Thanks for such an easy, delicious treat!

    - Kel

  7. Just look at that melted chocolate oozing out! mmm….

    - Kevin

  8. Lately I can’t get enough of chili and chocolate! These look wonderful.

    - Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

  9. That looks sooo good!

    - Alex

  10. Those are the best thing on the menu at Chili’s!

    - Misty

  11. Lovely photos!!

    - Memoria

  12. I wonder how these would taste with Mexican chocolate like Ibarra or Abuelita.

    - Memoria

  13. Sending some blog adoration your way in the form of a blog award. Check out my post…

    - Michelle

  14. The 7 minutes caught my attention. I’m going to make these this weekend for my Boyfriend!

    - kirbie

  15. These can also be made in muffin tins if you don’t have the proper ramekins. They’ll be smaller, so cook them for less time.

    - Andrea

  16. These look absolutely amazing! Just found your blog and cant wait to look at all your other yummy treats!

    - Krystle

  17. These are a definite “yes” for Valentine’s day dinner. My husband will require them to be served with ice cream, of course. I think I will have a few raspberries and whipped cream on the side. Yum!

    - Linda Ebright

  18. No chocolate on earth is better than Mexican spiced chocolate. Seriously.

    These look gorgeous!

    - The Nervous Cook

  19. That is such a great recipe. I’d love to try these….delicious!

    - Debbie

  20. This looks awesome, I used to eat a restaurant called Roy’s and they had the most exceptional lava cake thing. Thanks!!!!

    - Free Movie Rentals Here

  21. I love molten lava cakes too, and the addition of chili and cinnamon is genius. I’m definitely trying it. And those little ramekins!! I love them! Please tell me where you got them?

    - Michelle

  22. Wonderful post. I will definitely try these! Love your blog!

    - Baking is my Zen

  23. I think this recipe was created just for ME. can’t wait to try it! thanks for sharing!

    - jane