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Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

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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!!) ♥

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Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

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  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 mini-cakes 1x


You’ll love this Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes recipe! So chocolate-y, warm, and delicious! Try it today!


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.*)
  4. 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.
  5. 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

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! :)

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36 comments on “Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes”

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

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

  3. 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?

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

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

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

    These look gorgeous!

  7. 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!

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

  9. 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.

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

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

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

  14. That looks sooo good!

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

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

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

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

  19. 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?

  20. 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

    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

  22. 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.

  23. Love this recipe and making for a Mexican dinner party of 12. Can you premake the batter and keep. In the refrigerator for 4-5 hours?

    • We’re glad to hear that, Susan! We hope we’re not too late with our response, and if we are, we’re sorry. We haven’t tried making the batter a few hours a head of time, but we think that should probably be okay. It might need a bit longer to bake since it will have been in the refrigerator for a while though.

  24. Hey Ali,

    I love this recipe, when I saw the photo I was like “I bet this is gunna take hours of slaving away” but when I saw your comment that it only takes 14 minutes I was ecstatic. I’m going to have a practice run tonight. I always do that before the main event, to make sure it’s always perfect. Although I love chili, my boyfriend is not very good with spice, do you think I should substitute it? Or are they not too spicy?

    Thank you!

    • Hi there! We don’t think these are too spicy, but you can always add the chili powder to taste — you could start with 1/4 tsp and go from there (and since it’s just a pinch of cayenne, we think that’s fine). We hope you and your boyfriend enjoy these!

  25. I have made this recipe several times; my husband loves it ! The chili pepper gives the chocolate a nice boost. Although this is exactly the same recipe, my directions are for 2 cakes (or you could just eat 2 ?). It is perfect for just the two of us. It is very fast, and easy to make; perfect for a last minute dessert craving.