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Moelleux au Chocolat: A Magical Molten Chocolate Cake for Valentine’s Day

Moelleux au Chocolat, or Chocolate Lava Cake, is a decadent French dessert that oozes with warm, melted chocolate when you cut into it. This molten cake sensation must require some fancy culinary techniques, but it’s a simple preparation that anyone can make at home. With just a few key tips, you can impress your Valentine’s Day sweetheart with these luxurious cakes bursting with liquid chocolate.

While lava cakes require some planning, hands-on cooking time is only about 10 minutes. You can bake them right before serving so they arrive fresh from the oven, though preparing the batter in advance makes execution even easier.

Start by gathering your ingredients – butter, chocolate, eggs, sugar, and flour. Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate works best. Chop the chocolate and melt it slowly with the butter. Then, whisk this chocolate mixture together with the eggs and sugar, followed by the flour.

The key to the ooey-gooey center is underbaking the cakes. You want the exterior to be set while keeping the interior warm and flowing. Grease your ramekins well and only fill them 1/3 to 1/2 full with batter. Bake at a high temperature for 6-10 minutes depending on size. The cake will seem undone when you remove it from the oven, but that’s perfect.

Let the lava cakes rest for at least 5 minutes before inverting them onto plates. If any stick, run a knife gently around the edges to loosen. Dust with powdered sugar or top with berries, whipped cream, or ice cream for added elegance.

The melted interior should spill out deliciously when you crack open your chocolate lava cake. The combination of the molten chocolate and the cakey exterior is simply irresistible!

Making these will earn you appreciation from your Valentine’s date or any chocolate lover you serve them to. The recipe lends itself well to make-ahead strategies, too.

You can bake the lava cakes earlier in the day and then warm them up right before serving. Reheat pre-baked cakes for 1-2 minutes at 375°F. They’ll flow just like they came straight from the oven.

Or you can prepare the batter 1-2 days in advance and store it covered in the fridge. Let the cold batter sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before portioning it into ramekins and baking it as directed.

You can even freeze the uncooked batter for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using. Extend the freeze time to 2 hours if baking directly from frozen. Just add 2-3 minutes to the baking time.

Moelleux au Chocolat can become your perfect, easy Valentine’s Day dessert with some planning. Impress your partner with homemade molten chocolate cakes bursting with warm, luscious liquid chocolate. It’s sure to be a memorable romantic treat!


Moelleux au Chocolat aka Chocolate Lava Cake

This dish is a French classic that seems like a magical concoction but is actually pretty easy to make. You can do the prep in advance and put it in the oven for 10 minutes before you plan to eat it.  This recipe definitely tops my list of desserts for Valentine's Day or date night.
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword lava cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 561kcal


  • 6 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate or use your favorite 70% dark chocolate bar
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter with extra for greasing ramekins
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup Granulated sugar or sugar substitute
  • 2 tbsp. unbleached white flour


  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter your ramekins*. Dust with cocoa powder and tap out to remove the excess. Take out a baking sheet to hold the ramekins in the oven.
  • Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water on the stove. Ensure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk until smooth.
  • In a medium bowl beat the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt on high until thickened and pale.
  • Fold the chocolate into the egg mixture and then add the flour and mix until smooth.
  • Spoon the batter into your prepared ramekins and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-14 minutes depending on the size of your ramekins. You are looking for the sides to be baked but the top is still a bit wiggly. You can leave a bit longer if you just want the center to run.
  • Take the ramekins out of the oven and let sit for a minute. Place your serving plate inverted on top. Flip over and let sit for another 15 seconds before carefully removing the ramekin from the cake. The ramekins will be hot so you will need a thick dish towel to help.
  • Garnish with whipped cream, ice cream and a touch of cocoa powder.


  • 6 oz ramekins will yield 4 servings,
  • 4 oz ramekins will yield 6 servings
  • 8 oz ramekins will yield 2 servings
I used mini heart shaped springform pans in the picture which made 2 servings.
If you don't have ramekins, you can use muffin tins which should yield 6 serving,  and just carefully scoop out the cakes when done.
You can definitely prepare these ahead of time and then put in the preheated oven 15 minutes or so before you plan to have dessert.


Serving: 30g | Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 249mg | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 987IU | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3mg
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