Valentine’s Molten Chocolate Cakes

Valentine's Day = time for molten chocolate cake! With 6 ingredients & 20 minutes, you'll have the perfect treat to share with someone you love.

Valentine's Molten Chocolate Cakes

Happy almost-Valentine’s Day! Jack here reporting on my first baking love – molten chocolate cake. See, way before this blog, I pretty much had one staple “date night” dish. That dish was seared scallops and it was always a hit. Well, one Valentine’s Day, I decided to kick it up a notch and shoot for the moon… by trying out molten chocolate cakes.

I had never made anything like a molten chocolate cake before, and for those unfamiliar, it’s a cake that spills out chocolate sauce when you cut into it. It’s a great show when it works. My first time making the cakes, I pulled them out of the oven, flipped the pan and a gush of chocolate sauce poured out. So what did Jeanine and I do? What anyone would do – licked the plate clean and tried again.

On the second try, I flipped the pan, plated the cakes, we cut in and PERFECTION. Chocolate oozed out, and we ate our second set of molten cakes for the night. Seeing how impressed Jeanine was made all of the effort worth it.

So it’s Valentine’s Day – go for it. It’s a blast when you get it right, it’s still fun when you don’t, and no matter what you’re still eating chocolate with the one you love. There are worse ways to spend a night.

Anyway, on to the making…

Hand stirring molten chocolate cake batter

Avid readers may notice that this is similar to another molten chocolate cake post. Well it’s the same. But with new photos and better instructions.

The prep for this recipe is super simple. The first step is tempering the chocolate and butter on a double-broiler.

Steps to make molten chocolate cake

After that, you simply whisk the eggs, incorporate sugar, then chocolate (cooled to room temp – you don’t want to cook the eggs!), then flour, one thing at a time until it’s all mixed. Then you pour the mixture into your oiled muffin tin, 3/4 full for each cup.

Cook times can be a bit all over the place (depending on your oven) – it can be anywhere from 5-8 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done when the middle of each cake starts to puff up at the end. (Don’t cook it much longer than that or your molten center will over bake).

Valentine's Molten Chocolate Cakes in muffin tins

After removing the tin from the oven, you need to flip it, and here’s the easiest way: Place the muffin pan on a cookie sheet, put another cookie sheet on top, grab both sides (squeezing the muffin pan) and flip it.

You want to lift the muffin pan and try to tap out the cakes as you go. Note that a few cakes may not come out. Ignore those and concentrate on the ones that do drop. Transfer them to a plate, put ice cream on top, cut them open and enjoy!

Valentine's Molten Chocolate Cakes on plates with ice cream

For more Valentine’s recipe ideas, check out this post!

4.8 from 12 reviews

Valentine's Molten Chocolate Cakes

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Molten chocolate cake is the best way to celebrate Valentine's Day with someone you love. These decadent cakes are rich and delicious.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8 cakes
  • 1 stick + 3 tablespoons butter (non-dairy earth balance works fine too)
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao recommended)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup all purpose flour (we’ve also used spelt)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler over the stove (or place a glass bowl on top of a (smaller) saucepan filled with a little boiling water. Once your chocolate is melted, let it cool to room temp before adding the mixture to the eggs. (Pop it in the fridge for a few minutes if you want).
  3. With an electric mixer, whisk the eggs, then slowly add the sugar, then the chocolate mixture, then gradually add the flour. Mix until smooth.
  4. Pour into a greased muffin tin - filling muffin cups about ¾ of the way full.
  5. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until the middle puffs up but the cake inside is still underdone.
  6. Remove from the oven and place the muffin pan on a cookie sheet. Place another cookie sheet on top. Hold it all together and gently (but quickly) flip it so the muffin tin is now upside down. Carefully lift up the muffin tin, give it a shake and a tap to get the cakes to drop down.
  7. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.
The cakes are best right out of the oven so for Valentine's day we usually just bake 2 and store extra batter in the fridge (for up to 2 days). Adjust cook time for the leftover (chilled) batter accordingly.

If you have a flexible silicone muffin pan - use that - it's the easiest pan to get the cakes to pop out of.

Products used in this post:
Filomena Muffin Pan from Anthropologie
KitchenAid Artisan Series Mixer

recipe adapted from Food Network


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Stephanie from

    I looooove chocolate. This is a wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day. Could you use vanilla instead of ice-cream?

    • jeanine

      you can skip the ice cream if you want 🙂

    • Agreed…. better than a stuffed Oreo anyway!!! And that flowered muffin tray is absolutely adorable! So vintage. These molten chocolate cakes remind me of a dessert my mom would make with us as kids. And we would greedily gobble them down with milk. Sigh. The old days. Now I have kids of my own and need to get on it!

  2. Perfection on a plate! I haven’t had one of these in years. And I’ve never actually made them! I think it’s time…

  3. Betty from

    Holy moly, I can’t deal with all this v-day naughtiness! I think my boyfriend will love me forever if I make him these. Done!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Betty x
    The Betty Stamp

    • jeanine

      omg, we’ve tried – it was a total disaster! Maybe we’ll figure it out before next year 🙂

  4. Aberdeen from

    Wow these look fantastic! I’m a massive sucker for chocolate and this recipe looks much simpler than other molten chocolate cake recipes I’ve come across. I can’t wait to give these a go, thank you for posting this!

  5. The devil made molten cake recipes. How can anyone resist these babies?
    I know I can’t. Totally other worldly.

  6. Oh this looks so fool proof and perfect!! (Back story: I’m alright with baking, but recently moved to London from America and the oven is the hardest thing to understand!) So just a few ingredients and the methods look rather simple!! xx

  7. Julie

    will try it, by the way, where did you get your lovely muffin tin? it’s so cute!

  8. Caroline

    Those muffin tins are so cute!! Where did you get them?

    • jeanine

      thanks! I got it last year for valentine’s day – came in handy again! (from anthropologie here:

  9. I love molten lava cake – probably my favorite dessert. And my favorite part of this post is the muffin tin! SO cute!

  10. Mandy from

    Oh, this looks absolutely fantastic! And such your photography is beautiful as well!

    Mandy | mandydacandy

  11. Sanj

    Love your blog…thanks so much. I added a 0.5 tsp of vanilla and used a standing mixer to whip the eggs to a thicker consistency–an option for this great recipe.

  12. Kitta

    What a lovely blog 🙂
    I have one question – how much butter are you using in gram?
    I have never seen ” 1 stick” in a recepie before. Looking forword to hear from you or someone else…then this delicious cake will be baked in the weekend for the family. Alle the best. Kitta:-)

  13. Kitta

    I found a “converter” of stick into gram – now let’s do some baking 🙂

    • jeanine

      great! I’ll get better about converting recipes to grams!

  14. Sini from

    Perfect! P.S. I’m in love with that muffin pan!

  15. Jussy from

    I’m in love with this awesome website!!! You have such a great recipe. Thank you.. I also found fantastic website with unique gadgets for kitchen , probably you need some ))

  16. Betty from

    Happy Valentines Day Jeanine & Jack!
    Just to let you know I’ve linked this recipe into my latest post of my 13 favourite Valentines recipes and bloggers 🙂 because they look SCRUMPTIOUS and you guys are awesome!
    Betty x
    The Betty Stamp

  17. These are something else!! Looks great!! I love this dessert so much but like you said they are best right out of the oven!! Ah almost nothing like them! Thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine’s Day

  18. Oh my goodness these look incredible. I would definitely end up breaking them but like you said – just as delicious! Raspberries and vanilla ice cream would make this perfection for me. Thanks for sharing!

  19. chelsea

    made these yesterday and they were gooey, messy chocolate perfection. our batter looked different than your pictures in that it was more of a mouse-like consistency but they still turned out. of course two fell apart when we flipped them over but ending valentine’s day eating chocolate off of a cookie sheet is a win in my book.

    • jeanine

      Ha – yay, so glad you liked them!! Our batter was a little thin this time, it’s usually a little thicker (I think my eggs were on the extra large side).

  20. In my opinion, these cakes are perfect for everyday and not just on valentines day! They loook so good! And your photos are stunning!

    • jeanine

      ha thanks! I can’t argue about a little chocolate everyday 🙂

  21. Robin Cotter

    Could you make these in ramekins instead if muffin tin?

    • jeanine

      You could – just adjust the baking time if your ramekin is larger than a muffin tin cup.

  22. This looks to die for! Even though valentines day has passed I may have to give this a try and use gluten free all purpose flour! 🙂

  23. Theresa from

    I wish I had realized how easy these were much sooner! Thanks for posting such great instructions and pictures, I think this would be a perfect weekend treat!

  24. Nerti from

    This is my favorite! Gorgeous!

  25. Kirsten L.

    Two weeks ago, on valentine’s day me and my friend had a sleepover with just the two of us and there was a moment where we didn’t know what to do, and then we came up with an idea to bake something. I started searching on the web to find a good recipe. I found this recipe and it was perfect because it was valentine. We started baking this cakes and we found out that it was also a lot of fun to make them. The cakes were very easy to make thanks to the great instructions you guys posted so they were finished really soon. I must say that they were so good! With the first bite the chocolate just melted in my mouth and my friend and I both love chocolate very much so it was a perfect recipe for us. These cakes have become my favourite desserts from now on. I would advise everyone to make these cakes because they are just incredible!

  26. Too late for me. I just see this recipe now. If I read this recipe before previous valentine day, I could try making this recipe for my family. Haha

  27. Petra

    Ohh, this chocolate cake looks fantastic and the last photo is pure heaven! I cannot imagine how soft is the chocolate inside so I really need to try this! :)) I’m the perfect example of a cake addict, but coming originally from Slovakia we simply didn’t have all those patisseries full of “honest”, home-made desserts that look like art. And then, arriving to Canada, they were just everywhere around…crazy! Now I’m proud to recommend my favourites that sweeten my days here in Vancouver to everyone, haha! SweetNom Bakery, Breka or Uprising Breads (here, here! are just some of the best places to get the best dessert or bread in Vancouver. I love their cinnamon buns and all the cupcakes, the chocolate brownies and pies…! I think you would find some here some inspiration, too! 🙂

  28. Kate from

    That muffin tin is to die for!! And I can’t ever resist melty chocolate–yum!!

  29. marie

    a lovely recipe (even if there is a little bit too much eggs for my taste… but once in a while, it can be yummy !)
    but could you tell me what is “a stick of butter” in grams or tbsp…. I have no idea how much it is.
    thanks 🙂

    • jeanine

      Hi Marie, it’s definitely an indulgent dessert (for special occasions) – the eggs really make the texture just perfect. 1 stick of butter: 8 tablespoons, or 113 grams, or 4 ounces.

  30. Carly from

    This is one of my favorite desserts…and my mother-in-law’s! I made these molten cakes for family dinner and ever since she always requests these for dessert. Thanks so much for a perfect chocolate-y treat.

  31. Molten chocolate cake is the best and this looks like a great recipe!

  32. These look amazing!! The chocolate is just spilling out! Yum! I also love that muffin pan!!

  33. Helen

    Made this recipe twice now, once for valentines day and once for friends coming over and both times they have come out amazing. Both times I have made six and put the rest of the mixture in a brownie tin. Everyone loves them, thanks for the great recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Helen! I’m so glad! It’s our favorite dessert for impressing guests too – glad everyone loved it!

  34. JoAnna

    So glad Whole Foods just reposted this recipe for 2017 Valentine’s menu. Any recommendations for making it gluten-free?

  35. Ghosty

    i made these just now! the cake is soft with a nice airy crumb and the sauce is decadent. my brother enjoyed them greatly. i enjoyed half of mine only because its very rich and chocolatey. too much for me. if you enjoy lots and lots of chocolate or want to treat a chocolate lover, this is an easy recipe to try.

    also for people who are confused, you add the yolks to the cooled chocolate and butter mixture and you whisk the whites with the sugar and then the chocolate and flour.

  36. Mae

    Will the chocolate set up in the center if I make them 1day ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in my kitchen-not in fridge?? I need to make 200 and want to prep in advance.

  37. Jacob @FlavorThyme

    Theres nothing better than molten chocolate pouring out of a cake. PERFECT for valentines day!!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.