Rich, gooey, and full of molten chocolate, this hazelnut chocolate lava cake is a showstopping dessert that couldn’t be easier to make! Combined with simple ingredients and a molten chocolate center, it’s ready in 30 minutes and guaranteed to impress all your guests. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fluffy whipped cream on top!
What Is a Lava Cake?
The best form of cake, lava cakes are named for the gooey center that resembles the molten lava of a volcano. They are warm, single-serving chocolate cakes baked with soft centers full of oozing chocolate. A combination between a chocolate cake and a soufflé, most lava cake recipes are made with chocolate cake batter that is slightly undercooked in the center.
What’s the Difference Between a Lava Cake and a Soufflé?
Although often confused as being the same, lava cakes and soufflés are two entirely different recipes. The primary difference between the two is the fact that soufflés are fully cooked whereas lava cakes are always left just slightly underbaked. Soufflés are made with an egg meringue base that yields a fluffy dessert that is moister than lava cakes yet soft and solid all the way through.
Simple Ingredients You’ll Need
This lava cake recipe comes together with baking staples you probably already have on hand! Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Chocolate chips – For the best results, we recommend semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Butter – We use unsalted butter so as not to overpower the rest of the ingredients.
- Flour – All-purpose flour forms the base of the batter. We haven’t tested it, but if needed, a 1:1 gluten-free alternative should work just as well.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – If you love a super bitter or dark chocolate flavor, swap the cocoa out for cacao.
- Powdered sugar – Used to sweeten your cake and create a beautiful topping.
- Milk – Whole milk will yield the richest cake, but any milk can be used.
- Sea salt – Used to enhance the rest of the ingredients.
- Vanilla extract – If you can opt for 100% pure vanilla extract instead of the imitation stuff. We promise you can taste the difference.
- Hazelnut truffle – Any truffle candy will do, but our favorites are the hazelnut truffles from Lindt.
How to Make this Hazelnut Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe
Although they look super fancy, lava cake recipes are actually super easy to make and are way faster than baking a whole cake!
- Melt the chocolate: Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute, and stir until the chocolate is melted and well combined with the butter.
- Form the batter: Add the flour, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, salt, and vanilla extract to the bowl with the chocolate, and stir to combine.
- Add the truffle: Pour the batter into a buttered ramekin. Gently place your chocolate truffle in the center of the ramekin, submerging it completely in the batter.
- Bake: Place the ramekin in the oven for 20 minutes, and let it cool for 10 minutes. Then, gently loosen the sides with a butter knife, and invert the cake onto a plate. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top, and dig in!
Don’t Overbake. Following the prescribed baking time is crucial to creating the liquid center. You want the cake to be slightly underbaked and still a little jiggly when you remove it from the oven. Otherwise, the center will be solid.
Make Sure Your Oven Is Fully Heated. Unlike some recipes where you can get away with baking your dessert before the oven is fully hot, you’ll want to make sure your oven has been pre-heated for a while and is HOT before adding your cake. The high temperature helps cook the exterior quickly, keeping the center liquid.
Grease the Ramekin Well. Don’t be afraid to have a heavy pan when greasing your ramekin. This will help you remove the cake without it breaking.
Honestly, this recipe is truly incredible on its own. However, we love to dress our cake up with toppings like:
- Extra powdered sugar
- Cold vanilla or chocolate ice cream
- A drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce
- Whipped cream
- Fresh berries
Common Questions About This Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe
Are lava cakes raw in the middle?
A common misconception is that lava cakes are raw. However, if done correctly, the internal temperature will still reach 160° Fahrenheit, meaning the cake is cooked and safe to eat.
What if I don’t have ramekins?
If you don’t have ramekin dishes, don’t worry! You can still make this recipe. Just use a muffin pan instead. Just be aware that due to the fact that muffin pans are shallower than ramekins, your cake will need less to bake. So, be sure to keep a close eye on it in the oven!
Can I make this lava cake recipe ahead of time?
You can prepare the batter and store it covered in the fridge up to 2 days in advance. However, if you bake the cake and save it for later, the center will set, and you will no longer have the classic molten center lava cakes are known for.
Can I freeze my hazelnut chocolate lava cake?
Yes! Let your baked cake cool completely. Then, transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, just pop the frozen cake in the microwave until is has warmed through.
More Chocolate Desserts You’ll Love
If you’re a chocoholic like us, you won’t want to miss out on these tasty recipes:
- Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Lava Cake – Made with 3 different kinds of chocolate and loaded with peanut butter, this cake tastes like a warm, ooey-gooey Reese’s!
- Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Made with soft centers, crisp edges, and plenty of chocolate, these cookies are the only dessert you’ll ever need!
- Chocolate Mousse – Made with just 5-ingredients, this recipe is egg-free, quick to make, and so creamy.
- Chocolate Mug Cake – Simple yet delicious, single-serving desserts don’t get better than this.
Hazelnut Chocolate Lava Cake
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup butter (unsalted)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar + more for topping
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Hazelnut truffle
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips and butter, microwave for 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate is melted and well combined with the butter.
- In the same bowl, add flour, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, salt, and vanilla extract.
- Mix until combined. Do not overmix! Pour the batter into a greased 8 ounce ramekin.
- Place the chocolate truffle in the center, submerging it in the cake batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Gently loosen the sides with a butter knife. Invert the cake onto a plate, and sprinkel extra powdered sugar on top, if desired.