Anna’s Molten Lava Cake…approved by Joe Bastianich

Molten Lava Cake with Brandied Cherry

Pressure test? psssh! This dessert will wow🙂  My recipe is quick and easy.  The trick is to measure and prep every ingredients so you can quickly combine once you get moving.  This chocolate heaven is best served immediately out of the oven…(as you will appreciate if you watched episode 7 of season 3 of MasterChef) so plan your next dinner party or hot date accordingly!  Also, the tastiness of this treat will entirely depend on the quality of the butter and chocolate that you choose- I love Valrhona 85% Pure Chocolate.  Let me know your thoughts!


(makes 4x 6oz ramekins filled 3/4 full)

  • 8 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 4 oz premium bittersweet chocolate, I like Valrhona 85% evenly chopped into 1/4″ squares
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • additional butter and granulated sugar for greasing and dusting ramekin

Double Boiler


  • Prep all ingredients in advance.  You will thank yourself as you are pulling perfect Molten Lava Cakes out of the oven in 20 minutes!
  • Preheat oven to 450F
  • Butter and dust 4x 6oz ramekins
  • Combine eggs, yolks and sugar.  Mix with whisk until light and thick.

  • Combine butter and chocolate in double boiler over simmering water.  Remove just before chocolate as completely melted.  Continue stirring off heat until texture is flawlessly smooth
  • Temper chocolate by dripping a few droplets of chocolate into egg mixture.  Whisk vigorously.  In a steady, slow stream all of melted chocolate into egg mixture, stirring constantly until fully incorporated and smooth.
  • Gently fold in flour.  DO NOT OVER MIX.

  • Divide batter among ramekins. Place on tray.

  • Bake 7 minutes.
  • Remove from oven.  Delicately run a pairing knife down edge of ramekin and let sit 20-30 seconds before flipping onto desired serving dish.
  • Dust with powdered sugar, sprig of mint, brandied cherries, etc!  Cel-e-brate!
My Molten Lava Cake made it into the MasterChef Ultimate Cookbook.

My Molten Lava Cake made it into the MasterChef Ultimate Cookbook.




  1. I’ll take two of these for dessert. Just finished watching you prepare this on MC #7. Loved the judges compliments, especially Joe’s.

  2. Way to go Anna! Just finished watching you on MC. I am praying my Molten Lava Cake turns out just as well. I will say that I have been disappointed with the amount of airtime you have been getting but was so very pleased to see you get the well deserved kudos. I’m rooting for you!

    • Let me know what you think! I just baked it again at 5 o’clock this morning for a FOX Boston appearance. Who needs coffee, when there is premium coco?! Thanks for watching, reading and the support. It means so much!!!

  3. cdw1984 says:

    For a dinner party, can you make everything in advance and leave the raw cakes in the ramekins and then just as you are finishing eating dinner put them in the oven?

    • Yes. I just did this the other night as I was presenting the dish on our local station early the next morning. I would prepare the batter and leave it in the mixing bowl and have the buttered and sugared ramekins waiting on the cookie tray. That way the sugar wont begin to dissolve if dessert gets pushed back a little. Good luck!

  4. What type of oven do you use? I tried this recipie (it is very good) but it took about 11-12 minutes to cook.

    • Hi there! I use an electric oven. I just made this recipe 2 days ago and it was a firm 7 minutes. Do you have an oven thermometer to double check temp reading? Also, this recipe is for 4x 6oz ramekins filled 3/4 full so depending on ramekin size, time will vary slightly (on the show they gave us 12oz so I lowered temp to 400 and baked for almost 18 min) Also the number of times that you open the oven can affect it. I consider that I loose about 1 minute each time I take a full peak. I hope this helps. Let me know and I appreciate the feedback!

  5. grassipianos says:

    You were so awesome, Anna! You totally “wowed” the judges. They are watching how good you are week after week.

  6. Hello!! Here is tomorrow’s dessert! !!

  7. Thanks for the recipe. Can you tell me the tips on how to make sure that the egg won’t be cooked by the heat from melted chocolate and butter

    • YES! You want to temper the chocolate. When chocolate/butter mixture has melted and is beautiful and smooth, begin whisking egg mixture again. Add a few dripplets of chocolate into egg mixture. Whisk continuously. Continue adding chocolate, slowly. As long as you do this gently and keep egg mixture moving, you will not cook the eggs. Is this helpful?

      • Thanks for the tip, Anna! I will put that in practice tonight and I will give you an update how it goes. My mouth already waters thinking about it 🙂

      • Well, I managed to mixed the egg mixture with the chocolate mix with no problem, unfortunately, I overcooked the cake so it’s more like brownies 🙂 still tasted good though. I used 7oz ramekin and divide the batter into 4. Maybe the ramekin is too big? Also in 7 minutes, the top still shiny and not firmed, so I leave it in the oven longer, unfortunately i left it too long. Maybe next time. Btw, is it normal for the center of the cake sink?

  8. Christine says:

    How many servings does this recipe make? (Happy 4th!)

  9. I noticed at the bottom of the recipie that “Recipe has been slightly modified from original version. Fox owns the exclusive rights” I was just wondering “how slightly” this the recipie modified? (I know first hand reality show contracts have you signing away all but your first and third child, so feel free to PM if need be.) Absolutely enjoyed watching you on the MC – We live locally so we will be watching the Boston Food Scene for you! Great job!

    • Thanks Dawn! I had to change “something” so I substituted dusting the ramekin with granular sugar instead of “something else.” Minor and should only enhance the overall out come. Hope you stay in touch! I wish I could have taken Boston to the finish line:)

  10. I just made this recipe and thought it was great, but I am very puzzled! I was only making it for two people so I halved the recipe. But that wasn’t enough to make two cakes – I only had enough for one! Fortunately my partner was happy to share – but it does seem this recipe makes two, not four, servings.

    • Hi Rebecca, That’s odd. The only thing I can think of is the size of your ramekins? This recipe fills 4x 6oz ramekins filled 3/4 of the way full. What a bummer you were forced to share!:) Let me know if it still doesn’t add up…

  11. Hi Anna, saw you on your pressure test doing this cake…im dying to try this very soon…by the way, may i know if i can replace choco chunk with choco powder from Valrhona? If yes, mind letting me know how much powder for this recipe?

  12. Hi Anna, saw you on your pressure test doing this cake on MC..guessed mine is a delayed telecast as i’m from Asia…im dying to try this very soon…Do you mind letting me know if i can replace choco chunk with choco powder from Valrhona? If yes, mind letting me know how much powder for this recipe?

    • Thanks SheeLing! Great question. I have never tried. I would keep the weight measurement the same for the powder as you would the pieces and incorporate it with the butter on the double boiler. No guarantees if texture will be compromised. Let me know how it goes. Good luck!

  13. I hope my molten lava cake will be perfect like your molten lava cake.
    Love it so much!

  14. Thank you so much Anna.
    It working!
    Hope you can share about souffle recipe.
    Thank again!

  15. I copy your lava cake image.

  16. If your looking for a recipe for Molten Lava cake, look no further this is the one to use. Love on the first bite. I made this for my son’s birthday. He asked me to make him another one that night and the next day! It is our family recipe now. Thank-you for sharing your recipe. A recipe that kept on giving, my husband asked me if I would make him a Lava Cake for his birthday too! All the smiles made my heart swell (maybe my head too). Now it’s my birthday and I’m going to make a Lava Cake for me too. Thank-you again.
    5 star recipe.

  17. says:

    Hello, after 7 minutes, the middle of the cake was very liquidly, even on the surface. I baked it for 3 more minutes, but became solid..what am I doing wrong? I also used 75% dark chocolate and it was 3.5 oz..does that affect anything?

    • That all sounds right. A precise oven temperature is essential. Do you have a thermometer set up in your oven to double check and calibrate? My guess is the oven wasn’t quite hot enough. You can adjust your bake time, obviously- but a hotter oven is better as it crisps the exterior before the center knows what it hit:) I like oxo’s oven thermometer for $15… Hope this is helpful!

  18. lloyd dsouza says:

    Wow awesome

  19. Hedy Taranto says:

    If you make the batter ahead of time and refrigerate, can you put the batter directly into the ramekins or do you have to wait until the batter is room temperature?

    • Hi! I have the most success letting the batter come to room temp. For entertaining, I will sometimes prep everything in advance, pour batter into ramekins and then refrigerate, placing ramekins on a cookie sheet and covering with plastic wrap. When guests arrive, I will remove and let come to room temp until we are ready for dessert. Enjoy!

  20. Lilia Reis says:

    Hi Anna, I watched Masterchef season 3, and you were one of my favorites! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

    Regards from Portugal!

  21. What a beatiful choocolate molten lava cake. I want to taste that cake.

  22. Dalisha Brantley says:

    Is dark chocolate required for this or could you use milk chocolate also? I’m not really a fan of dark chocolate but i never had the bittersweet chocolate before so I am just trying to see if it will still work well with milk chocolate.

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