Looking for a perfect Chili’s Molten Lava Cake recipe? Baking these delicious desserts can be tricky, but with the right tips and tricks, you can achieve that iconic molten center every time. The key is in the temperature, ingredients, and timing. Read on for our top tips for the best cake recipes.

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The Science Behind Making Perfect Molten Lava Cakes

chili's molten lava cake recipe

First, the temperature of the oven is crucial. Too hot, and your cakes will be overcooked and dry. Too cool, and the centers won’t be melted enough. The ideal temperature for molten lava cakes is around 425°F (218°C). This high temperature helps the cakes bake quickly on the outside while leaving the centers nice and gooey.

Secondly, the right balance of chocolate, butter, sugar, and eggs is essential for creating that perfect molten texture. Too much of one ingredient and the texture can become dense or grainy. Too little, and the cakes won’t hold their shape or have that signature molten center.

But perhaps the most critical factor in making the perfect molten lava cake is timing. These cakes are notoriously finicky, and just a few seconds too long in the oven can mean the difference between a deliciously gooey center and a disappointing, fully-cooked cake. That’s why it’s crucial to keep a close eye on your cakes while they’re baking and to remove them from the oven as soon as the edges are set but the centers are still jiggly.

Chili’s Molten Lava Cake Recipe: A Step-by-Step Guide to Decadence

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  • 1 cup (6 ounces) of high-quality dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt


  • Step 1: Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). Grease four 6-ounce ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Step 2: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of unsalted butter in 30-second intervals, stirring each time until smooth.
  • Step 3: In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, and a pinch of salt.
  • Step 4: Add two large eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the sugar mixture and whisk until combined.
  • Step 5: Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
  • Step 6: Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Step 7: Divide the batter evenly between the prepared ramekins, filling each about 3/4 full.
  • Step 8: Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are set and the center is still soft.
  • Step 9: Remove the ramekins from the oven and let them cool for 1-2 minutes before inverting them onto serving plates.
  • Step 10: Serve immediately, topped with powdered sugar or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Top 5 Tips for Baking the Best Chili’s Molten Lava Cake

chili's molten lava cake recipe

Tip #1: Don’t overmix the batter. When you’re mixing together the chocolate, butter, eggs, and sugar, be careful not to overmix the batter. Overmixing can cause the cake to be tough and chewy instead of moist and tender.

Tip #2: Use high-quality chocolate. The key to a rich and decadent molten lava cake is using high-quality chocolate. Opt for a dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa for a deep, intense flavor.

Tip #3: Chill the batter before baking. After you’ve mixed together the ingredients, chill the batter in the fridge for at least an hour before baking. This will help the cake hold its shape and give you that perfect molten center.

Tip #4: Grease the ramekins well. To ensure that the cakes slide out of the ramekins easily, be sure to grease them well with butter or cooking spray. You can also dust them with cocoa powder for an extra chocolatey touch.

Tip #5: Time it just right. The key to the perfect Chili’s Molten Lava Cake is timing. You want to take the cakes out of the oven just as the edges start to set but the centers are still jiggly. This will give you that iconic molten center that everyone loves.

Unique Flavor Variations to Elevate Your Molten Lava Cake Game

Add a touch of spice. For a subtle kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder to the batter. The spice pairs perfectly with the rich chocolate flavor, creating a deliciously complex taste.

Infused with coffee. Coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven, so why not infuse your Molten Lava Cake with a strong espresso or coffee liqueur? It will give your dessert a sophisticated edge that’s sure to impress.

Incorporate fruit. Fresh berries, citrus zest, or even a swirl of raspberry jam can add a bright and tangy flavor to your Molten Lava Cake. It’s a refreshing twist on the classic dessert that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Experiment with different chocolates. Don’t limit yourself to dark chocolate – try using milk chocolate, white chocolate, or even flavored chocolate like salted caramel or mint. The possibilities are endless, and each variation will give your dessert a unique flavor profile.

Top it off with something special. A dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, or a drizzle of caramel sauce can take your Molten Lava Cake to the next level. Get creative with your toppings and make each dessert a work of art.


The key to creating a truly impressive Molten Lava Cake lies in experimentation and creativity. By incorporating unique and unexpected flavor variations, you can take this classic dessert to the next level and leave your guests raving about your culinary skills. And if you’re looking for inspiration, why not try incorporating some of the delicious baked goods from Peggy Ann Bakery? Their high-quality ingredients and expertly crafted treats are sure to add a special touch to any dessert, including your next Molten Lava Cake creation.

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