Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes with Sea Salt

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Recipe quick take:

  • Hands on time: 15 MIN
  • Inactive time: 12 MIN
  • Start to finish: 27 MIN
  • Serves: 4

In a nutshell:

This quick and easy chocolate cake always impresses. It's surprisingly simple and you can garnish it anyway you'd like!

Single or not, my absolute favorite way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is in the kitchen. You gotta agree with me that going out to dinner on V-Day is *always* underwhelming. The food is never as great as a random Tuesday night and some restaurants rely on a Prix Fixe menu. No thank you.  I’d rather spend the evening cooking up a fun dinner, and this year it’s for my Galentines.

One of my foolproof, go-to desserts is my Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes with Sea Salt. I’ve made these more often than I can count, and not just for Valentine’s Day. They’re a great dinner party dessert, since they only take 12 minutes to bake. Just pop them in the oven once your friends have finished dinner, and they’ll be shocked to discover this gooey, chocolate-y dessert was baking in the background.

Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes with Sea Salt // dairy-free

the basics

While this may seem too fancy to be simple, there really isn’t anything complicated about this recipe. All you do is melt the chocolate and coconut oil, then mix it with a batter of eggs, sugar, flour and salt. Pour the batter into individual ramekins, then bake for 12 minutes. When the cakes are done baking, simply rest a plate on top of a ramekin and carefully flip the plate and ramekin over. The cake should pop out, ready to be garnished then served!

While this recipe also doesn’t require any fancy tools or equipment, you will need a set of small inexpensive glass bowls or these basic ramekins–one for each cake. This recipe makes 4 cakes total if you use 3″ diameter ramekins. If you use a larger or smaller size, you’ll need to experiment and adjust the baking time.

Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes with Sea Salt // dairy-free
Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes with Sea Salt // dairy-free

The lava cakes are exactly how you’d want them–warm and moist on the outside and filled with gooey, rich chocolate as you cut into it. You can serve the cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a light dusting of powdered sugar, some raspberries on the side…or all of the above! Just don’t forget the sea salt flakes–it really brings out the sweetness!

Bake these oh-so-sweet chocolate lava cakes? Leave a comment below or post a photo on Instagram and tag #confettikitchen!

Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes with Sea Salt // dairy-free

What You Need

Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes with Sea Salt

Method

Prep ramekins.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Wipe some of the coconut oil inside each ramekin, coating the sides and bottoms. Use a generous amount of the flour to dust the inside of the ramekins. Use your hand to tap the ramekin while rotating it. (You’ll use the remaining 2 tbsp of flour in the batter.)

Mix eggs and sugar.

In a medium bowl, add two egg yolks, two whole eggs, and 1/4 cup sugar. Whisk until combined, then set aside.

Melt chocolate.

If you don’t have a microwave: Fill a small saucepan about 1-inch high with water. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan, roughly the same size or larger. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Turn heat to medium and add the dark chocolate and remaining coconut oil to the bowl. Stir as the mixture melts.

If you have a microwave: Place the bowl with the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds, or until melted.

Blend and bake.

Slowly add the chocolate to the egg mixture. Continue whisking to blend into a smooth batter. Stir in the remaining flour (2 tbsp) and salt (1/4 tsp).

Divide the batter amongst the four ramekins. Bake directly on the oven rack for 11 minutes. The sides should be firm and the center still soft.

Garnish and serve.

Wearing an oven mitt, carefully remove the ramekins. Let ramekins sit for one minute. Place a small plate on a single ramekin, then flip the plate and ramekin over while holding them in place. Gently pull the ramekin up and the cake should pop right out. If it doesn’t, give the top of the ramekin a smack.

Sprinkle cakes with powdered sugar and flake sea salt. Serve immediately with fresh raspberries.

Recipe notes

Chocolate choices: We used a 60% bittersweet chocolate, but you could experiment with different kinds including semi-sweet. Milk chocolate might be too sweet though especially since we’re adding sugar.

Salty and sweet: One of the best ways to enhance sweetness is to add a bit of salt! We love sprinkling some crunchy, big sea salt flakes on top. Our favorite is by Maldon and you can find it at most grocery stores as well as Amazon.com.

Substitutions

Don't have: Try:
Coconut oil 1/2 cup unsalted butter
Raspberries Strawberries, dried apricots
Bittersweet chocolate Semisweet chocolate

Comments

  1. Oh boy! I’m making these. I love chocolate and coconut oil together!

    Posted on 2.12.17 | Reply
    • Right? Felt so much better using coconut oil instead of a full stick of butter!

      Posted on 2.12.17 | Reply
  2. Gina White wrote:

    I’m confused by the amount of sugar. The ingredients list calls for 1/4 cup sugar, but the recipe calls for 1/2 cup.

    Posted on 2.12.17 | Reply
    • Cynthia Samanian wrote:

      Hi Gina! So sorry about that. Good news: it’s 1/4 cup of sugar. Just updated it – appreciate your question!

      Posted on 2.12.17 | Reply
    • Thanks Gina! Good news: it’s only 1/4 cup. I’ve updated the recipe for that fix. Hope you love these cakes as much as we do!

      Posted on 2.12.17 | Reply
  3. Valentina Celant wrote:

    These are absolutely gorgeous and I love that they sound easy, too! Making these soon! <3

    Posted on 2.12.17 | Reply
    • Thanks Valentina! We don’t feature baking on this site much, but these were too simple to pass up.

      Posted on 2.12.17 | Reply
  4. Stacey Herrera wrote:

    You had me at chocolate!!! This looks absolutely delectable! I have bookmarked the recipe and I cannot wait to try it. And it looks super easy too!

    Posted on 2.13.17 | Reply
    • Cynthia Samanian wrote:

      Thanks Stacey, it really is simple! Hope you give it a try and let us know how it turned out for you.

      Posted on 2.13.17 | Reply
    • Sweet! It really is simple, and definitely let us know when you make it! 🙂

      Posted on 2.14.17 | Reply
  5. Christine Pillatsch Reinland wrote:

    Delicious. I’m still working out my new oven, so I did over bake a bit..but they were still very yummy! I find that the sign of a great recipe: good even when you mess it up a bit. Wondering if you’ve tried with any gluten free alternatives? I have family that are very gluten intolerant and thought I’d take a stab at reworking for them.

    Posted on 2.17.17 | Reply
    • Thanks Christine! Yep, this recipe is a bit more finnicky than our others – which is why we generally avoid baking recipes 🙂 Glad it was still delicious.

      Actually, I’m going to test this recipe with the Gluten-Free Flour from Bob’s Red Mill and will let you know how that works out!

      Posted on 2.18.17 | Reply

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