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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chocolate Molten Cakes in a Cupcake Pan


When I first started my catering business I wrote all of my favorite recipes in a little blue journal book so I'd have them with me all of the time.  Over the years I've shared a couple of recipes from this little journal, but not all.  Truthfully, when I started this blog (forever ago...?) I was a burnt out on all of those recipes I'd made hundreds of times.

Now, after a two year break from the catering business, I am ready to dive back in to some of those old favorites, because after all, they were really great recipes for entertaining.  This Chocolate Molten Cake recipe was one of my first and best go-to's as a caterer.  I always served it at dinner parties - with great success.  The ingredients and supplies are humble - chocolate chips and a cupcake pan!  They work great for parties because the batter is made in advance, then baked right before dessert and served warm.

I made these last year for a friends dinner, but would be great for a Mother's Day special dessert.  While the recipe makes 6-12, they work great in the freezer.  Just bake all of them together, then freeze the leftovers.  You can reheat in the microwave for just 30-60 seconds.

Speaking of Mother's Day...

For the Mother's Day collection this year I've gone back to the classics - Mom's like that, right?  Bunches of dried lavender from France, I brought back the Hanging Door Baskets from last year, a new size of Willow Serving Trays and a collection of Classic Trays that are my new favorite thing (made of recycled materials!).  I hope you find something that you (and your Mother) love.

See the entire Mother's Day Collection, here >


Chocolate Molten Cakes
makes 6 medium cakes or 12 small individual cakes

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2 tablespoons of butter, melted
2 tablespoons of cocoa

3/4 cup of butter
12 ounce of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of heavy cream
5 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup of flour

Prepare cupcake pans by coating the inside of each with melted butter by swirling it around.  Then sprinkle the insides with cocoa, coating completely.

To make the batter, place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, then top it with butter and cream.  Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth.  When chocolate has cooled slightly, stir in eggs, sugar and flour.  Pour into prepared cupcake pans.  Refrigerate for 1 hour (at least) and up to a couple of days.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes for regular 12/pan size and 15-18 for jumbo 6/pan size, just until the outsides and most of the top have set, and the centers are still slightly runny.  You can insert the tip of a knife to test.   You just want a bit of the very center to be a thick pudding like texture.   Let them cool for 5 minutes, then place a sheet pan on top of the muffin pan and invert them. 

Serve with whipped cream, ice cream and dusted with chocolate or cinnamon.


Melting chocolate with the butter and cream this way is so easy - microwave!

The pans buttered and cocoa-ed while the chocolate is in the microwave.

Perfectly melted.

You can fill them almost all the way to the top - they don't puff too much.

Cooling for 5 minutes to help them continue to set.

Top with a sheet pan...

Ready for the flip...


So, so good.  You really must try them.

10 seconds later...

Sign-up here for an emailed version of my Printable Recipes.

Here is the easy-to-pin strip!



  1. These look fabulous! I cannot wait to make them for my niece, molten cakes are her favorite!

  2. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes At Home


  3. These look amazing! And, easy! Thank you for sharing.


  4. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Pretty and tempting. I was wondering if you could tell us where you bought the brown paper bags for your bread and flowers. Are they bigger than a regular size of gift bag? Is it possible to purchase them on line?
    Have a nice day Jenny.

  5. I am definitley trying this recipe! Have wanted to make molten cakes for a while. This recipe makes it easy, especially becasue you can make part of it in advance. Looks like I've found dessert for Saturday night.

    Also, I keep all my tried and true recipes in a binder - so it's easy to take them all along on vacation (and I dont'have to wonder which cookbook they're from). Of course now I can just look most of them up on my blog.

  6. Just wondering if you have a way to do this without a microwave? These look amazing but don't have a microwave :(

    1. Jenny9:43 AM

      Victoria - You can melt the chocolate, butter and cream in a double boiler on the stove. Just use a heatproof glass bowl and place it on the top of a pan of simmering water. Make sure to not have the water touching the bowl and make sure the water just simmers, not boils. It should just take a couple of minutes!


    2. Thanks, Jenny! I'm trying these ASAP!

  7. Do you hav a way to make these without a microwave? These look amazing but we are microwave-less :(

    1. Victoria, you can carry out the melting process with use of a double boiler. If you don't have that, then take the chips on a small pan, boil water in a larger pot and place the pan with the chips on the water surface. Wait until they melt, add the butter, etc. Whisk until thoroughly combined, then remove from the pan. Ta Da.

    2. Anonymous3:35 PM

      I have also had good luck with heating the butter to a simmer on the stove, then removing and stirring in the chocolate chips until melted. I typically burn the chocolate in the microwave and get frustrated chasing a small bowl around a pot of simmering water while trying not to get steam burns. just have to find the method that works best for you :) happy cooking

  8. Molten cakes are one of my favorite recipes but I usually make them in ramekins. This weekend we are having two families to dinner and I only have 6 ramekins-- your cupcake pan idea saved me! I will be making these tomorrow. Thanks!

  9. YUM! These look so easy and fabulous! I hate getting burnt out on recipes but how good are they when you come back to them! It's like an old friend that you have missed so much! LOL

  10. Anonymous6:43 PM

    hoping my batter thickens up in the fridge for an hour! it is not very thick right now, but in your picture of the batter in the muffin tin, it looks like pudding!

  11. I love the idea of making lava cakes in a cupcake pan. Will definitely try this next time for sure!

  12. We made this for dessert tonight, and it turned out perfectly! It was beautiful, and the liquid in the center was velvety and lovely! Thank you!

  13. We made these for dessert tonight and they were perfect! I loved that I could make them last night and not have to worry about them while prepping for company. They were beautiful and delicious. At first I thought they weren't cooked through but decided to take them out anyway. They were perfect, and the center was rich and velvety smooth. So fun! Thanks!

  14. I'm in the process of making these! They're in the fridge chilling. I cannot wait until they're baked. Thank you for the divine recipe :)

  15. I have this recipe chilling in my fridge right now. I'm super pumped to try it and have the husband try it. I think it'll be love at first sight for him. Thank you for such a divine recipe!

  16. Anonymous10:08 PM

    Ok, I made these tonight - RIDICULOUSLY easy and SINFUL. I owe you big time - ;-)

  17. What type of chocolate chips do you use? Dark or semi sweet?

  18. Anonymous9:13 AM

    These look amazing! We are having 30 people over for dessert tomorrow night for Mother's Day. Can I up the recipe with out problem?

  19. Can you use half and half instead of heavy whipping cream for this recipe?

  20. Did you use semi sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate? I'm making these for a dinner party tomorrow and am so excited!

    1. Anonymous7:31 PM

      Either works! I used semi sweet chocolate chips and those tasted delish!!

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. I just made these. Was super excited to just try them. It was fantastic :) thanks a bunch for this delicious recipe.

  23. Made these tonight with my kids. They ADORED the "volcano cakes." Made them last night with peanut butter in for the hubby (date night) and scored extra-awesome wife points! THANK YOU!

  24. Anonymous8:27 PM

    I just made these. They were very good. However, they did not easily come out of the cupcake pan. Next time, I will spray the inside of the pan with Pam. I used milk chocolate chips since the recipe did not specify. next time I will use dark chocolate chips. They were really delicious!!!

  25. What type of coco and chips did people use? and did you bring it to room temp or bake from the fridge?

  26. Made these tonight. So yummy! I used half and half instead of heavy cream and Hershey's chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips b/c that's what I had on hand, but they were still delicious. Very similar to a dessert we had on a cruise we went on and I've been wanting ever since. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. Anonymous1:07 PM

      Can you help.. all purpose flour? And what kind of chips did you use?!

  27. Thank you for your well-liked recipes that block.

  28. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Do you worry about food safety with these undercooked cakes?

  29. Anonymous2:37 PM

    What type of chocolate chips? Granulated sugar or powdered sugar?
    If you cut the recipe in half, would you use two or three eggs?

  30. Anonymous8:42 PM

    I cooked mine for 10 minutes but the insides were cooked through and I had no lava? Everyone else seemed to have no problem! I don't know what what happened to mine?! Any idea?

    1. Anonymous3:39 PM

      It might have been your oven, either an older oven that the temp isn't right(use an oven thermometer to double check) or your rack was too close to the coils and cooked a little quicker than if you had left it farther away.

  31. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Is the flour all purpose? Also, did you use semi-sweet chips?!

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Excellent cakes, I really love these type of cakes Mixes and i will try to make this type of cake. But i also want to say thanks so much very much too much for showing these type of cakes.

  34. Anonymous12:25 PM

    Any advice about how to make these at high altitude? I live at 6,000 feet above sea level. Extra water and extra flour, perhaps? Thanks for any tips!

  35. woww...its so easy to prepare thank you for sharing <3

  36. Made these and they were so easy and yummy, and made a big impact! Making them again this week for book group! Thank you for the easy and stunning recipe!

  37. These are delicious served with Haggen Daz "Dulce De Leche" Ice Cream...

  38. I pinned this a long time ago, and finally made them today. They are delicious! Thank you!

  39. Cookies, pies and cakes are delicious, but everyone knows that cupcakes are the perfect party treat. Not too big and not too small, cupcakes are a delightfully versatile dessert that can be served on paper plates at a picnic or presented in an elegant, statuesque tower at a wedding or other formal celebration.
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  40. Another good recipes … A chef ability to be good at a range of course, Have extensive experience of specialty diets and food training.
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  41. mmm and looks so delicious,  just like in flash papa's cupcakeria game, love it!

  42. Recipes look incredible, we believe good food is so important and plan to make that an emphasis in our family.
    Dinner Parties Worthington

  43. This recipe seems so easy! Just to keep things straight, the liquid center is not a special chocolate sauce you make to fill in the cake but just the same uncooked batter?? Wow

  44. Anonymous3:01 PM

    What kind of chocolate did you use in this recipe? I'm using milk chocolate chips instead of baking or semisweet chips, will my cake come out too sweet? Should I cut down on the sugar?

  45. Anonymous4:01 PM

    Did you make this in regular muffin tins or jumbo muffin tins? I only have regular muffin tins so I don't know if I need to adjust the cooking time.

  46. Anonymous4:42 PM

    If I make the batter in the morning and put it in the fridge for the day will it come out ok?

  47. This will be my second time following your recipe and method. So glad I can make this ahead of time and pop it into the oven while we feast on our lobster and seafood dinner. Happy New Years!

  48. Hey Jenny I've made your recipe a few times and I must say the chocolate molten cakes it produces are the best I've ever had so thank you. I just have a quick question - do you remove your cupcake pan (that's been allowed to set for at least 1 hour) from the fridge and place directly into a preheated 450 degree oven? or do you remove the pan from the fridge for a few minutes to warm at room temp before baking? Thanks!

  49. Anonymous9:25 PM

    Can I bake these ahead and warm in the microwave? I was planning on taking them to my son's who lives 8 hours away and I'm afraid to take them in the unbaked state, but I don't want them to turn solid in the middle. Any suggestions?

    1. Yes! They work great reheated in the microwave!

    2. Liz Chong2:36 PM

      What settings would you recommend for reheating in the microwave? I tried 30 secs on high and it became sponge cake like. Would you recommend reheating in the oven?
      Thanks for the recipe by the way, it was amazing!!! :)

  50. Do you take them out of the fridge a few minutes before baking? Or do you place them straight into the oven from the fridge?

  51. Anonymous3:55 PM

    These were AMAZING and so so easy!!!! Been looking for a recipe like this for these.

  52. Anonymous10:46 PM

    These were terrible. I've been cooking almost everyday for nearly a decade and my husband and everyone else has liked everything I have cooked. But he wouldn't eat these. I didn't like them either. Don't waste your quality ingredients like me.

    1. Anonymous12:43 PM

      Apparently you did something wrong with the recipe - they are the best - comparable to what I had on a cruise.

  53. Anonymous11:15 PM

    Brought these to a friend's house for dessert. It was a cold day and wanted something warm and these were perfect! Brought the prepared cupcake pans and then baked them right after dinner. Everyone loved them. Especially good served right out of the oven with vanilla ice cream. This recipe is a keeper!

  54. If I am making the batter Friday, but not baking the cakes until Sunday, I can keep the batter in the cupcake pans in the fridge until Sunday?

  55. Anonymous3:58 PM

    Made this today as it turned out just right!!! Only thing is, I got more batter (used a 12 cupcake pan) So I pretty much could have made probably about 6 more :) Very simple to make! Keeping this one.

  56. Anonymous9:36 PM

    This recipe is absolutely fabulous! I made this on a whim and my whole family loved them and now request them all the time. The recipe is so easy it's incredible, worth every quality ingredient in them!

  57. These look delicious! I am planning on cutting down the recipe to make 2 or 4 cakes in individual cupcake pans. Do you think this would impact the cook time? If so, how long do you think it would take?


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