Molten Nutella Lava Cakes for Two

Molten Nutella Lava Cakes for Two // @veggiebeastblog

I keep picturing myself diving face first into that melty, Nutella-filled center. It’s just so shiny, warm and inviting.

Molten Chocolate Nutella Cakes for Two | Veggie and the Beast

Cloaking myself in melted chocolate sounds like the perfect way to deal with the situation we have going on outside right now. My mom works at a bank and gets to talk about this weather with chilled, pink-cheeked Minnesotans who rotate in and out all day, and she kind of loves it. She’s one of those genuinely “Minnesota Nice” folks. She’s a rare gem, that one.

I, on the other hand, want to hole up in my house and hibernate until things improve. If only I was still in school and could take advantage of all these school closings. We only had one snow day in my 4 years of high school, and that was the one morning in all of eternity when my parents didn’t watch the news, so my dad drove me to school anyway. Still harboring some teenage drama about that morning.

So, instead of waking up to cozy weekday mornings in pajamas and slippers, I’ll come home from work and warm up to a ridiculously gooey, Nutella-filled chocolate cake. I suppose that works, eh? Yes.

Molten Nutella Lava Cakes for Two // @veggiebeastblog

I first set my eyes on a chocolate lava cake in the early 2000s at the Applebee’s near my parent’s house. I didn’t know how the fancy chefs at Applebees got that gooey chocolate center in that cake, but I knew they changed my life forever. Last winter, a good 10+ years after my first lava cake experience, Ryan and I (okay, mostly me) devoured a NUTELLA-filled lava cake at a restaurant in our neighborhood. No regular molten chocolate lava cake would ever do it for me again. Ya gotta put some Nutella in that SOB, folks.

…except you don’t really need to, if Nutella isn’t your thing. You can just leave it out, and the recipe will work just fine, but I highly (highlyhighlyhighly) recommend that little dab of Nutella in the center.

If you’re like Ryan and I, who usually forego the crowded restaurants on Valentine’s Day, then this is the perfect dessert to make an at-home date night feel extra special. This recipe is one of those treasures that looks and tastes impressive, yet is secretly quick and simple. Plus, it makes just enough for two people, aaaaand I have a sneaking suspicion that it would taste great with a glass of red wine.

Although I think most things taste great with most wine, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Molten Nutella Lava Cakes for Two // @veggiebeastblog

You may think molten lava cakes are too complex to make at home, but I promise you can do it. The trickiest part of the process is getting the timing right. The first time I made these I feared over-baking the cakes and losing that gooey chocolate center, so I took them out of the oven at 9 minutes…and they totally melted into a hot mess all over my plate. The next time I took them out after 10 minutes and they were absolute perfection. Oven times will vary, so just keep your eye on the cakes after about 9 minutes.

Things to look for while you’re baking the cakes:

  • You want the outsides of the cake to rise up and be a little golden, and pull away from the sides of the ramekin.
  • You may still see the Nutella in the center – that’s okay, as long as the top of the cake looks as though it’s been cooked.
  • You don’t want the cake to look like it’s jiggling. If it’s clearly jiggling, then give it another minute.

After you’ve let the cakes rest for a minute, then carefully inverted them on a dessert plate, you have one deep, dark chocolate cake to dig into. The outside of the cake is fluffy and soft, and the inside is wonderfully messy and full of melted chocolate and Nutella goodness. I like serving mine with raspberries (for the prettiness factor), and vanilla bean ice cream (for those cool/warm and vanilla/chocolate dichotomies), but those details aren’t really important right now, are they? This photo tells you everything you need to know…

Molten Nutella Lava Cakes for Two // @veggiebeastblog
Happy ridiculous winter to all of yous. Have some melted chocolate cake and try your darndest not to go insane.

Molten Nutella Lava Cakes for Two
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Deep, dark chocolate cakes filled with melted, gooey chocolate and rich Nutella. A perfect dessert for a special date night, but quick enough to whip together whenever you have a craving for something decadent.
Recipe type: Dessert, Date Night, Chocolate
Serves: 2
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar (optional, for garnish)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°.
  2. Liberally grease two 7-ounce ramekins - it's crucial that the cakes don't stick! I used a paper towel to spread softened butter all around the inside of each ramekin. You can also sprinkle a little flour after you grease the ramekins, although the second time I made these I did not use flour and they slid right out.
  3. Combine the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir until melted.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the egg yolk, sugar and salt on high until thickened and pale. This will take a good 3-4 minutes, so be patient. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.
  5. Whisk the cocoa powder into the melted chocolate, and then quickly whisk the mixture into the eggs. Don't overmix - stop once everything is incorporated.
  6. Spoon the batter into the ramekins, then drop 1 tablespoon of Nutella into the center of each ramekin.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the sides are firm and the centers are still soft, but not jiggly. A minute can make a big difference, so keep an eye on the cakes.
  8. Let the cakes cool for 1 minute in the ramekins, and then set a plate face-down on top of each ramekin. While wearing an oven mitt, carefully flip the ramekin and plate over. Let stand for 10 seconds and then carefully lift the ramekin.
  9. Sift a bit of powdered sugar on the top of each cake, garnish with raspberries and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream - not necessary, but hiiiiiiiiighly recommended.
Adapted from Food and Wine.


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    • Katie says

      Once you’re at the point where you can no longer layer on any more clothing…chocolate is necessary :) You stay warm too!

    • Katie says

      I’m glad you left a comment here so I could see the ones you posted – I need that peanut butter fudge sauce in my life!!!

  1. says

    I had my first molten lava cake a few years back, and I’m with you Katie, they are literally life-changing. I’ve wanted to make my own every since I laid my eyes on those beauties. Doing it! Tomorrow. It’s a plan! :)

  2. Valerie says

    this looks great, and i love that the recipe is just for two :) can you please tell me if i can use dutch-processed cocoa?

    • Katie says

      Hi Valerie! I have not tested the recipe with dutch-processed cocoa, so I can’t say whether that would work or not. I would stick with natural cocoa powder if you do not have time (or interest) to test the recipe a couple times before you want to eat it.

    • Katie says

      Nope, not a bit. The first time I made the recipe I used a tablespoon of all-purpose flour, and the 2nd time I replaced the all-purpose flour with cocoa powder (I know they’re not interchangeable, but I wanted to give it a try) and it was perfect. I like the little extra boost of chocolate as well.

      • Francine Godoy says

        Ok , good. So I will give a try as well! Thanks for the attention answering! ;)
        Yours looks awesome! Xoxo

  3. says

    You’ve made these sound sooooo good. I already have a recipe for lava cakes that I have used many times successfully but mine don’t have Nutella in and now I’m considering adding a bit next time.

    • Katie says

      Although I haven’t tried it myself, I’ve read lava cake recipes that say you can put the batter together beforehand, and then bring them back to room temperature before baking, but I do not think it would be a good idea to bake them fully ahead of time – I’m not sure how they would heat up.

  4. Rachael says

    These are amazing, and so quick and easy to throw together! Everyone I’ve made them for loves them. I made them for one person who doesn’t like dark chocolate very much, so I replaced the bittersweet chocolate chips with milk chocolate chips and he loved them. But for dark chocolate fans like myself, the original recipe is the best. Thanks for sharing this!

  5. Rebekah says

    Made these on a whim tonight with dark chocolate. Yummm. I didn’t grease the ramekins enough, however, so we ate them out of them instead of turned out on plates. No nutella though, so I’ll be sure to include it next time as an upgrade.

    • Katie says

      It’s crazy how much you need to grease those ramekins to make them come out prettily :) Glad you still enjoyed them in the ramekins! I hope you like the nutella variation when you try it!


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