Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro
10 servings (serving size: 1 cake)

These hot-from-the-oven desserts are ideal for a holiday celebration and can mostly be made up to two days ahead.

How to Make It

Step 1

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sift together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt.

Step 2

Place butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars, beating until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg substitute and vanilla, beating until well blended. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture; fold in chocolate. Divide batter evenly among 10 (4-ounce) ramekins; arrange ramekins on a jelly-roll pan. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 2 days.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 4

Let ramekins stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Uncover and bake at 350° for 21 minutes or until cakes are puffy and slightly crusty on top. Sprinkle evenly with powdered sugar; serve immediately.

Ratings & Reviews

dec408's Review

January 20, 2011
If you want to make an impression on your guests, serve this dessert! I used Green & Black's organic dark chocolate, 4 eggs instead of egg substitute, and substituted an equivalent amount of Starbuck's VIA Ready Brew Italian Roast Extra Bold for the expresso powder because that's what I had on hand. Baked in 7 oz ramekins. So rich and wonderful! My guests (like those of other reviewers) were licking their spoons clean.

CookinMcGuires's Review

May 22, 2010
We love these cakes, I have made them many times now. I don't have small ramekins, so we use 4 6oz dishes. They are also very rich, so we only tend to make one or two at a time. I have frozen the others and pull them out as I heat up the oven...bake them around 18 minutes or so and they are great. Definitely something you can serve to guests and really easy to make.

Easy and so good

March 11, 2016
Always read the reviews first! I did, and my cakes turned out great in 7 oz ramekins for about 18 minutes. I used instant coffee in mine, and it turned out great! I loved this and so did my guest! Will make again and share with others! (I have one double cake to bake still (ran out of ramekins) so I'll have to experiment with the time!)  


February 21, 2016
Super easy and so good. Next time will only bake for 18 min instead of 20. Great when microwaved dor 20 secs after they have cooled ( great the next day). Just fabulous


February 15, 2016
I made these for a family Valentine's dinner, and they were soooo good. Everybody loved them. For the sake of economy, I used chopped 60% cacao Ghirardelli chips and instant coffee powder (both of which I already had on hand) instead of espresso powder and 71% chocolate, and the end result was still inexpressibly decadent. 17 minutes was the perfect baking time for my oven, and I baked them in 6 oz. Fiestaware teacups since I don't have 4 oz. ramekins. (Supercute when served on a saucer, too!)

Excellent desert!

December 30, 2015
Absolutely loved this which I prepared for Christmas desert. We had eaten out on Christmas Eve and the restaurant's much touted chocolate lava cake was a hot choice. So I was interested to see how this measured up and am happy to report that it was pronounced far superior! Love the fact that it's easy to put together and can be prepared ahead of time. Refrigerated leftovers reheated well. Follow comments from other reviewers, less cooking time (20 min) and seven ramekins filled. Highly recommend.

mtbftc's Review

October 28, 2014
Best Cooking Light recipe ever! Divine!

sugarattic's Review

February 09, 2014
This was the best chocolate recipie I have ever made. I love baking but my family is super healthy so i went searching for a good recipe and I found this! I baked it the week after super bowl to celebrate my family absolutly loved it!

Kvavava's Review

December 19, 2013

Gibby007's Review

June 04, 2013
This dessert is to die for. Like others when I made this it only filled 7 ramekins which was fine. I made exactly as the recipe stated except cut the cooking time down as recommended. I cooked mine at different times and experimented with the cooking times. I didn't think any of them turned out ideal. Most were too runny and more like a hot fudge sundae than cake. One time I cooked one minute longer and it was fully cooked but that one sat out of the fridge longer. They all tasted yummy though I would like to get the timing perfected. I might also not fill the ramekins quite so full to allow room for more ice cream. I will definitely make this again.