Molten Chocolate Cake

Yet another recipe for the GNOME Cookbook, the Italian translation of the recipe is on my cooking blog.

Molten chocolate cake is a dessert, probably created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, that looks like a normal small cake but has an almost liquid center. It may look difficult to cook, but the recipe is indeed very simple and doesn’t require more than 20 minutes (excluding baking and cooling time).

This dessert is usually served hot but leftovers can be refrigerated and eaten cold the next day (the centers will have a mousse-like consistency) or warmed in microwave.


  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces, 85 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup (75 g) all-purpose flour


Melt the chocolate and butter together in bain marie, that is in a bowl over a pot of hot water, and then let cool for a few minutes.

Whip eggs, egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt until you get a light yellow color. Add the melted chocolate and the flour.

Grease and flour 5 or 6 ramekins (or oven-proof glass cups) tapping out the excess flour. Divide the chocolate cream among the ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about one hour or until you are ready to bake.

Pre-heat the oven to 450° F (230° C) and bake for about 13 minutes. Remove from the oven, run a sharp knife around each cake and unmold onto serving plates. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

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I have never cooked a cake before, nor ever been very interested in doing so… but after seeing this picture and the simple recipe, I will make me a molten chocolate cake this weekend! Thanks for sharing!

I dont think it’s “created” by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. For me it looks like the well known “melting chocolate”. It is about the same except that you put cold chocolate (dark or milk) not chopped inside the cream in each ramekin. After baking into the oven, the inside is almost liquid.

I wanted to add this recipe to the GNOME Cookbook too :) Too bad my oven is broken at the moment… oh well

Great cake :)

Does the recipe call for two eggs (including yolks) and two additional yolks? Thanks!

Jean-Georges Vongerichten is considered the creator of this cake in the USA but Jacques Torres says that such a dish already existed in France, see Molten chocolate cake on Wikipedia.

Yes, two eggs (yolks + white) and two yolks.

My (Italian) girlfriend makes this all the time. It’s great :-D


I don’t really like chocolate. But my girlfriend does so I’ve forwarded her the recipe. And while I was preparing the rest of the meal, she was busy creating 12 of these cakes for a party.

You are right: It’s pretty easy to make and it tastes great – at least if you like chocolate :-)

Thanks for the post!

PS: Remind me, please,… what does this have to do with GNOME? Not that I’m complaining. I’m always happy to find more stuff to cook.

I cooked this tonight, as best as I was able. I used caster sugar instead of icing (powdered) sugar, due to some confusion over what icing sugar actually was (!), and I used some “softened” butter (ie butter+canola) when I ran out of actual butter. Finally, I had no ramekins, so I used a large muffin tin.

It worked well, more or less, though a muffin tin is a horrible thing to use with anything with this much egg. The bottoms stuck to the tin so I ended up with some volcano-like chocolately masses. My wife (chocoholic AND pregnant) said they were great though, so I’m going to get some ramekins soon and try again for a proper dinner party.

Oh also, we had them with thickened cream rather than icing sugar. We found it took the edge off the sweetness each cake already had.

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