Cakes, Mug Cakes & Meals

Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Bowl Recipe For Two

4.82 from 27 votes
This Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Bowl For Two is the perfect Valentine's Day dessert — and you can make it in advance!

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: This Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Bowl Recipe For Two is a gooey treat for you and your sweetheart to prep ahead and bake off in the microwave when it’s time to satiate your chocolate craving!

Love is in the air — and if you’re like me, your love language is dessert! But you don’t have to spend all of Valentine’s Day minding your oven to have the perfect dessert for you and your sweetie. My Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake For Two can be made in just one bowl and baked in just minutes in your microwave! You can even prep the batter in your microwavable bowl ahead of time, pop it in the refrigerator, and bake it off when you’re ready! 

This easy Chocolate Lava Cake recipe is perfect for Valentine’s Day dessert. The dessert for two is unbelievably gooey and fudgy. For a more grown-up flavor and to help bring out that chocolate flavor even more, I add espresso powder! It doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee, but it really boosts up the taste. (If that’s not your thing, feel free to leave it out!)

You don’t need any fancy equipment or stress to make Valentine’s Day (or any day!) special! Don’t have access to a microwave? Follow my recipe for Chocolate Lava Cake For Two for the oven! 

Table Of Contents

What Is Chocolate Lava Cake?

Chocolate Lava Cake, also known as Molten Chocolate Cake, is a chocolate cake known for its warm molten center. Chances are, you’ve come across this dessert at restaurants like Chili’s or Longhorn Steakhouse, but the cake is originally from France, having been invented in the ’80s. 

Tools You Need

Ingredients For Chocolate Lava Cake

  • Butter: Use a good quality salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. It helps keep the cake moist and tastes delicious! 
  • Egg: I use a large egg. Be sure to let it come to room temperature before using.
  • Whole milk: I always use full-fat, whole milk in my recipes. Fat = flavor.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla helps bring out the other flavors in desserts. You can make your own Homemade Vanilla Extract
  • All-purpose flour: Flour serves as the base of this recipe. Use gluten-free all-purpose blend flour if needed! 
  • Granulated sugar: White sugar adds sweetness to your chocolate cake.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: This will give you the deep chocolatey taste in your lava cake. Use unsweetened, so you know exactly how much sugar you are putting into the recipe.
  • Espresso powder: Adding espresso powder helps bring out even more chocolatey flavor! It won’t taste like coffee, but you can omit it if you prefer. Use instant espresso powder.
  • Baking soda: This helps the cake rise.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt enhances all the other flavors.
  • Bittersweet chocolate: I use bittersweet chocolate (63 – 72%) for that deep chocolate flavor.
  • Water: A bit of hot water helps create steam in your microwave, keeping your cake nice and moist. 

How To Make a Microwavable Chocolate Lava Cake Bowl

  1. In a microwavable bowl, melt the butter and then stir in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract.
  2. Whisk in the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Sprinkle chopped chocolate on top of the chocolate mixture batter and then drizzle the hot water on top. Do not stir it in.
  4. Microwave on high for about 1 minute 30 seconds, then check for doneness. 
  5. While being sure not to overcook it, add 10 seconds at a time until it is done. Let it rest for 1 minute, top with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, and serve! 

Photos side by side showing how to make Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Bowl Recipe For Two

Can You Make Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Without A Microwave?

Yes! I already have a recipe for Chocolate Lava Cake For 2 written to be baked in an oven! It takes a bit longer to bake, but the process is relatively the same! 

What Type Of Chocolate Should You Use For Lava Cake?

For this recipe, I use unsweetened cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate. 

Unsweetened cocoa powder is pure chocolate, with most of the cocoa butter removed. It has an intense chocolate taste and is typically what I use when making most of my chocolate desserts. I use unsweetened so I can see how much sugar I am adding to the recipe.

Don’t use Dutch process cocoa powder for this recipe. Dutch-Process, or “European-Style,” cocoa powder has been treated with an alkalizing agent, which changes its color and gives it a more mild chocolate taste. 

Since it has been treated, it won’t react to the baking soda in this recipe, which means your cake won’t rise. 

I also use chopped bittersweet chocolate (63-72% cocoa solids) in my lava cake. This is what melts down and gives you the molten middle. I prefer bittersweet chocolate because I like the balance between bitter and sweet. If you prefer, you can use semisweet or even milk chocolate for your lava cake. 

To learn more, read my Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Chocolate

Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Bowl Recipe For Two ready with ice-cream on top

Why Add Espresso Powder To Chocolate Lava Cake?

Instant espresso powder helps draw out the chocolate flavor of the cake and makes your cake taste a bit more complex. 

Because espresso and chocolate have a lot of the same flavor profiles, adding a bit of espresso powder to chocolate transforms a sweet chocolate cake into one that is deeply chocolatey. 

It won’t make your cake taste like coffee, but if you prefer, you don’t have to add the espresso powder. 

Can I Make Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Ahead Of Time?

Yes! You can prepare the batter of this cake before you plan to microwave it and place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to go. Cover the prepped batter with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

How Do I Store Molten Lava Cake?

Lava cakes are best eaten as soon as they are baked. If you let your cake sit too long, the residual heat will continue to bake your cake, and your gooey chocolate middle will disappear! 

However, if you’d like to store leftover lava cake, wrap it in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just know that it may not have its melted chocolate core once you reheat it. 

Chocolate Lava Cake FAQs

Can you make Chocolate Lava Cake without eggs?

Yes, you can make eggless lava cake. My readers have said that they have had success with substituting the egg, 1:1, with flax seed. Learn more with my guide, 12 Best Egg Substitutes for Baking Recipes & How to Use Them.

How do I know if my Chocolate Lava Cake is done?

It is a bit tricky to figure out when your lava cake is done because of its liquid center. You will know when your lava cake is done baking once the edges are cooked all around, and the center has risen. It should still be slightly soft but not jiggly. 

Why is my lava cake dry?

Your lava cake may become dry or lose its melted center completely if you cooked it for too long in the microwave. Overmixing also leads to a tough, dry cake, so be sure to mix your ingredients until they are just combined. 

Why did my lava cake collapse?

Overmixing can lead to a tough cake, but it can also cause your lava cake to collapse. Stirring too much will add more air to the batter, which will make your cake lose its structure. Mix your ingredients until they are just combined.

Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Bowl Recipe For Two showing the gooey lava center on the inside.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips

  • Prepare the batter for this Microwaveable Chocolate Lava Cake For 2 ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to microwave! It will last in the fridge for up to 2 days. 
  • Be sure not to overcook your lava cake; otherwise, you won’t have a gooey center! After about 1 minute 30 seconds, check for doneness. If it needs more time, heat it for just 10 seconds at a time. 
  • You can use any mug or bowl for this recipe as long as they are microwave safe. Be sure to use a bowl with 12 fl oz/ 1 ½  cups capacity.

Try More Microwave Cake & Mug Meals Recipes

Watch The Recipe Video!

Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Bowl Recipe for 2

4.82 from 27 votes
My Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Bowl Recipe For Two is the perfect Valentine's Day dessert — and you can make it in advance!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 people
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
My Microwave Chocolate Lava Cake Bowl Recipe For Two is the perfect Valentine's Day dessert — and you can make it in advance!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 people


  • 3 tablespoons (1½ oz/42 g) butter
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (1¼ oz/35 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon espresso powder
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • cup (2 oz/57 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped *
  • 2 tablespoons water, hot


  • Place the butter in a medium soup bowl (12 fl oz/ 1 ½ cups capacity) and microwave for 20 seconds, until melted. Stir in the egg, milk and vanilla extract.
  • Whisk in the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt until lump-free.
  • Sprinkle the chopped chocolate on top of the chocolate mixture batter, and then drizzle the hot water on top (don’t stir in.)
  • Microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds, then check for doneness. Continue if needed at 10-second intervals, until the cake is set and there is no wet batter. Take care not to overcook, or it will not have a gooey center. (Timing based on my microwave, which is 1200 WATTS)
  • Let rest for 1 minute, then top with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkle a few raspberries on top then serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  1. *Note that chocolate chips may retain shape and not melt well.
  2. Bring it to the next level with homemade microwave caramel sauce or chocolate sauce if you wish!
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11 months ago

I used Dutch cocoa and added some extra. The cake rose really well. Egg is also a rising agent as is water/steam in the microwave. If people are substituting the egg then the Dutch cocoa might be an issue.
Just for perspective, this uses one egg for 1/4 cup flour. In an oven sized cake with 2 cups of flour, this would be an 8 egg cake. That’s very eggy, and the microwave really fluffs up egg. I might try it with no baking soda just for curiosity – it’s a quick recipe.

3 months ago

This is my go to recipe if I’m craving a dessert and don’t have anything already made. It is quick and delicious! I make it at least once a week. I love walnuts, so they get added. Just wanted to share how much I’ve been enjoying this recipe!

Helen Griffiths
Helen Griffiths
1 year ago

This turned out really well. I split recipe in half and made two mugs (, If I share food my boyfriends ends up with a tiny portion). Had no butter so used rapeseed/canola oil, no espresso powder so used freshly brewed coffee drizzled on top instead of hot water.
Served with evaporated milk and tinned mandarins. Was very good, not sure had lava centre but was very good. Not rubbery, best microwave mug cake I’ve made. Microwaved each for 1 min. The cake absorbed the evaporated milk and reminded me of a tres leches texture a bit.

Cloighi Doyle
Cloighi Doyle
1 year ago

I made this for my husband and I on Valentine’s Day and it was perfect. I decided to mix the ingredients in a bowl because sometimes my fork does not reach the bottom of the mug. I also divided the batter into two mugs. This was a good idea as my husband ate it so fast. Thank you so much.

1 year ago

Fantastic! Made it for Valentine’s day for me and the hubby. Very rich and moist.

1 year ago

This was excellent!!!! It was pretty wet underneath though. It was dry on top other then a danp middle and we had already put whipped cream on it so wasn’t putting back in the microwave. When we dug it it was wet but figured the temperature should have made it safe. Next time will lift up the cake to check.

1 year ago

Hi Gemma
I’m from Pakistan I love your recipes
I tried your this recipe and it was really yummy! My son loves this recipe but the problem is he is type 1 and he usually want these types of cakes in dessert is there anything we can do to make it low carb to manage levels.
Thanks in advance

Last edited 1 year ago by Madiha
1 year ago

I made this microwaveable mug cake this morning, 2/2/2023, as the ice is thawing from the branches. I substituted egg ( 1 Tablespoon of ground golden flax seed + 2 1/2 Tablespoons of water) and milk with flax milk and the cake came out delicious. ☺️ I don’t have bittersweet chocolate so I used 2 tablespoons of chopped dark chocolate chunks since it looked like enough chocolate for me. Furthermore, I purchased ingredients in bulk so I have brown sugar on hand so I used that instead of white sugar. I hope this helps. Gemma, thank you for a very… Read more »

Anas naseem
Anas naseem
1 year ago

Can’t wait to try this recipe
Mouthwatering 😋
I have one question if we like to bake this recipe in oven
Kindly guide about temperature and baking time

1 year ago

Can this be made with plant butter and almond milk? My husband is allergic to mammal products. Thank you. I really want to try this recipe.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook