Updated date:

Easy Chocolate Cake Recipes: Gourmet Chocolate Lava Molten Mini Cakes With Liqueur

Easy Gourmet Chocolate Molten Mini Cakes with Liqueur

For a quick and delectable gourmet dessert, try this recipe for Chocolate Molten Mini Cakes with Liqueur.  This recipe is wonderful as is or can be revamped as noted below in many different ways.

I originally found this recipe as an advertisement for McCormick Saigon Cinnamon and saved it in my notebook.  It was published in 2008 as a suggestion for using this particular brand of cinnamon.

The original recipe calls for Cabernet Sauvignon or other wine as the alcohol addition but I thought it might be better suited to Grand Marnier or another liqueur so I have always made my Chocolate Molten Mini Cakes that way. 

But as with most recipes, there are many variations that you can do - see below.  This is a sinfully delicious dessert that is whipped up in about 10 minutes max - then baked for 10-15 minutes.  It is simple yet elegant and I think it will become one of your favorites as it has mine!


Photo Credit: Flickr Kim Siciliano

Recipe for Gourmet Chocolate Molten Mini Cakes with Liqueur

Serves 4 - Makes 4 6-ounce chocolate mini cakes


  • 4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (1 cube) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar - sift through a wire strainer to remove lumps
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried orange peel


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Butter 4 6-ounce custard cups or ramekins or mini-souffle dishes. Set dishes on baking sheet.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter in microwave safe bowl or large measuring cup by cooking on high setting for 1 minute. Chocolate will probably not be melted yet, so just stir with a whisk until it melts in with the butter.
  4. Add liqueur, vanilla, and sugar. Whisk until very smooth and blended.
  5. Add the 2 eggs and egg yolk. Whisk until combined thoroughly.
  6. Stir in flour and spices. Whisk again until combined.
  7. Divide evenly among the 4 prepared cups or dishes.
  8. Bake for up to 15 minutes but check after 10 minutes. The cakes should be firm on the sides but soft in the middle.
  9. Let cool for 1 minute.
  10. Run knife around the edges and invert onto serving plates.
  11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Ceylon Cinnamon versus Saigon Cinnamon

There are 2 types of cinnamon to choose from and really it is all a matter of personal preference as to which one is better than the other - or are they equally useful and delicious?

Many people prefer one or the other - Ceylon versus Saigon Cinnamon, which is otherwise known as cassia.

Ceylon cinnamon comes from places such as Sri Lanka.

Ceylon cinnamon is lighter in color and its sticks are thin and brittle.

Ceylon cinnamon is very popular in Latin American cooking.

Cassia is quite popular in the United States. It is also part of the Chinese 5-spice powder.

Cassia is a reddish brown in color and its sticks are rather like double scrolls in appearance - thick and hard.

Cassia comes from China or Southeast Asia and has been banned in some countries because it possesses a blood thinner called coumarin.

The health properties of cinnamon are the following:

  • Natural anti blood clotting agent so good for circulation
  • It is said to control insulin levels better so good for diabetes or prevention of
  • Natural antibacterial so stops the growth of bacteria
  • Natural preservative
  • Contains calcium, fiber and iron as well as manganese and is said to help the fight against cancers, bowel syndromes, cholesterol and osteoporosis as well as heart disease

Ceylon cinnamon and Saigon cinnamon are interchangeable in any recipe. Again, it is a matter of taste as Ceylon cinnamon is thought to be milder than Saigon cinnamon.

Substitutions and Suggestions

I've made these cakes several times now and every way they turn out the same - delicious~!

These are some of my suggestions:

  • Substitute chocolate chips for the baking chocolate - use this formula.  1 ounce of baking chocolate = 3 ounces of chocolate chips = 1/2 cup  (Note - the texture may be a little different though using the chocolate chips)
  • Use Amaretto instead of Grand Marnier - substitute almond extract for the vanilla extract and omit the dried orange rind
  • Substitute 1/2 cup of egg substitute for the 2 eggs but use 1 egg yolk
  • Oil the custard or souffle dishes with walnut oil for a delicious added burst of flavor
  • Spray the insides of ramekins or custard cups with cooking spray instead of buttering
  • Substitute Bailey's Irish Cream for the Grand Marnier
  • Omit the ginger if you find you do not like the flavor of it with the chocolate cake
  • Add sprinkling of walnuts or almonds to the cake when completed
  • Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream to the tops of the finished cakes for a really delicious dessert
  • Add several fresh raspberries to the top of the cake - raspberries and chocolate go fabulously together
  • Substitute other liqueurs or different wine for the alcohol in the recipe - or substitute alcohol flavoring if desired rather than the real thing.  Brandy or cognac also make wonderful molten lava cakes, especially if the brandy is flavored!

Summing Up Easy Gourmet Chocolate Molten Mini Cakes with Liqueur

This is one of the simplest desserts to make and also one of the most foolproof! I don't know too many people who don't love chocolate and you will find that your guests will be happy to indulge in a bit of decadence!

Combining chocolate with liqueur is a great way to infuse taste into the cake and gives it a little bit of elegance that would be missing otherwise. No matter what flavor liqueur you use or even wine, as suggested in the original recipe, the taste is subtle and the alcohol is released by baking. You end up with the flavor but not the alcohol!

A bit of sweetened whipped cream is a delicious and easy topping as well and you can flavor the whipped cream with a tad of brandy or other liqueur as well. That alcohol, however, will still be present in the cream.

You can find recipes all over the Internet and in cookbooks these days for these little delights. They are called Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes, Chocolate Molten Cakes, Chocolate Melting Cakes, or even Chocolate Fudge Cakes sometimes. There are many variations and I love trying them all.

Whatever way you choose to make Chocolate Molten Mini Cakes with Liqueur, I think you will be pleased with a wonderfully easy yet delicious dessert that you will get rave reviews on.

Enjoy! We all know that chocolate is good for us as well!

Molten Chocolate Cake

Molten Lava Cakes

Chili's Molten Chocolate Cake

More Chocolate Molten Cake Recipes

  • Kick Coffee Into Your Cake: Recipes
    Everyone loves delicious coffee cake! Yea, I'm talking about those cakes that are usually eaten with a cup of coffee. But what do people think about coffee-flavored coffee cake? From my experience: every...
  • You Can't Go Wrong With Chocolate Cake
    Worlds Best Chocolate Cake Here we make the worlds best chocolate cake in a 9
  • Molten Lava Cake
    Not long ago I got a website forwarded to me - it was for a molten lava cake and was tagged 'hint hint'. I took the hint. Then I ran with it. These are wonderful! I had seen them - but never imagined the...
  • Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe
    Here is the recipe for one of the best chocolate cakes you will ever eat and that is Chocolate Lava Cake. This chocolate lava cake is one of the most irresistible desserts you will ever eat. Its liquid...
  • Chocolate Cake Recipes
    Chocolate cake is the most popular type of cake in the world. This is possible because chocolate is even favored in countries where dessert is not necessarily favored. It is believed the earliest cakes...
  • Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes
    Can we say Happy Accident, mon amis? Some things are destined, and in this case the Food Fairies guided my hand. I wanted a molten lava cake based on the red velvet so beloved in my Southern homeland - but...
  • Mini Chocolate Lava Cakes
    An incredibly easy recipe from the Feb 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times: The ultimate dessert for serious chocolate lovers, molten cakes are the rage at trend-setting restaurants. Freezing the batter before...
  • Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Sauce.
    The chocolate cake made with this recipe. Quick and easy steps to make a delicious chocolate cake. Now stop bothering yourself with cake icings that are so difficult to get right and check out this cake with...
  • Chocolate Cake with Creme Caramel
    What would be more delicious and mouth watering than a chocolate cake? The answer would be a chocolate cake with crme caramel. One of the masterminds of dessert recipes came up with a way to mix them...


Benoitsmidget from Boston on December 20, 2011:

I absolutely loved this hub. I am always looking for new and simple chocolate recipes. Thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait to try this!!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on March 11, 2011:

Glad you like TKI - this is my hubby's favorite dessert of all time so had to learn to make it....sadly I can only SMELL it - how far is that? Oh well - I love to bake so this is the plus!

toknowinfo on March 11, 2011:

You are the best. I have been wanting to make a molten lava cake and this looks sooo good. Thanks for the recipe. Of course this is bookmarked, and rated up and beautiful (the only way to rate anything chocolate).

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on September 21, 2010:

Thanks erthfrend for dropping in - and it is fabulous...and fabulously easy!

erthfrend from Florida on September 21, 2010:

Chocolate rules! Thanks for sharing, Im going to save this recipe and try it out!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 24, 2010:

Listlady - thanks so much for the read - and it freezes so well!

TheListLady from New York City on August 24, 2010:

Oh yes yes yes. What a fabulous recipe. I will be eating this all winter - what's so nice is that they can be made in smaller portions keeping us all from eating massive slabs. Perfect.

I can taste this. Many thanks. Whew!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 23, 2010:

Thanks for the read sabrinaaq - hope you enjoy it!

sabrinaaq from United States on August 23, 2010:

Sounds really yummy!! I never had molten chocolate cake before!! BUt i love chocolate so thi sis prefect. Thanks for sharing!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 22, 2010:

Holle - We have to take the good with the bad, eh? Of course this is a low-carb version! Bob loves them so like to make them just for him - he can freeze them and then have a little when he allows himself to have one. I like it because they are small(er).

Holle Abee from Georgia on August 22, 2010:

I'm drooling on my keyboard! Is there a low carb version?? lol

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 20, 2010:

HH - I can send you one in the post! Thanks for the read...my mouth is watering too. Only too bad I can't eat chocolate!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on August 20, 2010:

Thank for this lovely recipe. My mouth was watering just by reading it.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 19, 2010:

RedElf - Thanks so much for stopping by - Bob gives them 4 thumbs up, too! These actually freeze like a champ, too.

Sugz - Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy....I wish I could vouch for them myself but my 'taste tester' loves them!

sugz from Quakeville... Christchurch, New Zealand on August 19, 2010:

ok, its 11.45pm and i'm hungry now... going to try an make those tommorrow... sounds yummy

RedElf from Canada on August 18, 2010:

I love these little cakes - thanks for this wonderful recipe.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 18, 2010:

Will check it out - and thanks again for the tip!

mysterylady 89 from Florida on August 18, 2010:

If you try it, let me know how it turns out. Btw, white chocolate iss very different from dark, but my mind won't let me remember what it consists of.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 18, 2010:

That's a good idea - I've always worried about trying white chocolate too but I think that might be okay! I love butterscotch too - or caramel....now I'm thinking I need to redo the recipe on another hub!

mysterylady 89 from Florida on August 18, 2010:

You poor thing! Life without chocolate would be like a day without sunshine!

I just had a thought. Why not try making the recipe using butterscotch chips or white chocolate chips instead?

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 18, 2010:

Well, I could always try it - couldn't be wooise, right? I'd just watch myself blow up faster.....it does seem quite unfair. I think I was always allergic but just didn't realize it. My Aunt Geri actually sat in the front row at my mother's recitals with a pack of Hershey bars (6). That was the only way that I could manage to focus and say my name and manage to walk without spasming to the piano - or pick up the blasted accordion and proceed to getting my dress caught! Ah, good times and chocolate!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on August 18, 2010:

Had a thought, Audrea, how do you know you are allergic to chocolate? Do you break out in little, mini chocolate chips?

Pore baby, I do feel for you. Perhaps chocolate injections (shots, not swallows) would provide immunity. Whatcha think?

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 18, 2010:

Laurel - they probably will be the same in taste even without the GM. Sometimes I make them without any alcohol for folks that don't believe me about the alcohol effect not being there after cooking or when my son visits. I don't like to think I'm hurting him in any way!

Laurel Rogers from Grizzly Flats, Ca on August 17, 2010:

As you mentioned up above, I've been really, really inhaling this hub. But probably for different reasons than you-I don't drink now, but I used to adore Grand Marnier!! It's okay, though, I'll give the flavoring a try.

PS: I'll just bet my way won't be as good as yours! :)

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 17, 2010:

ML - Thanks so much for commenting - and how unfair is this? I can't eat chocolate because I'm allergic to it! Of all the things in life to be allergic to it just doesn't seem fair at all....sigh....so I live vicariously through others to create it!

mysterylady 89 from Florida on August 17, 2010:

Audrey, I must have missed something. Why can't you eat it?

The recipe. as well as several variations, sounds yummy!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 17, 2010:

PrettyPanther - Thanks so much for stopping by - and sure you will love them! At least my taste tester says they are fabulous!

PrettyPanther from Oregon on August 17, 2010:

My Mom used to make these, but I never have. I've bookmarked to make soon; they look yummy and I like that you offered so many variations.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 17, 2010:

Thanks so much MS for stopping by - these even freeze well and thaw out super moist (according to my husband, my ever faithful taste tester!)

msorensson on August 17, 2010:

Wow...thank you for sharing. Will post to some friends ...

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 16, 2010:

Thanks for reading, BJ - and yes, a ramekin is similar to a yamaka only you don't wear it, you cook in it. Or it can be a small bowel kind of thing if it upsets your stomach after you eat it! How unfair is it though that I'm testing these chocolate recipes out before my family visits next month and I can't even EAT it!

If you could see me baking these, you would die laughing. I stir, I inhale - I mean I REALLY inhale - then I stir some more....then I put my nose up to the oven vents and inhale deeply - for at least 5 minutes. Bob finally did come into the kitchen and see me yesterday and finally asked as usual 'what the heck are you doing?' Then he gets mad if I ask him like 5 times if I can smell his ramekin! Or how was it - could you describe it in MORE detail as I'm salivating...I tell you - it's just dang unfair!

Lela - that is another great name - I'll have to go put that in - I'd forgotten the melting cake.....why can't they have one that is not chocolate though is what I want to know? I think I'm coming seriously close to OD'ing on what I have in the cupboard - I'll just suffer the consequences and go mad and eat it ALL! No I won't...I'll just have to bake something else chocolate this week to get my 'fix'.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on August 16, 2010:

drbj is right. I just got back from my first Carnival cruise and I think I had the chocolate melting cake every night. And their bread pudding was to die for.

Now Audrey writes up the recipe! Bailey's Irish Cream sounds divine!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on August 16, 2010:

I knew I should have stopped reading this hub halfway down. Now I've read the entire article and put on two pounds just by reading. What lovely, decadent recipes and videos!

Have a question for you. Is a ramekin like a small bowel?