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

Updated on March 11, 2011

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


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    • Benoitsmidget profile image

      Benoitsmidget 6 years ago from Boston

      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!!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      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 profile image

      toknowinfo 7 years ago

      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).

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

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

    • erthfrend profile image

      erthfrend 7 years ago from Florida

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

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

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

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 7 years ago from New York City

      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!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for the read sabrinaaq - hope you enjoy it!

    • sabrinaaq profile image

      sabrinaaq 7 years ago from United States

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

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      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).

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

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

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

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

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      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 profile image

      sugz 7 years ago from Quakeville... Christchurch, New Zealand

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

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

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

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

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

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 7 years ago from Florida

      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.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      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 I'm thinking I need to redo the recipe on another hub!

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 7 years ago from Florida

      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?

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Well, I could always try it - couldn't be wooise, right? I'd just watch myself blow up 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 profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      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?

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      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!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      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! :)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      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 I live vicariously through others to create it!

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 7 years ago from Florida

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

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

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

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

    • PrettyPanther profile image

      PrettyPanther 7 years ago from Oregon

      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.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      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 profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

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

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      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'.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 7 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      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 profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      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?


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