Decadent Chili’s Lava Cake Recipe In Under 1 Hour

Last Updated on December 31, 2023

Today we’ll be making the famous Chili’s lava cake recipe. It’s easy, quick, uses simple ingredients, and is stuffed with gooey chocolatey flavors!

What Is This Chili’s Lava Cake Recipe

Chili’s has created a multitude of world-famous dishes over the decades. One of these is their signature Chili’s lava cake recipe. It’s simple in concept but extravagant in practice!

This dish consists of a luscious chocolate molten lava cake that is topped with creamy vanilla ice cream and a hard chocolate shell.

The dish itself isn’t very complicated, but getting the right consistency of the cake is crucial. If you cake it for too long, it won’t be oozy. But, if you don’t bake it long enough, it won’t hold its shape outside of the ramekin.

Chili’s lava cake is also traditionally baked in brioche molds. But, because most people don’t have these (and will likely not buy any for one recipe), we used regular ramekins instead.

So, we have adapted their original concept and developed a recipe that is easy to make, relatively quick, and exceptionally rich in flavor and texture. let’s see how you make it.

What is lava cake made of

What You Will Need For This Rich Chili’s Lava Cake Recipe

Ingredients for the lava cake

  • 9 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons milk, lukewarm

Ingredients for the toppings

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Shell topping chocolate sauce


  • 6 ramekins (with a 10-ounce capacity)
  • Pastry brush
  • Sieve
  • Baking tray
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric hand or stand mixer
  • Rubber or silicone spatula
  • Ice cream scoop

Step by step instructions 

Step 1: Prepare your equipment and ingredients

To start, preheat your oven to 360ºF (180ºC).

Next, you can prepare your ramekins. Melt 3 tablespoons of salted butter. Brush all of your ramekins with melted butter. Then, dust the molds with extra cocoa powder.

Tap the side of the mold so any excess powder can fall out. Set the ramekins aside on a baking tray.

Then, measure out all your remaining ingredients.

Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients

To start, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set the bowl aside.

Step 3: Beat the fats, sugar, and flavorings together

In another bowl, whisk together the canola oil, the remaining 6 tablespoons of softened butter, and the sugar. On medium-high speed, beat together these ingredients until they become fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Then, add the cocoa powder with the vanilla extract. Again, beat the mixture until it comes together.

Step 4: Add the eggs

Once you have a uniform mixture again, add one egg at a time. Make sure to incorporate each egg almost fully before adding the next one.

After adding the final egg, beat the mixture on medium-low for 1 minute.

Step 5: Finish the batter

Finally, add all of the dry ingredients and mix it on low. Then, add the lukewarm milk. Keep mixing until you have a uniform lump-free cake batter.

Step 6: Bake the lava cakes

Divide your chocolate lava cake batter between the 6 lined ramekins. Only fill them slightly above 3/4 of the way full. Anything more and they will spill over the sides when baked.

Bake the lava cakes for 25-30 minutes, or until they are barely set.

After they are baked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for about 20 minutes.

Step 7: Serve the Chili’s molten lava cakes

Once your lava cakes have cooled slightly, you can remove them from their molds and place them on a plate. They should slide right out!

Then, top each with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Garnish the ice cream with hard-setting chocolate syrup.

Expert Tips And Tricks

  • If you don’t have ramekins, you can also use brioche molds that hold about 1 cup of liquid each. Or, a jumbo muffin pan will also work. And, if you have larger or smaller ramekins, just divide the batter evenly between them. Just don’t fill them more than 3/4 of the way full.
  • Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you make the batter. This will ensure that all the ingredients are evenly incorporated and worked.
  • If you don’t allow this Chili’s lava cake recipe to set after it has been baked, the cakes will just fall apart if you try to remove them. When they are warm, they are extremely delicate. This is why you have to rest them for at least 15 minutes.
  • We like to use a store-bought hard-setting chocolate sauce. But, you can also make your own chocolate sauce at home. It won’t set as fast or as well as a store-bought option. But, for an additive-free alternative, it will do just fine.

 Preparations Times And Servings

Preparation TimesBaking TimesServings
15 minutes25-30 minutes6

Wrapping Things Up

As you can see, our Chili’s lava cake recipe is incredibly easy to make. And relatively foolproof! Let us know what you think about it in the comments below!

And if there are any other world-famous recipes you would like for us to cover.


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