Let’s talk about these warm coffee-infused chocolate cakes, shall we?
When it comes to baked goods with decadently gooey centers, they’d better be chocolate. And you can bet that I will be ordering whatever molten chocolate dessert option is available at any restaurant that serves it.
I remember when I was a kid, the local steakhouse my grandparents would take me to had one of these single-serving cakes on the menu. It was the one thing I really looked forward to ordering whenever we went, and the only reason that I actually ate my green vegetables on these outings.
Just digging in with my fork to watch the chocolatey center ooze out was a celebration in itself. I mean, have you ever just sat there and watched that dark and irresistible liquid filling slowly emerge?
You can’t take your eyes off it. It’s truly mesmerizing.
Maybe it was because those nights were so special, but I always assumed that kind of dessert with something that was way too difficult to make in my own kitchen.
I mean, how could you possibly learn to master such a thing? I mean, I’ve made microwave mug cakes countless of times, but this kind of refined dessert seemed so scary to make at home.
Well, my chocoholic friends, this is one of those fantastically delicious and impressive things that you can make at home, and there is no reason to be intimidated by it at all.
These are so impressive, so I love to whip them out for dinner parties. I know the prospect of this kind of high-pressure prep work may sound scary, but let me assure you that you can make these so easily.
Though it does take a few steps to make the batter, the instructions that I’m about to share with you are simple and straightforward:
You have to melt some chocolate and butter together in a double boiler (aka a metal bowl over a saucepan with a couple of inches of boiling water in it).
You have to beat some eggs and egg yolks with sugar until they are light in color and fluffy.
You mix everything together and you swirl it all around… That’s what it’s all about.
Sorry if I just got that childhood song stuck in your head… I couldn’t resist.
Anyway, let’s get back on topic over here.
The best part of making this is that once the batter is all set, it only takes 10 minutes to bake. To make sure you totally nail this one, you want the tops of the cakes to be nice and dry, but they should still be pretty wobbly and wet on the inside.
You can even make the batter and portion it out into ramekins well ahead of time. All you have to do is put them in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.
Finally, the reduced coffee sauce that’s served with this cake is the best topping.
To make it, you simply let some coffee and maple syrup get to know each other in a saucepan over low heat, and allow the liquid to reduce. This adds such a lovely flavor to the dessert (chocolate and coffee together is an amazing combination, like in our smoothies!), and it really enhances the small amount of ground coffee that you put into the batter – mocha bliss!
Pair these with ice cream if you wish, or drizzle an extra serving of coffee sauce on top. Every bite brings just the right amount of sweet and bitter, rich and indulgent.Print
Warm coffee-infused chocolate cakes are moist, gooey, and decadent. Your guests won’t believe they’re also incredibly easy to make.
For the Coffee Sauce:
- 2 1/2 cups strong freshly brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (or sorghum syrup)
For the Cakes:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted softened butter, plus extra for buttering molds
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon ground coffee
- 4 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting molds
To Make the Coffee Sauce:
- Combine coffee and syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours, until reduced by half.
To Make the Cakes:
- Butter and lightly flour six 6- to 10-ounce ramekins. Tap out any excess flour.
- In a small saucepan, bring two inches of water to a boil over high heat. In a large metal bowl set above the saucepan, combine butter, both types of chocolate, and ground coffee. You can also use a double boiler for this if you have one.
- Reduce heat and let the water simmer as you slowly whisk the mixture until the chocolate is almost fully melted. Remove bowl from heat and continue to whisk until melted completely and thoroughly combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a separate large bowl, mix together eggs, yolks, and sugar with a hand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy, and pale in color, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Reduce speed to medium-low and slowly pour in the chocolate mixture. Continue to mix until just combined.
- Shut off the mixer and add the flour. Mix on low speed until just combined. Do not overwork the batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between molds, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place molds on the baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until you’re ready to bake and serve, for up to 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450˚F Place tray of refrigerated molds in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the tops and sides are cooked and dry, but the insides are soft and runny.
- Using oven mitts, carefully invert each mold onto a plate and let it sit for 10 seconds, then lift up one corner of each ramekin and the cake should slip out. Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon of coffee sauce over each cake, or more to taste.
- Serve warm, with ice cream or sorbet on the side.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: coffee, chocolate, cake
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Brew Coffee and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Brew enough strong coffee so that you have 2 1/2 cups total.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Butter and lightly flour six 6- to 10-ounce ramekins. Be sure to tap out any excess flour.
Preheat your oven to 450˚F.
Step 2 – Start Coffee Reduction Sauce
Add the coffee and maple syrup (or sorghum syrup) to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
Allow the mixture to heat up and come to a low simmer while stirring occasionally, but keep an eye on it and do not allow it to boil. This will take about 4 minutes.
Let the mixture simmer for 2 hours, until reduced by half.
Step 3 – Melt Chocolate
While the coffee sauce is simmering away, heat two inches of water until they come to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat.
Position a large metal bowl above the saucepan. Add the unsalted butter, both types of chocolate, and the ground coffee. You can also use a double boiler for this if you have one.
Reduce the heat to medium, so the water is at a simmer. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture until it is almost fully melted. Remove the metal bowl from the heat and continue to whisk until it is completely melted.
Let the mixture cool slightly.
Step 4 – Finish Batter
In a separate large bowl, add the eggs, yolks, and sugar. Use a hand mixer to beat the ingredients together until the mixture is light and fluffy, and more pale in color. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high speed.
Reduce your hand mixer’s speed to medium-low. Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture, beating until just combined.
Add the flour and beat until just combined. Use a low speed for this to start or mix by hand, to avoid getting flour all over your counters! Make sure that you don’t overwork the batter.
Step 5 – Bake
Divide the batter evenly between the molds. Place them on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
If you want, you can refrigerate the molds on the baking sheet until you are ready to bake them, for up to 8 hours.
Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. When you’re ready to bake, make sure the molds are evenly spaced on the tray, and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
When the cakes are done, the tops and sides will be cooked through and dry, but the insides will still be soft and runny.
Step 6 – Serve
If you didn’t bake these right away, warm the coffee sauce up again on the stove or in the microwave.
Remove the pan from the oven. Using oven mitts, carefully invert each mold onto a plate. You can run a butter knife around the edges first before inverting to make sure they are loose enough to slide out of the ramekins without sticking.
Lift up one edge of each ramekin slowly and the cake should slip out.
Sprinkle each cake with about 1/2 teaspoon of the warm coffee reduction sauce, if desired.
Serve warm, with ice cream or sorbet on the side if you like. I like to finish mine with some powdered sugar to keep things simple, or some extra sauce.
Dessert for Date Night: Do I Have to Make Six?
This recipe is so easy to halve, so you can make three of these instead of six if you need to feed just a few people. This dessert is perfect for those date nights in that you have at home, or if you just want to get a couple of your friends together for something truly special.
Regardless of whether you make the whole recipe or halve it, it’s guaranteed to please.
Not a fan of coffee-flavored desserts? Enjoy the simplicity of our molten chocolate lava cakes! You’ll get the same ooey-gooey middle, without any strong coffee flavor.
For more cake recipes to try at home, check out the following from Foodal next:
- Macadamia Nut Coconut Cake with Passionfruit Glaze
- Spelt Layer Cake with Raspberry Whipped Cream
- Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
What occasion will you celebrate when you serve these warm and gooey cakes? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe as well.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on May 11, 2011. Last updated on February 2, 2020. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.