I very much need you to know that cake is available to you, right now, from your very pantry, warm from the oven, melty on the inside, in all ways perfect.
This single serving molten chocolate cake comes from my first cookbook where it lives on forever in print as Single Girl’s Chocolate Cake – as though single girls have anything at all to wallow in cake about. I get it now. They don’t – this cake is a celebration in itself.
I recently made this cake on Instagram at you and shared a link to the recipe in one of my Sunday posts, but I’m also going to leave this cake here for you as a reminder and an invitation, maybe a little bit of a bossy request to make and enjoy this cake exactly right now.
It’s a cake for our current times: simple and versatile where ingredients might be sparse and high-impact rewarding because… melty chocolate, duh.
Can I show you how?
Here’s what you’ll need and here’s what you might have on hand:
• A few teaspoons of flour though a gluten-free flour blend would work, too. If you want to swap the flour for whole wheat, reduce the amount by 1/2 teaspoon.
• A few pats of butter but feel free to use coconut or canola oil for the cake and for greasing the ramekin.
• Dutch processed or regular cocoa powder to dust the ramekin, though flour (gluten-free or otherwise) works for greasing the dish as well. Cocoa enriches the flavor and doesn’t leave any dusty white marks on the outside of the cake, that’s all – choose your own adventure.
• Any kind of milk, semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate you have is good chocolate to melt into this cake.
• An egg is key to the rise and texture of this cake. If you don’t have an egg, a flax egg will do. Be sure to add a good pinch of baking soda to the flax egg to help with extra lift.
• Peanut butter is delicious in this cake but so is tahini or almond butter.
• Bourbon, skip it or enjoy it. Rum? Also delicious!
• Salt. Just a pinch – do it.
We’ll bake this cake in a 3/4 cup ramekin. If you only have a 1-cup ramekin that’s fine too – the cake may bake for 1-2 minutes less.
If you don’t have a ramekin, any oven-friendly glass dish will do. Just make sure that there’s about 3/4-inch of room left at the top for the cake to rise.
Melt together chocolate and butter. The mixture will be thick but glossy.
In a smaller bowl whisk together egg, sugar, and peanut butter. Add a glug of bourbon or rum if you’d like.
Combine the egg mixture to the melted chocolate – whisk to smooth. Stir in the flour and salt and scrape every bit of batter into a greased ramekin.
Bake the cake for 7 to 10 minutes for a molten melty center. You’ll know it’s done because the edges of the cake will be firm but bouncy and cooked through. The center will still be wet and look dense.
For a less melty cake center, just bake the cake a bit longer – 10 to 12 minutes will do ya!
Allow the cake to cool for just 3 or so minutes, run a butterknife around the edges of the cake to loosen it and, using a pot holder or towel, invert the little cake onto a plate. You know what you can also do? Eat the cake straight from the hot dish – totally acceptable. Top with whatever goodness like whipped cream or ice cream you have and enjoy warm.
This recipe also doubles well if you need two cakes for sharing. So, if you have a pal – they might enjoy their very own cake too.Print
A Single Molten Chocolate Cake
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- 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter for buttering the baking ramekin plus 1 tbsp. unsalted butter for the batter
- about 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa to dust the baking ramekin (or use flour or granulated sugar)
- heaping 1/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 large egg, at room temperature is best
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, optional
- splash of bourbon, optional
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 375° and set a baking sheet on rack in center of oven. Grease a 3/4-cup ramekin with 1/2 tsp. butter, then dust with unsweetened cocoa. Set aside.
- Put 1 tbsp. butter and the chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl set over a small pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring, until chocolate melts; let cool a few minutes. You can also melt the chocolate and butter slowly in the microwave. Whatever is easiest for you.
- Whisk egg, sugar, and peanut butter (if using) in a small bowl to blend. Add a small glug of booze if you’d like. Whisk in chocolate mixture until well incorporated, then stir in salt and flour just until combined. Pour batter into ramekin. Set on baking sheet and bake until as done as you like, 7 to 10 minutes for a molten center (a 3/4-in. ring around the edge will look dull) or 10 to 12 minutes for a soft center (cake edge will puff slightly).
- Let cake cool 2-3 minutes. Protecting hands with a towel or pot holders, invert onto a plate. Eat right away – enjoy warm
I was just telling my pals about this wonderful little cake from your first cook book (my favorite cook book ever) Thanks for posting it. I am passing it along like crazy to friends this evening. We all need a day maker. Thanks for being you. Stay safe!
That’s great, Virginia! Cake for all!
Thank you for this – I may try this soon. Could I send this link to my students (I am a high school Foods studies teacher) and am teaching “from home”. While we are working on other recipes, I try to send out a baked item each week for fun. Now, if students don’t have a ramekin – what are thoughts on baking in a metal measuring cup – or a pyrex measuring cup? I’m going to experiment but appreciate your thoughts – and permission to use the recipe (I’ll just send them the link here).
Food studies teacher!? That’s amazing! I think baking in a metal measuring or glass pyrex measuring cup could surely work! Very creative!
My daughter was just complaining that the one thing we’re missing here in our stay-at-home mode is dessert.
I don’t want to make a batch of cookies (too tempting-can’t eat just one….you know. But this, serving for one with a bite for me is the perfect dessert.
Thanks so much and thank you for being YOU Joy. Stay safe!
Please continue to post small portion desserts!!
Thank you for all you give us Joy!
Thinking of you and wonderful NOLA. Can’t wait to get back over there when all this is in the rearview mirror.
Going to really miss Jazz Fest this year.
Maybe you could share some of the more memorable recipes from there? Crawfish bread etc……..
I’m so happy to hear from you Joy. I’ve been worried. Please take good care of yourself and stay healthy. By the way, the cake looks marvelous!
Can’t wait to make this this week to celebrate my birthday! Thanks for the birthday treat I can make at home Joy!
Hi! I could use some help. I tried to bake this last week and I just could not get the cake to set — after almost 14 minutes at 375 degrees, the middle 2/3rds of my ramekin remained completely raw. I can’t figure it out! I used Swede 6 oz. stackable ramekins, which are a bit taller and deeper than the usual squat version. Any suggestions? Longer bake at lower temp? More flour? (I did not use alcohol.)
Thanks Joy, you’re the best.
Hm. Have you tested the heat in your oven? Maybe this cake just takes longer in your oven.
Absolutely LOVE this little delight from your first book – thank you for sharing, celebrating and honoring single ladies.
You’re a true treasure, Joy!
I love this type of cake!
This cake would be a great companion for my morning black coffee, thanks for posting! I’m also trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle and started to mine for healthy recipes like yours. Also, I’m training with SportMe running app, and I managed to get rid of some pounds. Your blog posts are super inspiring for me in this phase, thanks!
This looks delicious!
Mariya | https://www.brunetteondemand.com/
Thanks you for something so delicious and simple!
Oh my goodness, am I making this today or waiting until after Passover next week?!?!
Thank you! This is perfect for these times! Stay well.