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
Unfortunately this recipe doesn’t calculate correctly when you choose 3 servings instead of 1. For instance, instead of it saying 3 T of butter for the batter it leaves it at 1, but adjusts for the butter needed for the ramekin. There’s another ingredient that doesn’t get calculated correctly either. Thankfully I caught this before my son, who was making the recipe, finished it (after he kept saying that something didn’t seem right). Looking forward to trying it when it’s out or the oven!
Perfect amount for one. Moist and delicious. I’m saving this one.
Very nice recipe
I love dessert :) I really love this recipe. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.
Love this dessert! Great for tough days.
the recipe looks amazing
Thank you so much for sharing this, Joy! I desperately needed a single serving chocolate cake and made this last night. It was divine! This is exactly what we need to get through these crazy times. Have a wonderful day!
Loving the single serve recipes as a “single woman” in isolation, I feel the need to bake but don’t want to end up with a whole cake all to myself and no office full of colleagues to share it with. Please keep them coming. ?
I made this today, served with flaky sea salt and vanilla ice cream – it’s really delicious! So satisfying. Thanks so much for the recipe! Next time i will use some instant espresso powder instead of peanut butter I think, that might be interesting. Anything to consume more coffee!
I think instant espresso powder sounds delicious! Great thought!
Thanks for these single serving treats! Like you are, I am on lockdown with just me and my cat. I have plenty to do but I’m used to cooking for an army and sharing my creations with friends. These are great for this time when I can only cook for one.
I absolutely understand you Joey! I hope you’re staying well!
I’ve made this recipe with all cocoa powder instead of flour and it works great! Gluten free and delicious (: An oven-proof mug or a few wells of a cupcake tray also work, if you don’t have ramekins.
Thank you for posting this recipe, as it was a much-needed treat during a difficult day. For those of us self-isolating alone, it has not been easy. Please continue to share these small batch recipes, as ingredients are spare and precious right now, and a entire big cake for myself just highlights how alone I am.
You know how many times and ways my husband and I have made this recipe? no frills, Earl gray, orange, bourbon, rose (pairing it with tequila), etc. It’s honestly amazing and one of my go to recipes of yours!!! (Also we made a cherry pie tonight based off your recipe. We made dark & stormy banana bread and the orange and rosemary cornbread in the last week.)
This recipe is so versatile, right!? I love hearing all of your combinations! I’m here for all of it! Thanks for the sweet comment Shannon!
I saw the title of this post and just said to myself “God bless you, Joy.” Truly. You know just what we need and it offer it so sweetly. Thank you! Be well ??
I’m wishing you well Shayna!
When you say a glug….how much exactly do you mean :) ??
I plan to use Baileys in this one and dark chocolate almond butter in place of peanut butter.
If it was possible to make it in a micro wave, I would be on track to gain a few pound a week.
I am soooo grateful this little gem has to be baked in the oven. That fact causes me to think twice before I reach for the ingredients…do I really want to heat up the oven for just 10 minutes of baking? Can I really wait that long for this little treat to be ready?
All tihs chatter is my way of saying this treat is over the top yummy. The first time I made it , I actually used Hershey’s Kisses because I did not have any other chocolate. It was so good but when I mad it again with dark chocolate, it was to die for. It is a perfect size and totally satisfying.
Thanks so much for sharing.