Clementine Chocolate Lava Cake

December 20, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: I like to serve these individual chocolate cakes for dessert at the end of long dinner parties (everyone loves chocolate). But more often than not I just end up making a batch, baking one ramekin off for myself right there, and stashing the rest, covered, in the fridge for the next three nights. We spend so much time talking about meal prep, but dessert prep can get you a long way in these colder, darker days.Eric Kim

Food52 Review: Featured in: A Clementine Chocolate Lava Cake for Tonight (& 3 More Nights).The Editors

Serves: 1 (4 times)
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min


  • 4 ounces dark, bittersweet chocolate (60% or more cacao)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 clementine, zested
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease four 6-ounce ramekins and place them on a sheet pan.
  2. Melt chocolate in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, clementine zest, and olive oil until light and fluffy. Fold in the chocolate.
  3. Pour batter into the ramekins and bake for 10 minutes, or until just cooked. (The tops should be slightly cracked, the insides hot and gooey.) Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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Reviews (16) Questions (1)

16 Reviews

Joyce January 16, 2019
Looks amazing! What do you think about substituting maple syrup for the sugar?
Starchgirl January 16, 2019
A simple, delicious pleasure. I didn't have a clementine, so I used the zest from 1/3 orange instead. <br />They take longer than 10 minutes in the oven....especially if they come out of the refrigerator.
Chocomint537 January 3, 2019
Any way to do an eggless version of this recipe?
C December 27, 2018
Our son made batter and brought 3 of the 4 filled ramekins to our Christmas dinner - the first was his test run/lunch at home. Left on counter during dinner, baked 12 minutes - amazing. Gooey in the center, fudgy on the edges, way more orangey flavored than I expected with the zest from only 1 clementine. The perfect ending to our meal! I will be making this. C
Author Comment
Eric K. December 30, 2018
I love this story.
LG December 25, 2018
Is there any alternative baking equivalent for the ramekins if you don't have any at home but have some rapidly ripening clementines that this sounds perfect for?
Author Comment
Eric K. December 27, 2018
Hi LG, some people have baked them in muffin tins with success; it won't be pretty, but will taste good. If I were you, I'd just make them in one big pan (cast iron skillet or a cake round), and adjust the bake time accordingly. You might have to add 5 minutes or so. Small oven-safe mugs are also an option, but only if you're sure they're oven-safe.<br /><br />These kinds of ramekins, though, run at about $1.99 a pop. And they're worth the investment b/c I use them for everything. Plus, I appreciate that they help me portion out delicious things like chocolate cake. :)
LG December 29, 2018
Great thanks so much!
Starchgirl January 16, 2019
Hi LG, You can use coffee cups or a muffin tin, but honestly, run out and buy some simple Anchor Hocking ramekins. They're only about $6 for 4 of them, and I use them for everything....melting a little butter, mixing spices, etc.
FR December 25, 2018
Had Christmas for two people today, so halved the recipe. I didn’t add the zest, and didn’t have ramekins so made it in a muffin tin. We had to scoop it out of the tin so the presentation wasn’t great, but it was delicious served with ice cream and berries. Great recipe and so easy to make!
Author Comment
Eric K. December 27, 2018
So glad to hear, FR. Thanks for reporting back!
Mary A. December 23, 2018
Fortunately , I found this great recipe for tonight's pre-holiday party. I doubled it with no problems and it was super creamy and delicious . It was a very big hit with my family. I served it with a clementine syrup made of the segments from four clementines simmered with brown sugar, water and vanilla bean . Thanks for this one !
Author Comment
Eric K. December 27, 2018
Oh my goodness, Mary—what a GREAT idea. That sounds so good.
Nancy O. December 20, 2018
Looks great but what is "dark" chocolate? Unsweetened? 60% (Bittersweet)? Please specify!<br />
Author Comment
Eric K. December 20, 2018
I'd say 60% or more! Not unsweetened.
Nancy O. December 21, 2018
Got it-thanks!<br />