Chocolate Chili Lava Cake

Chocolate Chili Lava Cake

Dear, sweet husband and I rarely go out to eat on Valentine’s Day. But that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a nice, romantic meal if we want to. This year, I haven’t give much thought to the meal, because my focus is on a dessert that speaks to his heart, something that brings sweet and heat, and a little chocolate for me: Chocolate Chili Lava Cake. 

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Dessert Just for Two!

With just the two of us, I try not to make cakes too often, because we don’t need the extra calories laying around tempting us! The force is not with us when it comes to resisting them, nor can we perform Jedi mind tricks (“These are not the cakes you want….”) Out of sight—better yet, not in the house—is the best strategy for us. This cake is perfect, because it is made for two. (But it’s fairly easy to scale up for more folks.)

Is it Chili in Here?

For the chili I chose guajillo. It has heat and goes well with dark chocolate. If you don’t want that much heat, ancho is a milder pepper. And if you just really feel uncomfortable with the idea of heat, you can eliminate it altogether. Because the chili is de-seeded, it’s really rather mild, and the flavor is subtle, but present.

I use dried peppers. To reconstitute it, start by placing your pepper in a bowl. Pour boiling water over it and let it soak about 30 minutes. Now you can slice it open and deseed it. If you want more heat—and you don’t mind eating the seeds—leave the seeds in. If you don’t want to bother with all that fuss, or you don’t have time, just grind it dry, or try ancho chili powder.

Sweet Release

Be sure to grease your ramekin well to help with the release of the cake. You want it to hold solid if you can, so that the melting part reveals itself when you cut it. It can be a little tricky to invert the plate and turn the very hot ramekin. It may be helpful to place a trivet under the ramekin when you take it out of the oven to get a grip on the item. 

About Chocolate Chili Lava Cake

If you’ve got the toppings on hand, this is a quick and easy cake that feels luxurious and won’t leave you with tempting leftovers. (But if you want more, just scale it up and break out more ramekins. Galentine’s, anyone?) And if you’re solo, that two servings is just right to show yourself some love, too—you can even save half the batter for another night.  

Looking for something gluten free? Why not this cake with almond flour. Or give vegan, gluten-free Chocolate Serenity a shot.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” 

Charles M. Schulz 

Chocolate Chili Lava Cake

Is it chili in here? Add some heat to molten chocolate, and you've got chocolate chili lava cake. Made for two, but scalable for one or more.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Fusion
Keyword cake, chili pepper, chocolate cake, lava cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Soak 20 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 520kcal



  • 1 guajillo chili pepper, reconstituted
  • 4 TBSP butter unsalted
  • 2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 TBSP sweetener of choice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ C flour


  • chocolate syrup
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa powder

Chocolate Syrup (optional)

  • ½ C sugar or other sweetener
  • ½ C water
  • ¼ C special dark cocoa powder adjust to taste


  • Grease ramekins well using butter or brushed oil. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425° F.

Chocolate Syrup (optional)

  • In small pan, dissolve sugar and chocolate into water and heat to almost boiling. Refrigerate.

Chocolate-chili mix

  • Reconstitute pepper before using: heat water to boil, remove from heat, set pepper in water, and soak about 20 minutes. De-seed and finely dice or grind it.
  • Chop chocolate and butter into pieces.
  • Combine pepper, butter and chocolate in pan to melt. If available, use a double boiler.
  • Keep heat as low as possible. For double boiler method, ensure you have an adequate amount of water in the bottom pot.
  • Stir often until melted through. Watch carefully to avoid burning chocolate.

Cake batter

  • In separate bowl, beat egg and egg yolk until frothy.
  • Add sweetener, vanilla, and sea salt to eggs. Blend well. Set aside.
  • In separate bowl, blend flour and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • Once chocolate is melted, carefully add to eggs, beating as you add to avoiding cooking egg.
  • Once this mixture is well blended, fold in flour mixture by hand.


  • Spoon cake batter into greased ramekins.
  • Place ramekins on a baking sheet and place in oven.
  • Bake about 5 to 8 minutes, until outside of cake is done and center is still depressed.
  • Remove from oven.

Plate dessert

  • Invert a dessert place over the ramekin and turn over onto plate. Carefully displace from ramekin.
  • Drizzle chocolate syrup over cake and sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa powder as desired.


Serving Suggestions
Serve with coffee, a glass of shiraz, a stout beer, or even a shot of tequila. Pairs well with ice cream.
  • If guajillo chilies are too hot, try an ancho chili instead, or eliminate the chili altogether.
  • An easy way to break chocolate into pieces is to beat it with the top of your spoon or other utensil while it is still in the wrapper. You can also use a knife or kitchen scissors.
  • Pastry flour works best. If using all-purpose, add a small amount of milk or water to moisturize. 
  • Carefully watch cake. It will move to overdone quickly.
  • To plate, place ramekin on an oven mitt. Cover with plate. Slip hand into oven mitt and hold firmly on plate. Flip and release cake.


Serving: 1cake | Sodium: 665mg | Calcium: 110mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 762IU | Sugar: 56g | Fiber: 10g | Potassium: 545mg | Cholesterol: 183mg | Calories: 520kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Fat: 22g | Protein: 13g | Carbohydrates: 86g | Iron: 8mg