Chocolate Chile Lava Cakes

by Joanne on November 21, 2010

I’m a sucker for recipe contests.  I love coming up with my own recipes and this one presented the perfect challenge:   “A Chile & A Spoon” recipe contest. by Marx Foods.


The rules:  1. Create an original recipe using at least one of the six types of chilie’s provided by Marx Foods.  2.  It must be a dish that requires a spoon to eat.

DSC_6125 DSC_6128

The first recipe that came to mind was of course Chili.  Then I thought how I’ve wanted to incorporate heat with sweet. But what could I make that was sweet which required a spoon?  Pudding? Mousse? Custard?…or CAKE!  Lava cake!


This recipe “introduces” a small tingle of pepper in the cake then, when taking a spoon full of the runny, delicious “lava” filling, the burst of sweet heat presents itself as the Grande Finale. 


6 Servings


  • 2 oz Semi Sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp *depending on how hot you want it, Aji Amarillo chilies – or equivalent “hot” dried chile, ground
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • zest from one medium orange
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  • 6 oz Semi Sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp De Arbol Chile (similar to cayenne), ground
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS all purpose flour


First, prepare your dried chilies. I ground them in a mini food processor.  I wore gloves when handling them.  Sliced the ends off with a knife and discarded the seeds and ends. Place the pepper in the processor and use the finest grounds in your recipe.


To make the filling, melt 2 oz of the chocolate in a double boiler.  When the chocolate has melted, add the cream, sugar, orange zest and ground chili. 


Mix to blend.   Put in the fridge for 3 – 4 hours and let set.

About 15 minutes before you’re ready to put the cakes into the oven, separate the filling into 6 individual servings, about 1/2 TBS or so each.  Put them on wax paper, on a paper plate and put into the freezer.  This will let them set a little firmer.

To make the cakes, preheat the oven to 400 F.  Spray 6 ramekins with non-stick baking spray (the kind with flour). 

Melt 6 oz of the chocolate in the double boiler with the 1/2 cup butter (1 stick).   Meanwhile, in a glass bowl, beat the eggs, yolks, and sugar for about 4 – 6 minutes until it becomes light in color and thickens.  Gently fold in the chocolate, the chile


and then the flour. 

Spoon some of the cake batter into the ramekins, about 1/2 full. 


Now remove your “lava”  filling from the freezer and add each of the 6 servings into the middle of each ramekin.


Cover with the remaining cake batter.


Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until cake is slightly firm to the touch.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. 


Using a knife, insert it carefully into the side of the ramekin just to loosen the cake.  Put a plate on top of the cake and flip over to serve.


If you used a lot of the chili, or you used a really HOT chili, the heat is nicely offset by a big scoop of ice cream or whip cream.


You can see the orange zest oozing out of the lusciously moist cake with the spicy, liquid lava.


The hardest part of this recipe is trying not to eat more than one!


For more information on chilies, check out these links from MarxFood:

Chile Heat Scale

Dried Chile Varieties

Chile Recipes & Techniques


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  • At 2010.11.21 17:00, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

    Yum! I loves the heat 😀 I am making Alton Brown’s Pressure Cooker chili tonight. These would be awesome afterward.

    • At 2010.11.22 10:46, Joanne said:

      I like heat as well but took it easy in this recipe since Ted doesn’t like things too spicy hot.

      • At 2010.11.21 19:06, claudia lamascolo aka pegasuslegend said:

        Very impressive I love the heat…lava cakes are our favorite, first introduced from Royal Carribean cruiselines…. a type of it anyway have tried several recipes, this one sounds like a real keeper…just look at that lava oh yeah!

        • At 2010.11.22 10:46, Joanne said:

          Thanks Claudia

          • At 2010.11.21 22:28, Amy said:

            Oh…these cakes sound amazing! I love the use of chilies in baked goods with chocolate!

            • At 2010.11.22 10:49, Joanne said:

              Me too!

              • At 2010.11.21 23:36, Amanda @ BakingWithoutABox said:

                Oh I must try this one when we get into the new kitchen. I already had a dark chocolate bar just waiting for lava cakes, but now I’ll have something special to add!

                • At 2010.11.22 10:49, Joanne said:

                  You’ll love this dessert.

                  • At 2010.11.22 06:42, Amy Bakes Everythign said:

                    OMG These look incredible! Chocolate and chilies is following me around this week: I was going to make a candied chili chocolate cookie, or a chocolate fruitcake with candied chilies…is there something in the air?

                    • At 2010.11.22 10:51, Joanne said:

                      Thanks Amy. There must be something “spicy” in the air 🙂

                      • At 2010.11.22 09:25, Heather said:

                        Joanne!!!! OMG, my husband would LOVE these! He just bought the Lindt Dark Chocolate Chili this weekend. Great idea!

                        • At 2010.11.22 10:51, Joanne said:

                          I love Lindt! IT’s so smooth. I used Callebaut in this recipe. My favorite baking chocolate.

                          • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Applecrumbles, Mark Fullerton. Mark Fullerton said: Chocolate Chile Lava Cakes | Apple Crumbles […]

                            • At 2010.12.08 19:43, Stephanie said:

                              This look awesome! I almost made a chocolate chili dessert for the challenge, but I ended up doing a spicy cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving instead. I want to try your recipe with my leftover chilies!

                              • At 2011.07.08 17:46, Jayvee said:

                                Hey, that’s pwouerfl. Thanks for the news.

                                • […] The recipe was adapted from these gorgeous looking Chocolate Chile Lava Cakes […]

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