Gluten-Free Chocolate Molten Lava Cake (aka Roy’s Classic Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé)

Oh these individual cakes! They are the stuff dreams are made of; light and fluffy in texture, spectacularly chocolatey in flavor, and literally oozing “molten chocolate” when you cut into it. 

We discovered them while on Maui, quite by accident. We took a long night walk from our hotel and found ourselves in need of a rest stop and some fuel. After stumbling into famed chef Roy Yamaguchi’s Wailea restaurant, Humble Market Kitchin, we spotted the gluten-free melting hot chocolate soufflé on the menu and ordered it. It was so chocolatey, oozy, and perfect in every way (especially when paired with raspberry coulis, aka pureed raspberries with some added sugar), we practically licked the plate clean. Then we asked the manager if we could get the recipe to share with you. 

Now, here we are, excited to present you with one of the very best and most impressive chocolate desserts you can make (it also happens to be crazy-simple). 

It took us five tries to get the cooking time to where the soufflé was cooked enough but not overcooked. Hopefully, our efforts will allow you to skip the learning curve!

Anyway, trust us and MAKE THIS DESSERT!

5 from 1 vote

Gluten-Free Chocolate Molten Lava Cake / Roy’s Classic Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé

There are some tricks to getting this gluten-free molten chocolate cake right. For example, for optimal chocolate flavor, use great-quality chocolate. More important, for the oozing chocolate center, you need to keep an eye on the cake; if it looks “done” and has an even remotely firm top in the center, you’ve overcooked it. The secret is for the center of this glorious gluten-free molten chocolate cake to look visibly uncooked (about a half-dollar in size of uncooked batter in the center; see our photo) with about 3/4 inch of cooked cake circling it. You flip the cake upside-down to serve, so no one will see the raw center but you! Since oven temperatures vary, don't trust the timing in our directions; watch the cake and pull it out when it still looks way undercooked. Better a little too raw than too cooked (though an overdone molten cake is a lovely chocolate soufflé). Also important is refrigerating the batter overnight; baking cold cake batter slows the cooking process and allows for that seductive runny center. Let the cakes sit for 5 minutes after cooking unless you want your mouth to know firsthand why it’s called a “molten” cake. Finally, don't skip the parchment paper on the bottom of the ramekins and grease them generously to allow for easy removal.

Servings 4


  • 12 tablespoons salted butter
  • 8 oz semi sweet chocolate or dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  • ice cream to serve (optional)


  1. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chocolate, and whisk to combine. Remove from heat.
  2. In a bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Pour in chocolate mixture, and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the eggs, and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate the mixture overnight.

  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

  5. Line the inside bottom of 4 small soufflé tins or ceramic ramekins with parchment paper, then grease the entire inside of the tin thoroughly. Divide the mixture among the tins, place the tins on a baking sheet, and bake just until the top is still totally raw in the middle (see image), 14 to 18 minutes.

  6. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edges, then turn out the cakes upside-down onto individual dessert plates. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with ice cream.

5 Comments on “Gluten-Free Chocolate Molten Lava Cake (aka Roy’s Classic Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé)”

  1. Avatar for Karen

    I’d really like to try this! Question: what size ramekins? I want to avoid a previous failure from too small of ones when making creme brûlée!

  2. Avatar for Erika

    Hello and great question. Go for the small porcelain ones–about 3-1/2 inches wide!

  3. Avatar for Leanne

    The ingredient list says 4 eggs and then underneath, 4 egg yolks. Surely you don’t mean to add 8 eggs to the mixture?

  4. Avatar for Mara Tyree

    5 stars
    I have been making Roy’s Soufflé for years using the recipe in his cookbook. That recipe’s ingredients are half of what is listed above. I use the small ramekins (4) which are 3 1/2 inches across. This is everyone’s favorite and is the best .

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