Chocolate Melting Cake

Chocolate melting cake soon became a favorite of mine on a recent Carnival cruise. I hope you enjoy this version of the Carnival Cruise Chocolate Melting Cake.

three chocolate melting cake desserts and spoons

Cruises are known for great food onboard. If you were lucky enough to have sailed on a Carnival ship, there is a good chance that you have already enjoyed this cake. It is a favorite of many passengers and is known as a Chocolate Melting Cake on Carnival Cruise Lines, but you may know it as a Chocolate Lava Cake instead. Whatever you call it, it is incredibly rich and decadent. Although making this recipe requires excellent timing and the ability to follow directions, an average home cook can definitely pull it off without any significant hiccups. And then the payoff is worth it! Serve this Carnival Chocolate Melting Cake to your family or guests, and you are sure to impress them!

Stick to the Recipe

Baking is not the same as cooking. While you can substitute ingredients in most dishes without messing up a recipe too badly when you are cooking, you can’t do that when baking. Baking is all about chemistry, and deviating from the ingredients or the process can be disastrous. This especially true when it comes to this recipe that requires the specific characteristics of different components to get the results you are after.

That means you need to use real, preferably unsalted butter, not low-fat margarine or cooking spray. Don’t dream of substituting milk or even dark chocolate for the baking chocolate that this melting pot recipe demands. And while it is possible to cook these cakes in a muffin tin or a mini pie tin, don’t do it. Metal containers tend to overcook this kind of cake. If you are going to go through all the effort, you might as well get the gooey results you are after!

Serve in the Ramekin or a Plate

There is absolutely nothing wrong with serving the cake in the ramekin, and if you have any doubt in your ability to remove the cake successfully from the ramekin, don’t do it. However, if you want up the presentation, you can remove the cake from the mold to allow the chocolate center to flow freely. If you plan to take the risk, make sure you thoroughly butter the inside of the ramekin and add a heavy sprinkling of cocoa powder to help the cake slip out better.

Once the top and sides of the cake are set, let the cake sit for a minute. Then run an offset spatula along the inside of the ramekin. If the sides are sticking, cut your losses serve the cake in the ramekin. Otherwise, invert the serving plate on top of the ramekin and flip both the ramekin and plate over. Gently remove the ramekin.

Making and Serving Carnival Chocolate Melting Cake

  • The eggs in this recipe may not thoroughly cook. Many people prefer not to eat undercooked eggs. If you are worried about it, use pasteurized eggs, or skip this recipe altogether.
  • There are lots of ways to garnish a Chocolate Melting Cake. A simple dusting of powdered sugar is enough on its own, or add a few raspberries or sliced strawberries. Some people like to have their Chocolate Lava Cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Watch how we make this recipe on YouTube!

A lot of people serve this dish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. While it does add something nice to the dish, I have served this many times without that scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Please note, this is not the same recipe the Carnival Cruise line shares. I am always a bit dubious when an official source shares a recipe, you get a very similar recipe, but not always the same. This is my personal interpretation of their recipe.


Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Butter
  • Baking chocolate (ideally 60% cacao)
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
chocolate melting cake ingredients

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How to Make Chocolate Melting Cake

  1. In a small bowl, microwave chocolate and butter for 30 seconds and stir.
  2. Repeat until chocolate and butter are melted and combined.
  3. Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until they are lighter in color and foamy.
    eggs and sugar whipped together in a mixing bowl
  4. Add melted chocolate to the egg mixture.
  5. Stir in vanilla extract, salt, and flour.
    chocolate melting cake batter in a mixing bowl
  6. Coat inside of ramekins with butter.
  7. Pour batter into the ramekins.
  8. Cover ramekins with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
  10. Dust tops with powdered sugar.

Tips for Making Chocolate Melting Cake

Here are some important notes and tips for making chocolate melting cake:

  • Use only the ingredients as listed.
  • Do not use margarine because it won’t turn out as well. Use real butter.
  • You need to buy good quality chocolate. I find this chocolate in the baking section of the grocery store.
  • Don’t use milk chocolate. you will end up with enough sweetness to throw everyone into a sugar comma.
  • Have all ingredients at room temperature before you start. It makes mixing everything up together go better.
  • If you are concerned about the eggs, please consider using eggs that pasteurized.
  • You really do need to let the batter rest in the refrigerator before baking. The texture will be better.
  • Use ramekins for this dessert. This way you can make individual portions. These dishes are inexpensive, and you can also do things like bake eggs in them as well.
chocolate melting cake dessert and spoons

Love chocolate desserts? Try these recipes:

Check out more of my easy dessert recipes and the best copycat recipes here on CopyKat!

three chocolate melting cake desserts and spoons

Chocolate Melting Cake

Make chocolate melting cake just like Carnival Cruises. You can recreate this chocolate dessert you enjoyed on the ship.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Melting Cake, Chocolate Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 759kcal


  • 2 teaspoons butter for ramekins
  • 6 ounces butter
  • 6 ounces baking chocolate (ideally 60% cacao)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar


  • Spread butter in ramekins to grease the dishes.
  • In a small bowl melt together chocolate and butter in the microwave. Melt for 30 seconds and stir, and repeat until chocolate and butter are melted.
  • Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until they are lighter in color and foamy.
  • Add melted chocolate to the egg mixture.
  • Stir in vanilla extract, salt, and flour.
  • Pour batter into the ramekins.
  • Cover dishes with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can refrigerate these for up to 4 hours.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 12 to 15 minutes. The tops will be firm, but the insides will be melting.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and serve with a scoop of ice cream if desired.



Calories: 759kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 509mg | Potassium: 393mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 1245IU | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 8.2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Cindy A

    5 stars
    This is so so good when you’re craving it but you can’t be on the ship to get it. I almost overcooked it, it continues to cook in the little dishes after you take it out of the oven and let it sit for a couple minutes. Make it! You won’t regret it!

  2. Janis

    5 stars
    SOOOOO good! My guest loved this and it was so easy to make. I refrigerated for longer than 30 minutes. I also had to bake longer, maybe 25 minutes and it was PERFECT!

  3. Ciara

    Just tried this recipe for the first time. Did everything exactly as was written. Everything came out great except for the taste… it didn’t taste anything like what Carnival makes (just came back from a cruise and couldn’t get the cake out of my mind). It was too salty; I think it should be adjusted to 1/8 teaspoon salt instead of 1/4 and maybe a little more sugar.

    • Stephanie

      Well interesting, so you think I missed the recipe by 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and a tiny bit of sugar? Part of the difference would also be the brand of chocolate used. Perhaps you may want to consider trying a different type of chocolate. So you really think it was mostly I missed the salt by 1/8 of a teaspoon?

  4. Carmen

    Your recipes states “6 ounces of baking chocolate (ideally 60% cacao)” which I assume is dark chocolate but on your video you state bitter sweet chocolate. Is that the same thing? Can I just buy Lindt’s dark chocolate?

      • Carmen

        I followed your recipe but put the ramekins in a warm water bath when I put them in the oven because that’s what you did on your video. The top of the cake cooked but the rest was totally liquid and I tried cooking longer but it never formed a cake on the sides. Should I not put in a water bath? I reread your recipe and you do not say to do that but in your video you do. Help!!

      • Stephanie

        You could do a water bath, I think this works ok without one. Was your oven pre-heated before adding the cakes. Sometimes the way ovens cycle you may have gotten in the cooler part of it. Next time you may want to adjust the cooking time slightly, give the cakes a little shake, if they are still really wet, give them another minute or two.

    • Stephanie Manley

      I don’t know on this one. I wouldn’t think so. If you try it, please let me know how it goes. I think the sugar may be needed for the structure of the cake. I am all for hearing about your results.

  5. michele berry

    It looks great but the center looks a little bit more runny than I’m used to seeing it served. How much longer should I cook this without it ending up turning into chocolate cake?

    • Stephanie Manley

      Please cook the recipe as directed. When I did the video I pulled them out a moment or two ahead of time, we often have a tight schedule and a very small crew when we do videos. I hope you don’t mind too much 😉

      • michele berry

        Ok great thank you, this recipe came at the perfect time. I’m so excited to make these for my family for Christmas dinner! Happy holidays to you and your loved ones

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