History of Molten Cake

Molten cake, also known as lava cake or chocolate fondant, is a popular dessert that has been enjoyed by people all over the world for many years. This delectable treat is known for its soft and gooey center, which oozes out when you cut into it.

But have you ever wondered about the origins of this delightful dessert? In this article, we will take a journey through the history of molten cake and discover how it became a staple on dessert menus worldwide.

The History of Molten Cake:

The origins of molten cake can be traced back to the 1980s in the United States. It is believed that a chef named Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who was working at the Lafayette restaurant in New York City, accidentally overcooked a chocolate cake and discovered that the center was still gooey and delicious. This mistake turned out to be a happy accident, as he went on to refine the recipe and serve it as a dessert, which he named “chocolate lava cake.”

The popularity of molten cake quickly spread, and it became a favorite among diners and chefs alike. Over the years, variations of the recipe emerged, with some adding different flavors such as caramel or peanut butter. Today, molten cake is served in restaurants and bakeries worldwide, and has even become a popular dessert to make at home.

How Molten Cake is Made:

Molten cake is typically made with a combination of butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and chocolate. The ingredients are mixed together and poured into individual ramekins or molds, which are then baked in the oven for a short period of time. The key to achieving the molten center is to slightly undercook the cake, allowing the center to remain soft and gooey.

Variations of Molten Cake:

While the classic molten cake recipe involves chocolate, there are many variations of the dessert that incorporate different flavors and ingredients. Some popular variations include:

  • Caramel molten cake: This version includes a caramel center instead of chocolate.
  • Peanut butter molten cake: Peanut butter is added to the batter to create a unique flavor.
  • Red velvet molten cake: Red velvet cake mix is used to create a red-hued cake with a molten center.


Can molten cake be made in advance?

While it is best to serve molten cake immediately after baking, it is possible to make the batter ahead of time and store it in the fridge for a few hours before baking.

Can molten cake be made without eggs?

Yes, there are many eggless recipes for molten cake that use ingredients like applesauce or yogurt as a substitute.

Is molten cake gluten-free?

Traditional molten cake recipes are not gluten-free, but there are many gluten-free recipes available that use alternative flours like almond flour or coconut flour.


The history of molten cake is a fascinating one, with a simple mistake leading to the creation of a beloved dessert enjoyed by people worldwide. From its origins in a New York City restaurant to its popularity in bakeries and homes across the globe, molten cake is a testament to the power of experimentation and the joy of discovering something delicious. Whether you prefer the classic chocolate flavor or enjoy experimenting with different variations, molten cake is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you wanting more.

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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