Heart Lava Cake with Naturally Pink Ruby Chocolate

by Hanelore Dumitrache
Heart lava cake with molten core flowing onto plate

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The perfect dessert for a romantic dinner. Quick and easy to make, this heart lava cake has a soft chocolate exterior and a gooey, silky smooth liquid core. The cake takes only 15 minutes to make and is made with naturally pink ruby chocolate (no food colouring). Served hot with fresh strawberries and a side of vanilla ice cream!

The perfect dessert for Valentine's day

Nothing says “I love you” like a candlelit dinner with good food and topped with a delicious dessert. This lava cake is the perfect ending to a romantic evening, and the best part is – it takes only minutes to make! Shaped like a heart and hiding a delicious gooey chocolatey interior, this dessert is guaranteed to put a smile to your beloved’s face. 

I have tried and tested this recipe on multiple occasions and it comes out perfectly each time. It’s incredibly simple to make, yet very effective. Now I’m going to share this well kept secret with you all – introducing the Heart Lava Cake with Ruby Chocolate. 

What is ruby chocolate?

Ruby chocolate is naturally pink chocolate made from the Ruby cocoa bean. The taste is sweet and sour with a subtle acidity, similar to raspberries. This taste is completely natural, without any berry flavour enhancers. Most remarkably, ruby chocolate is naturally red-pink in colour, which is also completely natural. The innovative ruby chocolate was created by Belgian cocoa company Callebaut in 2017 and has become increasingly popular over the past years. 

Ruby chocolate droplets in a bowl

What is lava cake?

Lava cake, also known as ‘molten lava cake‘ or ‘ fondant cake‘, is a popular chocolate dessert similar to a soufflé. The name comes from the dessert’s liquid hot centre, which resembles molten lava. Like most amazing desserts, lava cake has its origins in French cuisine, where it’s called “moelleux au chocolat” which translates to soft [cake] with chocolate

Lava cakes are made with very little flour and a lot of chocolate (black, milk, white or ruby). Once baked in a ramekin/ring, the molten chocolate cakes hold their shape.  The luscious and hot liquid centre is revealed only once you cut into it, making for a delicious surprise. Lava cakes are always served fresh out of the oven, whilst still hot. 

Heart lava cake with molten core flowing onto plate

Are lava cakes hard to make?

No, not at all. Lava cakes are very simple to make and do not require any special technique. They are also very quick to make, taking about 5 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to bake. 

Why are lava cakes so great?

  • They take only a few minutes to make, so they can be prepared last minute
  • Lava cakes bake very quickly, in about 8-10 minutes
  • Need minimal ingredients: chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, flour and milk
  • You don’t need to wait for them to cool, as they are best served hot
  • Minimal tools required – hand mixer optional and can be replaced with a whisk
  • You can use any shapes to bake them in – ramekins, cupcake tin, mousse rings etc
Heart lava cake on white plate with berries

Can I double or halve the recipe?

Absolutely, this recipe can be doubled. The recipe below makes 4 lava cakes, if you’re using 8 cm or 3 inch ramekins / metal rings. If you want to make 8 lava cakes, simply multiply the entire recipe by 2. Alternatively, if you want to make just 2 lava cakes, divide the recipe by 2.

To make my heart lava cakes, I used these mousse rings, that I covered with aluminium foil. 

Heart shaped mousse ring with aluminium foil
Baked lava cake in heart ring

Can I use a different shape ramekin or ring?

Yes, of course. You can use any shape tin, ring or ramekin, as long as it’s a similar size (8 cm / 3 inch). You can even use a cupcake tray to make lava cakes, just make sure you grease and flour it properly. 

Here’s an example of a round lava cake I made using this ruby chocolate recipe:

Round lava cake with heart decoration on plate

Tips & tricks for making the perfect chocolate lava cake

Pro tip #1 - use good quality chocolate

Chocolate is the main ingredient in your lava cake, and that ooey gooey molten lava interior is mainly chocolate. This goes for most chocolate lava cakes, but especially for ruby chocolate, as it’s still quite a new creation. I recommend always going with Ruby Chocolate by Callebaut – the original creators of this amazing pink chocolate.

Pro tip #2 - grease and flour the ramekins or rings

It’s important to grease and flour your baking dish to prevent sticking. This is especially crucial when attempting a less standard shape – like a heart cake. 

To do this, use a pastry brush to grease all interior sides of the ramekin/ring. Afterwards, sprinkle flour over the butter, ensuring it’s fully coated. 

Heart ring greased with butter
Heart ring covered with flour

Pro tip #3 - test your oven before baking

Normally, the cake should be baked for 10 minutes, but in some oven they can end up being overbaked. Different ovens have different temperatures, so I strongly recommend baking a quick ‘test’ lava cake beforehand. To do this, simply bake one serving of the cake for 10 minutes, and see how it turns out. Does the cake hold its shape and has a liquid centre? Perfect, now you can bake the other lava cakes. 

If the cake isn’t gooey enough inside, simply reduce the baking time by 1-2 minutes. Luckily baking time is very short, so it won’t take too long to test. 

Pro tip #4 - serve hot, straight out of the oven

This lava cake is best served hot, straight out of the oven. That is when the middle liquid chocolatey core is at its best. If you plan on adding any decorations on top, please ensure you have these ready before taking the cake out of the oven. Alternatively, keep decoration to a minimum – this lava cake speaks for itself and doesn’t need much ‘beautifying’. 

Extreme close up of molten lava cake with interior oozing out

How to make pink ruby chocolate lava cake

This lava cake is best served hot, straight out of the oven. That is when the middle liquid chocolatey core is at its best. If you plan on adding any decorations on top, please ensure you have these ready before taking the cake out of the oven. Alternatively, keep decoration to a minimum – this lava cake speaks for itself and doesn’t need much ‘beautifying’. 

Ingredient round-up

This recipe uses only a few ingredients, most typically found in any house – except for the ruby chocolate. I recommend gathering all your ingredients before starting the recipe. You will need:

  • Ruby chocolate – I use this one by Callebaut
  • Butter – unsalted, minimum 65% fat
  • Eggs – please try to use free range eggs for best results
  • Sugar – granulated white sugar is perfectly fine, but you can also use light brown sugar
  • Salt – the ingredient that makes all flavours pop
  • Flour – plain white flour, do not use self-rising flour. This recipe uses a very small quantity of flour
  • Vanilla extract – optional and can be replace with other extracts, such as lemon or strawberry etc
Flatlay image of all ingredients with annotations

Prepare the rings or ramekins

This recipe uses 8 cm / 3 inch heart (or round) mousse rings. Regular ramekins can also be used, just make sure they’re a similar size to the rings. Alternatively, make less or more batter as needed – see upper section. 

Heart shaped mousse ring with aluminium foil
1. Cover ring with aluminium foil
Heart ring covered with flour
2. Grease and flour the ring

Make the ruby chocolate batter

The batter is very simple, and only uses 6 ingredients: ruby chocolate, butter, eggs, flour, sugar and milk. Firstly, melt the ruby chocolate and butter. I like to use the microwave, as it’s fast and easy. Melt them in small intervals of 20 seconds, mixing in between each stage. This way you avoid burning the chocolate. You can also use a bain marie or double boiler method. Next, whisk or mix the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until slightly paler. 

Ruby chocolate and butter in bowl
3. Melt the butter and chocolate
Melted chocolate and butter dripping off spatula
4. Ensure it's smooth and silky
Mixing eggs with hand mixer
5. Mix eggs using hand mixer or whisk
Pouring melted chocolate into eggs
6. Pour melted chocolate into eggs

Add the melted chocolate into the eggs, mixing well to combine. Afterwards, add any flavourings (vanilla, lemon, orange etc) and the flour. Use a spatula to fold the flour into the batter. Finally, add a little milk and incorporate it into the batter using a spatula. 

Incorporating chocolate into eggs
7. Incorporate chocolate into eggs
Adding flour to batter
8. Add flour into batter
Folding flour using spatula
9. Fold flour into batter using spatula
Milk added into batter
10. Add milk to the composition and fold

Baking the ruby chocolate lava cake

Baking the lava cake is very quick, taking on average 8-10 minutes. The baking time depends on your oven, please see Pro Tip #3 for more details. 

When filling the ramekin or ring, only add batter 2/3 to the top, as the cake will rise when baked. If the ring were filled to the top, the cake will not be perfectly even throughout (getting a muffin top type rise). 

Batter added into heart ring
11. Add the batter to ring and bake
Unsticking sides using knife
12. Release sides using a thin spatula/knife
Ring turned upside down to release cake
12. Turn ring upside down to release cake
Baked lava cake
13. Decorate quickly or serve immediately

Optional: quick decorative elements

The Heart Lava Cake with Pink Ruby Chocolate is now ready. As this cake is served hot, fresh out of the oven, it’s crucial we serve it ASAP. If you do want to add any decorations, ensure these are ready before taking the cake out of the oven. 

I suggest the following toppings, that are really quick and easy to make. 

Fresh berries topping

Any berries work with this cake, especially since ruby chocolate has a natural berry flavour. I recommend the following berries: 

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
Heart lava cake decorated with fresh berries

Going a bit extra - strawberry hearts

Strawberry hearts are really easy to make, especially since strawberries kind of look like hearts anyway. Start by cutting out thin slices along the length of the strawberry. Afterwards, either use a knife to cut a crease along the top. Alternatively, the easy option – cut out hearts using a cookie cutter. 

Strawberry hearts cut out using cookie cutter

Using icing sugar to dust the top

Topping the lava cake with icing sugar is usually the way to go. It’s super quick, easy and readily available. Ensure you use a fine sieve to dust the top, so you avoid any clumps of sugar. 

You can also use a stencil so you get a more interesting pattern on the top of the cake. Download the stencil below. 

How to use the heart stencil

The stencil is made for 8 cm / 3 inch rings or ramekins. However, you can still use it on smaller or larger cakes. Print the stencil on A4 paper, the cut out the outer shape and inner shape. Place it on top of the cake, then dust icing sugar over the top. Afterwards, carefully remove the stencil to reveal the heart shape. 

Dusting top of cake with icing sugar using template
Removing the template to reveal heart pattern
Heart shape lava cake on plate with strawberry hearts

Are you a fan of quick & easy recipes? Try out these desserts!

If you’ve tried this recipe out, please don’t forget to rate and comment on this recipe. I love hearing from you, so feel free to reach out to me on social media as well and tag me in your posts! 

Heart lava cake with molten core flowing onto plate

Heart Lava Cake with Naturally Pink Ruby Chocolate

Hanelore DumitracheHanelore Dumitrache
Quick and easy to make, this chocolate lava cake is the perfect treat for your loved one. Shaped like a heart and made with naturally pink ruby chocolate.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 4 lava cakes
Calories 617 kcal

Equipment

  • Heart shaped ramekin or metal ring (8 cm / 3 inches)

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g pure ruby chocolate 1 ¼ cups
  • 120 g unsalted butter (melted) ½ cup
  • 50 g sugar ¼ cup
  • 2 whole eggs (large)
  • 2 egg yolks (large)
  • 25 g plain white flour 3 tbsp
  • 10 g vanilla extract 2 tsp
  • 30 ml milk 2 tbsp
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 230C / 450F (or 210C / 410F with fan). In a glass/ceramic bowl, place the butter and chocolate (droplets or chopped).
  • Melt in the microwave in small increments of 15-20 seconds, mixing in between each burst until completely melted and smooth.
  • Separately, add the eggs and egg yolks and start whipping them with a hand mixer until pale in colour. Afterwards, add the sugar and whip until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the salt and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the eggs over the melted chocolate and fold thoroughly until combined. Add the flour and fold it in using a spatula.
  • Grease and flour the tins/ramekins to prevent the batter from sticking. Divide the batter into 4 equal parts and pour into the rings or ramekins. Bake for 8-10 minutes (exact time depends on the oven).
  • Once baked, let the cakes rest for maximum 1 minute, then using a kitchen towel turn the tin/ramekin upside down on the serving plate. Gently tap the top of the dish with a spoon to loosen the cake, then slowly lift it to release the cake.
  • Dust with icing sugar and decorate with fresh berries. Serve whilst still hot.

Notes

  • I recommend using a kitchen scale in grams for more accuracy. The cups used for the conversion are standard US customary cups (1 cup flour = 136g). There are many different types of cups across the globe, which is why I strongly recommend using grams instead. 
  • Different flavourings can be added to the recipe by switching the vanilla extract with another type: strawberry, lemon etc.
  • If you cannot find a heart shaped ramekin or metal ring, a round shaped one can be used as well. Please see the blog post upper for an alternative example. 
Keyword chocolate, quick and easy
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