Chili’s Hot Fudge Molten Lava Cake Recipe

The best part about going out to eat is the dessert and even if I am so full from my meal, I always can make room for a little bit of dessert. 🙂
Chocolate lava cake is a classic dessert at many restaurants (my favorite place to get it is Chili’s) and this recipe tastes almost identical to something you would order at a restaurant. The cake is so moist and rich . . . it’s to die for.
A couple of years ago, my mom made about 500 of these little cakes to serve at our sister Elyse’s wedding reception. Unfortunately, there was a huge snow storm that night and we had about 100 extra cakes . . . so we bagged them in Ziploc baggies and threw them in the freezer. I think that we had molten lava cakes at every family function for the next year! Ha ha!
So if you have a holiday party coming up and need an amazing dessert, then look no further. These look and taste amazing- everyone will thank you!
And you can make the little cakes days in advance, throw them in your freezer, and thaw them out before you serve them.

Serves: 12

Chili's Hot Fudge Molten Lava Cake Recipe

10 minPrep Time

16 minCook Time

26 minTotal Time

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  • 1 Chocolate Cake Mix (I usually use Milk Chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 1 small box instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 1/4 cup water


  1. I use a Mini-Fluted Mold Pan that I got at either Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond -I can't remember. This recipe can make 12 cakes using a mini-fluted mold pan. I think that you would be fine to use a regular sized muffin tin pan and make 20-24 smaller cakes (which is actually probably a better size portion! These cakes are big and rich!). You might need to adjust the baking time if you do use a smaller muffin tin pan . . . if you do try it, will you please let us know how long you baked it for?**
  2. Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray (Baker's Joy spray seems to work well for this recipe! If you use another kind, make sure you spray a lot so that these little cakes slide right out!). Mix together cake mix, oil, pudding, and water. Add chocolate chips and gently stir with a spoon so that the chocolate chips don't get crushed.
  3. Divide the batter into the 12 molds (or 20-24 if using a muffin tin pan).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes (don't over bake! You want these to be moist!).
  5. How to serve:
  6. Top cake with generous spoonful of hot fudge.
  7. Place scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
  8. Drizzle more hot fudge on top of ice cream.
  9. Top with whipped cream and a cherry.
  10. Other variations we love:
  11. -Peppermint ice cream with crushed candy canes on top (perfect for Christmas)
  12. -Cookies and Cream ice cream with crushed Oreo cookies on top
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26 Responses to “Chili’s Hot Fudge Molten Lava Cake Recipe”

  1. Made these last nite and they were a hit!!! A question about reheating from frozen tho...what do you find works best?? Seems like microwave would be easy, but might burn the choc chips? Sounds like you all have reheated them a few times tho, so I'll trust your opinion, lol. Thanks!!
    • Hi Sarah. I'm the mom of the six sisters and made so many of these for my daughter's wedding. I have only made these in the little fluted mold pan, but I really think you could make it in a pan version. An 8 inch pan might be too small. Looking over the ingredients I think a 9 x 13 inch pan might be better. As far as the cooking time, you'll just have to watch closely. Be prepared to experiment with a batch or two to get it right. (sorry about that because the cost of ingredients add up!) I would love to hear how it all turns out if you try this in a pan. They are seriously so delicious. We have an updated picture that I will try and add to this post soon.

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