I am beyond thrilled to share the recipe for one of the best desserts in La Jolla — NINE-TEN’s half-baked chocolate cake. And, the good news is that you really CAN make it at home. No fancy equipment or ingredients are required to make it either.

NINE-TEN's half-baked chocolate cake with ice cream on top served on a table inside of the restaurant.
Photo courtesy of NINE-TEN

If the photo above isn’t enough to sell you, picture your spoon piercing through a thin layer of caramel — perhaps picking up some housemade vanilla ice cream along the way — into a warm, delicious chocolate cake with a gooey center. I order it every single time I go.

Tips for NINE-TEN’s Half Baked Chocolate Cake

In the video below, you can see the restaurants former Pastry Chef, Jack Fisher, quickly whip up a batch of this amazing dessert. He mentions the following helpful tips:

  • The key is high-quality bittersweet chocolate in the 55-64% range (as well as using all high-quality ingredients).
  • You can make it gluten-free by leaving the flour out. He says it won’t change the cake by much.
  • It’s a make-ahead recipe with a base that can withstand up to 6 days in the refrigerator, tightly covered. Bake before serving.

Recipe: NINE-TEN's Half-Baked Chocolate Cake

Recipe: NINE-TEN's Half-Baked Chocolate Cake


  • 2 1/2 Sticks (10 oz) Unsalted Butter
  • 9 1/4 oz Good Quality Dark Chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 5 Whole Eggs
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar


  1. Melt butter in large saucepan, pour in chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  2. Add flour and whisk until there are no lumps.
  3. Combine eggs, yolks, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  4. Whisk on low speed for 3 minutes and then add chocolate/butter mixture. Mix until homogenous. Place in buttered and sugared ramekins and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes or until almost fully baked. There will be a wet spot in the middle.
  5. Serve hot with vanilla bean ice cream, whipping cream or cherry gelato.

See how truly easy it is to make at home by watching this helpful video:

Tip: If you stay at the Grande Colonial La Jolla, you can order half-baked chocolate cake via the in-room dining menu. I’ve also ordered it with wine in the bar.

Don’t forget that NINE-TEN, also on my list of best La Jolla restaurants, is also open for breakfast, serving things like awesome lemon ricotta pancakes.

Our favorite time to visit the NINE-TEN is during half-priced bottle of wine night on Wednesdays when every single bottle on the extensive Wine Spectator award-winning list is 50% off.

However, the “Mercy of the Chef” dinner special where the entire table enjoys a special prix fixe menu at the whim of Executive Chef Jason Knibb should be on your culinary to-do list.


Grande Colonial La Jolla
910 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 964-5400

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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  1. looks amazing! so envious of your career! i love la jolla! i love to eat! i love to travel! 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing this recipe, LaJolla Mom! I love this type of deserts and I always order something similar when we eat out. I just tried the recipe and it turned out amazing, exactly like in a restaurant 🙂