Mini Chocolate Cake

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For such a cute small cake, this decadent dessert is jam-packed with chocolate! Rich, moist, and easy to throw together, you’ll love this Mini 6-Inch Chocolate Cake.

A Small Frosted and Decorated Chocolate Cake on Top of a Pink Cake Stand

Easy 6-Inch Chocolate Cake for Two

Tender chocolate cake is layered with a creamy cocoa frosting in this irresistible dessert. And it all fits on one plate! This recipe is a scaled-down version of my super popular Homemade Chocolate Cake. It’s the same amazing treat with a smaller circumference!

If you’re serving 2-4 people who all love chocolate, this is the perfect cake to make. The cake and the frosting are flavored with cocoa powder, and the cake uses freshly brewed coffee to intensify the chocolatiness. You can’t taste the coffee at all, but it sure does take the chocolate flavor to another level!

Why Make a small Cake?

There are plenty of good reasons to make a mini cake rather than a full-sized one. If you’re trying to eat smaller portions, you’re only serving a few people or you’re not in the mood to have a bunch of leftovers, you probably don’t want to make a party-sized cake. This recipe is great for casual occasions and small groups!

A Piece of Mini Chocolate Cake on a Golden Dessert Spatula

What You’ll Need

You don’t need a boatload of ingredients to make a mini chocolate cake. In fact, it’s quite the opposite!

For the Chocolate Cake

  • Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil: For an ultra moist cake.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Sour Cream: Or yogurt (Greek or plain).
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Cocoa Powder: Hershey’s Special Dark is my personal favorite, but unsweetened natural cocoa powder works as well
  • Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt
  • Hot Brewed Coffee: Or milk if you don’t want to use coffee.

For the Chocolate Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter: Cold or left out for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Cocoa Powder: Sifted.
  • Powdered Sugar: For structure.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Or milk.
Chocolate Cake Batter in a Large Glass Mixing Bowl

How to Make a 6-Inch Cake

You’ll love the simplicity of this recipe. It’s smooth sailing from the cake batter all the way to the assembly!

Make the Chocolate Cake

Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 6-inch pans with parchment paper or grease and flour the edges.

A Dusting of Cocoa Powder Spread Into a Six Inch Cake Pan

Combine Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color. Next, mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.

Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.

Add Dry Ingredients & Coffee to Batter: Alternate adding half of the dry ingredients and half of the coffee at a time. This helps to slowly incorporate the ingredients.

Bake: Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, about 1 1/4 cups batter per pan and bake.

Make the Chocolate Frosting

  1. Beat Butter: Cut the butter into pieces, 1 tablespoon each. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter looks light in color and has more volume.
  2. Add Cocoa & Vanilla: Sift the cocoa powder into a mixing bowl, then add the vanilla extract. Turn the mixer to slow speed and beat until the cocoa power and extract are mixed into the butter.
  3. Add Sugar & Cream: Add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and mix on medium-low speed until fully incorporated. Then, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting. If the frosting still seems thick, add an additional 1/2-1 tablespoon heavy cream.
Bird's eye view of a layer of chocolate cake, flattened on top, sitting on a pink cake stand

Assemble the Cake

  1. Remove Cake Domes: Use a cake leveler or serrated knife to cut the domes off the top of the cake like you see above. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top of that. This will help hold the bottom layer in place.
  2. Layer Cake & Frosting: Fill a large piping bag with the frosting and cut off the end of the piping bag about 1/2 inch up. Pipe a layer of frosting on top of the first layer, starting at the outside edge and working your way into the middle. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Place the next layer on top.
  3. Frost Away! Use the piping bag to fill in the sides of the cake with frosting. Use an offset spatula or icing smoother to wipe away the excess frosting. Decorate with the remaining frosting using a large closed star tip (Ateco 846) or garnish with sprinkles or fruit.

Tips for Making Small Cakes

This mini chocolate cake recipe is super manageable, especially if you take note of these extra tips!

  • Grease Pans Well: By lining the pans with parchment paper or greasing and flouring the edges, you’re preventing your cake from sticking to the pans.
  • Leave Room for the Rise: The batter should fill two 6-inch cake pans about halfway, leaving plenty of space for the cakes to rise. Make sure you distribute the batter evenly between the two pans, about 1 1/4 cups per pan.
  • Flatten Cakes Before Stacking: Once your cakes have cooled, use a cake leveler or serrated knife to remove the domes on top and flatten them out. This makes for easy assembly and prevents a lopsided cake!
  • More Tips for Making Layer Cakes: Want some detailed step-by-step instructions for making and frosting a perfect layer cake? Check out my easy tutorial!
Two Mini Chocolate Cake Layers on a Light Pink Cake Stand with Heart Cut Outs

How to Store Frosted Cake

You can store frosted cake on the counter for a couple of days if you keep it in an airtight container. If you live somewhere hot and humid, go ahead and keep your cake in the fridge instead. Refrigerated cake will last for 3-4 days.

Can I Freeze This?

Absolutely! This mini cake is freezer-friendly for up to 2 months. Keep it in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Thaw frozen cake overnight in the fridge and serve at room temperature for best results.

Alternatively, you can prepare the cake layers in advance, wrap them each in two layers of plastic wrap once cooled, freeze them, and make the frosting once you’re ready to assemble the cake. If you want to make your cake ahead of time, I recommend doing this so you can enjoy the frosting fresh! Serve at room temperature for best results.

A Slice of Frosted Chocolate Cake on a Small White Plate

Can I Make This a Single Layer Mini Cake?

Want to make this mini chocolate cake even simpler? You can make a single layer cake in an 8-inch pan and forget about stacking! Either a square or round pan will work – just see the ingredient adjustments in the frosting recipe for a single layer cake.

Can I Make Cupcakes with this Recipe?

Want to make cupcakes instead? You can do that too! Just pour the batter into lightly greased cupcake liners rather than a cake pan. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

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A Piece of Mini Chocolate Cake on a Golden Dessert Spatula

Mini 6-Inch Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Julianne
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description

For such a cute little cake, this decadent dessert is jam-packed with chocolate! Rich, moist, and easy to throw together, you’ll love this Mini 6-Inch Chocolate Cake.

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cake

  • 3/4 cup (143g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (59ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (59ml) sour cream (substitute with Greek or plain yogurt)
  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (28g) cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark is my favorite)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (4.6g) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (157ml) hot brewed coffee (or milk)

For the Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold or slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup (56g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 1/4 cups (293g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy whipping cream or milk

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 6-inch pans with parchment paper or grease and flour the edges.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color. Next, mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
  4. Alternate adding half of the dry ingredients and half of the coffee at a time. Mix until well combined, then use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter to ensure it’s well mixed.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, about 1 1/4 cups batter per pan. Bake at 350°F for 20-24 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Cool completely prior to frosting.

For the Frosting

  1. Cut the butter into pieces, 1 tablespoon each. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter looks light in color and has more volume.
  2. Sift the cocoa powder into a mixing bowl, then add the vanilla extract. Turn the mixer to slow speed and beat until the cocoa power and extract are mixed into the butter.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and mix on medium-low speed until fully incorporated. Then, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting. If the frosting still seems thick, add an additional 1/2-1 tablespoon heavy cream.

For the Assembly

  1. Use a cake leveler or serrated knife to cut the domes off the top of the cake. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top of that.
  2. Fill a large piping bag with the frosting and cut off the end of the piping bag about 1/2 inch up. Pipe a layer of frosting on top of the first layer, starting at the outside edge and working your way into the middle. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Place the next layer on top.
  3. Use the piping bag to fill in the sides of the cake with frosting. Use an offset spatula or icing smoother to wipe away the excess frosting. Decorate with the remaining frosting using a large closed star tip (Ateco 846) or garnish with sprinkles or fruit.

Notes

  • Ingredient substitutions:
    • Sour cream: sub with yogurt, either plain or Greek
    • Brewed coffee: sub with milk
    • Gluten-free flour: all-purpose flour can be substituted with a measure for measure replacement all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • Butter for the frosting: Butter for the frosting can be cold or softened, about 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Single layer 8-inch square or round cake: This can also be made as a single layer 8-inch cake. Bake for 25-28 minutes. Reduce the frosting: ¾ cups butter, 1/3 cup (37g) cocoa powder. 1 ½ cups (325g) powdered sugar, 1 teaspoons (5ml) pure vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon (15ml ) heavy whipping cream
  • This recipe can also be made into 12 cupcakes
  • Storing this cake: You can store frosted cake on the counter for a couple of days if you keep it in an airtight container. If you live somewhere hot and humid, go ahead and keep your cake in the fridge instead. Refrigerated cake will last for 3-4 days. Serve at room temperature. 
Nutrition Information:
1 slice
781
70g
287mg
45g
94g
3.8g
7g
149mg
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: small chocolate cake, mini cake

More Cake Recipes to Try

I have tons of other delicious cake recipes to be discovered. These are a few of my very favorites!

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