Chocolate Cake with chocolate frosting is my ultimate guilty pleasure. But you shouldn’t feel too guilty because this 6-inch mini chocolate cake is just the perfect size to satisfy your sweet tooth without being overly indulgent.
I’m currently in the cake season of my baking life. There was a time when I was all about shortbread cookies, and of course cupcakes. That’s not to say I’m no longer into those things, I’m just slightly more obsessed with this Mini Chocolate Cake right now, and rightfully so!
This cute little 6-inch chocolate cake recipe yields exceptionally moist crumbs. Obviously, the chocolate frosting helps make it doubly extra chocolaty. You won’t be able to stop at one bite, that I promise!
How to make Mini Chocolate Cake from scratch
The easy chocolate cake batter
Making the chocolate cake batter is as simple as 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. The batter is baked in two 6” cake pans, and assembled into a small two-layer cake.
- Add all the liquid ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat to combine.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the liquid mixture.
- Mix until a smooth batter forms.
- Divide batter into two 6” cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
Don’t remove the cake right away while it is still hot. Allow the cake to cool in the pan until you can easily handle the pans. Then flip the pan over to remove the cake.
How to make chocolate cake moist?
Using oil can enhance the moistness of your cake. This chocolate cake is made with both butter and oil for both the amazing buttery taste from the butter and moist crumbs from the oil.
What type of cocoa powder to use for the best chocolate cake?
I’ve made this cake with natural cocoa powder, dutch-processed, and a mixture of both. They all worked and were all tasty. Personally I prefer dutch-processed cocoa powder, because it tends to give a deeper chocolate flavor, but use whatever you have in your pantry.
The chocolate frosting
This cake is covered in a creamy silky Swiss Meringue Chocolate Buttercream. Swiss buttercream is a little more involved since it requires you to make a meringue base for the frosting. But I assure you it is not difficult.
This frosting can be made with raw egg whites or pasteurized liquid egg whites. I’ve made it with both and both worked fine even though there is a warning on the liquid egg white carton that it may not work for meringue.
Recently I’ve also been trying out the double boiler method, heating the egg whites and sugar mixture over a steaming pot of water until it reaches around 160°F. This is to ensure the egg whites reach a safe temperature. I actually prefer this method even though it takes an extra step because the buttercream comes together much faster once you add the butter.
If you don’t want to deal with eggs, and the double boiler, you could make an American Style Chocolate Buttercream Frosting instead. If you’re worried about the buttercream being too sweet, don’t worry, my American buttercream is made to be exponentially less sweet than the typical frosting.
How to divide cake batter evenly
Use a kitchen scale to divide the cake batter if you want to be exact. This has an added benefit to help the cakes bake evenly. This mini chocolate cake recipe will give you approximately 390 grams of batter for each 6” cake pan.
How to make sure your cake doesn’t stick to the pan
There are two things I always do to ensure an easy and clean release of the baked cakes. I prefer using melted butter and a pastry brush for greasing over a spray.
- Grease the cake pan whether or not it is non-stick.
- Then, line the bottom of the pan with a piece of round parchment paper and also grease the parchment paper.
How to cut parchment paper to fit your cake pan
You can buy pre-cut round parchment paper. But cutting the parchment paper to fit your cake pans is super easy and will save you a lot of cash.
Just place a cake pan on top of a piece of parchment paper and trace it with a pen, then cut along the tracing to get a round piece of parchment paper that will fit inside your cake pan.
Storing chocolate cake
After adding frosting to the cake, you should refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before cutting to allow the frosting to set.
Leftover cake should be refrigerated. If you’ve cut out a few wedges, be sure to cover any exposed cake with plastic wrap to avoid drying out. If you only have a few slices left, store them in an airtight container.
Need more mini cakes? Try these!
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Mini Chocolate Cake
- 6" Cake Pans
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (130 g)
- ½ cup cocoa powder (dutch-processed or natural, 46 g)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (195 g)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk (235 g)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (melted, 2 oz, 57 g)
- ⅓ cup oil (vegetable or canola, 67 g)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Melted butter for cake pan
- 3 oz egg white (white only from about 3 large eggs, 85 g)
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (104 g)
- 1/2 teaspoon vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 8 oz unsalted butter (226 g, room temperature, cubed)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 oz dark chocolate (85 g)
- 1 tablespoon dutch-processed cocoa powder
Make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Brush melted butter on two 6” round cake pans. Line the bottom of the cake pan with a piece of round parchment paper and brush the parchment paper with butter as well. Set aside.
- Add buttermilk, oil, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract to a large bowl. Beat with a whisk until combined.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder into a medium mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt to the flour mixture, and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture, and whisk until a smooth batter forms.
- Divide batter evenly among the two prepared cake pans and bake for 30 - 32 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached. Use a kitchen scale to divide the cake batter if you want to be precise, approximately 390 g of batter per pan. This will also help the cake bake evenly.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 - 15 minutes. When you can touch the cake pans, use a butter knife to loosen the sides, flip the pan over to remove the cake from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper, and allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before adding frosting.
Prepare the frosting
- Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water just until most is melted. Continue to stir as you take it off the heat until all the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Add egg white and sugar to another heat proof bowl and set it over the pot of simmering water, stirring constantly until all the sugar dissolves, the egg white is frothy and the mixture reaches around 160°F. This will take around 7 - 10 minutes.
- Transfer the warm egg mixture to a stand mixer bowl and beat with the balloon whisk attachment on medium low speed until stiff peak forms, stream in the vinegar or lemon juice while beating.
- Once the meringue peak is stiff, shiny and smooth, start adding the room temperature cubed butter while stirring, one cube at a time and allow it to incorporate into the meringue.
- After all the butter is added, stream in the vanilla extract, increase the mixer to high speed and beat until the buttercream comes together and smooth. This will not take very long, only a few minutes.
- Stop the mixer and add the completely cooled melted chocolate and cocoa powder, stir to incorporate, and then beat on high speed until the buttercream is fluffy.
Assemble and frost
- When the cakes are completely cool, place 1 layer on a cake stand or plate. Put a few pieces of parchment paper underneath the cake to cover the cake stand or plate. This is to keep the frosting from smearing everywhere.
- Add about ½ cup of frosting on top of the first layer and even it out with an offset spatula. Add the second layer of cake on top.
- Frost the side and top with the rest of the frosting or just enough to your liking. If there is any leftover frosting, add piping decoration, or simply add sprinkles. Carefully pull out the pieces of parchment paper underneath the cake.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
- This recipe will serve 6 generous portions and can easily serve 8.
- Both dutch-processed cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder, or a combination both will work for this recipe.
- Any flavorless oil like vegetable oil or canola oil will work.