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Mini Chocolate Cake

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.

A slice of mini chocolate cake being lifted

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.

Making chocolate cake batter

Making chocolate cake batter (Photos 1 – 4)

  1. Add all the liquid ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat to combine.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the liquid mixture.
  3. Mix until a smooth batter forms.
  4. 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

Chocolate buttercream frosting in a stand mixer

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.

The interior of a two-layer chocolate cake

Baker’s tips

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.

  1. Grease the cake pan whether or not it is non-stick.
  2. 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.

A slice of half eaten chocolate cake on a plate

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!

A slice of mini chocolate cake being lifted

Mini Chocolate Cake

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.
5 from 5 votes
Print Rate
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Servings: 6 generous slices
Calories: 858kcal
Author: Trang

Equipment

  • 6" Cake Pans

Ingredients

Cake

  • 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)
  • cup oil (vegetable or canola, 67 g)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Melted butter for cake pan

Frosting

  • 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

Instructions

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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 219g | Calories: 858kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @WildWildWhisk or tag #WildWildWhisk!

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33 Comments

  1. Liz
    September 25, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Great moist chocolatey cake…I’ll definitely be making it again… everyone loved it. Thank you!

  2. Mbali
    September 4, 2020 /

    I tried it and shared it with my colleagues. They all loved it! Moist and yummy

  3. Eva
    August 25, 2020 /

    Hi there

    I plan to double this cake and use it in a 12 slice bundt pan, hope it will be the right amount! I am new to baking, can I substitute the canola/vegetable oil with coconut oil?

    • August 26, 2020 /

      I think double will fit in a bundt pan, but I don’t know how it will turn out exactly since you’ll have to bake longer and it may dry the cake out. Also if you’re not making a frosting for it, you won’t get the same intended texture and flavor. You can use the same amount of coconut oil.

  4. Vanessa
    August 24, 2020 /

    Hi,
    How tall will this cake get? I am wondering if I should do a single or double batch. (2 or 4 cakes) My idea is to make and m&m cake with m&ms spilling out its mouth but I want the cake to be at least 6 in tall.

    Thank you!

    • August 24, 2020 /

      Hi Vanessa, each layer is about 1 – 1.5″, the frosting adds a little bit of height but not much. If you want to do the filled cake, I would make at least 3 layers so you can cut out the center of 2 bottom layers. If you do double batch, it will make 4 cakes and definitely taller than 6″ for sure.

  5. Christine Domingo
    August 22, 2020 /

    OMG this cake was soooo good! I doubled it and made three 6 inch layers and a few cupcakes. It was moist and tasty and delicious. It was a gift and the recipient LOVED it.

  6. Dharani
    August 19, 2020 /

    5 stars
    hey!! i just love this recipe. i am very young to be baking , and i could never find the proper recipe for a six inch pan ! and when i saw your recipe it was like puzzle pieces put together !! amazing. I am going to try making this tomorrow.
    can you please tell me what the consistency of the wet ingredients should me , i m scared if i will under mix it or over beat it ?? that is the thing i am scared of ….
    and can I use plain milk instead of butter milk plus what should i change if i want to add chocolate (melted )?
    😀 thanks in advance

    • August 19, 2020 /

      Hi Dharani, it’s never too early to start baking 🙂 You can check out the consistency of the batter from the process photos within the post. If you use plain milk, add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to activate the baking soda. I can’t tell you exactly what to change to add melted chocolate since the recipe was not written with melted chocolate and I have not tested it that way. It is not as simple as switching out the cocoa powder for the chocolate since cocoa powder is a dry ingredient whereas chocolate contains cocoa butter and other things. I recommend sticking with the recipe as written if it is the first time you try the recipe for higher chance of success.

  7. Jenn
    July 23, 2020 /

    Hi there, I’m planning on halving your mini chocolate and mini vanilla cake recipes to make a layered cake :). Would halving the recipe for each change the baking time in any way? I’m guessing I will have to bake them separately since they’re baked at different temperatures.

    • July 24, 2020 /

      If you half the recipe and bake 1 pan at a time, it will probably get done a couple of minutes earlier than baking 2 pan at a time, but not by a whole lot, so check your doneness about 2-3 minutes before and see.

  8. Aviva
    July 20, 2020 /

    5 stars
    My 3-year-old twins ordered chocolate cake with chocolate icing for their birthday, so I doubled your recipe to make two cakes, one for each. Came out amazing! I did a chocolate cream cheese frosting with it.

    • July 20, 2020 /

      Happy birthday to your twins, Aviva! Chocolate cream cheese frosting sounds amazing!

  9. Nela
    July 11, 2020 /

    Hey! So I know I am sort of young but I wanted to try this recipe out since I am starting baking and I wanted to ask if I could make a one layer cake with an 8 inch pan would that work?

    • July 11, 2020 /

      You can but make 1 modification to the recipe and use 1/4 cup of oil instead of 1/3 cup. The bake time will need to lengthen to 37 minutes. And it’s never too young to bake!

      • Kylie Brown
        July 12, 2020 /

        Thank you Trang, it made 3 x 7inch round cakes. Just what I needed!

  10. Kylie Brown
    July 6, 2020 /

    I Trang, I made this yesterday and it was the most delish cake I’ve eaten! Thank you for sharing 🙂 My question is, can I double this recipe to make a 7 inch or 8 inch cakes? I wanting to make a 3 layer 7 inch cake on the weekend for a party I’m hosting!
    Many thanks
    Kylie x

    • July 7, 2020 /

      Glad you enjoyed the cake Kylie. You can double the ingredients except the oil, instead of doubling to 2/3 c, use 1/2 c instead. This should make 2 or 3 layers of 8″ cake. Double the frosting also.

  11. Anna
    June 17, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Oh and I forgot to rate your recipe, sorry! It deserves all the stars, thanks again!

    • June 17, 2020 /

      Hi Anna, I’m so happy everyone loved it! Thank you so much for taking the time to review this recipe 🙂

    • Myra
      June 23, 2020 /

      Can I use water instead of buttermilk

      • June 23, 2020 /

        You can, but I recommend using buttermilk for more richness or use regular milk. If you don’t use buttermilk in this recipe, you must use natural cocoa powder because baking soda needs something acidic. If you only have dutch-process cocoa powder and using water, you need to substitute the baking soda for baking powder.

  12. Anna
    June 17, 2020 /

    I made this cake for my sibling’s birthday two weeks ago and the whole family loved it, even those who aren’t really “chocolate people”. This is definitely something I’ll come back to if I ever need to make a smallish cake for future gatherings. Thanks a lot for the recipe, it was easier than I thought it would be!

  13. Lina
    June 11, 2020 /

    Looks delicious! Can I add sour cream ? What difference will it make to the cake ?

    • June 13, 2020 /

      Hi Lina, what do you mean by “add sour cream”? Are you trying to substitute an ingredient with sour cream? You can substitute the buttermilk with sour cream, 1:1 ratio, if you don’t have buttermilk on hand. But I do not recommend altering the ingredients list by adding extra ingredients.

  14. anna brayson
    June 4, 2020 /

    Hi, what was the height of each layer before you put together with filling ?.

    • June 4, 2020 /

      Hi Anna, to be honest I don’t remember, but maybe 1.5″-2″ give or take.

  15. Mary
    May 24, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Hi Trang! My daughter’s birthday is coming up and I have in mind to make a chequerboard cake. I wanted a one egg recipe and I liked your chocolate recipe very much. Do you have a mini vanilla cake recipe? Or can I halve the vanilla cake recipe on your blog? Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes.

    • May 25, 2020 /

      Hi Mary, my mini vanilla cake is linked within the post but it is a 2 egg recipe. You can certainly half it, but it will only make 1 layer of 6″ cake if that’s what you’re looking for. A chequerboard cake sounds like fun!! Happy birthday to your daughter, I hope she’ll love the cake 🙂

  16. Lana
    May 24, 2020 /

    Hi, can I replace buttermilk with yogurt? If yes, does it have to be Greek yogurt or any kind of plain yogurt?

    I have a convection oven, can you tell me if your baking time and temperature is with or without fan?

    • May 24, 2020 /

      Hi Lana, yes you can replace with yogurt, any kind of plain yogurt or even sour cream will work. I do not have a convection oven, my temperature and time are for a conventional oven without fan.

  17. Wendy
    May 21, 2020 /

    5 stars
    I made this today and it’s SO GOOD!! A perfect recipe for a 6″ chocolate cake. Will definitely make this again!!

    • May 21, 2020 /

      Thank you Wendy! I’m so glad you enjoy this cake, one of my favorites for sure 🙂

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