This Miniature Fudgy Chocolate Cake is a super cute, smaller version of your favorite chocolate cake. This 6-inch, 2 layer cake is rich and flavorful as ever and will surely be show-stopping at a small gathering or celebration.... or a simple night in! Topped with the richest, creamiest fudge frosting, you will be digging in for a few extra bites of this tiny wonder!
Why Miniature Cake?
You can NEVER go wrong with cake. However, wasting cake is the worst feeling in the world. Whether your eyes were too big for your stomach or a gathering is on the smaller side, making a huge cake and having the old, stale leftovers be tossed into the trash is too disappointing.
Often, cupcake recipes can be converted into 6-inch cake recipes or you can halve other, larger cake recipes, but I have found that tweaking cakes, cupcakes, and breads often leads to baking fails due to the ratios of baking powder and baking soda. Having a reliable recipe for a 6-inch cake seemed like a way around these sad bakes!
Making Chocolate Cake
- Whisk dry ingredients
- Whisk wet ingredients
- Combine ingredients and add water
- Prepare frosting
- Stack and frost
Tips for Perfect Cake
Though this cake is small and simple, there are definitely some tricks to ensuring it comes out perfectly! Luckily, these tips are easy!
Room Temperature Ingredients
If you use cold ingredients in this cake, your soft, moist, fluffy texture will be sacrificed! Using room temperature ingredients will give you that tender crumb you dream of in a cake!
Luckily, you can leave your egg, sour cream, and buttermilk out for a couple of hours before baking. If you forget, place your egg in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes, microwave your sour cream for about 15 seconds, and microwave your buttermilk for about 10 seconds.
Mixing and Baking
One of the biggest rules in baking is making sure you do not overmix. Overmixing leads to dry, dense cake, and it is so easy to prevent. Whisk your dry ingredients separately and wet ingredients separately. When you combine the two with your water, mix only until your dry ingredients begin to disappear.
In terms of baking, you do not want to open the oven door too often, especially towards the beginning of bake time. Doing so can cause your cake to fall flat! You also don't want to shake your pans too much. That sounds intuitive, but if you are moving your pans to check doneness, turning them in your oven for more even heating, or removing them from the oven, you want to do so carefully. Cakes are fragile, especially when they have not fully baked!
Bake only until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. You do not want wet batter, but the toothpick should not come out clean. The tops of the cakes should spring back when poked in the center.
Stacking and Frosting
You do not want to stack or frost your cakes until they are completely cooled. I know it might be tempting to get working, but you risk ruining your cake with a wobbly structure and melty icing!
If you are looking for a more even and stable cake, you might want to level the tops of your cakes once they are cool. This isn't necessary, but using a large serrated knife to cut off any domed part of your cake will make it easier to stack, frost and serve! Usually, I don't have too much of a dome when baking this cake, but if you do, you might want to think about it! You'll get an extra snack if you do!
After filling and stacking this cake, I highly recommend a crumb coat. A crumb coat is a super thin layer of frosting that locks in the crumbs around the sides of your cake and makes frosting and serving so much easier! You just use a small amount of the frosting, but you'll want to make sure there aren't any parts of the cake that are uncovered. You'll stick your cake in the freezer for 10 minutes, and then you frost with remaining frosting!
Creamy Fudge Frosting
This creamy fudge frosting is UNIQUE, as it uses evaporated milk and melted butter. I was looking for a recipe that mimicked store-bought frosting.... I know... shocking. There's something about that smooth, creamy, chocolatey frosting that is irresistible, and I knew there had to be something close to it from scratch.
After searching and experimenting, I stumbled across this recipe. I played around with it for a bit to get it just how I wanted, and my goodness.... it's worth the trip to the store if you don't have evaporated milk laying around.
This frosting literally glides on. It is definitely not a frosting to pipe with, but it is PERFECT to simply frost a cake with! The flavor is unreal, there is no grain whatsoever, and it's SO easy to make!
This Mini Chocolate Cake is a super cute, smaller version of your favorite chocolate cake. This 6-inch, 2 layer cake is rich and flavorful as ever and is topped with the richest, creamiest fudge frosting!
For the Cake
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup warm water
For the Frosting
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup evaporated milk
For the Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 6 inch pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray to ensure the cakes come out cleanly.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
- In a medium bowl, whisk vegetable oil, room temperature sour cream, room temperature buttermilk, room temperature egg, and vanilla extract together.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry, whisking for about 10 seconds before slowly adding warm water. Do not overmix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl throughout the mixing process to ensure everything is properly combined.
- Evenly divide the batter between the two pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out with moist crumbs and the tops of the cakes spring back when poked.
- Let cakes cool in their pans for about 30 minutes before transferring the cakes to wire cooling racks.
For the Frosting
- Melt unsalted butter over medium heat in a small saucepan or in the microwave in 40 second intervals, stirring between each interval. Transfer to a large bowl. Let butter cool for about 5-7 minutes before using.
- Stir cocoa powder into the butter until smooth and combined.
- Using a handheld mixer over medium/low, mix powdered sugar one cup at a time into the mixture. Alternate adding evaporated milk with the powdered sugar. Mixture should be smooth, creamy, and only slightly thick. If mixture is too wet or watery, add powdered sugar by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached. If mixture is too thick and seems dry or fudgy, add evaporated milk until the mixture is smooth and velvety.
- Once cakes have cooled completely, level off domes with a large serrated knife if necessary and/ or desired.
- Put a small dollop of frosting onto the cake stand, cake plate, or wherever you plan to serve the cake! Transfer one cake to the surface with frosting. Place about ⅓ cup of frosting, or however much you desire, on top of the cake. Spread the frosting with a knife.
- Place the other cake, upside down, on top of the frosting, lining it up as evenly as possible.
- If desired, do a crumb coat on the cake. Take a small amount of frosting and cover the cake as thinly and thoroughly as possible. Place cake in the freezer for 10 minutes until the crumb coat has hardened.
- Use remaining frosting to frost the cake. Store covered at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to a week.
Keywords: Miniature Cake, 6 inch cake, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate, Fudgy