This mini chocolate cake is a moist two layer 6-inch chocolate cake. It is full of chocolate cream cheese frosting and topped with mini chocolate chips and chocolate sprinkles. This cake is perfect if you need a small cake for a birthday party, date night, or any other small get together. Or just for you!
This mini chocolate cake is very simple but goodness it is SO chocolatey! The chocolate cake is crazy moist, but it uses dutch process cocoa powder and hot water to get a strong chocolate flavor.
The chocolate cream cheese frosting has uses the same cocoa powder, and I redid the recipe so it uses less powdered sugar so it isn't as strongly sweet. It is just a dream combo and your family member or friend would love if you made this for them! Make this next time you have a small gathering and a chocolate lover!
For more mini cakes recipes, try Mini Carrot Cake, Mini Vanilla Cake, and Mini Layered Cake.
Why This Recipe Works
- Moist chocolate cake layers- This uses two 6 inch cake pan to create thicker cake layers. The chocolate cake itself is super soft and even stays moist in the fridge!
- Chocolate cream cheese frosting- This frosting uses both butter and cream cheese to create a fudgy and rich chocolate frosting!
- Easy to make- Since this mini chocolate cake recipe is only two layers, it is pretty simple to decorate. Which makes this a great cake if you are an amateur cake decorator.
- Perfect for a party- This little cake would be the perfect size for a birthday party, Valentine's day, or any special occasion!
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder- I strongly recommend dutch process cocoa powder for a more rich chocolate flavor. This is the one I used.
- Oil- Use canola oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking.
- Buttermilk- Use full fat or reduced fat buttermilk. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Hot water- The water needs to be steaming. The hot water helps to bloom the chocolate. You can also use hot coffee instead.
- Unsalted butter- Pull this out 2 hours before using.
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Powdered sugar- Make sure to sift the powdered sugar to avoid a gritty frosting.
Step By Step Instructions- Cake and Frosting
Here is how to make and bake the chocolate cake layers and the chocolate buttercream. The cake recipe can be made by hand. The frosting should be made with a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a hand mixer.
Full recipe is in the recipe card. Make sure to spray the cake pans with baking non-stick spray and line the bottoms with 6-inch parchment paper circles. Then, spray again.
STEP 1: Mix the dry ingredients. First, sift the all-purpose flour and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Then, add the white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
STEP 2: Mix the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix the oil, vanilla extract, eggs, and buttermilk using a whisk. Heat the water in a small saucepan until steaming.
Then, slowly whisk in the hot water into the egg mixture.
STEP 3: Pour. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix otherwise the cake can become tough.
Then, pour the cake batter into 6- inch cake pans.
STEP 4: Bake. Bake the cakes for 20-25 minutes bake time until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool the cakes on a cooling rack completely before decorating.
STEP 5: Beat cream cheese and butter. Using a mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed for 2-3 minutes until it is super fluffy and creamy.
Next, slowly add in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and mix on low speed until combined.
TIP: Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl before adding to the mixing bowl.
STEP 6: Add wet ingredients. Next, add the salt and vanilla extract and mix on high speed until creamy.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl at least 2 times, so it is all mixed together. The chocolate frosting will become lighter in color as it beats.
Assembling The Cake
- Items that will be helpful in cake decoration: turntable, icing offset spatulas, straight icing spatula, cake scrapper, cake leveler (or a bread knife), and a cake carrier.
- Start by cutting the top of the cake (the dome of the cake) off using a cake leveler or bread knife.
- Place the 1st cake layer down and spread ¾th cup of frosting over the cake. Make sure the frosting layer is even.
- Place the second cake layer with the bottom of the cake facing up. this gives the flattest edges possible when decorating.
- Since this cake is so small, I felt it didn't need a crumb coat layer of frosting. So, you can frost the rest of the cake!
Decorating the Cake
On the top of the cake I took the offset icing spatula and created dramatic swirls on the top. There is enough frosting to do some piping bag swirls, but I chose not to on this cake.
Then, to decorate it, I added mini chocolate chips and chocolate sprinkles to the top of the cake.
You could also top the cake with fresh berries or a chocolate ganache drip.
Important Note: Make sure to place the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to set the frosting before cutting into it. If you are storing the cake in the fridge before serving then there is no need to freeze the cake because it is already set.
Yes you can! It will make 12 cupcakes. Also, I have this chocolate fudge cupcake recipe you can use instead.
You can three thinner cake layers in 6inch cake pans.
This will make an 8X8 inch square baking dish or 9X9 inch square baking dish. Double the recipe to use a 9X13 cake pan.
YES! In fact that is exactly what I did for this cake. I made the cake ahead of time, once it cooled completely I wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap. Then, when it was time to decorate, pull it out at least 1 hour.
Storing and Freezing
Store this mini chocolate cake in an airtight container like a cake carrier. Store in the fridge up to 5 days.
The cake taste best at room temperature.
The cake can be frozen in individual cake slices. Wrap the slices in plastic wrap and freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1 hour before eating.
Other Cake Recipes To Try
Make sure to leave a STAR REVIEW if you loved this recipe! Make sure to tag me on Instagram @stephaniesweettreats. To get more ideas follow me on Pinterest.
Mini Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup All-purpose flour
- ½ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ⅓ cup Oil canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup Buttermilk room temperature
- ½ cup Hot water steaming
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¾ cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 2 ½ cups Powdered sugar
- ½ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 6-inch cake pans with baking nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with 6-inch parchment paper and spray again.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder. Add the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.1 cup All-purpose flour, ½ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder, ¾ cup White granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon Baking powder, ¼ teaspoon Baking soda, ½ teaspoon Salt
- Heat the water in a saucepan until it is steaming. In a medium bowl, mix the oil, vanilla, eggs, and buttermilk. Slowly add in the hot water. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.⅓ cup Oil, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, 2 Large eggs, ½ cup Buttermilk, ½ cup Hot water
- Pour the cake batter into the cake pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cake sit in the hot pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.
- Make sure the butter and cream cheese is room temperature. In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together.¾ cup Unsalted butter, 4 oz Cream cheese, 2 ½ cups Powdered sugar, ½ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Using a mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed for 2 minutes until fluffy. Scrape the bowl and slowly add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder on low speed.
- Add in the vanilla and salt and mix until combined and fluffy.1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon Salt
Assembling The Cake
- Place the 1st cake layer down. Spread ¾ cup of frosting over the cake. Place the second cake layer down.
- Frost the rest of the cake.
So delicious everyone is buying it they want more recipes to back a cake
Stephanie, love your page! Have you tried adding instant coffee/ espresso to the batter? I find the coffee heightens the chocolate flavor. I love baking and enjoy playing with recipes when I do!
Hey can I make this with two 9 inch pans instead? If so how would the measurements change?
Stephanie Rutherford says
Yes you can do that. They will make a thin cake. For a thicker cake, use my triple chocolate cake recipe.