Mini Small-Batch Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

For when you want a perfectly portioned, small-batch recipe for the best cake ever, this is my go-to! The ultra moist, fudgy chocolate cake recipe makes one just one layer that/s smothered in creamy chocolate buttercream frosting 

This is my scaled down version of my favorite chocolate cake and my all time fave buttercream that I use all the time, but in a perfectly portioned 6-inch mini cake!

It's the ultimate cake for any chocolate lover and perfect for a small crowd!

Mini Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Yield: One 6-inch layer

Chocolate Cake:
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 6 tablespoons (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch processed or "Special Dark"
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, room temperature 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (105g) all-purpose flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups (1/2lb) powdered sugar, sifted 
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (sub half and half or milk if necessary)
  • 6 tablespoons (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch processed

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease one 6-inch (or 8-inch) round cake pan.

Dissolve the cocoa and instant espresso or coffee in the boiling water and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and oil on medium speed, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg until smooth and pale in color. Add the sour cream and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture on low speed, until incorporated. In a steady stream, beat in the cocoa mixture until fully combine. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Beat about 20 seconds until smooth and thin.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes (Bake 30-35 minutes for one 8-inch pan), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in pan for about 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Let cool before frosting. Slice cake in half width-wise to create two layers, if desired.

*Double recipe and bake 25-30 minutes for two 9-inch rounds, 30-35 minutes for two 8-inch rounds, 40-45 minutes for two 6-inch rounds, or 30-35 minutes for a 9x13-inch pan 

With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time on low speed until fully incorporated. Beat in 1-2 tablespoons of cream, until smooth. Sift in cocoa powder. Add in remaining cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl. Increase to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy.

Frost completely cooled cake. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.