Mini Small-Batch Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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

This is this is what birthday dreams are made of and perfect for a small crowd or birthday surprise! This is my scaled down version of my favorite yellow cake and my all time fave chocolate buttercream that I use all the time.

This nostalgic combo starts with a homemade, from-scratch, version the boxed mix and canned frosting version I grew up on... only, like a zillion times better. The cake is so absolutely moist and soft inside, with a rich and tender crumb from the butter and egg yolks. It stacks up just beautifully and pairs perfectly with this frosting.

Click here for my Mini Small-Batch Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

No matter how you decorate it, this traditional combo will bring you back to sweet memories of your childhood, after blowing out the candles. Slice it up, serve and enjoy!

CLICK HERE for the full batch version recipe: 

Just imagine getting this cute little cake all to yourself on your special day! Now, that is a sweet birthday present!

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

Yellow Cake:
  • 1 1/4 cup (140g) cake flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (168g) granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85g/3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole large egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon "imitation butter flavor" extract (found by the vanilla extract in the grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, room temperature

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 
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (sub half and half or milk if necessary)
  • 6 tablespoons (30g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
CAKE SUPPLIES: https://www.amazon.com/shop/thelindsayann
  • Bake Easy spray or Cake Release: https://amzn.to/3fzcgpe
  • Cake flour: https://amzn.to/2OQD7O2, weighed or spooned into cup and leveled
  • Pure vanilla extract: https://amzn.to/2LPUkc0 OR Vanilla bean paste: https://amzn.to/2M6Vcpq 
  • Bake even strips: https://amzn.to/2OzBiF0
  • 6" pans: https://amzn.to/3g29M1Q
  • turntable, cake scraper, off-set spatula, piping tips: https://amzn.to/2AtiQuT
  • more supplies: https://www.amazon.com/shop/thelindsayann

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

In a medium bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for about 20 seconds. Add softened butter and oil and mix for about 1 minute to coat the flour, until mixture resembles wet sand.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, yolk, vanilla, butter flavor and sour cream. Slowly pour in 2/3 of the wet mixture and beat on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes, until smooth.  Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl one last time to make sure everything is fully combined. Beat in remaining wet mixture and beat for about 30 more seconds until fully incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes (Bake 30-35 minutes for one 8-inch round), 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 corn syrup and 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.