Quick & Easy Dark Chocolate Mini Cake

Quick and easy might also describe how fast this cake disappeared in my house!

Yesterday was Michelle’s birthday and after the excess of Easter, including a decadent three-layer carrot cake, she claimed she didn’t want any cake on her birthday. There was no way I was going to let that stand. Life is too short not to eat cake on your birthday. 

But I could see her point, too. I definitely like my desserts, almost as much as the kids, but sometimes a little can go a long way. Thank you, Dessert for Two for introducing me to the world of mini cakes last year.

For a family of four, a mini cake is the perfect thing for a mid-week celebration where prep time might be short or for keeping that celebratory pomp and circumstance but without being left with an entire cake to eat.

After work on Tuesday, Cecilia and I made this chocolate cake with dark (very dark) chocolate frosting. It was a delicious compliment to the gift-giving, singing and birthday dancing (don’t ask). And, best of all, it will be gone by the time you read this post. 

Based on Dessert for Two’s mini chocolate cake recipe, this used mostly pantry ingredients and unlike some mini-recipes, didn’t contain any funky measurements.


Before you start, preheat the oven. I always forget this until about halfway through making a recipe. Grease your mini cake pan and cut a parchment round to place in the bottom just to be extra careful.

What? You don’t have a mini cake pan? You should! You should get this 6-inch one with the 2-inch sides. I’ve been using it for a year without complaint.

First step, combine your dry ingredients in one medium bowl.


Next, combine your wet ingredients in another medium bowl. Don’t do like we did and try to squeeze it into a smaller bowl!


Combine the wet and dry and mix until just combined.


Pour batter into your pan and smooth it out gently. 


Bake for 28-32 minutes. Mine took the whole 32 minutes. Use the toothpick test. The sides will also pull away a bit when it’s close to done.


Remove from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting, chop up 3 ounces of the chocolate of your choice.

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Heat the cream gently in the microwave for 30 seconds. It should be warm and steaming, but definitely not boiling. Combine chocolate and corn syrup into the cream, cover with a towel and let it sit for 2 minutes. Stir to combine. If it’s still a little chunky, warm it in the microwave in 10 second bursts and stir in between. Don’t get impatient or the chocolate will break and become gritty. Temperature of both the ingredients and the heated cream are key.

Frost and decorate the cake.


Eat the entire cake and don’t feel bad about it. It’s only a mini cake!


Chocolate Mini Cake with Ganache Frosting
For the cake
  1. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/3 cup neutral oil (like canola or grapeseed)
  5. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  6. 1/3 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the ganache
  1. 3 ounces chocolate, chopped fine
  2. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  3. splash of light corn syrup or melted coconut oil (to keep the frosting smooth, optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350, and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  2. Line a 6" round cake pan with parchment paper on the bottom, and lightly grease the sides.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, yogurt, egg, and vanilla
  5. Combine the two bowls, mixing just until combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan, and bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. The sides will also start to pull away from the sides when it's done.
  7. Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  8. Heat the cream in the microwave in short 15-20 second bursts. You want it warm and steamy, but definitely not boiling. Pour in the chocolate and corn syrup. Cover with a towel and let it sit for 2 minutes. Gently stir until melted. If it's not totally melted, place back in microwave and heat in 10 seconds bursts, stirring between bursts until smooth and melted.
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Be careful, the smell may attract cake predators!




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