*Shows up after months with a large iced coffee and a mini chocolate cake for you and your Valentine* 💝
This mini 4-inch cake is so easy and simple, you can honestly whip it up any time! Not just for Valentine’s Day. It is pretty perfect for two people to share, though. Possibly even three or four people, or maybe you and your sweetheart can enjoy it again a second day. Or if it’s just for you, you can treat yourself whenever you’d like! The frosting is fudgy and delicious, perfect for swooping over those moist chocolate cake layers.
If you do happen to make this for Valentine’s Day, you can make this mini chocolate cake a day or two in advance. Or the cake layers in advance and frosting the day of. It’s unfussy and simple, and that’s what makes it great. I use two 4×2″ cake pans because I have every size of round cake pan imaginable, but I know that’s not the case with everyone! So I’ve also included instructions in the recipe card below for baking the cake batter in a square pan. Then you can use 4-inch cookie cutters (or a glass or cup–anything you happen to have on hand) to cut circles out of the square cake. And frost/decorate as desired!
And as mentioned, this mini cake would be wonderful any time you have a little celebration! Or for those times when you’ve had a day or week and you just need some chocolate.
More Valentine’s Recipes:
Mini Chocolate Cake
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet) melted and slightly cooled
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and butter and flour two 4x2” round cake pans. (See Note for instructions for baking in an 8-inch square pan.)
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add egg, vanilla, oil, and milk; whisk well until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until set in the center and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Remove from oven and let cakes cool in pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add cream and vanilla; mix well. Add cocoa powder and powdered sugar; mixing on low speed at first until ingredients are mostly combined, and then on medium-high speed until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until incorporated and frosting is light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- The cakes will probably have domed cake tops, so remove those with a serrated knife or a cake saw.
- Place the first cake layer on a plate; spread a layer of frosting on top. Place the second cake layer on top of that, cut side down. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the cake to crumb coat it. Let the cake chill in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. (I find it much easier to frost a cold cake!)
- Remove from refrigerator and spread remaining frosting around the outside of the cake. Garnish with flowers or sprinkles, if desired. Store covered at room temperature.