Mini Chocolate Cake

Last Updated on September 13, 2021 by Chenée Lewis

This is an adorable small 6 inch chocolate cake recipe! If you’re looking for a small chocolate cake recipe using cocoa powder, you’ll love this mini chocolate cake recipe! If you’re in the mood for chocolate, you’ll love my Chocolate Walnut Brownies, my Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake, and my Brownie Mix Cookies!

mini chocolate cake frosted with chocolate buttercream with a slice cut out of it
Easy, Moist Mini Chocolate Cake Recipe

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6 Inch Chocolate Cake Recipe

If you’re craving chocolate, this mini chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream is for you! It’s got all the chocolatey goodness you want, but in a smaller size, perfect for two, or for one die-hard chocolate lover. You might recognize some of this small chocolate cake recipe from my mini vanilla cake recipe — this is the chocolate version for all you chocolate fans! I personally prefer vanilla, but sometimes you just NEED chocolate! And this cake is for those times. For this mini chocolate cake, you’ll follow the same general process, with just a couple extra ingredients.

Close up of mini chocolate cake with a slice cut out
6 inch Chocolate Cake Recipe

How do you make a small chocolate cake from scratch?

This small chocolate cake recipe is so quick and easy! You’ll only need one bowl to put it all together, and it’s always rich and chocolatey with a moist, fluffy crumb. It’s as simple as whisking the wet ingredients together and then sifting in the dry ingredients!

This small chocolate cake is the perfect size. If you’re just having a few people over you NEED this small cake recipe, unless you want tons of leftovers! Depending on how large you cut the slices, it yields 4-6 servings, which is plenty for a group of up to three! You can enjoy cake while watching portion sizes, limiting sugar intake, and avoiding too many leftovers!

Overhead shot of cut mini chocolate cake
Moist Mini Chocolate Cake Recipe

Mini Chocolate Cake Ingredients

This mini chocolate cake recipe is so easy. You just need a few pantry staples and one key ingredient!

  • an egg – make sure your egg is room temperature.
  • pure vanilla extract – be sure to use a high-quality pure vanilla extract. Or better yet, check out my post on how to make vanilla extract at home with just 2 ingredients!
  • granulated sugar – adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this small chocolate cake recipe!
  • vegetable oil – just like with my mini vanilla cake, this mini chocolate cake recipe uses vegetable oil instead of butter to ensure a moist cake every time!
  • buttermilk – helps to add to the moist and fluffy crumb, and adds a bit of tangy flavor as well.
  • all-purpose flour – make sure you’re measuring your flour correctly, or just weigh out 86 grams.
  • unsweetened cocoa powder – this is what gives our small chocolate cake recipe all that chocolate flavor! I like to use Ghirardelli, but any good-quality unsweetened baking cocoa should work well.
  • baking powder and baking soda – these leaveners help to give our mini chocolate cake a nice lift.
  • espresso powder – this is the key to this small chocolate cake recipe! It brings out the chocolate flavor so much and helps to balance out the sweetness in the batter.
  • salt – brings out all the rich chocolatey flavors in this cake!
  • hot water – to help to “bloom” the cocoa powder, we’ll add some hot, almost boiling water to the batter just before baking. This step intensifies the chocolate flavor in this small chocolate cake recipe and makes it so irresistible!

For the chocolate buttercream frosting, you just need to gather:

  • salted butter
  • powdered sugar
  • cocoa powder
  • heavy cream
  • pure vanilla extract

And then you’re ready to put together this lovely small chocolate cake recipe!

Equipment Needed for Moist Mini Chocolate Cake

The most important tool you’ll need for this 6 inch chocolate cake recipe is, of course, a 6-inch cake pan! Here’s the one I use and love! Beyond that, you’ll just need a few standard cake making tools like a whisk, mixing bowls, and an electric mixer.

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How to Make a Mini Chocolate Cake, Step-by-Step

This 6 inch chocolate cake recipe is a ONE-BOWL RECIPE!! To make the cake batter, you only need a bowl and a whisk (and I guess some way to heat up your water). It’s so simple and quick, and makes such a delicious mini chocolate cake. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Combine your eggs, vanilla extract, and sugar in a bowl. Whisk them together so they’re smooth.
  2. Whisk in your oil and buttermilk.
  3. Sift in your dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt. Gently whisk until just barely combined.
  4. Stir in the hot water — I just warm mine up for about 45 seconds in the microwave. This helps to bring out the flavor and fudginess of the cocoa powder.
  5. Then you’re ready to bake!

The chocolate buttercream frosting is even easier!

  • Just beat your butter with a hand mixer to get it fluffy.
  • Mix in your powdered sugar and vanilla.
  • Mix in your heavy cream until the frosting is thick and fluffy.

That’s it! This mini chocolate sponge cake recipe is the perfect antidote to your chocolate craving, and it couldn’t be easier.

close up of a slice of mini chocolate cake being cut with a fork
How to Make a Mini Chocolate Cake

Tips and F.A.Q.

What size is a mini cake?

A mini cake is between 2 and 6 inches. This mini chocolate cake is perfect because it’s small in diameter and it’s only one layer! So it’s ideal for a small group, or just for one! I love making a small cake recipe even for larger celebrations where people may not have too much room for dessert!

What makes a cake moist and fluffy?

There are several ingredients you can use to help ensure a moist cake, but in this mini chocolate cake we’re using two great options — vegetable oil and buttermilk. Vegetable oil is liquid at room temperature, which creates a moister cake even if it’s chilled. Plus, the acid in buttermilk helps to break down gluten and create a more tender cake. Together, they make sure that this small chocolate cake recipe comes out perfectly moist and fluffy every time!

What if I don’t have buttermilk?

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute 1/3 cup of whole milk with 1 tsp of the milk replaced with vinegar for this mini chocolate cake!

What is the best chocolate cake recipe?

I mean, I’m biased, but in my professional opinion it’s a three-way tie between this easy, moist mini chocolate cake recipe, my Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake, and my Chocolate Orange Cake.

What are small chocolate cakes called?

I call this one a mini chocolate cake, but I imagine you could call it whatever you like! I’ve also heard small batch cake, 6-inch cake, or just a chocolate cake for two!

How many does a 6 inch cake serve?

This mini chocolate cake recipe yields 4-6 servings, depending on how large you slice your pieces!

What makes a chocolate cake dry?

A dry cake can be caused by too much flour. Make sure you’re measuring your flour by weight. You’ll also want to watch this mini chocolate cake to make sure it doesn’t overbake.

Overhead shot of cut mini chocolate cake
Small Chocolate Cake Recipe

More Mini and Small Batch Recipes You’ll Love

Easy Mini Chocolate Cake Recipe | Chenée Today

Mini Chocolate Cake – Easy Small Chocolate Cake Recipe

Print Pin Recipe Rate Recipe
Small cake recipe for chocolate lovers that is so easy! It produces the best, perfectly-sized, moist mini chocolate cake for two, and its small-batch fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting is to die for!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine :American
Servings: 6 slices
Calories: 524kcal
Recipe Source: Chenée Lewis


Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spray a 6-inch cake pan with baking spray (the kind with flour) and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
    baking spray
  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla, and sugar until well combined and thickened.
    1 large egg, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Whisk in oil, followed by buttermilk, whisking until smooth after each addition until smooth.
    3 tbsp vegetable oil, ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • Sift in flour, cocoa, baking powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter until just combined.
    2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp espresso powder, 1/4 tsp salt
  • Stir hot water into batter.
    ¼ cup hot water
  • Pour into prepared cake pan. Drop cake in pan from 3 inches onto counter
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick entered into the cake comes out clean.

Prepare Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • In a bowl, cream butter with a hand mixer or a stand mixer for 1 minute until it’s light and fluffy.
    ½ cup salted butter
  • Gradually add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder, followed by vanilla and beat until smooth.
    1 ¾ cup powdered sugar, 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Add cream a little at a time and beat until you have the desired consistency. Spread over cooled cake.
    2 tbsp heavy cream



Buttermilk substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute 1/3 cup of whole milk with 1 tsp of the milk replaced with vinegar.
Frosting: You might have frosting left over depending on how you choose to frost your mini chocolate cake. Sounds good to me!
Storage: This mini chocolate cake stores well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.  You can also freeze it, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.


Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 524 kcal | Carbohydrates: 73 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 26 g | Saturated Fat: 13 g | Cholesterol: 79 mg | Sodium: 264 mg | Potassium: 232 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 58 g | Calcium: 68 mg | Iron: 2 mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
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