Small Batch Recipes For Baked Goods And Desserts

Chocolate Caramel Mini Cake

This Chocolate Caramel Mini Cake is moist, tender and full of rich flavor. A caramel sauce soaks the cake layers, and a light chocolate whipped cream finishes off this decadent cake.
Chocolate caramel mini cake sliced on a cake stand

Chocolate Caramel Mini Cake

Every once in a while, you just need a little chocolate.  And when chocolate chips or miniature candy bars aren’t cutting it, you can whip up this easy, small-batch chocolate cake. 

To keep this Chocolate Caramel Mini Cake from being too indulgent, (if that is a thing!), it is topped with a light chocolate whipped cream.

Chocolate Cake for Two

I used an 8-inch round cake pan which really makes this a good size cake, but not so large that you are trying to figure out what to do with the leftovers. 

The chocolate cake itself is about as close to divine as you can get.  It has a deep, rich chocolate flavor thanks to the cocoa powder.  And the secret ingredient in any good chocolate cake is the hot water to keep it tender and moist.  You can use hot coffee instead since coffee is notorious for enhancing the flavor of chocolate.  

Layered chocolate cake on a cake stand

Caramel Sauce

Between the layers of this cake is a sweet surprise – rich and creamy caramel sauce.  Because the crumb of the cake is so tender, when you drizzle on the caramel sauce it soaks into the cake.  Plus, it leaves the perfect thin layer of caramel to drip down the sides.  The caramel sauce alone is a wonderful dessert and can be used for just about anything!

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Even though the chocolate cake and caramel sauce are as close to perfect as you can get for a dessert, I think the chocolate whipped cream is the right contrast.  It is light, rich in flavor and I still consider it frosting!  I love buttercream, but sometimes it can be too much.   One of the many wonderful things about the chocolate whipped cream is that it is not overly sweet, so you get the full flavor of the chocolate coming through. 

Another great thing about this frosting is that you may (if you are lucky), get a small bit of chocolate chip that firmed back up when you mix the melted chocolate with the whipped cream.  Rather than obsess on how to make this 150% smooth, I opted to embrace the tiny bits as a delightful surprise.  I think you will too.  Top it with some shaved semi-sweet chocolate and you’ll be close to tilt on the chocolate scale.   

Slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting

One-Bowl Mini Cake

Making the cake is pretty easy – no mixer required and just one bowl.  The whipped cream just takes a couple of extra steps to infuse the chocolate – melt the chocolate, then fold in the chocolate.  The caramel sauce can be cooked up while the cake is baking.  Or you can always make it ahead of time just to have some caramel sauce in the fridge.  From this recipe, you are only going to use a little for the cake from the batch that you whip up.  All that said, you can fix your chocolate craving in less than an hour with this cake!

More Mini Cake Recipes

Chocolate caramel mini cake on a cake stand

Chocolate Caramel Mini Cake

This Chocolate Caramel Mini Cake is moist, tender and full of rich flavor. A caramel sauce soaks the cake layers, and a light chocolate whipped cream finishes off this decadent cake.
Prep10 mins
Cook40 mins
Total50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 Servings
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss

Equipment

  • 1 – 8-Inch Round Cake Pan

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cold pressed refined coconut oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Chocolate Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees and adjust oven rack to the middle position.  Grease an 8-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit. Note – You can also use 2, 6-Inch Round Cake Pans
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.
  • In a liquid measuring cup (at least 2-cup), add the milk, egg, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.   Add the mixed liquid ingredients to the large mixing bowl with dry ingredients, and using a rubber spatula gently fold until no streaks of flour remain.  
  • Add in the boiling water and gently stir in with the rubber spatula.  The batter will be thin.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto a wire cooling rack.  Re-invert so the cake is right side up and let cool fully on the wire rack.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips – stirring every couple minutes – until the chocolate is smooth.  Set aside to cool.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Add 1/4 of the whipped cream to the melted and cooled chocolate and mix until well incorporated.  Then add the chocolate mixture to the remaining whipped cream and gently fold with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is fully incorporated.  

Caramel Sauce

  • In a heavy bottom saucepan, add the sugar and shake the saucepan lightly to make sure the sugar is an even layer on the bottom.  Add the water pour evenly over the top of the sugar.
  • Cook the sugar over medium heat until it dissolves and turns clear – about 3 minutes.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the sugar turns into caramel and turns an amber color – about 10 minutes.  If you are using a candy thermometer, the temperature would be ideal between 340-350 degrees.  Anything higher and the caramel will be bitter.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the heavy cream.  The cream will hiss a little and the caramel will solidify.  Stir with a silicone spatula until the caramel smooths back out – the residual heat will turn it back into a smooth mixture.  Stir in the butter and vanilla until fully mixed.
  • Cool the caramel sauce to room temperature.  The caramel sauce should be stored in a jar in the refrigerator.  It can be reheated in a microwave for about 15 seconds to thin it out into a sauce if it thickens while refrigerated.  It will last in the refrigerator for up to one month. 

Assembling the Cake

  • Once the cake is cool, you can either slice into two layers or keep as one.  If making a layer cake, drizzle a thin layer of the caramel sauce on top of the first layer.  Then add 1/2 of the whipped cream over the caramel and spread to the edge of the cake.  Top with the second cake layer and spread on the remaining whipped cream.  If keeping as a single cake, drizzle the caramel sauce on the top and frost the entire cake with the whipped cream. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Cake Pans – Either 1, 8-Inch Round cake pan will work – or – 2, 6-Inch round cake pans.
  • Coffee – You can swap the boiling water with hot brewed coffee.  Coffee accentuates the chocolate flavor in the cake.
  • Chocolate Whipped Cream – If you use unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate chips, you will want to add powdered sugar while whipping the cream – about 3 – 4 tablespoons – sweeten to taste.
  • Caramel Sauce – It will need to be refrigerated because of the cream and butter.  It will last in the fridge for up to one month.  You can also use store-bought caramel sauce.
Keywords Caramel, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Whipped Cream, Layer Cake, Mini Cake
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