Why they’re so good!

Like a more indulgent and more elegant cupcake, these chocolate mini cakes are soft and fluffy, individual chocolate cakes made in a mini cheesecake pan, then topped with a smooth swirl of chocolate fudge icing. These small chocolate cakes are perfect for celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries and valentine’s day. They’re great for date nights too.

I’m not opposed to sharing but somehow it’s more luxurious when you get your own whole little cake and especially when it’s as decadent as this. Very easy to make, the cake portion is soft and moist and rich in chocolate flavour. The frosting is actually my chocolate fudge frosting – it’s rich, also loaded with chocolate flavour and melts in your mouth. You could use a tub of storebought to speed things up but homemade is worlds above in flavour.

I do these small cakes as a single layer, but you could cut them in half and frost them in the middle too, turning them into mini layer cakes but I love the simplicity of a nice big swirl of frosting on top.

The cakes are adapted from my absolute favourite chocolate cupcake recipe.

Closeup of a chocolate mini cake inside.

Ingredients you’ll need

The ingredients in these mini cakes are all very simple and you’ll likely have most of them on hand.

Ingredients for chocolate mini cakes.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

  • Flour: Just plain flour / all purpose flour
  • Cocoa powder: I use Dutch process cocoa powder but regular unsweetened cocoa powder will work too.
  • Baking powder: This is needed for lift. Don’t get it mixed up with baking soda though.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter here. Salted butter will work but leave out the additional salt called for in the recipe.
  • Sugar: The cakes contain both caster sugar (superfine sugar – or you could use regular white granulated sugar) and light brown sugar. The latter adds moisture and texture. Icing sugar (powdered sugar) is used in the frosting.
  • Eggs: I use large free range eggs.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla in a chocolate cake? Absolutely. Vanilla adds balance but also intensifies the chocolate flavour. Make sure to use extract, not vanilla essence.
  • Buttermilk: Much of the mini chocolate cakes tenderness comes from buttermilk. It’s such a hero ingredient in cakes. You can use regular milk but add 3 teaspoons of vinegar to the recipe as well.
  • Whole milk: A little whole milk is added to the frosting. If you want to make it even richer, use cream.
  • Dark chocolate: The fudge frosting has real chocolate in it. I use a dark chocolate (semi-sweet chocolate).

How to make chocolate mini cakes

Let’s talk equipment. I don’t like to post a lot of recipes that require a special tool or gadget but, the easiest way to get the perfect little straight-sided cakes, is to use a mini cheesecake pan. If you don’t have or don’t want to get one, you could make these in a regular muffin pan, larger ones in a jumbo muffin pan, or even in a sheet pan and use round cookie cutters to cut out rounds of cake.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

1. The wet ingredients

Whisk together the melted butter and sugars until combined, then mix in one egg at a time, followed by the vanilla.

The sugar and butter mixed in a bowl with a whisk.
The mixture after the eggs and vanilla have been whisked in.

2. Add the dry ingredients

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add ⅓ of those to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix in with a spatula. Add half the buttermilk next and stir that in. Now repeat that process until everything is combined in the bowl.

Adding buttermilk to the cake batter.
Stirring the cake batter with a spatula.

3. Portion and bake

Now portion the cake batter between 9 holes of a well-greased, mini cheese cake pan and bake.

Adding the batter to the cake pan.

4. Make the frosting

While the mini cakes bake and cool, make the chocolate fudge frosting. You can see all the steps over on the choc fudge frosting post but it’s very simple.

The finished set frosting in the mixer.

5. Slice off the domes

And then there were 8 because I dropped one on the floor. Anyway, these cakes do dome at the top so just slice off those domes with a serrated knife so that you have a flat cake top. If you want mini layer cakes, just slice the cakes in half too and take care not to add too much frosting to the middle so you have plenty left for the top.

The mini cakes with the tops cut off.

6. Pipe on the frosting

Do make sure your cakes are completely cool before frosting so the frosting doesn’t melt. You can also spread it on with a spatula.

Mini cakes topped with a swirl of chocolate fudge frosting.

Decorating your mini chocolate cakes

You can top these with any decorations you like. I used some chocolate that I just shaved from the edge of a chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler and a lovely fresh raspberry on top. You can use other fresh berries or fresh fruit or crushed nuts, sprinkles or nonpareils, whatever you like.

While this chocolate buttercream is next level, you could swap it for another type of frosting too. Try this Swiss meringue buttercream or coffee buttercream.

A batch of mini cakes on a sheet of parchment paper.


Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. They also freeze well – the cakes alone or with the frosting. Just place them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.

A chocolate mini cake on it's side with a spoonful cut out.

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Closeup of a choc mini cake topped with chocolate shavings and a raspberry.
5 from 1 rating
There's no need to share with these mini chocolate cakes. Perfect, soft individual chocolate cakes topped with an indulgent swirl of fudge frosting.



  • 195 g plain flour (all purp flour ) (~7oz/1 ½ cups)
  • 55 g Dutched processed cocoa (or unsweetened cocoa powder) (½ cup / ~2oz)
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (170g / 1 1/2 sticks)
  • ¾ cup white granulated sugar (150g / 5.3oz)
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar (150g / 5.3oz)
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk (250ml)


  • 180 g (dark chocolate) 50-70% cocoa solids (~6 ½oz)
  • 115 g unsalted butter (4oz/ 1 stick /½ cup)
  • cup whole milk (80ml)
  • ½ cup dutch cocoa powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder) (55g / 2oz)
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups icing sugar (powdered sugar) (325g / 11 ½oz)

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided



    Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F. Grease 9 holes of a mini cheesecake pan with removable bases well with butter (or use a muffin pan, greasing all 12 holes).
  • In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Mix well to combine.
  • In a separate bowl with a balloon whisk, whisk together the butter and both sugars until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time and beating well after each. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  • Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir through gently until just combined. Now add half of the buttermilk, Mix gently again. Continue like this until all the flour and buttermilk is combined… just. It is important not to overmix or be too heavy-handed otherwise your cupcakes will turn out dense and tough.
  • Fill the holes of the pan to about ⅔ full. Bake for around 22-25 minutes, turning the pan around in the oven halfway through to make sure they bake evenly (baking time will depend on the type of pan you use). When a toothpick inserted comes out with just a crumb or two, they are done.
  • Remove from oven let them cool until you can handle the pan. Press up against the bases to loosen and run a knife around the sides if you need to. Tip the cakes out onto a wire rack then turn them all upright. Let them cool completely before frosting.
    Add the chocolate, butter, milk, cocoa and salt to a medium saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir gently but constantly until it’s melted together and mostly smooth.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
  • Add the icing sugar and beat on low until combined. Beat on low for a further 60 seconds. You don’t want to overbeat or you’ll get too much air in the mix which will make it less smooth. It will still be quite soft and not pipeable at this point.
  • Cover the bowl and let it cool and set up at room temperature for 45-60 minutes or until stiff enough to pipe. Give it one more quick beat on low and use immediately.If it still seems too soft, you can add in a little more icing sugar or if it feels too stiff beat in a dash of milk.
    Using a serrated knife, slice off the domes of the cakes. If you want to make them mini layer cakes, slice each one in half too.
  • Spread or pipe the frosting onto each cake then sprinkle with chocolate shavings and berries.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.


  1. Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
  2. Nutrition details are approximate only – scroll below the recipe to find the full nutritional information.
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Mini Cakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 766 Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value*
Fat 39g60%
Saturated Fat 23g144%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 135mg45%
Sodium 201mg9%
Potassium 518mg15%
Carbohydrates 102g34%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 74g82%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 948IU19%
Calcium 140mg14%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.