This small chocolate cake is perfect when you're craving a chocolate cake but don't want to make a big cake. We made this cake in an 8x8 inch baking pan.
This cake is moist, fluffy, and takes little effort to make. The frosting is made with Nutella, but you can use any hazelnut or chocolate spread that you like most. This cake comes together in one bowl and will satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you like chocolate recipes as we do, you should check out our double chocolate banana bread, chewy and fudgy brownies, best ever chocolate cake, chewy double chocolate cookies, and our easy chocolate cupcakes!
Why this recipe works
- Made in one bowl!
- Extremely easy to make.
- An extra moist cake that stays moist for 3 days!
- Made with simple ingredients.
- Perfect to make when you are craving chocolate!
Before you start to make this cake recipe, measure and prepare your ingredients so the cooking process will go smoothly and easily.
Flour– we used all-purpose flour for this recipe, self-rising flour, and cake flour will work great as well.
Dutch cocoa powder– we like to use Dutch-process cocoa powder for our cake because we like the deep and rich chocolate taste, but the natural cocoa powder will work great as well!
Baking powder and baking soda – to allow the cake to rise.
Granulated sugar– we like to use granulated sugar, also the most common sugar used in baking. Caster sugar will work great as well.
Vegetable oil – we used vegetable oil for this recipe. canola oil will work great for this recipe.
Eggs– To give the cake a good structure. Make sure you’re using room-temperature eggs.
Buttermilk– gives the cake extra moisture. You can make your own buttermilk if you don’t have one on hand. Simply mix a cup of milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
Hot coffee– make a strong hot coffee, you can use espresso, or instant coffee, both will work.
Salt– We used kosher salt for this recipe. Salt doesn’t give the cake a salty taste, it helps to enhance the chocolate flavor.
For the chocolate frosting:
Butter- use unsalted butter for this recipe. Only butter will work for this recipe, no margarine, and no coconut oil. Margarine has a weird taste and can ruin the flavor of this delicious frosting. Make sure that your butter is at room temperature.
Cocoa powder- we used Dutch cocoa powder. Dutch cocoa powder is extra chocolaty and rich in flavor.
Kosher salt- to balance out the sweet flavor.
Milk- use whole milk for this recipe.
Nutella- we added Nutella into this chocolate frosting that made this buttercream so delicious!
Step 1: Preheat an oven to 180c (350f) and prepare an 8x8 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
Step 4: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in a 180c (350f) preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Make the chocolate buttercream:
Increase the speed to medium to high speed and mix for about 3 minutes until the frosting is silky and smooth.
Top the room temperature cake with the frosting and make a wave pattern with a spatula.
- Use room temperature ingredients. It is important that you use room-temperature ingredients like eggs and butter. This step ensures that your mixture mixes into a homogenous mixture and bakes perfectly. you don’t want to place cold batter into the oven.
- Don’t overmix the batter, you don’t want to develop the gluten in the flour. This step ensures you have moist cake and not dense and dry cake.
- Make sure that your butter is at room temperature. An hour or two before making this cake, take the butter out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. The butter should be soft to the touch. If your butter is too cold, it will be harder to mix and there will be lumps of butter in the frosting.
- Measure your flour correctly! When measuring your flour, avoid scooping it with a measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour with a spoon to create as many air pockets as possible, and spoon it into your measuring cup. Finally, level it with a back of a knife.
- Before you start to make this recipe, measure and prepare your ingredients so the cooking process will go smoothly and easily.
- Be patient! I know it’s extremely tempting to eat and frost this cake as its pulled out of the oven, but let the cake cool for at least and hour so it will be more firm and won’t crumble up. This step ensures that the frosting won’t melt off the cake. You never want to frost warm cupcakes or cakes.
We like to use Dutch prosses cocoa powder because it gives the cake a deeper rich chocolate taste. We highly recommend not replacing the Dutch cocoa powder with natural cocoa powder.
No! you can’t taste the coffee. Adding the coffee simply enhances the chocolate flavor. So, don’t skip the coffee on the cake!
Yes! You can use any kind of your favorite frosting on this cake, this cake is very versatile so you can turn it into whatever you want! You can use chocolate frosting, vanilla frosting, caramel frosting, etc.
This cake will last up to 5 days stored in the fridge. Cover the cake with plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out. This cake tastes amazing the day after.
Freeze this cake after it cooled completely in an airtight freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months, some people find the cake tastes better after freezing it.
our tip is not to freeze it decorated or covered with frosting, because it can ruin the decorating on the cake, we suggest freezing the cake and decorating it when you defrost it.
If you’re not looking to impress anyone with your decorating skills, it’s absolutely okay to freeze the cake with the frosting on.
Frosting- you can use your favorite frosting for this cake like classic chocolate frosting, caramel frosting, chocolate ganache frosting, dark chocolate frosting, etc.
Cupcakes- make this cake into cupcakes! This batter will make about 8 cupcakes.
There are a few substitutions that may be helpful for your diet:
- Gluten-free - if you want to make this recipe gluten-free, simply replace the flour with gluten-free flour.
- Dairy-free- you can make this cake dairy-free by replacing the butter with vegan butter or using your favorite dairy-free chocolate ganache.
More chocolate recipes:
Double chocolate banana bread- This double chocolate banana bread is filled and topped with chocolate chips, extra moist, and melt in your mouth delicious.
Best ever chocolate muffins- This is the most amazing chocolate cupcake recipe. These chocolate cupcakes are moist, fluffy, full of rich chocolate flavor, and come together in one bowl.
Favorite chocolate cake- This is the best ever chocolate cake ever. I’ve been searching for the best one bowl chocolate cake recipe for so long and found it and can’t wait to share it with you!
Chewy double chocolate cookies- These double chocolate cookies are chewy, soft, have slightly soft edges, and are loaded with chocolate flavor and chocolate chips!
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Small Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 1 ¾ cups Flour
- ⅓ cup Dutch cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 ¼ cup Granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup Vegetable oil
- 2 Eggs
- ½ cup Buttermilk
- ⅔ cup Hot coffee
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ⅓ teaspoon Salt
For the chocolate frosting:
- 200 g Butter
- 1 ¼ cup Powder sugar
- ⅓ cup Cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoon Milk
- 2 tablespoon Nutella
- Preheat an oven to 180c (350f) and prepare an 8×8 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
- Into a big mixing bowl, add the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, salt, buttermilk, sugar, and sift the cocoa powder. Mix with a whisk until well combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, hot coffee, and mix with a whisk until well combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in a 180c (350f) preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Make the chocolate buttercream:
- Into a big mixing bowl, add the soft butter, powder sugar, vanilla extract, Nutella, and sift in the cocoa powder.
- Mix on low speed until the frosting comes together.
- Increase the speed to medium to high speed and mix for about 3 minutes until the frosting is silky and smooth.
- Top the room temperature cake with the frosting and make a wave pattern with a spatula.