Mini Chocolate Cake

This mini chocolate cake for two is perfect for celebrating anniversaries, date night or just because: chocolate. The cake has a crumb that is one notch closer to pound cake than boxed cake mix, which I love. The ganache on top is my obsession. I almost never remember to put butter on the counter to soften for cake frosting, and a 2-minute chocolate ganache solves that problem. The pomegranate seeds are just, well, pretty. And crunchy. And tart. And very welcome.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: One 6-inch cake (2 servings)
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Ingredients

Cake:

1/3 cup neutral oil (like canola or grapeseed), plus more for the pan

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup full-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon warm coffee

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ganache:

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup heavy cream

Splash light corn syrup, optional (to keep the frosting smooth)

1/3 cup pomegranate arils, for garnish

Directions

Special equipment:
A 6-inch round cake pan (with 2-inch sides).
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the cake: Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 6-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides with oil then line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together the egg, sugar, oil, sour cream, coffee and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake starts to pull away from the sides, 29 to 32 minutes. If you under bake the cake, it will slightly sink, so check it!
  5. Remove the cake from the pan by carefully running a paring knife along the edge to loosen, then tilting it into one hand and peeling off the parchment from the bottom; place it on a small cake stand.
  6. For the ganache: Combine the chocolate, cream and corn syrup if using, in a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl fitted over a small saucepan of simmering water. Stir over medium heat until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate and cream in the microwave on low in 25-second intervals, stirring between each.)
  7. Pour the ganache over the cake, and garnish with the pomegranate arils.
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