Sep 6, 2015

Tiny Chocolate Layer Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Tiny Chocolate Layer Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache Frosting

My grandsons (with an assist from grandma) made this tiny chocolate layer cake for their dad on his birthday.

Their dad, my son, had to work on his birthday, which kind of stinks. A lot. On the upside, we got to watch the boys all morning while their dad was at work... which translated into "let's make a cake for daddy!"

I'm all over this one.

Tiny Chocolate Layer Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache Frosting

One mixed the dry ingredients and the other mixed the wet ingredients, and then they let me mix the two together. Once the frosting was ready, the boys frosted and decorated this cake by raiding my pantry. They chose a sprinkles "emoji" of a thumbs up, as well as a ring of Toll House caramel filled chips. Usually they like to dump mass quantities of sprinkles on cakes.

Kid decorations and frosting skills not withstanding (actually better than mine), this cake is amazingly rich and and chocolaty. It would be perfect for a romantic dinner for two.

While I can't show you a photo of a slice of this cake because I sent it home with their dad, I can attest to its deliciousness (I tasted some of the domed top that I sliced off of the bottom layer). It's seriously moist and tender. I would definitely make this again.

It's frosted with a sour cream chocolate ganache, which is rich and, as my youngest grandson declares, "tastes like a candy bar!"

We baked the two layers of this cake in 4 inch cake pans, which helps me justify owning the pans I bought for these cakes. If you don't have the pans, you can bake the batter in 4 muffin cups.

Happy birthday Daddy!

Tiny Chocolate Layer Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache Frosting

You can make this cake as gorgeous as any layer cake, or as kid friendly as you'd like. Either way, you will have an amazingly moist and delicious cake.

Tiny Chocolate Layer Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Adapted from Small Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers, a wonderful book full of recipes scaled for two. So far, everything I've made from this book has turned out wonderfully. 



1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tbsp of beaten egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, softened


9 ounces mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt


  1. Spray two 4 inch cake pans with spray oil, and line the bottoms with parchment paper (you can also make this recipe in 4 muffin cups). 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla.
  4. Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl through the strainer. 
  5. Add the butter and half of the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened. With a hand mixer, mix on medium low for about 45 seconds. Add the rest of the milk mixture, and mix on medium low for another 20 seconds. 
  6. Scrape the batter into the two pans, and bake for about 20 minutes on the center rack, until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs on it. 
  7. Cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out of the pan, remove the parchment, and cool completely.
  8. To make the frosting, microwave the chocolate chips for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, until they are shiny. Stir vigorously until smooth.
  9. Add the sour cream and stir. 
  10. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
  11. Let cool until it is spreadable. Don't let it sit too long or it will harden. 
  12. Generously frost the cakes as you would a layer cake, placing one layer on top of the other. 


  1. What a perfect little cake, baked with lots of love!!

  2. I just had a birthday too, can you ship me one !? haha!! ;) These look amazing. I love the idea of the 'tiny cake'!

    1. Happy birthday! I'm sure the boys would love to make another one of these =)

  3. What a great idea, perfect for me! I love chocolate cake.

  4. How very sweet... In all ways I would guess, I remember making a terribly mess making my Mum cakes for her birthday when I was young, I still make the same mess now I am not so young when I bake ;)

  5. This is absolutely adorable and sounds decadent. What a great memory you made with this fabulous dessert!

  6. You had me at chocolate. :) Those boys look like they're ready to dig in. :)

  7. I love how teeny-tiny this cake is! I need to get some 4" pans :). Looks delicious!

  8. This is so sweet -- in many ways! :) The timing is perfect -- my best friend is coming to stay next weekend and I would love to bake her a treat since it's her birthday. This is the perfect size and I love that you mentioned the cupcake option since I don't have those cake pans. PS. Your grandsons are adorable!

  9. So cute! And you always need a tiny cake recipe!

  10. This is a perfect idea for small families. Now that it's just Dave and I in the house, I'll keep this recipe in my pin pile for next years birthday. It looks so rich and moist!

  11. This make me smile, Karen! For one, anything with chocolate makes me happy and two, I could just imagine what your kitchen looks like with this "the boys frosted and decorated this cake by raiding my pantry" ... What I love about cooking, is that we do it for the ones we love ... belated happy birthday to your son :)


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