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Apr 29, 2016

Mini White Chocolate Birthday Cake

Mini White Chocolate Birthday Cake from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This mini white chocolate birthday cake is super tiny, baked in four inch cake pans. And I made it for and with this boy. This boy. How much do I love this boy? So much. This is my first grandchild. Every grandma out there reading this knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Mini White Chocolate Birthday Cake

I had the most amazing grandmother. I don't even know how to describe her. She came to America at age six via Ellis Island from the Italian part of Switzerland and settled in California. I still wish I knew more about how and why her parents moved the family to California, but they were a pretty tightlipped and and private people.

All I know is that she was an amazing grandmother and she was ridiculously funny. Almost every weekend some of us cousins would get to spend the weekend with her at her house. She even set up a room at her house with cupboards for each one of her granddaughters (she never had a grandson, which didn't fit well with her.... another story) with our names on our cupboards. When we visited her house, we could count on finding a small gift in our cupboard.

She definitely spoiled us. I remember her buying us Easter dresses at Bullocks Wilshire, where the saleswomen knew her by her first name, which was Livia! We would have lunch at the Tea Room after picking out our dresses.

While this may sound like she was "fancy," she was anything but.

When my daughter was little, and I was trying to explain the difference between grandmother and great grandmother, she exclaimed, "oh, yes, she is great!"

This woman was hysterically funny, protective, fierce, devoted, and very private. She taught me how to sew, took me on my first plane ride, took me to my first Beach Boys concert, and made me feel so loved and protected. Her culinary specialties were shrimp cocktails and pecan tassies. Her favorite cocktail was the Old Fashioned. She always let us steal the maraschino.

Don't get me started on her driving....

I'm not very good at cake decorating, so I turned the adornment duties over to my favorite first grandchild. I love what he created.

To make this cake, you will need two four inch cake pans. When I bought them, I thought they were kind of a specialty, but I've used them several times, including for this chocolate cake, and these ginger cakes. Worth it!

P.S. For another great mini chocolate cake, be sure to try my Chocolate-Espresso Mini Cakes

Mini White Chocolate Birthday Cake


Cake Ingredients

Butter and flour to coat the baking pans
1 ounce white chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted room temperature butter
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons room temperature sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Frosting Ingredients

2/3 cup heavy cream
2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the center.
  2. Butter and flour two 4 inch cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment. Butter the parchment.
  3. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave on medium until melted, about one minute. Stir and cool until lukewarm.
  4. In a small bowl, microwave the butter to melt, about 20 seconds. Add the boiled water to the butter and whisk to blend. 
  5. When the mixture is slightly cooled, whisk in the sour cream, egg yolk, and vanilla. 
  6. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to blend. Add the sour cream mixture and the white chocolate and whisk to blend. 
  7. Divide the batter between the two pans.
  8. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  9. Let the pans cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Turn them out onto the rack, peel off the parchment, and then turn them over to cool completely on the rack. 
  10. To make the frosting, bring the cream to just boiling by microwaving on high for about 90 seconds in a microwave safe bowl. Add the white chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts. 
  11. Let the mixture cool, cover, and refrigerate for three to four hours, or up to one day. 
  12. Add the vanilla and beat with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes. 
  13. Frost the cake immediately as you would any layer cake.

Would you like to comment?

  1. What a sweet story and great recipe too. I love that it is for a mini cake for one or two.

  2. Karen, I think this might become my favorite post ever from your blog... it literally brought me to tears, although I know it was not your intention...

    such a lovely tribute to a wonderful woman! I sometimes (often actually) wish I knew more about my grandmother and her parents. I wish I could say she was funny and loving, but unfortunately she was a very difficult woman, who was unhappy her whole life, or so it seemed. I often wonder why, what made her be so harsh and how it affected my own Mom...

    sorry did not mean to go on for so long...

    Beautiful cake, beautiful post!

    1. Awww. Thank you =) We were very, very lucky. That woman would not tolerate negativity and I think that's why she lived so long (and very good genes). My sister did a whole ancestry search on the other side of my family, and oh, the family secrets she uncovered from sainted my grandfather. You never know.

  3. What a pretty mini Birthday Cake , your first grandson looks so happy and what a wonderful story behind it, these beautiful mini Birthday Day Cake. Happy Birthday to your grandson.

  4. Oh yes! I swear the heavens opened and poured endless love upon me when my first grandchild was born. I call her the same thing, my favorite eldest granddaughter. Your grandmother sounds amazing. The women of that generation were very special. Love the cake. Now I gotta get me some of those four inch pans.

  5. P.S. Love all the pictures, too! So cute and a handsome lad.

    1. Thanks so much Vicki! Being a grandmother is the best, isn't it?

  6. what a lovely way to celebrate your grandson! i love those little cake pans too :)

  7. That was a lovely story. I like how food and family are interwoven in our lives! She sounds like she was an awesome grandmother. Your grandson will think the same of you!

  8. you made awesome cake for your grandson. Also shared a wonderful post.

  9. Of course, I had to come read about your fabulous grandmother, Karen. She sounds like quite the character. You were blessed to have her!

    1. Thanks so much Stacy. She was a total character, and I was definitely blessed.

  10. Thank you Karen, this is a delicious little cake! Really tastes of white chocolate, which was just what I wanted. Take care, Jessica


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