Nope, it’s not my wedding anniversary. That’s not until June! It is, however, another important anniversary today. It’s my one year blogiversary! 🙂
I can hardly believe it’s been a year since I “went live”. I think I only had 4 or 5 recipes on my site at the time, but that number has now grown to over 100! I have had so much fun this past year with the blog, and have learned SO much about food blogging and photography. I plan to publish a more detailed post later this week on the past year, but for now – let us eat cake!!
For having over 100 recipes, it’s a little sad to me that I only have three (now four) cakes on the site! I LOVE cake! In fact, my most popular recipe by far is the healthy smash cake that I made for Wally’s 1st birthday. I’m actually using the same 6″ cake pan that I used for that recipe. It’s the perfect sized pan for a small cake – I use it a lot when I want to celebrate something exciting happening in the family with a cake, but I don’t want to commit to eating cake for the next week. We get enough sugar in our diets as it is!
So, if you’re wanting to celebrate your anniversary with your partner by making something special, this mini chocolate cake with cream cheese icing is JUST the ticket.
I absolutely love cream cheese icing – as in, it’s the only icing I really ever want to eat – especially when it’s allll over a fluffy, moist carrot cake…or my orange carrot cake! It’s not an obvious combo, but chocolate cake really likes cream cheese icing too. So good! That tanginess in the icing contrasts the rich chocolate flavour perfectly.
The only problem with cream cheese icing is that a traditional cream cheese icing recipe isn’t great for piping pretty designs. To create a perfectly pipe-able cream cheese icing, I changed the ratio of butter to cream cheese a bit by upping the butter content for structure, and used full-fat cream cheese rather than my usual light. The light cream cheese has too much water content! The icing still has great flavour, but it’s just a little stiffer than the average.
(Speaking of piping – this was my first rose cake; thanks to this awesome tutorial from I Am Baker, it turned out great). Would you believe I decorated this cake while my toddler pulled on my pant leg and my 3-year old continuously begged for frosting? Now that’s multi-tasking!
The cake itself is a fairly simple chocolate cake recipe – but scaled down to mini-size. The buttermilk, along with the oil, adds just the right amount of moistness! I’ve included melted chocolate in the recipe to amp up the chocolate flavour, and the instant espresso brings out that rich cocoa taste. The espresso is optional, but highly recommended!
With all that said, happy anniversary to ME (or to you, if you’re making this cake for a special occasion)! We all need a “little” chocolate cake in our life, don’t you think?
Here’s to another great year of food!!
Celebrate your anniversary, just the two of you, with the most perfect chocolate cake adorned with cream cheese icing – in miniature form!
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup oil (vegetable or grapeseed)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder*
- 2 oz chopped dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
Cream Cheese Icing*
- 2 pkg (500 grams) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 6″ springform cake pan with parchment paper, and spray with non-stick spray. Dust lightly with flour.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until combined. Whisk in the egg, instant espresso powder, and melted chocolate. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, then add half of the buttermilk, stirring together. Add the remaining half and stir until thoroughly combined and there are no lumps. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not under bake, as you will end up with a sunken center!
- Allow the cake to completely cool before icing.*
- Prepare the icing. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the butter on medium-high speed until combined. Add half of the powdered sugar, along with the vanilla extract and mix. Add the remaining half of the powdered sugar and beat until just combined; the icing will be fairly stiff.
- Ice the cake! If you will be serving the cake the same day, store it at room temperature, preferably covered. If serving in the next day or two, keep the cake (covered) in the refrigerator.
Leftover cake will keep at room temperature, in an airtight container, for 1-2 days, or in the fridge for 4-5. Cake can also be frozen prior to frosting. Wrap the cake (once cooled) tightly in plastic wrap and store for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before icing.
- Espresso powder brings out the chocolate flavour; your cake will not taste like coffee. Optional, but highly recommended!
- This recipe made just enough cream cheese icing to add a middle layer to the cake, and substantial decorations on the outside. If you’re simply icing the outside (no middle layer) you may halve the recipe ingredients.
- I created a “2-layer” cake by slicing the cake in half with a serrated knife once it had cooled.