Let's Bake

Small Chocolate Cake

Yield Makes one 6-inch cake 1x
Prep: 60 minutesCook: 45 minutesTotal: 1 hour 45 minutes

A dreamy 6-inch chocolate cake topped with fudgy chocolate ganache. It serves 4-6.


Chocolate cake

  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) hot water
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 90 grams (2/3 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour
  • 20 grams (1/4 cup) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) full fat sour cream, room temperature

Chocolate ganache frosting

  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) thickened or heavy cream
  • 150 grams (1 cup) dark or semi-sweet chocolate (50-70% cocoa), roughly chopped
  • 10 grams (2 teaspoons) butter


  1. Small chocolate cake
    Grease and line one 6-inch round cake pan with baking or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Boil the kettle and pour out 1/4 cup water and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined and creamy.
  3. Add egg and beat briefly until combined. In a separate bowl, add plain flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and lightly whisk.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet, along with the sour cream and hot water, and beat on a low speed just until the cake batter is combined and smooth.
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. 
  6. Leave the cake to cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the cake from the pan and transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Chocolate ganache frosting
    Pour cream into a small saucepan. Place on a low heat. Stir gently with a spatula while cream is warming.
  8. Once the cream is warm (but not boiling), add chopped chocolate. Continue to stir while chocolate melts and becomes smooth. Add butter and stir until melted. Ganache should be smooth and glossy.
  9. Remove chocolate ganache from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Let it cool for 15 minutes and then place it in the fridge for about 2 hours or until it’s thick enough to spread. Give it a stir every 30 minutes.
  10. Once the ganache has thickened, generously frost the top of the cake using a small spatula.


Cocoa powder: I recommend using an unsweetened natural cocoa, but Dutch processed cocoa will work as well.

Sour cream: If you can get your hands on sour cream, use it. It will produce a lovely moist and tender cake. Alternatively, a full fat Greek or natural yogurt will also work well.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 slice Calories: 474 Sugar: 40.3 g Sodium: 172.1 mg Fat: 27.7 g Carbohydrates: 55.6 g Protein: 5.8 g Cholesterol: 85.5 mg
Nutrition information is a guide only.
Author: Jessica HolmesCategory: CakeCuisine: American
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