Monday, May 28, 2012

Mini Cake- Small Batch Baking!

And birthday season continues!  Today I want to share a mini birthday cake I made for my Auntie Judy.  I brought this to our family's Memorial Day/Auntie's birthday cookout.  After loads of grilled meats, veggies, salads and fresh corn on the cob, I knew a huge slab of cake wouldn't be on the top of everyone's dessert wish list...a nice bowl of fresh berries with cool whip was more like it!  But, what is a birthday without a little cake?!

For this cake, I didn't want to make a full batch of batter and frosting and have tons of leftovers, so I researched some recipes and adapted a couple from Country Living for this 'small batch' project and the result was perfect.

The following recipe makes a two-layer 4" cake and enough frosting to generously cover the mini-cake.  Both recipes follow steps that are different from what I typically do when baking, which made it fun.  The frosting comes out super creamy and light- I love it!  I didn't like the extra buttery flavor, so added in some vanilla and it was perfect.  I filled this mini-cake with raspberry preserves and it was the perfect summer cake to pair with Grammy's berries and cool whip.

For the finishing decorative touch, I covered the whole cake in old school multi-color sprinkles before piping a "J" for Judy on top. I just love the whimsy of white frosting, bright sprinkles and birthday candles.  Perfect!

Do you have any small-batch baking recipes?  Let me know in the comments below!

Mini vanilla cake (makes one two-layer, 4" cake)
Adapted from this Country Living Basic Vanilla Cake recipe

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • Spray two 4" cake pans with non-stick spray
  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl
  • Beat in the butter, one small spoonful at a time until the mixture looks like coarse sand
  • Beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture looks like fine, damp sand (NOTE- make sure to scrape down the bowl a few times, especially the bottom.)
  • Beat in the egg
  • Beat in the vanilla and milk on medium-high, until just blended.  Do not overmix!!
  • Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then completely out of the pans.

  • 1/4 c. melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 3/4 c. confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Beat the 1/4 c. melted butter with the confectioner's sugar, salt, milk, lemon juice and vanilla in a mixing bowl on medium-high. 
  • Beat in the 1/4 c. cold butter, one small piece at a time, mixing well after each piece.
  • Use immediately, or chill. If you put this in the fridge and use it later, let it sit out for 5-10 minutes, then whip with a little extra milk or vanilla to make it 'fluffy' before using.


  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Made it for my husbands birthday since we're trying to cut back on sweets and this was enough to share with our kids. Also, no leftover temptations! It was pretty tasty as well. =]

  2. Absolutely DELICIOUS! Yes, the technique used (and the high oven temp) to make the cake felt " weird" because I was used to the
    creaming butter with sugar
    method for.years ..but i must say
    this recipe yielded one of the BEST tasting, fine textured tender
    crumbed cake I have EVER
    tasted!!!! I will now make all of mycakes this way from now

  3. I cannot recommend this recipe. The cake is not horrible, but there's nothing about it that would justify the unusual long-drawn-out process. It's very dense. Other recipes give better results with less fuss.