Happy Friday, friends! Yesterday I talked about fitness, being active, and working out at home… today I’m talking CAKE. Haha! I know, I know. It’s called balance, people. I actually baked this cake because today is a momentous occasion- Emmett’s 30th birthday! Yesss- that is why he’s the shining star of this post. We were supposed to be in Denver right now celebrating, but instead we’re trying to enjoy his birthday at home social distancing. I bake him a cake every single year and this year he requested something with chocolate frosting. Given it’s just the two of us at home celebrating this year, I thought a mini cake was probably more appropriate for this birthday. It’s perfect for two and doesn’t use as many ingredients. Click through for the recipe, and to wish Emmett a happy birthday!
Funny story- for Valentine’s Day last month, Emmett got me these Callebaut crisps because he knows I love that particular brand of chocolate (I used to be a designer for a chocolate company wayyy back in the day). Anyway, he thought it was actually chocolate cereal (like breakfast cereal). I had to explain that it was a baking chocolate with a crispy center, that I would definitely use eventually… just not for my breakfast. Haha! Well, here we are on his birthday; he said I “regifted” them to him. I was cracking up!
Obviously this cake recipe can be used with or without these… but they do add a nice chocolate crunch! I mainly wanted to be clever with his cake and gift.
Mini Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting & Crispies
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate melted
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup chocolate crispies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray two or three ramekins (depending on the size you have) with cooking spray, then line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper.
- In a medium size bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until smooth.
- Add the egg and vanilla, beating until well combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the batter, beating for a few seconds before stirring in half of the milk and vinegar.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients, then beat the remaining milk.
- Spread the batter evenly into the ramekins and bake for 30 minutes, or until a inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Flip the mini cakes onto a cooling rack and allow them to completely cool before frosting.
- To make the chocolate buttercream, cream the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the melted chocolate and cocoa powder a little at a time.
- Keeping mixing until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Once the cakes have completely cooled, assemble the cakes with frosting between each layer.
- Press the crispies onto the sides of the cake and decorate as desired!
Cutting out a little circle of parchment paper for the bottom of your ramekin is the best way to bake perfect mini cakes that don’t stick! It’s a little trick of the trade I picked up.
This recipe is really easy and I love that it doesn’t make a huge portion. It’s pretty perfect for small desserts or a momentous occasion… especially if you don’t trust yourself with an entire cake while you’re locked up at home.
Miniature desserts are also pretty cute and fun to decorate. These petite little cakes would be fun to frost using different techniques for a cohesive cake collection. I could totally see these at a wedding shower or celebration of some sort!
I’m planning to make Emmett a special dinner tonight- and most likely a craft cocktail as well. I’m assuming we’ll rent a movie or work on our puzzle. It’s not quite a wild night out celebrating, but this just might be more sweet and special! It will certainly be a birthday to remember.
I’m also pretty sure we’ll be eating that third, unfrosted mini cake I didn’t use for breakfast tomorrow- the vanilla cake would be SO good with coffee! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Does anyone have cabin fever yet? Are you planning to tackle any home projects this weekend? I’m still trying to find the time and motivation to finish the wallpaper in our powder bath. Whew!
BrittanyMarch 27, 2020 at 3:33 am
Happy Birthday, Emmett!! My 30s have been better than my 20s. I’m wishing you the same! Have a great day!
BethMarch 27, 2020 at 4:55 am
Beautiful cake–Happy birthday Emmett!!
ColleenMarch 27, 2020 at 5:45 am
Emmett is one lucky guy 😍 That cake looks AMAHZING! Happy Birthday 🎂🎉🎊 🍻
PeggiMarch 27, 2020 at 6:50 am
🎉🎈Happy birthday, Emmett! You guys have accomplished so much thus far, I can’t believe you’re just turning 30! Have an amazing birthday weekend and your best year yet!!
OMG. Sarah, I laughed out loud at the chocolate crisps story.🤣 Also, I have had that exact bag in my Amazon saved file forever! I love to make and decorate cakes, and they sound divine. Why have I never thought of using ramekins for mini cakes? I usually make one layer and cut it with a biscuit cutter, but that looks easier. I’ve already made one cake this week, but…
Have a beautiful, special weekend!💖
Emmett GibsonMarch 27, 2020 at 12:58 pm
Thanks Peggi! The 20’s were great but I’m confident the next 10 years will be even better! And yes, the cake was as good as it looked. Fun fact, I prefer my cake for breakfast so sarah has to make it the day before:)
MonicaMarch 27, 2020 at 7:05 am
Hmmm – this looks so good. Let me see if I can find the ingredients while social distancing :) Happy Birthday Emmett!
JulieMarch 27, 2020 at 7:59 am
Happy, happy 30th birthday, Emmett! You bring so much to this blog – thank you for sharing your talents with us! Your craftsmanship, ambition, and positive attitude are truly inspirational. I hope you have a wonderful celebration (that cake looks amazing!), and that your 30s are the best decade yet.
Kim B.March 27, 2020 at 8:25 am
Happy birthday Emmett!!
LaurenMarch 27, 2020 at 8:35 am
Happy dirty 30 Emmett! Thirties are more fun than your twenties, and I wish you all the happiness and blessings thirty has to offer you! Sarah that cake looks so delectable! Your recipes are always stand-out, and put a smile on my face. Happy Friday!
SarahMarch 27, 2020 at 1:17 pm
Thank you Lauren! I love baking :) Happy Friday!
Emmett GibsonMarch 27, 2020 at 1:18 pm
Thanks for the wishes. I am positive the 30s will be great!
Lori R.March 27, 2020 at 9:46 am
Happy Birthday 30th Emmett! yes, this will be a birthday to remember! I think I see the mountains of Colorado but in strawberries 🙃Thank you for displaying your craftsmanship while collaborating with Sarah to make her design visions come to legend! You both are amazingly talented and dedicated to enhancing each of your individual skill sets…which is the inspirational that keeps your followers coming back for more ! (I bet you wish you this “sheltering in place” would have instead been during the time you were installing your herringbone wood floor!) May your birthday celebration welcome a new decade of HEALTH and happiness!❤️
Emmett GibsonMarch 27, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Thanks! As much as I would like to get out, staying inside and finishing “normal” house maintenance projects is refreshing.
JasmineMarch 27, 2020 at 10:26 am
Happy Birthday, Emmett!! The 30s are awesome. Today is my birthday too!
Emmett GibsonMarch 27, 2020 at 1:15 pm
Thank you, happy birthday as well!
ArdithMarch 27, 2020 at 10:42 am
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HANDSOME EMMETT!!!!!! You are one lucky man. Sure, you have the perfect woman wife who baked you this extraordinary cake. So yes, quite lucky there. You are really, really lucky because a) current developments preclude my traveling to your home to steal the cake from you, and b) I couldn’t eat it even if I made it to your gorgeous home. But a girl can dream.
Meanwhile, just how many new man tools does it take to make up for that delayed birthday trip?
Cheers and hugs, Ardith :) :) :) XOXOXO
Emmett GibsonMarch 27, 2020 at 1:00 pm
I do feel quite lucky! I am hoping our trip will just be postpone. And I am running out tools on my wish list..:)
DannaMarch 27, 2020 at 1:39 pm
Happy 30th Birthday Emmett!! Lucky guy! That cake looks so delicious! I am lol at the regifting comment!
Sarah, you just keep amazing me with your talents! That cake looks so professional…the presentation! I’ve honestly never had cake at breakfast. Need to try this out…my arm is twisted.
Have a wonderful celebration and weekend to you both! Oh, can I suggest the movie Midway. We watched it last night and totally a guy’s movie. A lot like Pear Harbor without the romance. ;)
SarahMarch 27, 2020 at 4:34 pm
We both love cake for breakfast!! That’s the best way to eat it. Haha! Thank you for the movie suggestion, Danna. Can’t wait to watch :) Have a great weekend!
NicoleMarch 27, 2020 at 3:12 pm
Oh wow, it’s so cute. It caught my eye on Pinterest. I’m relatively new to baking. Why the apple cider vinegar? I’m familiar with acv bc my friend puts it in some vegetables and I take a little with honey sometimes to help with allergies, etc. I’m not sure how it helps but it does. I can’t imagine it in a dessert. I’m learning so many new things and I look forward to hearing from you so I’ll understand this. Thank you.
SarahMarch 27, 2020 at 4:35 pm
Great question, Nicole! I didn’t want to run to the grocery store (since we’re social distancing) and I didn’t have buttermilk at home, so using regular whole milk with a splash of apple cider vinegar is a great substitute.
RobinMarch 30, 2020 at 12:30 am
Happy Birthday Emmett!! That cake looks fabulous!
Anne HMarch 31, 2020 at 12:35 pm
Happy Birthday, Emmett!! I think when you do finally get to make your b-day trip to Denver, it’ll be even better because you’ll be getting two celebrations-one indoor and one outdoor. Honestly, to a homebody like myself, a night in with a movie, puzzle, wine and chocolate sounds like a pretty great celebration in my book. At least that’s what I’m telling myself, as I prepare to celebrate my 50th(?!?) at home on Cinco de Mayo. Not sure I can bring myself to drink a Corona just yet, though so hopefully there will be a margarita with my name on it. LOL!
Sarah, that cake looks phenomenal-gorgeous AND delicious. So how as the mini vanilla cake for b’fast? Inquiring, nosy minds want to know. ;-) (Great tip about the apple cider vinegar and ramekins, too.) Your gorgeous desserts never cease to inspire me so thank you for sharing!
SarahApril 1, 2020 at 9:17 am
Yess!! We are very excited to reschedule our Denver trip and check out all the local things- indoors and out :) Maybe the timing is for the better. I’m trying to find the silver lining! I hope you have a good birthday too… it’s coming up! You definitely have a margarita with your name on it. You’re not living until you’ve had cake for breakfast ;) it really is the best. Have a great day, Anne! xo