This 6 inch cake recipe is the perfect cake size when you need a small cake and have something to celebrate! It’s a moist and fluffy cake that is super easy to make from scratch. Plus it’s topped with a creamy and decadent chocolate buttercream frosting that you’ll want to lick of a spoon!  

A small 6 inch chocolate cake with 1 slice cut out on an upside down pink bowl

In my opinion as a trained pastry chef there is always an excuse to make a cake. Especially chocolate cake! But, sometimes you don’t need a large cake for a small get together. This scaled down version of my one bowl chocolate cake , is a fun recipe you’ll want to keep in your back pocket!

The best part about this cake is how simple it is to make from scratch. A moist and fluffy chocolate cake is baked up in a 6 Inch Cake pan while you make a thick creamy chocolate buttercream frosting to layer on top. It’s the same size as my chocolate coffee cake– just with a little less buzz!

To frost, you could change it up and top this cake with creamy caramel buttercream, tangy strawberry cream cheese buttercream frosting, or even a coffee frosting (my favorite!).

If you’re a serious chocolate lover use this light whipped chocolate frosting, or rich chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Why You Should Make This Recipe

  • It’s made with simple baking ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. 
  • This recipe can easily be turned into fun sized cupcakes for individualized servings. 
  • The rich chocolate flavor on the outside in the buttercream pairs well with the soft fluffy chocolate cake on the inside. 
  • Top with anything. Whether it be sprinkles, fruit or powdered sugar, you get to decide how your cake looks morphing it into a dessert for any occasion. 

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients for a small 6 inch chocolate cake recipe

For the Cake

  • White Sugar – White sugar helps sweeten the inside of the cake and blends in smoothly with the cake batter. 
  • All Purpose Flour – AP flour makes up the base of the dry ingredients of this cake. 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – This is what gives the cake a chocolate flavor and deep brown color. 
  • Baking Soda & Baking Powder – The combination of these two ingredients help the cake rise and give it a fluffy texture while it still stays dense. 
  • Kosher Salt – Balances the sweetness in the cake. 
  • Eggs – Eggs help any cake bind together while baking and create the crust on the top and sides. 
  • Vanilla Extract – The perfect flavor extract that pairs well with any baked chocolate cake. 
  • Whole Milk Yogurt – Yogurt is responsible for making the cake dense and moist setting it apart from store bought cakes. 
  • Coffee – Adds a rich decadent flavor that pairs very well with chocolate and gives the cake a little something extra. 
  • Vegetable Oil – This helps make the batter smooth and rich. 

For the chocolate buttercream frosting

  • Unsalted Butter – This makes up the base of the frosting which adds to the rich buttery flavor and creamy texture. 
  • Confectioners Sugar – Needed to sweeten up the frosting and help it become smooth. 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Is what gives the frosting a beautiful chocolate brown color and lots of chocolate flavor. 
  • Vanilla Extract – Pairs well with chocolate. 
  • Milk – Helps thin out the buttercream frosting if needed. 
Ingredients for the chocolate buttercream

The Best cake pan to use

This 6 Inch Cake Pan is my favorite one to use in any 6 inch cake recipe. It releases the cake easily and it has a deep rim which helps create a perfectly shaped cake. It is also a light color which helps to distribute heat evenly.

How To Make a 6 Inch Chocolate Cake

  1. Bring all of your baking ingredients to room temperature and preheat the oven to 350° F and spray 2, 6” round cake pans with baking spray. 
  2. In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 ¼ cup flour, 2/3 cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ tsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp kosher salt. Mix on low speed for 15 seconds. In a medium sized bowl combine the 2 eggs, 2/3rd cup yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2/3rd cup coffee, and ¼ cup vegetable oil. Whisk until combined. 
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix on low- medium speed for 1-2 minutes until fully incorporated. 
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 40 minutes. 
  5. The cake is done when the edges start to pull away from the pan and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Make the buttercream:

  1. Clean out your mixer from making the chocolate cake. 
  2. Add the 1 cup butter, 3 cups confectioner sugar, and  ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder to a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. 
  3. Beat on medium speed for one minute until smooth. Add in the 2 tsp extract and 1 tsp milk. If it is too thick, add in the extra teaspoon of milk.
  4. Mix on medium speed for 1 more minute until smooth and fluffy. 
Chocolate buttercream on a spatula sitting on a glass cup

How to Assemble the cake

  1. If the cake tops are not flat, level them off with a long serrated knife. 
  2. Since they are thick layers, cut the cakes in half so you will have 4 total layers.
  3. Lay the first layer on a cake board and layer with frosting. Repeat the layers until you have all 4 stacked. 
  4. Frost the rest of the cake. Check out my how to decorate a cake post for more tips! 

Making this cake into Chocolate Cupcakes

If you’d like to turn this recipe into more of an individualized dessert, try making it into cupcakes! 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Make the chocolate cake batter and buttercream frosting as instructed. 
  3. Distribute the cake batter into cupcake liners ⅔ full.
  4. Bake for 18 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely before removing and frosting. 

Other buttercream frosting options

Who say’s you HAVE to use chocolate buttercream on chocolate cake? You can try this delicious coffee buttercream for an extra buzz, or raspberry buttercream frosting for a classic and decadent combo!

How Many People Will a 6 Inch Cake Feed?

A 6 inch cake will feed a surprising amount of people! You’re in control of how many slices you’d like to get out of this cake.

  • 6-8 Regular Sized Servings
  • 12 Wedding Sized Servings
A chocolate cake slice on a gray ruffled plate

Recipe Tips

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: It’s important to make sure all of your perishable ingredients (eggs, milk, butter) are brought to room temperature before baking. This helps ensure that all of the batter and frosting mixes together seamlessly and bakes evenly. 
  • Letting Cool Completely: I know it’s hard to not want to eat your cake immediately, but it must cool fully before removing. This gives the cake a chance to set and will keep it from crumbling. 
  • Sift Your Ingredients: Some of the ingredients in this recipe usually have lumps like cocoa powder or sugar. Make sure you sift your dry ingredients before adding them to the mixer. 

Recipe FAQ

Do I have to use the coffee? No you dont, you can sub it with water or milk. Coffee is used because it deepens the flavor but if you really dont want to use it you dont have to.

I have instant coffee, how much do I use? I would use 1/2-1 tablespoon instant coffee with 2/3rd cup water depending how much you like.

Can I substitute the coffee with instant espresso? Yes you can swap it 1:1.

More Cake Recipes You’ll Love

A small 6 inch chocolate cake with 1 slice cut out on an upside down pink bowl
5 stars (8 ratings)

Moist and Easy 6 inch Chocolate Cake

This 6 inch cake recipe is easy to make from scratch, and is super moist and fluffy. It feeds up to 12 people!

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake Batter

  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) white sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups (156.25 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 /3 cup (172 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) baking soda
  • ½ tsp (0.5 tsp) baking powder
  • ¼ tsp (0.25 tsp) kosher salt
  • 2 (2) eggs, large, room temperature
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (162.67 g) whole milk yogurt , room temperature
  • cup (158 g) warm coffee
  • ¼ cup (54.5 g) vegetable oil

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter , (2 sticks) room temperature
  • 3 cups (360 g) confectioners sugar
  • cup (57.33 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp (1 tsp) milk

Equipment

  • 6 Inch Cake Pan

Instructions
 

For The Chocolate Cake Batter

  • Bring all of your baking ingredients to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F and spray 2, 6” round cake pans with baking spray.
  • In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 ¼ cup flour, 2/3rd cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ tsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp kosher salt. Mix on low speed for 15 seconds.
  • In a medium sized bowl combine the 2 eggs, 2/3rd cup yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2/3rd cup coffee, and ¼ cup vegetable oil. Whisk until combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix on low- medium speed for 1-2 minutes until fully incorporated.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 40 minutes.
  • The cake is done when the edges start to pull away from the pan and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Clean out your mixer from making the chocolate cake.
  • Add the 1 cup butter, 3 cups confectioner sugar, and ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder to a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Beat on medium speed for one minute until smooth. Add in the 2 tsp extract and 1 tsp milk. If it is too thick, add in the extra teaspoon of milk.
  • Mix on medium speed for 1 more minute until smooth and fluffy.

Assembling The Cake

  • If the cake tops are not flat, level them off with a long serrated knife.
  • Since they are thick layers, cut the cakes in half so you will have 4 total layers.
  • Lay the first layer on a cake board and layer with frosting. Repeat the layers until you have all 4 stacked.

Notes

 

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: It’s important to make sure all of your perishable ingredients (eggs, milk, butter) are brought to room temperature before baking. This helps ensure that all of the batter and frosting mixes together seamlessly and bakes evenly. 
  • Letting Cool Completely: I know it’s hard to not want to eat your cake immediately, but it must cool fully before removing. This gives the cake a chance to set and will keep it from crumbling. 
  • Sift Your Ingredients: Some of the ingredients in this recipe usually have lumps like cocoa powder or sugar. Make sure you sift your dry ingredients before adding them to the mixer.
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 501kcal, Carbohydrates: 77g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 181mg, Potassium: 344mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 55g, Vitamin A: 526IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 3mg
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