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A chocolate layer cake on a speckled cake stand with one slice missing

6 Inch Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Moist and fluffy chocolate cake is layered up with creamy chocolate frosting in this super easy 6 Inch Cake! It may be half the size of your average cake, but it’s guaranteed to make every chocolate lover fall head over heels in love.


For the Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 6 tbsp (43g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) hot water

For the Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups (336g) butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups (575g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (57g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 23 tbsp (60-75ml) cream


Make the Cake Layers

  1. Prepare three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides.
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
  3. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
  4. Add egg, milk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Add vanilla to hot water and add to mixture. Mix well.
  6. Divide batter evenly between cakes pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  7. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 3-5 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. When the cake layers are cool, make the buttercream. Add the butter to a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
  2. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla extract, cocoa and 2 tablespoons of cream or water and mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  5. Add additional cream or water as needed to get the right consistency.

Build the Cake

  1. Use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. These cakes don’t have a large dome, but I like to make sure they’re completely flat.
  2. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
  3. Spread about 1/2 a cup of frosting evenly on top of the cake.
  4. Add the second layer of cake and another half cup of frosting.
  5. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the outside of the cake. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed.
  6. Press sprinkles into the sides of the cake. Pipe a shell border around the top edge and bottom of the cake. I used Ateco tip 847.


  • Makes 6-8 servings.
  • To Store: Store in an airtight container. Cake is best if eaten within 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: To freeze unfrosted layers, wrap each one in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before building cake. To freeze frosted cake, place on a baking sheet and freeze whole thing or individual slices for 1-2 hours, or until icing is hard. Once frosting is hard, wrap cake in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Unwrap and thaw in the fridge before enjoying.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 912
  • Sugar: 99.5 g
  • Sodium: 327.8 mg
  • Fat: 50.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 118.2 g
  • Protein: 5.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 117.2 mg