Mini Chocolate Pudding Birthday Cakes

Yesterday I set out to make a chocolate cake for a friend’s birthday. A pretty normal thing for me to do these days, make cakes. I was gathering ingredients when I realized: no real chocolate was in the house. UH-OH. What is a girl to do? Rummaging through the cupboards, I found some cocoa powder and chocolate pudding. Never before had I made a chocolate cake with pudding mixed in, but I had seen recipes in the past that had done it. So, I took a chance and added it in.

The finished product looked similar to brownies, tasted very fudgy {not so cakey} and  were very moist, thanks to the coconut oil and pudding. The cake itself was not so sweet, but, in my opinion, it should be that way so you get a nicely balanced dessert.  Plus, you really don’t need to go overboard with sugar in the cake, when you’re adding a frosting.

Speaking of frosting….after the cake was baked, I did something fun- I cut out small rounds of cake, made some fabulous chocolate frosting and made a bunch of mini birthday cakes! My birthday friend only has a husband and baby, so she doesn’t really need a whole huge cake all to herself. {Plus these little ones are so darling!}

Time consuming: yes.

Taste: amazing.

Cute factor: through the roof!

I’m tempted to make these for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party next month. We’ll see if that happens!

I went a little crazy with the colored sugars, the sprinkles and the nuts, but that’s the fun of it! You can decorate every mini cake how you like because you have so many! Kids would love decorating these and adults would love eating them! You can use different kinds of cake, different frostings, different cake shapes….. the possibilities are endless!

Even if you don’t cut out individual rounds to make the mini version, at least make this in a 9×13 and try it! This cake is so yummy with the frosting! The texture and taste is awesome. I found it hard to stop eating…..but that’s typical for me. Ha! Anyways, give this one a whirl! You’ll be glad you did!

Happy Birthday Jean! Hope you liked your mini birthday cake!

Mini Chocolate Pudding Birthday Cakes
yield: 5-6 small cakes
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for the cake-
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup coconut oil or butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1-3.9 oz. box instant chocolate pudding {the small box}
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour

for the frosting-
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

sprinkles, nuts or any cake decorations you like

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, melt butter and coconut oil in microwave. Once melted, pour mixture into larger bowl. Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again. In a smaller bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Alternate milk and dry ingredients until all is incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour into greased 9×13 dish and smooth out. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Remove from oven and cool completely.

For the frosting, stir butter, vanilla, cocoa and powdered sugar together. With machine on low, slowly stream in milk. Scrape sides of bowl and whip on high 1-2 minutes until it turns lighter in color.

To assemble, cut out circles using cookie cutter or glass. {I was able to cut 3 3-inch circles and 6 1 1/2 inch circles}. Place circle of cake on waxed paper. Spread about 2 tablespoons of frosting over the top. Place a second circle of cake over top frosting. Top cake with plenty more frosting. Smooth the top and push the extra frosting down the sides, spreading as you go.

Once cake is covered with frosting completely, smooth the sides and top, removing any extra frosting as needed. Top with desired decorations such as sprinkles or nuts.

Recipe TIPS:
-I find your frosting doesn’t collect crumbs if you start out with too much frosting and smooth and remove it as you spread it on your cake.
-You can use any size or shape of cake you like.
-If you keep this cake in a 9×13, then just spread all the frosting over top. If you want to make 2 9-inch rounds, I’d suggest doubling the frosting recipe.


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  1. Oh lauren, this is adorable. Mini-anything certainly can be time-consuming, but it pays off in “wow” factor…I’d love to try this…if something is fudgey(versus cakey) I’m all over it!
    cathy b.

  2. Such a good idea! My birthday is coming up…perhaps I’ll request these from my blogging buddy/roommate. Hmmm 🙂

  3. SO cute! Nice use of coconut oil, too 🙂 Do you think these would worked baked in ramekins?

    • They should be fine if you baked them in ramekins! That might even be easier than making a big pan and cutting the circles out! Let me know if you end up doing that! Smart thinking, Natalie!

  4. I have to rave about this again. (Get tired of hearing me do that?) This cake is not like a light, crumbly cake but not heavy like a brownie. It is a perfect texture and flavor. When Lauren told her friend she would bring her a birthday cake, I thought “big” and wondered at that. But when I saw that adorable small, personal-sized cake I realized what a perfect idea it was. Why had I never thought of that before? That’s why we have Lauren!

  5. Serious, serious CUTE factor indeed Lauren! And soooo yummy looking too! Who wouldn’t love to have one of these little chocolate treasures!?

  6. Lauren, these cakes are adorable. Your friend must have been so happy with these!

  7. Oh my! I wish it was my birthday! These look so cute!

  8. Love these little cakes! Anything small is automatically cute in my opinion. 😉

  9. OH MY GOODNESS!!! Lauren!!! This cake was freaking amazing!!!! I made it tonight because I was so excited about this chocolate cake! I LOVE IT! I made it with assistance from the boyfriend and we both about died from happiness when we finally got to taste it! Although instead of coconut butter we ended up using some weird mexican coconut cream stuff. It worked though which was a plus. The frosting and cake work great together and it was the perfect cake texture and taste! Love love love it!
    We also did 7 layer dip and I used your black bean variation instead of refried. Really made it taste fresh and great! Thanks for the fabulous tips!
    I’m also supposed to send Kudos from the boyfriend. He loved both.
    Keep up the amazing ideas! Love you and miss you and Gordon!!

  10. I love the idea of mini cakes. They look so cute. That mint chocolate combo sounds fantastic. I bet these cakes were highly enjoyed. I have a huge dessert linky party on my blog right now called “Sweets for a Saturday” and I’d like to invite you to stop by and link this up.

  11. Just made these for my little guy’s birthday, and they look adorable! I made cake pops with the rest of the frosting mixed with the extra cake crumbles left over, can’t let that goodness go to waste! Thanks for the great idea!

  12. they were great by the way!!! I made cake pops with the leftover cake with the leftover frosting, oh so good!

  13. hahaha i just realized i told you i made cake pops twice…im awesome.

  14. I just wanted to tell you thank you for this recipe! I made it today for our little angel baby, Myra. It would have been her 3rd birthday. We try just to have a mini cake for her since she died when she was a baby. I made the cake into a mini butterfly. It turned out so cute and very yummy! Thanks!

  15. looks good! can u freeze them.



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