Fudgy, yet light chocolate cake layers, filled with fluffy pistachio buttercream and cut into adorable mini cakes, are irresistible crowd-pleaser.
When you’ve got extra pistachio paste on hand, what do you do? Whip up a pistachio buttercream. Then whip up a chocolate cake. Right? There is just no other way around it.
Elegant. Cute. Irresistible. On the outside.
Fudgy. Light. Flavorful. On the inside.
Yes, these little layer cakes are absolutely the best. Inside and out.
Perfect cross between fudgy brownies and fluffy cake, this chocolate cake got the best of both worlds.
Just like brownies, this cake has beautiful thin crust on top, covering slightly fudgy, rich and chocolate-y goodness. But it’s not quite as dense as classic fudgy brownies. Its light and airy texture screams, “I’m a cake!”
And paired with creamy, fluffy pistachio buttercream, this mini cakes are unstoppable.
To make the chocolate cake, I adapted the recipe for my mini caramel lava cakes and baked into a sheet cake.
Note, it’s so similar to brownie recipe, but with a BIG difference in the method of preparation, which affects the overall texture of the cake. To create light and fluffy cake texture, we need to beat the eggs and sugar for an extended time until it’s thick, white and tripled in size. With my stand mixer, it takes about 5 minutes. If you’re using a handheld electric mixer, it’ll take up to 10 minutes. Be patient, and you’ll be rewarded.
Another thing to watch is the baking time. Be careful not to over-bake the cake. The batter is spread into a thin layer, so it doesn’t take long to cook. Other than that, it’s pretty straight forward.
As usual, here is the step-by-step photos for those who love visuals, like me.
And a couple more pictures…
These beauties are, hands down, one of the best things happened in my kitchen. They were devoured in a flash at the ranch!
Mini Chocolate Layer Cakes
For Chocolate Cake:
- 1/2 cup 60gr all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup 30gr natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup 115gr unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 8 oz 225gr semi-sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 2/3 cup 130gr sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For Pistachio Buttercream:
- 1/2 cup 115gr unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup 60gr pistachio paste*
- 2 cups 250gr powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons 15gr shelled pistachios for decoration, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 17x11in (43x28cm) deep baking sheet with a parchment paper and spray cooking spray all over the parchment paper and on the sides.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, place eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on medium high for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick, white and tripled in size. (Alternatively, you can beat the mixture with handheld electric mixer, but it’ll take slightly longer about 8 minutes.)
- Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, combine butter and chocolate and melt in double boiler over simmering water. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Then using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Add the flour mixture and gently mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and tap a few times to get rid of bubbles. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Transfer onto a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes. Then place a wire rack on top of the cake and invert. Remove the baking sheet and peel off the parchment paper. Now place another wire rack on the cake and then invert it again so that the top of the cake is up. Cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare pistachio buttercream frosting. In large mixing bowl with paddle attachment, or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and pistachio paste until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag with a round tip (I used Wilton 1A decorating tip).
- Once the cake is cooled completely, cut out 2-inch circles using a round cookie, or biscuit cutter. You will get about 35 circles. Place the cut out cake circles on wire rack. Pipe about heaping tablespoon of frosting on half of the cake circles. Using an offset spatula lightly spread the frosting and top with remaining plain cake circles. Replace the round tip with star tip (I used Wilton 1M decorating tip) and frost the second layer. Sprinkle some chopped pistachio, if desired.