Mini vanilla cake for two for celebrating anniversaries, date night, or just for fun. This small cake recipe is perfect for a small party or just two people!
As a die hard vanilla lover, this cake is a love letter to myself. It's not that I have anything against chocolate, but vanilla holds my heart. When I set out to make a vanilla cake recipe, I hit it hard with a full tablespoon of vanilla extract. After one bite of this cake, you'll agree it's the best recipe for vanilla cake out there!
Incidentally, if you need a mini chocolate cake for two, I've already written you that love letter.
Vanilla cake best recipe easy:
Making a small cake is almost the same as making a regular-size cake, but you do need a specific pan.
To make a mini cake for two people, you will need a 6" round cake pan. The one I like is here.
You're looking for a 6" cake pan with 2" high sides. I've tested 6" cake pans with 3" high sides, and I've found that the extra inch radiates more heat in the oven and the cakes can sink after baking.
I find my 6" round cake pans at Michael's or Hobby Lobby in the cake decorating section.
The easy part about my small cake recipes is that they only require one bowl, since we're using such few ingredients! First, mix the wet ingredients thoroughly with a hand mixer, sprinkle the dry ingredients evenly on top, and then fold together.
Vanilla 6 inch cake:
This cake makes 4 small slices of cake, which I love, because then I can eat two slices of cake in one day! It's perfect for celebrating an anniversary (side note: have you seen my wedding cake cupcakes?), or for having a fun date-night at home.
This recipe comes from my latest cookbook, Sweet & Simple: Desserts for Two, and I decorated it with chamomile flowers in the book.
Today, we did easy buttercream roses, which are so simple if you have the right tip. I use an open-star tip, and make a circle that starts in the center and moves outward.
All you need is a Wilton 1M piping tip to make pretty circles around the outside edge of the cake. Since this is a mini vanilla cake for two, we only have room for one row of roses. However, next time you're decorating a big cake, try making several lines of them. Buttercream roses look difficult, but they are so easy to do!
Just cut the cake into 4 equal slices, and serve it!
If you love 6 inch cakes, check out my other recipes! They're perfect for small parties, date night, or for gifting to friends on their special day!
Recipe from: Sweet & Simple: Desserts for Two, my third cookbook, full of EASY desserts that have less than 10 ingredients.
Mini Vanilla Cake
Mini vanilla cake for two people with vanilla buttercream roses.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons whole milk
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar*
For the vanilla buttercream recipe:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350, and spray a 6" round cake pan with 2" sides with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
- In a medium-size bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat very well, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well-combined, about 15 seconds.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add half of the this to the batter and beat for just a few seconds before stirring in half of the milk and vinegar. Continue beating. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat, and then stir in the remaining milk.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth out the top, and bake on a small sheet pan for 37-39 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool on a wire rack in the pan. Carefully remove it from the pan, pulling away the parchment paper once it has cooled.
- To make the buttercream, beat the butter in a medium-size bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy cream, and beat until light and fluffy. If the mixture seems too stiff, add a splash more heavy cream.
- Use a little more than half of the buttercream to frost the cake. If you made the cake ahead of time and frozen it, it's best to apply a crumb coat of buttercream before applying a second layer.
- Place the remaining ¼ of the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip, and pipe roses along the outside edge of the cake. To make a rose, pipe a spiral shape, starting inside of moving around the center.
*Instead of whole milk and apple cider vinegar, you can use 6 tablespoons of buttermilk.
The cake may be baked and frozen, tightly wrapped for up to 1 month. Defrost before frosting.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 542Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 0gSugar: 54gProtein: 3g
Alexa Ternouf says
The cake is inside of the oven right now so I cannot yet review but I will say that the icing recipe is not at all what hers look like. I did not want too much icing so I cut the ingredients in half and now I am glad that I did because this is more drippy than expected.
Christina Lane says
Your butter is too hot. To fix drippy buttercream, refrigerate it for 5 minuets, whip, and then again if needed.
Lauren Thompson says
So delicious! I added 1/4 cup shredded coconut, a handful of pecan pieces and an egg white - beat to stiff peaks and folded in at the end. I topped it with cream cheese frosting I had on hand and it tasted like a mini Italian Cream Cake! I can’t wait to make this all the time!
This is the first recipe I tried from this site and I'm sorry, but I don't agree that "it’s the best recipe for vanilla cake out there". The flavor was good, owing to the double strength vanilla I used, but the texture was nowhere near tender, fluffy or light and was more like cornbread than cake. I used my own homemade chocolate frosting and it saved what was otherwise a disappointing recipe that I won't make again.
Kris Marie says
What a rude comment!
I am glad this was posted! In looking at the pictures, the crumb on this cake looks off to me. I scrolled down for comments and this review is honest and as expensive as ingredients are to buy, I am grateful for honest reviews from people WHO HAVE ACTUALLY MADE THE CAKE rather than "the wow looks great" from people who cannot bake or no nothing about baking. THANKS (AND NOT RUDE - HONEST!)
Christina Lane says
The crumb looks off because I photographed the cake when it was partially frozen.
Sarah Rudnik says
So yummy! I didn’t frost the cake but instead topped it with fresh berries and whipped cream! Yum!
Donna H. says
This is such a great share! It's Saturday night and 40 degrees in Houston so me and my 8 year old daughter are bundled inside lol. Bored of our day long Netflix binge and with me being sooo done with playing Twister, said hey why don't we bake! We decided to try to make a cake from scratch and we found your recipe for this modestly sized cake and thought let's do it not too many ingredients if it doesn't turn out its no loss, and lo and behold my eight year old with me helping measure, made this cake and it is fantastic you just made our weekend thank you so much for sharing!! Happy New Year and God bless from Texas!
That’s awesome. I just left Houston in October to come to Milwaukee and this recipe is on time because with this cold all I could do is cook and eat
This is my go to cake. I love vanilla. I started baking small about 2 years ago now. All my kids are grown and out of the house so its just me and my guy. I didnt think I would ever get used to this. Ive always cooked and baked for 7+. I love it now!!! And the beauty of it, is the choices. Want vanilla cake, got it! Maybe chocolate tomorrow? No problem. Its wonderful. And this cake is def our favorite. Its always so fluffy and light . Its amazing. Def my favorite recipe of yours, as far as cakes go.
How can buttermilk be a substitute for the whole milk and cider vinegar ingredients? Buttermilk has one-third to one-half the fat of whole milk. I get the sour part, I just don't understand the fat part. So...I can just use my 1% milk?
Christina Lane says
Have you made this recipe? Buttermilk is acidic so it reacts with the leaveners in the recipe. Instead of buttermilk, the apple cider VINEGAR becomes the acidic thing that reacts with the leaveners.
I tried this recipe and I must say it’s perfect. I’m not an icing or frosting person so I had the cake alone and she t was delicious. Thanks for the recipe ♥️
I tried this recipe and it's very good. The only thing I will change next time I make it, is the time of baking. Originally, the recipe says 37-39 minutes and I felt it was way too much time for a small cake. Don't get me wrong it was still good but wasn't fluffy/airy. It was more dense and dry and the crust on the cake was starting to get a dark brown. I think maybe 25 mins should be good.
Oh my goodness, I have been baking for yeeeeeaaaars and this is one of the most fluffy cakes ever! I made it in a loaf tin and it’s gorgeous, the outside is a little crispy but that’s just from my oven however the inside is so soft and light.
Christina Lane says
That delicate crisp crust is from the butter in the cake. It's heavenly, isn't it? Boxed cake mixes never achieve this because of the oil. Butter is better :) Thanks for the review!
Melva Bradford says
Yummy yummy yummy to my tummy
I followed the recipe exactly with the exception of the roses. I haven't learned how to use my piping bags or tips yet. The cake was light, fluffy and delicious.