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6-Inch Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Need a great dessert for just a few dessert lovers? Try this 6-Inch Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting!

6-Inch Yellow Cake with chocolate frosting on a blue cake stand

Small Batch Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

These days, I find myself looking more and more to bake scaled down recipes. With just the two of us at home, it’s nice to treat ourselves to homemade baked goods without having lots of leftovers.

two slices of 6-Inch Yellow Cake on colorful plates

Luckily, that’s where recipes like this 6-Inch Yellow Cake come into the picture. It’s soft and moist and fluffy and really just delicious. It’s a scaled-down version of a classic yellow cake that bakes up nice and tall. It’s just the right size for the two of us to enjoy over a few days or to share with a couple more dessert lovers.

For more 6-inch cake recipes, try my Hummingbird Cake, Chocolate Cake with Marshmallow Frosting, and Spice Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

When it comes to cake, it’s tough to go wrong with the classic pairing of yellow cake and chocolate frosting in this recipe. You can, of course, change the frosting if you like. This frosting is a very simple chocolate buttercream that has a lovely, rich chocolate flavor. And I can’t resist adding some sprinkles to make it fun!

This small batch cake makes enough for 4 generous servings or 6 smaller servings. We find that’s nice for us because we can enjoy it over a few days. It stays fresh and we get a special dessert to enjoy without wasting any.

overhead view of a 6-Inch Yellow Cake on a blue cake stand and a slice of 6-Inch Yellow Cake on a blue plate

You won’t find many surprises along the way making this cake. It’s a fairly straightforward recipe that will likely feel familiar to you if you’ve baked your share of cakes. As always, be sure to measure accurately and don’t over-mix the batter.

If you’re a fan of small batch recipes, then a 6-inch cake pan is a great addition to your baking pan collection. If you’re not quite ready to get one or you just want a slightly larger cake, you can double this recipe for a 9-inch round or 8-inch square pan. Either way, it’s such a lovely and simple dessert that’s equally as worthy of a special occasion or as a “just because” dessert!

Find more cake recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Scaled-Down Dessert Recipes

6-Inch Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Yield 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Scale down dessert with this 6-Inch Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting!

6-Inch Yellow Cake with chocolate frosting on a blue cake stand


For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (97g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (74ml) buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (26g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup (110g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • sprinkles, for garnish


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 6-inch round cake pan*. If you like, line with parchment paper and grease the paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix well.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 portions, alternating with 2 portions of buttermilk. Mix just until combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and spread evenly. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then transfer the cake from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk until thoroughly combined.
  2. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, and mix well. Add more milk if needed to attain the desired consistency.
  3. Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled cake. If you like, garnish with sprinkles.


*This cake is fairly tall, so be sure your pan is 2 inches deep.

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    15 Comments on “6-Inch Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting”

  1. Really Pretty cake! I loooove frosting, I’d like to take my fingers and eat it all off your cake Jennifer – yum yum. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  2. Might see how many cupcakes this will make as i don’t have a 6′ cake pan.

  3. To make this a white cake, would just using the white of the egg do it or should other changes be made?
    Also, would adding cocoa make it chocolate? Other changes? Thanks for your help!

    • Hi, Shelby. For a white cake, I would change more than the eggs. They usually are made with some differences in the ingredients versus a yellow cake. If you add cocoa powder, you’d also need to make some other adjustments, too. Stay tuned because I plan to post other versions! In the meantime, you can pretty easily adapt a single layer 9-inch round cake recipe to a 6-inch round by halving it, or a 9×13 cake by quartering it. That will work most of the time.

  4. Tha is for this recipe. As it’s just me and my husband, no kids yet, I’m always looking for small batch desserts. I really appreciate your posting this! I hope to see more 🙂

  5. I would like to divide this batter into 2-4″ inch springform pans so that I can make a mini 2-layer cake. Your thoughts?

  6. why buttereemik? can i use skimmilk instead?

  7. Is this a quarter recipe of a regular sized cake?  I want a good recipe for this and I just need it to be a regular 2 layer cake.  

  8. Can I use cake flour instead of regular flour?

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