Aug 28, 2010

Mini Chocolate Cake

First week of grad school done…check!! That’s right, I can now say that I’m an actual grad student. With this week however, I was also handed quite the juggling act! It’s my own fault really for thinking I could do a million things at once. Thank goodness I realized before I started everything that I wouldn’t be able to do it all AND survive to tell people about it! This week showed that my decision to drop something was a good one.

To give you a little idea, I was waking up for an early morning run (one day was even at 5am…what was I thinking!), head to 3 hours of class, go to one internship, then the second internship, come home and do my other job and reading for school. I was beyond lucky that this week was Jordan’s week to cook! I know I talk and talk about how you can run around all day and there can be an easy meal waiting for you to put together when you walk in the door. Well, even I admit that there are some days when you just can’t wait to sit down in your own home with peace and quiet and not have to worry about doing anything or being anywhere at a particular time. I had some of those days this week. (I did keep my end of the bargain though and did the dishes!) Things shouldn’t be so consistently crazy from here on out, BUT to celebrate getting through the week I want to share a delicious mini chocolate cake! The chocolate here is no joke! I made this a few weeks back actually for a friend and it was another night when I needed to throw something together fast! It worked out great because I was able to put everything together quickly, pop it in the oven and then take care of our dinner…all within an hour! Not too bad! Plus, who doesn’t LOVE warm chocolate cake! After the week that I just had, chocolate cake is in order and deserved!

Here’s everything you’re going to need for this delicious cake!


(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Made three small tea loaves.)

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Second to the taste of this chocolate cake is how easy it is to put together! Plus, everything is in ONE bowl. My favorite! To start, put your butter in a mixing bowl and mix at a medium speed until it becomes creamy. Add in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix for another minute or so until that is completed combined. The egg and vanilla extract are added next and then the buttermilk. I was a little hesitant at this stage because the batter was much more uneven than I am used to. Almost lumpy. No worries though, I promise! I was trying to stay with the recipe because I was really making this for someone else and didn’t want to mess it up and if you just keep moving through, everything will turn out just right!!

With all the wet ingredients combined, you can add your dry ingredients. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa and flour. Really mix everything together well and you may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides a few times to get everything.

Chocolate cake batter ready to bake!

Can I just say YUM! Preheat the oven to 325 and grease the loaf pan that you are going to use for baking. The original recipe used one large 9x5x3 inch loaf pan and that baked for about 60-70 minutes. When I was going through the cabinets for my loaf pan I came across something I didn’t even know we had!! It was a pan with four mini tea loaves. I was so excited and thought it would be perfect for this little bread and decided to go ahead and use it.

Mini chocolate cakes ready for the oven.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan about 3/4 of the way. Leave a little room for the cake to grow!

Tea loaf filled 3/4 of the way with the chocolate cake batter.

I let these bake for about 45-50 minutes. It’s all dependent on your oven but at around 40 minutes I recommend checking the loaves and seeing how they are doing (that’s if you’re using the tea loaf pans). After being in the oven for about 20 minutes, all the sudden your kitchen will become infused with chocolate scent!! This happened for me while I was making our dinner and I have to say it smelled so delicious I was enticed to skip the dinner and go straight for dessert! However, the wait was completely worth it. The cake is moist, chocolatey, everything you could want from a mini tea loaf!

I was able to get many uses out of the cake actually. I gave one away to a friend, used one for dessert when friends came over (cut two small pieces and topped it with homemade whipped cream and strawberries!) and then had one left over for us. Super simple cake but also the cake that just kept giving!

If you’ve read many or even a few of my blogs, I think you’ve come to learn how much good food really does mean to me. Time never really slows down, our schedules never free up and our to-do list never really shrinks. The more we accomplish and finish the more we end up piling on it seems like. So after the busy days or busy weeks I think it’s more important at times like these that we treat ourselves with fresh, homemade and delicious food. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but it’ll be a treat to yourself! This cake for example comes out and can be dressed up or down, but it only took 15 minutes to put together! AND you get three of them that will last you through the rest of those long days ahead!! So for all your busy days, nights and weeks here is my treat to you in the hopes that good food can make any stressful day a tad bit easier! For now, that’s mini chocolate cake…in the shell of a nut!

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