Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd

Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd - offbeat + inspired

This time of year, I’m constantly looking for an excuse to bake. Sometimes I want to get crazy and try something like French macarons (which I definitely have yet to master, but head over to Stella Parks’ BraveTart if you’re feeling ambitious!), and other times I want something familiar like brownies or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. These mini chocolate cakes happened when my baking moods collided and I wanted something a little familiar, a little crazy, a little adventurous and entirely satisfying to a cake-craving chocoholic.

Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd - offbeat + inspiredMini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd - offbeat + inspired

We served these in cupcake form at the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society/Good Beer Hunting  Scotch whisky tasting I wrote about last week and they were a hit. We paired them with a lightly spiced whisky with some subtle tropical fruit notes and they went oh so well together. The cake itself is the main event here. Without a moist and fluffy chocolate cake base, these would fall completely flat. Finding an all-star chocolate cake recipe was difficult, to say the least — so I experimented my way to the one I’m sharing today, and I believe it is truly the one.

Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd - offbeat + inspired

I love cardamom and cocoa together. I think it’s one of those meant-to-be flavor combinations that should be experienced whenever possible. The depth of the spice with the buttery sweetness of the frosting against the deep chocolate base of the cake is just dreamy. Pipe in some velvety, tangy lemon curd and you’ve got a total party going on. If you’re not a huge lemon curd fan, you can skip it. But I would definitely suggest giving it a try.

Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd - offbeat + inspired

Another thing I’m kind of obsessed with is making tiny versions of regular desserts. I had so much fun putting together mini pumpkin pies last year using Le Creuset Mini Cocottes, and I loved using 10 oz. ramekins to make these cakes. I’m not sure why, but the fact that they’re miniature really does make them taste better.

Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd - offbeat + inspired

These would be a perfect dessert for your next holiday gathering. Tin coasters from FindersKeepers Market made the perfect serving plates. How fun is it to serve cakes on coasters?!

Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd - offbeat + inspiredMini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd - offbeat + inspired

Top them off with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, and eat! Tiny forks required.

Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd - offbeat + inspired

What was your favorite Thanksgiving dessert this year? What recipes are you excited to try out for Christmas? I can’t wait to hear! I’ll be taking notes as I build my own Christmas menu!

Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd

Mini Chocolate Cakes

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour, plus a little extra for the ramekins
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1.5 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

You will also need twelve 10 oz. ramekins. If you don’t have that many, make as many mini cakes as you can and use the rest of the batter for cupcakes. The mini “cake plates” are actually tin coasters I got from FindersKeepers Market. Coasters are the perfect size for these cakes.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Butter and flour the ramekins.

3. Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with an electric hand mixer.

4. In a small bowl, combine the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on low speed.

5. Add the coffee to the batter, still mixing on low and scraping down the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is fully incorporated.

6. Ladle the batter into your individual ramekins, leaving about 2 inches of space at the top of each.

7. Bake 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out almost clean (with some moist crumbs), and cool in the ramekins for 30 minutes. Once cool enough, turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

8. Once the cakes have completely cooled, carefully slice off the rounded tops so you have flat, even surfaces on both sides.

Cardamom Buttercream

2 sticks salted butter at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
2 tsp. ground cardamom
3 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup whole milk

1. Cream the butter until fluffy and pale.

2. Add the vanilla and cardamom and mix thoroughly with a hand mixer.

3. Alternate adding 1 cup of sugar at a time and a splash of milk, beating in between until smooth.

Lemon Curd

Ina Garten has a wonderful recipe for Lemon Curd here. There are 2 ways you can add the curd to your cakes. You can either pipe a dollop of curd into the center of each cake before frosting with cardamom buttercream, or you can slice each cake in half (to make 2 thinner rounds), and spread a layer of curd between them like you would a regular layer cake before frosting.

Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. amazing‼!

  2. this looks so gorgeous; bet it tastes so good too!

  3. OH these look divine but I am so making the mini pumpkin pies! I have these adorable mini pie pans and we did NOT have any pie over Thanksgiving… everyone was too full so I never made it! This way I can make pumpkin pies for the the pumpkin pie fans and apple pie for my sweet hubby. But these cakes will make the menu for the weekend! Friday night pizza, mini cakes, and a house full of teenage boys…. yep I think these will go over great! Thanks!!

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Ohh yes. I think you’ll love the mini pumpkin pies! Let me know how you like both recipes when you try them! :)

  4. Oh my! These look so delicious! And I’m also currently watching out for reasons to bake (not that this isn’t a present urge year round, buut now it’s incredibely intense

  5. Adorable! I love individual desserts like this, especially when they contain chocolate!

  6. Do you know if this recipe would do alright as one round cake itself? Or if made in an average rectangular size cake pan?

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Oh I’m sure! I haven’t tried it that way yet, so I’m not sure about the bake time, but as long as you kept it to a single layer I think it would be great! The cake is VERY moist, so stacking multiple layers might not work out so well for the bottom layer. :D

  7. Lisa @ Practically Perfect Home says:

    Wow, these look super tasty! Pinning now! Thanks for sharing! ~Lisa

  8. These are SO beautiful! The cardamom buttercream sounds incredible, too. And I’m a huge, huge fan of making mini cakes in ramekins — I totally agree they taste better that way somehow :) In love with these.

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Thank youu!! Oh goodness, I LOVE this buttercream. The cardamom really adds a depth and warmth to it that is SO delicious. And they really DO taste better when made mini! :P :)

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