Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes with Caramel Frosting are the perfect quick dessert for a special occasion or just because. These combine a moist chocolate cake with a decadent caramel frosting that will have you making them again and again!
Is there nothing cuter than mini bundt cakes? I love these so much, and am pretty happy I succumbed to buying a special pan for all the CUTE occasions. My selection of baking tools has definitely grown in the past few years, and I’m 100% ok with it.
This bundtlette pan is totally worth it. It’s heavy duty and really easy to clean, and I love being able to make a few small bundt cakes instead of one large one for certain occasions. Like small birthday gatherings, coffee with girlfriends, or a special gift.
How to make Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes with Caramel Frosting:
Let’s get to baking! All you need is about 30-40 minutes to make these lovely little cakes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Combine the wet ingredients. In another mixing bowl, combine the melted and slightly cooled butter, the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla.
- Add the dry to the wet. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir together until just combined. Add the hot water, and stir gently.
- Bake. Spoon the cake batter into a sprayed bundtlette pan. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack.
- Make frosting. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, and stir until well combined. Add milk and turn heat up slightly to bring to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds, and remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar.
- Frost. When cakes are cool, drizzle some frosting on top of each bundt cake, allowing some to spill down the sides.
To get the right consistency for the caramel frosting: After mixing in the powdered sugar, and the frosting sits, you may need to adjust it to get a nice drizzling consistency. If the frosting is too stiff, add a few drops of milk at a time to get it smooth. If it gets too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar.
I’ve been making this caramel frosting forever, as it was a favorite of Norma Jean’s, my mother. She made it all the time, and you can find larger batches of this delicacy a couple of places on the blog.
How do you make cakes moist?
There are several ways to make cakes moist. While many say to use vegetable oil, I used butter for this recipe. Let me tell you. It turned out super tasty and moist. Other ways to achieve this consistency is to use the whole egg (not just whites), milk products like regular milk or sour cream, and don’t use too much flour. One other tip is to be careful to avoid over-baking. I usually take the cakes out when the toothpick is just barely wet, and it works every time.
Why add hot water to the batter?
Hot liquid helps the cocoa powder to bloom and dissolve. You can also add coffee for a deeper flavor.
What is the difference between Dutch-processed and natural cocoa powder?
Dutch-processed cocoa powder has been neutralized in acidity and is usually paired with baking powder to assist in leavening your baked goods. This process gives the cocoa powder a darker color. Natural cocoa powder has not been stripped of its acid and is usually paired with baking soda. This cocoa powder is lighter in color, and is typically found in your local grocery stores. This is what I use in my baking.
What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?
Both of these baking ingredients are odorless white powders, but are not interchangeable. Here is your science lesson of the day.
Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate. Carbon dioxide gas is formed when sodium bicarbonate meets with heat during the baking process. Unfortunately, when heated, sodium bicarbonate also produces sodium carbonate, which tastes like metal. Thankfully, the metallic taste of sodium carbonate can be neutralized by acid, such as lemon, yogurt, buttermilk, and unsweetened natural cocoa powder while keep our baked goods risen and lifted.
Baking powder is a mixture baking soda, a powdered acid, and cornstarch. Most baking powders are labeled ‘double-acting’, meaning they release a small amount of carbon dioxide gas when they’re stirred into the batter or dough, but they release a majority of their precious gas when triggered by the heat of the oven. Because baking powder is a leavener that contains both the sodium bicarbonate and the flavor-saving acid, it is usually paired with non-acid ingredients like whole milk and Dutch-processed cocoa.
Baking soda needs an acid. Baking powder has an acid. Make sense?
Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes with Caramel Frosting
For the bundt cakes:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter – melted and slightly cooled
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup HOT water
For the frosting:
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a bundlette pan with baking spray.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, combine the melted and slightly cooled butter, the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Add the hot water and stir gently.
- Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick, when inserted, is just clean. Remove cakes to a cooling rack.
- Make frosting. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir for about 30 seconds, or until well combined. Add milk, and turn up heat slightly to reach a bowl. Remove from heat, and stir in powdered sugar.
- When cakes are cool, drizzle the frosting over the cakes, allowing it to seep down the sides of the cakes.
- Store bundt cakes on the counter, covered, for up to three days. Best served the same day as baking!