• Yellow cakes with chocolate fudge frosting (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Everyone needs a good classic yellow cake in their repertoire and this one, made as cute individual cakes with a rich, velvety fudge frosting, is the one to add. Have some fun with the decorations – there are so many edible sprinkles to choose from you may want to give each individual cake its own unique identity.






Skill level

Average: 5 (12 votes)


  • melted butter, to grease
  • 125 g butter, softened
  • 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 125 ml (½ cup) buttermilk
  • sprinkles of your choice, to decorate


Chocolate fudge frosting

  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 185 g butter, softened
  • 60 g (½ cup) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
  • 250 g good-quality dark chocolate (54% cocoa), melted and cooled

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush a 12-hole 80 ml (⅓ cup) silicone muffin pan with the melted butter to grease.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Beat in the egg yolks, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary until well combined. Sift together the flour and baking powder. With the motor running on lowest possible speed, add half the flour and beat until just combined. Add the buttermilk and beat on low until just combined. Add the remaining flour and beat until just combined.

Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin holes and use the back of a spoon to smooth the tops. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and cooked when tested with a skewer inserted in the centre. Stand in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, to make the chocolate fudge frosting, combine the cocoa powder and water in a small dish and stir until smooth and a paste forms. Set aside until cooled to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and icing sugar until very pale and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Gradually beat in the cooled chocolate and cocoa mixture until smooth and well combined.

Cut each of the cooled cakes in half horizontally. Use a palette knife or the back of a teaspoon to spread a little of the chocolate fudge frosting over the bottom half of a cake and sandwich with the top half. Spread the top and sides of the cake generously with some of the remaining frosting, swirling on top and making an indent in the centre. Decorate with sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining cakes, frosting and sprinkles.


Baker’s tips

• These cakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.


This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Little cakes.