I love making these little 5″ cakes! It’s not quite as daunting as a big one, they’re oh-so cute and perfect for just a few people. Or they’re the perfect size for smash cakes too, for the little ones. Plus, one of the best parts about this recipe is you can also use it to make 12 standard sized cupcakes (just vary the baking time). Ever since the girl scout cookies starting popping up this season, I have been craving thin mints, or more specifically, mint chocolate. (and I’m sorry, but why do they not make gluten-free/ dairy-free girl scout cookies yet?).
So with St Patty’s day fast approaching, my husband being Irish and my craving for mint chocolate – it seemed obvious to make a cute, little mint-chocolate cake. It was just perfect, and so delicious too. Anyone that thinks gluten-free/ vegan means ‘cardboard’ needs to try this. Minty-fresh frosting, fudgey, decadent, even buttery (which is pretty amazing considering there’s no actual butter in this). I have tried to add back eggs and wheat into my diet, with varying results from the little guy. So for now, still avoiding his 4 big allergens (dairy, egg, soy & wheat). I’ve been getting lots of stories about kids that grew out of their allergies by their first or second birthday, which has been really encouraging. Keeping my fingers crossed, his first birthday is just a few months away!
- 1¼ cups Gluten-free flour (Arrowhead Mills Gluten-free Baking Mix)
- ½ cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ cup Non-Dairy Milk, room temperature (So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk)
- ½ cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ⅓ cup Canola Oil (or mild flavor oil)
- 1½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup Dairy-free Butter Sticks, cold, cut into about 6 pieces (Earth Balance Soy-free)
- 3 Tablespoons Non-Hydrogenated Shortening (Spectrum Organic)
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Coconut Coffee Creamer (So Delicious)
- 1½ teaspoons Peppermint Extract
- 1 teaspoons Clear Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease/butter/nonstick spray two 5" round cake pans. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to the same size. Grease/butter/spray the parchment paper as well. Sprinkle cocoa powder or gluten-free flour on the inside bottom and walls of the dish, making sure to dump out all excess flour (alternatively, line 1 standard muffin pan with 12 paper liners).
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), combine the non-dairy milk, water and vinegar. Allow to sit for a few minutes to curdle. Add in the sugars, oil and vanilla extract and mix to combine. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry mixture as well and mix for about 1 minute. Batter will be smooth, and then start to thicken.
- Divide the batter evenly between the pans (I use a scale). Bake for about 35-38 minutes (cakes will pull away from sides and an inserted toothpick comes out clean). Alternatively, the cupcakes will take about 20 minutes. Once they're done, allow cakes to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely.
- In the the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and shortening together on medium for about 2 minutes with the paddle attachment. Reduce speed to low, add sugar, creamer and extracts slowly. Continue to mix at medium speed until combined (add a bit more sugar if it's too thin or runny, or a small amount of creamer if too thick).
- Place one of the layers on a 5" or 6" cake board (you can put a small dollop of frosting on the board first too help them stay put).
- Add a dollop of the frosting on the top of the first layer and spread out evenly, past the edges. Add the top layer, flipping it upside-down so it has a flat, squared-off top.
- Add another larger dollop of frosting on the top layer, spreading it evenly across the top and down the sides with an offset spatula. This layer is the crumb coat, so it should be very thin (you will still see the cake color peeking though). Refrigerate the cake for 15-20 minutes to harden.
- Once the crumb coat has set, add another large dollop of frosting on the top of the cake. Using a clean offset spatula, spread the frosting out over the crumb cake, a little thicker this time. Work the excess frosting to the edges and down the sides, adding more as needed. Try to maintain and even layer all around (using a turn table is helpful with this). Add any finishing touches you like, such as textured frosting, sprinkles, etc.
*I tried to make note of the brands I used, but as different brands vary, please check all ingredients to make sure they are specific to your dietary needs.
*Cake recipe adapted from Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats