Common phrase of mom’s, coaches, therapists, and 2nd grade teachers everywhere.
Well, I definitely needed to apply this to my recipe this week. I don’t even have a picture of the hot mess that ensued from my first attempt. It’s really my own fault, I know I shouldn’t have tried half the things that I did, and time was definitely not on my side.
Rule # 1 of trying something new: Don’t start the new recipe at 6:30 when you are supposed to be somewhere at 6:30!
But what I did as a result to “try, try again” was seriously AMAZING!! You’ll have to read on to find out the details, but more about my failings….
It all started as an innocent attempt to do a small favor for a friend. Our friend’s birthday was this week, and since his wife, Mandy, just had a baby, I offered to make the cake to take the burden off of her. I know she loves to bake, and she makes amazing cakes, but I was just trying to help her out.
Well, I didn’t get home from work till 6:30, which was the time we were due at the party. Luckily, I had made the cake the night before, making a yummy chocolate cake from Sugar Plum. But I had to make the frosting that night. I had my husband start it as I was on my way home, but he self admittedly can’t even read a recipe – sorry babe, but that was REALLY evident that night! So, I had to remake everything he had already made! 🙂 ha. Well, the ganache was too thick, didn’t spread right, and I didn’t have time for it to harden, so the piping on top just slid off the sides. Really, like I said, a hot mess!
So, because I love my faithful five readers so much (including my husband, ha), I decided to start over and give you something that I was proud of and knew that you might actually want to replicate. So, some time later, I’ll post the pictures/recipe of the original chocolate cake I made, but for today, are you ready for something AMAZING!!! Something you will seriously not believe!?
I made mini cakes in cans!!! Yes, like old cleaned out bean cans!!! Seriously, isn’t that amazing!! I guess if you really want to get down to it, you could call me California Green, since I’m recycling my old cans! ha. You won’t believe how easy it is. Just do it!!
I followed a recipe for batch cakes, so it makes 2 mini cakes rather than needing to make an entire cake (making another full cake just to get the pictures part of the blog was so not in the plan for the day, or the diet! It worked out nice that we had some dinner plans tonight with some great friends, so I was able to bring these mini cakes over and we enjoyed the SECOND fruit of my labor!
Here’s a picture of the cool cakes once they are baked! It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day so you don’t have to make an entire cake for you and your sweets!
The second amazing part about this recipe is that There’s a secret ingredient in the buttercream frosting! Ovaltine! Yes, I said Ovaltine. And boy, oh boy, is it really more of a secret weapon than a secret ingredient. Joy the Baker really outdid herself with this one! I can’t wait for you to try it… go on now, go.. You must try!
And third – ganache! You really just can’t go wrong with smooth, rich, chocolate coating all over the entire cake.
**WARNING** There are a BUNCH of pictures for this recipe. It’s really not all that complicated, I think I just got a bit picture happy! It was so amazing and delicious looking that I couldn’t help myself.
Mini Chocolate Ganache Cakes (Adapted from: Cake on the Brain, Joy the Baker, and Me)

For the Cake:
2 14.5 oz. cans, cleaned
1/4 cup plus 2 T all-purpose flour
3 T vanilla yogurt
Yolk of 1 large egg [I used the whole egg]
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
3 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
1/3 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease the cans and cover with flour, shaking off excess. Place pans on baking sheet and set aside.

2. Combine the yogurt, egg, and vanilla in a small bowl, and whisk to mix. Gradually pour the melted butter into the yogurt mixture, whisking constantly.

3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium-size mixing bowl, and then whisk to blend well. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the yogurt mixture and whisk just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cans, dividing it evenly between them. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Mine took exactly 35 minutes before I had moist crumbs on a toothpick.

5. Allow to cool on cooling racks 15 minutes before taking a knife and separating edges from can. Invert can, allowing cake to come out. Cool cakes completely.

This is my new nifty toy from Ikea. I love Ikea. So, it’s just this nifty thing that cuts a cake for you automatically. It worked perfectly. You get the idea, the next step is to cut the cute little cakes in half.

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Buttercream Frosting ( I halved this recipe for the mini cakes, and still had leftover)


1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup Ovaltine


1. Cream together butter, cocoa, and salt. Mixture will be very thick.

2. Turn off mixer, scrape down sides, and add powdered sugar. Add milk and vanilla slowly with mixer on slow until incorporated.

3. As the sugar incorporates, turn up the speed to medium to beat the frosting until thick consistency, and smooth.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together Ovaltine and cream until smooth. Add to frosting slowly until fully incorporated. You may not need all of cream mixture. I added a little powdered sugar at end to get thicker consistency for piping.



1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream


1. In a small saucepan heat cream until just heated, not boiling. Remove from heat

2. Add chocolate and stir until smooth and creamy.


1. Using buttercream frosting, apply a very thin “crumb” coat over entire surface of both cakes. Place in freezer for approximately five minutes until hard.

2. Apply buttercream frosting over entire surface of both cakes very liberally. Place in freezer and allow to harden.

3. Place cakes on cooling rack, and place on top of cookie sheet or cutting board. Using warm, but not hot ganache, pour small amount over center of cake and using frosting spreader, spread over entirety of both cakes, smoothing over sides. It’s okay if this layer doesn’t look perfect. It’s like the ganache “crumb” coat. Tap cooling rack in order to pop any bubbles and smooth out top. Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes until hardened.

4. Use remaining ganache, and pour liberally over top, allowing to spread over sides, and drip down. Shake cooling rack again to pop bubbles and make smooth top. Freeze for 5-10 minutes until hardened.
5. Using piping bag or ziplock bag with hole cut in corner, pipe rosettes, stars, or desired shape around edges, or decorate as desired. Move to serving plate using spatula. Cut and ENJOY!!!
Hello, I'm Rebekah! Wife to a creative guy and mom to one incredibly cute little man. I love to read (novels), run (especially races), drink lots of coffee (sweet and creamy please), and enjoy beautiful community with good conversation around a table (with delicious food). This space is all about meshing real life, good food, and beautiful pictures - of food of course.

    they look so delicious and delectable!!! i want a bite right now! how dare you make a preggy lady’s mouth water like this. : ) i am certainly making these. because although i am impatient when i cook, if it has anything to do with chocolate and baking, i’m ALL for it.

    February 7th, 2010 20:54

    i love it Bekah! such a great idea- i think i’m going to try it for valentine’s day (hopefully!)
    oh and the first one wasn’t bad at all! 😉

    February 8th, 2010 5:04

    i’m loving your blog!!!!! these look amazing…we miss you guys 🙂

    February 8th, 2010 16:45
    heather acq

    i just gained weight licking the screen.

    February 10th, 2010 16:27

    I soooooo love your blog!!!

    It’s well-written, personal and eye-catching. The photos are awesome.

    I want to make these mini cakes and I’m enamored with the use of bean cans!

    You’re awesome.


    P.S. You have more than 5 readers. Silly goose.

    February 10th, 2010 17:51

    Thanks everyone!! You make me feel loved! 🙂 I’m glad you are all enjoying it, I enjoy it too!! You should totally try it this! Seriously. 🙂

    February 10th, 2010 21:06

    Very COOL!!!! And inspiring, you make me want to post my cooking/baking adventures on my blog now too! 🙂

    By the way, what kind of camera do you have? The images are so crisp! After we get our new Mac [still saving up for it], I want to invest in a nicer camera.

    February 11th, 2010 14:33

    Hi Hazel,
    You totally should! It’s really fun! 🙂 I use a Canon Rebel xs (my graduation from grad school present to myself). For these pictures I use the 18-55mm lens with image stabilizer (it’s usually the lens that comes with the camera). I actually just bought the 55-250mm lens with christmas/birthday money, but don’t think it will work too well with the close ups. I think it takes great pictures, and its one of the lower end cameras right after point and shoot.

    Especially because I don’t have any natural light in my kitchen which would be best for taking these, I have to make artificial light. So, with that being said, I think it’s a great camera!

    February 11th, 2010 23:53

Comments are closed.