We have dessert every night. Yep. Every night. 7pm. The Jeopardy theme song starts playing, Blanche perks up, and dessert is served. Every night.

Blanche gets her two cookies and we get cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream – sometimes even something silly like a bowl of fresh fruit – with or without freshly-whipped cream. It’s all just a part of our daily routine.

The problem is making a dessert that only two people are going to eat. Nonna will only eat vanilla cake with vanilla icing, nowadays, and when I walk into the kitchen, the usual result is enough food to feed the neighborhood. Day Five of seeing the same cake is, well… Day Five. I think that Day Three would be better suited for a new treat – and with more free time during the day, I think it’s time to start thinking about making more mini desserts instead of my traditional family-sized creations.

My mindset has pretty much been that if I’m going to make something, I might as well make enough for it to be worthwhile. I need to train my mind to start thinking that I can make something every single day if I want, so I no longer need to think in terms of when I have time and when I don’t.

I decided to start off by doing a cake, since they’re the most difficult to make smaller. Pies are simple, as are cookies – but the proportions in a cake batter to produce 2 cups of batter for a 6″ cake pan is a bit trickier. Not every cake recipe is going to easily divide into halves – or in thirds – and come out right. You need to play a bit. Fortunately, this didn’t take a lot of play.

A starting point for a basic 2-layer cake recipe to convert to a single 6″ pan would be dividing the recipe by thirds. Obviously, that’s not going to easily work in recipes calling for 2 or 4 eggs, so that’s where you need to play. I have a chart for cake batter and cake pan sizes put out by Wilton to give an idea of volume needed.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake for Two

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp Kahlua

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 6″ cake pan.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy – about 4 minutes. Add egg and mix about 20 seconds. Add sour cream, vanilla, and Kahlua.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir into liquids and mix well.

Pour into pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

I split the layer and made a simple chocolate cream cheese frosting with a bit of Kahlua added.

It came out pretty swell. Moist, really chocolatey, and just the right size.