Cake for One

cake for oneFor the longest time, I’ve wanted to find a recipe for one 6-inch cake. Just a single 6-inch round, a cake for one, for those times you literally want a little cake.

Most recipes can be cut down, but the single-layer cakes I’ve made before call for one egg – and I didn’t want to figure out how to halve an egg. Instead, I chose a recipe without eggs and cut it in half; this recipe for crazy vanilla cupcakes, which makes one dozen cupcakes or an 8-inch round, has no dairy at all. I’m delighted to report that it turned out very well,  just enough for four servings.

I cut my cake in half and turned it into a two-layer, but you could easily skip that step if you like. I also tinted my frosting a light pink and added some sprinkles for an extra bit of color.


For the cake 

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water

For the frosting

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 teaspoons heavy cream
  • Food coloring, if desired
  • Sprinkles, if desired


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 6-inch round cake pan; line with a parchment circle, then lightly grease the parchment and flour the pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Make three wells for the wet ingredients; add vinegar to one, vanilla to another, and vegetable oil to the third. Add water and stir until batter is very well-combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for a few minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting: In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar all at once, then beat on low speed until all of the sugar is incorporated into the butter; this will take a few minutes. Scraped down the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.

Add vanilla extract, almond extract, and heavy cream, then beat for another 1-2 minutes.

Add food coloring if desired; I used a few drops of red for a light pink shade.

Slice cake into two layers; place a dab of frosting on your cake plate to help the bottom layer stay in place during frosting. Place the bottom layer on the plate and top with a thin layer of frosting. Top with the second layer; frost the top and sides. If desired, add rainbow sprinkles.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


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