6 Inch Cake recipe makes a perfect homemade 3 layer small birthday cake. This easy to make mini cake recipe is covered in vanilla frosting and sprinkles! Great for a small family cake!
6 Inch Cake Recipe
Months ago on Enceladus’s 2nd birthday I made her a homemade Momofuku birthday cake. That thing was a monster. I mean it was delicious and came out well, but it was a stressful monster to make. After baking it, the 6 inch cake pans went back into my kitchen cabinet and never emerged again.
Turn to this past weekend where Enceladus wanted to do a baking project. I’m not one to turn down a baking date with my best friend so we headed into the kitchen.
We looked at some pictures online and she decided on a cake. Not any cake, a pretty purple cake with sprinkles. But here’s the thing, making a full size cake is dangerous. Let’s be real, I’m going to eat it all, so then I got to thinking how to make a smaller cake, and suddenly I remembered those 6 inch cake pans! That’s how this 6 Inch Cake recipe with 3 layers came to be.
And now we’re obsessed with this small cake recipe. It’s so good!
How to Make a Small Birthday Cake
6 Inch Cake Pans: You’ll need (3) 6 inch pans to make a small birthday cake. I got this 5 pan set on Amazon for $10, but you’ll only need 3 of the pans for this recipe.
Cake Batter: The cake batter is fluffy, moist and isn’t going to fall apart when you remove it from the pan. This is a traditional birthday cake mix recipe, not needing any special tools. Really all you’ll need is some measuring cups, mixing bowls and a hand mixer.
Sprinkles: Sprinkles are optional, but come on, it’s a birthday cake. I recently started using Supernatural Rainbow Sprinkles which is now my favorite sprinkles to use! They’re very bright in color, don’t melt in batter and colors are made naturally from veggies and spices. Plus they’re really really cute!
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
The vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is decadent, delicious, and everything that a birthday cake deserves. It’s my favorite vanilla frosting recipe and I use it for many of my cake and cupcake recipes.
You’ll want to mix the butter until it’s fluffy. Then add in confectioners sugar and vanilla. Once that’s combined add in milk. If you find the frosting is too stiff and you’re going to have trouble spreading it, add in a additional tablespoon of milk. I recommend making this frosting right before you’re ready to frost the cakes and not letting it sit or it’ll stiffen up.
How do you dye a cake purple?
To make this pastel purple cake, you can either 1) buy purple food coloring or 2) mix red and blue food coloring to get the purple shade you desire. I went with method 2 because I didn’t have any purple. Remember that batter always looks darker in color then what it will look like when it’ll bake, so I like to add a couple extra drops knowing I’ll want it more vibrant when it’s finished.
This is totally optional. If you want to keep the cake natural, skip the food coloring. Or if you want to make it a different color, go for it!
Now it’s me and my daughter’s favorite part, time to dive in and eat a big slice of this cake! As you can see Enceladus couldn’t wait!
I hope you enjoy this cake recipe as much as we do!
Update: We’re still using this recipe and this year I used it to make a dinosaur birthday cake for her 4th birthday!
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3 Layer 6 Inch Birthday CakePrint
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg white
- purple food coloring optional
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray (3) 6 inch pans with nonstick spray and set them aside.
- In a large mixing bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix with a spoon to combine.
- In a small bowl mix milk and vanilla together.
- In a medium bowl mix softened (not melted) butter, vegetable oil, sugar, egg and egg white with hand mixer until mixture is fluffy and combined.
- Add in half of the flour mixture into butter/sugar mixing bowl. Mix to combine. Add in half of the milk mixture. Mix to combine. Add in remaining half of the flour mixture. Mix to combine. Add in remaining half of milk mixture. Mix to combine.
- Optional: If you want to make a purple cake, add a couple drops of food coloring into the batter. You can add purple food coloring or a even mixture of red and blue food coloring to make purple. Mix to combine until smooth.
- Pour batter into 3 pans. With a spatula, gently smooth out the top.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from pans and frosting.
- Once cakes are removed from pans, take a look at the top of each one. If they are not level, carefully trim rounded tops off cakes to level. This will make layering the cakes easier and look more clean. I do this with a sharp bread knife.
- Spread frosting on the top of each cake, completely covering it. Stack the cakes on top of each other. Spread frosting on the sides of the cake. Add rainbow sprinkles all over the top and sides of the cake.
For the frosting:
- In a large bowl mix butter with hand mixer until fluffy. Add in confectioners sugar, continuing to mix until it’s combined and creamy. Add vanilla and mix.
- Add in milk and continue to beat for 2 minutes until fluffy. If frosting seems stiff, add additional tablespoon of milk until it’s a consistency you can spread.