If you’re a cake person like me, and you crave a bite of cake more often than some, snack cakes are an easy way to get your fix. Snack cakes are almost like muffins, except they tend to have a more tender crumb, and can be dusted with powdered sugar, or drizzled with glaze for a sweeter treat. I just so happen to be in the Valentine’s Day spirit and used my heart-shaped mini-cake pans for this dessert, but you can always use a regular muffin pan, or a 1-scoop (ice cream) measure of any size, or shape pan to bake these chocolate delights.
Chocolate on Valentine’s Day is always the flavor people crave. Even though I consider myself more of a vanilla person, I always enjoy a chocolate dessert on this special day. What brings these cakes such delicious chocolaty flavor is dark cocoa powder. I have a few different varieties in my pantry, and I would recommend that you invest in the best one for your budget, one that really looks the part – dark, and rich with an aroma that will make you sing chocolate.
The chocolate is intense in these treats, and I folded in frozen mixed berries to add an additional note of natural sweetness. They’re delicate, but not too soft to hold a scoop of ice cream on top, which would add another layer altogether. I like to serve them dusted with powdered sugar, and some additional berries on the side, but you can do whatever you fancy, and serve them as snacks, special mini-desserts, or give them to your neighbors as a sweet surprise. They also wrap and freeze well for several weeks.
10 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup half & half
1 1/2 cups frozen berries, any variety
powdered sugar for dusting
more fresh berries for serving, optional
(Makes 18 Mini Cakes)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray, or grease and flour pans (I used Baker’s spray), set aside.
- In a large microwave safe measuring bowl, add butter and dark chocolate. Microwave 1 minute, stir. Repeat and stir. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in center and add eggs, vanilla and half & half, whisk for 1 minute. Add melted chocolate mixture and continue to mix by hand until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add frozen berries and fold into batter gently. Dollop one ice cream scoop into each cup and smooth out on top. Bake in oven for 22-24 minutes, or until slightly firm to touch. Remove and let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
- Loosen with knife around edges and invert on wire rack. Flip right side up to cool completely.
- Dust tops with powdered sugar and serve with additional berries and ice cream, if desired. Enjoy!