Desserts for Two – Easy to Make Small Desserts like Devil’s Food Cake with a Surprise Inside

devil's food cake

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I love to bake – that is no secret – but sometimes a small treat (or treats) is a better option than baking a full sized cake or pie. Imagine, if you will, a couple’s buffet of small treats to share for your Valentine’s dessert. A mini pie, a tiny cake – how much fun would that be? Small desserts for two might just be the perfect way to celebrate the holiday of love. Or maybe a great way to have your cake and your pie!

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easy desserts for two

Now you can have a dessert buffet for your small family without having lots of leftovers! Check out these two delicious recipes adapted from Dessert for Two.  The devil’s food cake has a lovely surprise inside.

devil's food cake

Devil’s Food Cake

Serves 2 -4

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  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS warm, brewed coffee

For the Frosting:

  • 5 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 oz sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries, or blueberries
  • Preheat the oven to 350°
  • Butter and flour two 4″ cake pans or one 6″ cake pan.

I used this set from Wilton. It doesn’t seem to be made any longer but can be found on eBay. In the alternative you can carefully cut a space to hold the strawberries from regular baked cake rounds.)Desserts-for-Two

  • In a small bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl mix together the oil and brown sugar.
  • Add the mayonnaise and stir well.
  • Finally add the egg, vanilla and coffee. Stir until well combined.
  • Add the flour mixture and stir until combined – do not overmix.

Desserts-for-Two (1)

  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not underbake.
  • Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Take the cake out of the pan and cool completely.
  • If using the 6″ pan, slice the cake in half to make two layers.

Make the Frosting:

  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from heat.
  • While the chocolate is melting beat the heavy cream and vanilla to soft peaks in a medium bowl.
  • In a second medium bowl whip the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add the sugar and the pinch of salt and whip to stiff peaks but don’t let them get too dry.
  • Gently fold the melted and slightly cooled chocolate into the egg whites.
  • Fold in the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
  • Chill until the mousse is of spreadable consistency, about an hour

Frost and Fill the Cake:

  • Place one layer on a plate, add about 1/4 cup of mousse to the center of the cake, add the chopped strawberries or whole blueberries and top with a little more mousse.

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  • Top with the second layer and frost the cake as you would a normal cake. 
  • If you do not have the cake pans with the indentations you can place one layer on a plate, add the frosting to the first layer, add the fruit, top with the second layer and frost the entire cake. (You will end up with extra mousse/frosting but this will not be a hardship, believe me)

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How Was the Mini Layer Cake:

When you cut the cake open you find a nice little pocket of fruit filled mousse with the rich, moist devil’s food cake. It’s a delicious combination of cake, mousse and fruit for a delightful dessert with a fun surprise inside. We both enjoyed these cakes and the beauty of making mini cakes is that I could make one with a filling I liked – strawberries – and one that he liked – blueberries.


 I also made a mini strawberry crostada. It was so very simple; just a quarter of a one crust pie dough recipe, roll it out put sliced strawberries that had been sprinkled with sugar in the center then fold over the edges. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar in the raw and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes until nicely browned. Easy and yummy.


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