For those of you who are familiar with whoopie pies, chocolate sweet tops are like eating the frosted top of a whoopie pie. There’s less cake than with a traditional whoopie pie, they’re lighter and softer than cookies, have a little more body than a piece of cake, and the ratio of frosting to cake is greater than either a full piece of cake or a cupcake will have. Sweet tops are nice finger foods, festive and tasty for the holidays, and can be decorated however you want, so that they’re pretty and delicious all year long…

I used parts of different recipes, but all said that you can drop this batter by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. I opted to use a muffin top pan, thinking that it might promote a more uniform shape.

Source: adapted from several recipes

Yield: 24

Prep time: 1 ¼- 1 ½ hours: 30 minutes to mix, less than 10 min for baking, time to cool, and time to frost

Preheat oven to 350

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used special dark cocoa)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Buttercream frosting ingredients*

  • 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) softened butter (room temp)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Food coloring if desired
  • Decorations for tops if desired

*If stored properly, buttercream frosting can last in the fridge for up to a month, and in the freezer for up to three months, according to


  1. Combine egg and vegetable oil with a mixer at medium speed. Gradually add sugar, blending until the combination is pale yellow.
  • In separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Combine milk and vanilla in a third bowl.
  • Alternate adding flour mixture and milk/vanilla combination to egg, vegetable oil, and sugar. Begin and end with dry ingredients.
  • Drop by spoonfuls into a muffin top pan. (You can also try dropping by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet but I haven’t personally tried this method).
  • Bake 5-or-so minutes, watching closely. Cakes should bounce back when touched.
  • Cool on wire rack.   

Buttercream frosting

  • Slowly add sugar to the softened butter, mixing with a spoon.
  • Add cream/milk a little bit at a time.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Not necessary to use a mixer but doing so will make the frosting lighter and fluffier.
  • Divide into separate bowls to use for different colors if desired.