Made with two layers of rich chocolate cake, frosted with strawberry frosting and filled with fresh strawberries, this chocolate strawberry cake is as delicious as it is beautiful.
There are people who love chocolate desserts and there are people who prefer fruit desserts.
Today’s cake is one that you’re going to want to make when you need to please everyone.
This chocolate strawberry cake combines rich, moist chocolate cake layers with a tart, strawberry-forward frosting, silky chocolate ganache, and fresh strawberries.
Honestly, if you love chocolate-covered strawberries, you’ll absolutely be obsessed with this cake.
It’s just as beautiful as it is delicious, so it’s great for everything from birthdays to anniversaries to special occasion celebrations. One slice won’t be enough, trust me!
MY FAVORITE CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY CAKE
But for some reason it never occurred to me to combine the two until just recently, thanks to my friend’s chocolate-covered strawberry cupcakes.
I mean, chocolate-covered strawberries are a classic, so why wouldn’t we want to turn that incredible combo into a cake of its own?
The result is a two-layer chocolate cake that is paired with fresh strawberries and strawberry frosting. Oh, and don’t forget that it’s finished with a beautiful chocolate ganache. You get rich chocolate and sweet strawberries in every single bite – yum!
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY CAKE
I’ll admit that there are a few more steps to making this chocolate strawberry cake than some of my other cake recipes, but I promise that it’s well worth it. Whether you’re making this for your sweetheart, as a birthday cake, or for a super special occasion, it’s going to be a big hit.
This cake is a bit more work than some other recipes on this site because it has several different components. Let’s talk through each of them:
- Cake: For the cake base, I chose to use the best chocolate cake recipe. This has been my go-to chocolate cake for years and it never fails me!
- Filling: I contemplated a few different filling options for this cake, but ultimately decided on using sliced strawberries. You could also finely dice the strawberries if you prefer.
- Frosting: For the frosting, I decided to use my strawberry frosting recipe. It’s made with fresh strawberries and is a riff on my buttercream frosting, so you know it’s going to be nice and fluffy and delicious.
- Decoration: If we’re going to make a chocolate strawberry cake, we may as well make it really beautiful – right? I finished mine with chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries. They both make the cake more beautiful and more delicious.
Making this chocolate strawberry cake
Obviously the best place to start with making this cake is with the cake layers themselves.
The cake batter is super easy to make – simply whisk together the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. The batter will be thin, so don’t be concerned about that!
Pour the batter into two greased and floured 9-inch cake pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes.
Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack and cool them completely before assembling.
When you’re ready to assemble. Place one of the cake layers on a cake plate or cardboard cake round. Top it with about ⅓ of the strawberry frosting.
Place the sliced strawberries on top of the frosting to evenly cover the top of the cake layer.
Place the second cake layer on top. Frost the top and outside of the cake with the remaining frosting.
Top with the ganache, letting it drip down the sides of the cake if desired. Decorate with additional strawberries – you can even dip some whole strawberries into the ganache for an extra-special touch.
Store the cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Let the cake come to room temperature before enjoying.
STORING AND MAKING AHEAD
Because of the ganache and the fruit in the frosting, I recommend storing this chocolate strawberry cake in the refrigerator.
You could make and assemble the cake up to a day ahead of time, but I would wait to decorate with the fresh strawberries until the day you plan to serve it.
If you want, you can make all of the components of the cake in advance and wait to assemble the cake:
- Tightly wrap the chocolate cake layers in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for up to a month.
- Store the strawberry frosting in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month.
- Place the chocolate ganache in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.
You can then assemble the chocolate strawberry cake the day you plan to serve it!
Why is there coffee in the cake?
Coffee is often paired with chocolate because, believe it or not, it actually makes chocolate taste more…well, chocolatey!
I promise that this cake doesn’t actually taste like coffee. It just tastes like super rich chocolate cake.
Do I have to use coffee in the cake?
No. You can substitute the coffee for plain water if you absolutely don’t want to use the coffee.
If you do want to use coffee but don’t have any brewed coffee on hand, you can use 1 teaspoon of espresso powder plus 1 cup of water.
Help! I’m out of buttermilk!
Don’t stress! I have a super simple buttermilk substitute you can use in this cake.
Can I use frozen strawberries?
You can use frozen strawberries to make the strawberry frosting if you’d like. However, I would only use fresh strawberries in the filling of this chocolate strawberry cake; frozen strawberries will be too mushy to use in the filling.
Chocolate Strawberry Cake
For the cake:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa optional
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup strong black coffee
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa(s), baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; the batter will be thin.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
- Place one of the cake layers on a cake plate or cardboard round. Top with about ⅓ of the strawberry frosting. Top with the sliced strawberries.
- Add the second cake layer. Frost with the remaining strawberry frosting. Top with the ganache. Decorate as desired with additional strawberries – try dipping whole strawberries into some of the ganache for an extra-special decoration.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Let come to room temperature before cutting.