December 8, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Strawberry Chocolate Cake Recipe | The Recipe Critic

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Impress your guests with this strawberry chocolate cake that is both gorgeous and decadently delicious. Rich layers of dark chocolate cake covered in sweet homemade strawberry frosting and fresh sliced strawberries…a match made in heaven!

Strawberry chocolate cake is one of those recipes that makes every chocolate lover happy! If you are a chocolate lover, I know how passionate you are about delicious and rich desserts. I have you covered because I do too! Some of my favorite chocolate desserts include this pie, this cheesecake, or this incredible dessert that you will LOVE.

Front view of strawberry chocolate cake on a white cake stand and white background.  Whole strawberries are garnished on the side of the cake stand.

Strawberry Chocolate Cake Recipe

This strawberry chocolate cake starts with the BEST homemade chocolate cake you will ever have! Rich chocolatey layers baked to perfection and frosted with a sweet creamy strawberry frosting. Freeze-dried strawberries are the secret to elevating the strawberry flavors in the frosting. Try not to eat it with a spoon before frosting your cake!

Strawberry and chocolate are meant to be together! The sweet ripened strawberry flavors compliment the chocolate perfectly. If you love the combination of strawberry and chocolate, you have to try these amazing cookies or these luscious brownies. And of course, chocolate-covered strawberries are a MUST!

Ingredients For Strawberry Chocolate Cake

You will find a new love for homemade cake mixes after you make this cake. It’s easy and the ingredients are all stuff that you have heard of before! I always make this cake when it’s strawberry season and strawberries are the most fresh. See the recipe card below for a list of exact measurements!

Chocolate Cake

  • Vegetable Oil: You can use butter but it will change the texture! So I recommend vegetable oil if you can!
  • Warm Coffee:  This enhances the chocolate flavor. (It does not make it taste like coffee though!) But if you would rather, buttermilk or warm water works too!
  • Eggs: This will bind the batter together!
  • Vanilla Extract: Gives flavor and sweetness to the batter. Vanilla also enhances the flavor of chocolate.
  • All-Purpose Flour: This creates a base to mix all of the ingredients together!
  • Granulated Sugar: This balances out the cocoa powder making the overall taste sweet!
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Make sure you use unsweetened and NOT Dutch process.
  • Baking Soda: This makes the cake rise and becomes fluffy!
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder lightens the texture of cakes by enlarging air bubbles within the batter.
  • Salt: Enhances all of the ingredient flavors!

Strawberry Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter: Unsalted butter is best for making frosting.
  • Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar adds sweetness to the frosting.
  • Salt: Balances the flavors and enhances the sweetness.
  • Heavy Cream: Helps add moisture and makes the frosting creamy.
  • Freeze Dried Strawberries: The secret to the intense strawberry flavor and vibrant color!
  • Fresh Strawberries: Fresh strawberries add texture and sweetness to this incredible cake.
First photo of wet ingredients for chocolate cake together in a bowl. Second photo of dry ingredients for chocolate cake together in a bowl. Third photo of dry and wet ingredients mixed together. Fourth photo of cake batter divided into cake pans and ready to bake.

How to Make Strawberry Chocolate Cake

This strawberry chocolate cake recipe is so impressive and even more delicious! The moist chocolate cake has an intense flavor of chocolate with the addition of coffee in the batter. I always dip the strawberries ahead of time because it’s all ready to frost and assemble as soon as the cake cools.

Cake

  1. Preheat Oven/Prepare Pan: Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Add parchment rounds to the bottom of the pans and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Whisk Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, coffee, eggs, and vanilla until combined.
  3. Combine and Add Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently whisk together until fully combined.
  4. Bake: Fill the three pans evenly and back for 20-25 minutes until the centers of the cake spring back when lightly pressed, or a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting the pans onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Frosting

  1. Whip Butter: In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add Powdered Sugar, Salt and Cream: Add the powdered sugar and salt. Mix the ingredients on low speed until the sugar is incorporated. Add the cream 1-2 tablespoons at a time until the frosting begins to get creamy and smooth, not too stiff.
  3. Add Freeze-Dried Strawberries: Add the powdered freeze-dried strawberries to the frosting and beat until combined.

Assembly

  1. Frost/Add Strawberries to First Layer: Place the bottom layer of cake upside down on a plate or a cake stand. Add a generous dollop of frosting to the center and spread evenly over the cake, all the way to the edge. Add sliced strawberries on top of the frosting, but leave ½ inch of space around the edge of the cake round.
  2. Repeat For Remaining Layers: Place the second layer of cake upside down on top of the first and repeat the process with frosting and sliced strawberries. Top with the third layer of cake, again upside down.
  3. Frost First Outer Layer: Scoop 3-4 large dollops of frosting on top of the cake and spread to the edges of the cake. Use a straight frosting spatula to bring the frosting down the sides of the cake. Be careful not to lift it straight off the cake, because it will pull chocolate crumbs off with the frosting.
  4. Frost Final Outer Layer: Once the outside of the cake has a thin layer of frosting, continue to add more frosting until it is thicker. Smooth the sides and the top of the cake.
  5. Dip Strawberries: Wash and dry the whole strawberries. Dip them in the melted candy-coating chocolate. Set dipped strawberries on parchment paper to allow the chocolate to harden.
  6. Make Ganache: In the microwave, heat the chocolate chips and cream in 30-second intervals. Stir until smooth and combined.
  7. Drizzle Ganache: Pour the chocolate ganache on the center of the top of the cake and use an offset spatula to carefully spread it out to the edges, letting it gently spill over the edge of the cake to create the chocolate drips down the sides. Let the ganache set before finishing.
  8. Pipe Frosting/Place Strawberries: Use a piping bag fitted with a large star tip to pipe swirls of frosting on top. Place a chocolate-dipped strawberry on each swirl.
First photo of strawberry frosting ingredients in a bowl.  The freeze-dried strawberry powder is added to the frosting ingredients.  Second photo is the strawberry frosting ingredients all mixed together in a silver bowl.

Tips For Assembling a Layered Cake

This strawberry chocolate cake is easy to assemble and I’ll tell you why! Here are a few of my favorite tips when baking and frosting cakes. I hope you find these tips helpful! I love giving tips that make baking easier so you feel confident in the kitchen!

  • Weigh Batter For Even Layers: Even layers make assembly easy! For even layers of cake, it is best to use a kitchen scale to weigh the batter. I had 1218 grams of batter, so I weighed out 406 grams into each of my cake pans. The weight may vary slightly.
  • Chill Cake Before Frosting: Chilled cake layers are easier to frost! Wrap the cooled layers in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least a few hours before stacking and frosting. You can also freeze the layers, just follow my freezing tips below.
  • Make Frosting Right Before Assembly: The strawberry frosting is best when made right before assembly. This helps the frosting be smooth and spreadable. The longer the frosting sits, the thicker it becomes. It may be necessary to add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Milk softens the frosting to ensure it goes on nice and smooth.

Side photo of a slice of strawberry chocolate cake being lifted off the cake platter.

Storing Leftover Cake

The cake layers of this strawberry chocolate cake can be made several days in advance. When I plan ahead for this cake, these directions are so helpful. Wrap the layers in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the cake.

  • In the Refrigerator: The finished cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The chocolate-dipped strawberries typically only last 1-2 days. Any longer than that and they will begin to weep and the chocolate will pull away from the berry.
  • In the Freezer: Unfrosted chocolate cake layers can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When freezing, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and also wrap in a layer of aluminum foil. Once completely frozen, transfer them into a large freezer ziplock bag to help keep out freezer burn. The layers can be frosted frozen, or you can let them thaw in the fridge before frosting!

A close up photo of a slice of strawberry chocolate cake on a gray plate.  A fork is lifting up a bite of cake. Sliced strawberries are garnished on the side of the plate.


Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Add parchment rounds to the bottom of the pans and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, coffee, eggs, and vanilla until combined.

  • In a medium bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently whisk together until fully combined.

  • Fill the three pans evenly and back for 20-25 minutes, until the centers of the cake spring back when lightly pressed, or a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting the pans onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

  • Add the powdered sugar and salt and mix on low until the sugar is moistened. Add the cream 1-2 tablespoons at a time until the frosting begins to get creamy and smooth, not too stiff.

  • Add the powdered freeze dried strawberries to the frosting and beat until combined.

Assembly

  • Place the bottom layer of cake upside down on a plate or a cake stand. Add a generous dollop of frosting to the center and spread evenly over the cake, all the way to the edge. Add sliced strawberries on top of the frosting, but leave ½ inch of space around the edge of the cake round.

  • Place the second layer of cake upside down on top of the first and repeat the process with frosting and sliced strawberries. Top with the third layer of cake, again upside down.

  • Scoop 3-4 large dollops of frosting on top of the cake and spread until it is pushed over the edges of the cake. Use a straight frosting spatula to bring the frosting down the sides of the cake, taking care to not lift straight off the cake as that will cause you to pull chocolate crumbs off with the frosting.

  • Once the outside of the cake is coated in a thin layer of frosting, continue to add more frosting until it is thicker. Smooth the sides and the top of the cake.

  • Wash and dry your whole strawberries and dip in the candy coating chocolate that has been gently melted. Set dipped strawberries on parchment paper to allow the chocolate to harden.

  • In the microwave, heat the chocolate chip and cream in 30 second intervals, until the mixture can be stirred smooth.

  • Pour the chocolate ganache on the center of the top of the cake and use an off-set spatula to carefully spread it out to the edges, letting it gently spill over the edge of the cake to create the chocolate drips down the sides. Let the ganache set before finishing.

  • Use a piping bag fitted with a large star tip to pipe swirls of frosting on top. Place a chocolate dipped strawberry on each swirl.



Serves: 8

Serving1sliceCalories1135kcal (57%)Carbohydrates154g (51%)Protein8g (16%)Fat58g (89%)Saturated Fat36g (180%)Polyunsaturated Fat2gMonounsaturated Fat15gTrans Fat2gCholesterol183mg (61%)Sodium464mg (19%)Potassium437mg (12%)Fiber6g (24%)Sugar121g (134%)Vitamin A1736IU (35%)Vitamin C121mg (147%)Calcium72mg (7%)Iron6mg (33%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Keyword strawberry chocolate cake, strawberry chocolate cake recipe, valentine’s day, valentine’s day dessert recipe