Chocolate Strawberry Cake

In our family, Spring is birthday season. For years, Bri’s cake request had been marble cake with whippy topping from the bakery so when she asked for a homemade cake, I was excited to get my baking on. A quick search of the internet & she decided on this recipe. It was a big hit with her & her friends.


For the cake:

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup boiling water

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 1/2 tsps baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the strawberry buttercream:

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Pinch of salt

6 – 8 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

For the ganache:

3 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

For the garnish:

Fresh strawberries, similarly sized, stems removed


For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter 3 9 inch pans or spry with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift the cocoa powder & whisk in the hot water until cocoa powder is dissolved. Let cool for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, & salt. To the cooled cocoa mixture, add the eggs, oil, buttermilk, eggs, & vanilla extract & whisk until well combined. Pour the cocoa mixture into the flour mixture & whisk until fully incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the three pans.

Bake for 27 – 30 minutes until springy to the touch & pulled slightly from the sides of the pans. Let cool completely in pans. Run a knife around the edges of the cake. Invert onto a cooling rack & remove parchment liners.

For the strawberry buttercream:

In a stand up mixer, with whisk attachment, beat butter & a pinch of salt on medium speed for 5 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low & with the mixer running, gradually add in the sugar, a 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with a tablespoon of diced strawberries. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Once sugar & strawberries are incorporated, beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until light & fluffy.

On a serving plate, add one cake round & top with 3/4 cups of frosting. Repeat with second & third layer & spread remaining frosting all over the cake. Chill for 1 hour.

For the ganache:

Add the chopped chocolate into a microwave safe container, pour cream over top, & microwave in 60 second intervals, whisking after each interval until completely melted & smooth. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Top with fresh strawberries & chill a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.

Refrigerate remaining cake for 5 days.



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