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chocolate strawberry cake on a cake stand with a slice taken out of it

Strawberry Chocolate Cake

Strawberry chocolate cake is a delicious, made-from-scratch dessert that is perfect for berry season!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 18 minutes
Servings 10
Author Kelsie

Ingredients

Chocolate cake layers

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups warm coffee you can substitute flat cola

Strawberry filling

  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 cups about 10 ounces whole strawberries*
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup about 5 ounces chopped strawberries

Chocolate frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • additional strawberries for garnish

Instructions

Chocolate cake layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour. Set pans aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. (Be sure to stir very well because cocoa powder tends to clump together. If your cocoa powder is really clumpy, sift it before stirring with the rest of the dry ingredients.)
  3. Combine the sugar, butter, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then slowly add the coffee (or cola), mixing until just incorporated. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until the cakes spring back when touched gently with your finger.
  5. Let cake layers cool in pans for 20 minutes, then carefully remove from the pans to cool completely on a wire rack before filling and frosting your cake.

Strawberry filling

  1. Combine the gelatin and water in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut the 2 cups of whole strawberries into small pieces and puree in a food processor. Pour the pureed berries into a small saucepan and add the sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture begins to bubble, stirring constantly.
  3. Allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes. Pour into the bowl with the water and gelatin; stir until incorporated, then stir in the 1 cup of chopped berries. Refrigerate until thickened, about 2 hours.

Chocolate frosting

  1. When the filling has thickened and the cake layers are completely cool, make the frosting. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very smooth.
  2. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, the cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons of the milk or cream, and the vanilla, espresso powder, and salt. Mix on low until well combined, stopping a few times to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  3. Turn mixer to medium and beat until frosting is very smooth. Add additional powdered sugar if frosting is too thin and additional milk or cream if it is too thick.

Assembly

  1. Once your cake layers have cooled, use a long serrated knife to trim them if they’ve domed.
  2. Set 1 cake layer on a cake stand or cardboard cake circle. Transfer about 1 cup of frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe a circle of frosting around the perimeter of the cake. (This keeps the filling from oozing out.)
  3. Spread half of the filling into an even layer inside the circle.
  4. Top with a second cake layer and repeat that process. Top with the final cake layer. Frost and decorate cake as desired. Chill for at least 4 hours (or overnight) to set the frosting and filling, then slice and serve.
  5. Uneaten cake can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days or (tightly wrapped) in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Recipe Notes

  • *If your berries are large, cut them in half before measuring.
  • Because of the thick layer of filling, your cake may be wobbly when you try to frost it. If that happens just pop it in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes to set the buttercream between the layers.
  • Use a very sharp knife run under hot water to slice your cake; this helps prevent the filling from oozing out.