Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

This one is for you chocolate lovers! With a dark chocolate cake, smooth chocolate buttercream, and fresh sliced strawberries in between the layers, it makes for a rich and decadent cake. 

This is my favorite chocolate buttercream! It’s smooth, chocolatey, and so easy to pipe with! This chocolate cake also pairs with so many other amazing flavors so if chocolate on chocolate isn’t your first choice (crazy thought!!) just know this chocolate cake pairs with so much!

Can I make this in advance?

YES! I recommend assembling no longer than 1 day in advance due to the fresh strawberry layers, but you can make the frosting and cake in advance. The cake will stay moist up to a couple days in advance and you can also freeze it. Cakes stay really fresh up to 3 months in the freezer. I like to wrap mine in plastic wrap and then in either foil or a large ziplock bag. 

Ways to Decorate

There are endless ways to decorate this cake! One of my favorite ways is how it’s pictured with clean edges, buttercream swirls, and fresh strawberries. But you can add chocolate covered strawberries, sliced strawberries, or simply just making swirls with a back of the spoon to cover the entirety of the cake. So whether you go simple or add a more intricate piping pattern, this frosting makes both approaches easy! See an alternate look with sliced strawberries below. 

Happy Baking!

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

Lori Vaughn
This one is for you chocolate lovers! With a dark chocolate cake, smooth chocolate buttercream, and fresh sliced strawberries in between the layers, it makes for a rich and decadent cake. 
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour spooned and leveled, NOT packed
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cups cocoa, dutch processed
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 oz high quality dark chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 cup hot water, or brewed coffee for more enhanced chocolate flavor

Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • About 7 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup cocoa, dutch processed sifted
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Ganache

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, whisk together the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and powdered buttermilk if you're using the powdered form.
  • Melt the unsweetened baking chocolate in 20-30 second bursts in the microwave. It's done heating up when the chocolate is almost completely melted, but not all the way. Stir together until all of it is melted and smooth. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the wet ingredients (sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, hot water, and melted chocolate) in a separate bowl. Then combine with the dry ingredients.
  • Mix together well until combined. Just don't over mix as that can lead to a crumbly cake.
  • Pour into 3 - 8" greased cake pans, 2 - 9" pans, or 24 cupcake liners. Bake for 22-26 minutes. The cake is done when the toothpick comes out with moist crumbs on it. Transfer to cooling racks when done.

Frosting

  • Beat the butter for about 2 minutes.
  • Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar and cocoa powder intermittently with the heavy whipping cream. Add the vanilla.
  • Beat the frosting for about 3-4 minutes to get light and fluffy. Then use a wooden spoon and whip by hand to push out the air pockets.

Ganache

  • Heat up the heavy whipping cream in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds till hot. Pour over the chocolate chips. Cover and rest for a couple minutes to let it begin to melt the chocolate.
  • Whisk together the chips and ganache until smooth. Pour it into a drip bottle or use a spoon to add a drip to the cake.
  • If the ganache is too runny, let it cool longer. If it's still runnier than desired, you can add additional melted chocolate. If it's thicker than desired, add a little more warm heavy cream and whisk together.

Assembly

  • Trim cake layers if needed to help achieve nice even layers.
  • Spread a small amount of frosting on a cake board (this will act like a glue for your first cake layer). Then place your first cake layer down.
  • Add an even layer of frosting, top with a cake, layer, add the layer of frosting, then add your last cake layer.
  • Apply an even, thin layer of frosting around the entire cake. Leave as is if frosting a semi-naked cake. Otherwise, place the cake in the freezer for about 15 minutes to create your "crumb coat".
  • Spread remaining frosting around the cake and garnish, drizzle ganache, and pipe as desired.**

Notes

*You can use powdered or real buttermilk. If using powdered, follow the instructions of powder vs water ratios on the package. Add the powder with the dry ingredients and the water with the wet ingredients. 
**To achieve a smooth even layer, I used an ateco cake scraper and icing spatulas. I also LOVE using parchment liners for my cake pans. No sticking every time! See my "Shop" page for links to these items and check out the tips in the description above the recipe for more decorating ideas. 
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