Elevate classic chocolate covered strawberries by making it into a towering and stunning cake! This recipe features a rich and moist chocolate cake, with layers of chocolate buttercream frosting, strawberries, and chocolate. Perfect for birthdays, holidays, and everything in between.
I’m a sucker for chocolate covered strawberries, so I thought why not make a cake inspired by them??
This is seriously such a beautiful, elegant, and …well, delicious dessert! You’ve got so many different textures going on: the soft chocolate cake, the smooth and velvety buttercream, the slight bite from the strawberries, and some crunch thanks to the melted chocolate. It’s the definition of dreamy!
There are quite a few steps outlined below, but that’s just because we’re making a cake from scratch, buttercream from scratch, and decorations from scratch!!
Chocolate covered strawberry cake ingredients:
• baking powder + baking soda
• cocoa powder
• buttermilk: buttermilk yields a lighter and airier cake, but if you don’t have any on hand, here’s how to make a buttermilk substitute at home!
• vegetable oil: you can use any neutral flavored oil if you don’t have vegetable oil on hand. Some options include peanut, canola, or mazola oil. You’ll need oil for the cake and for the melted chocolate (it makes the cake moist and the chocolate *shine*!)
• vanilla extract
• boiling water + espresso powder: this makes for an ultra rich and moist chocolate cake! The boiling water is important and shouldn’t be skipped – the espresso powder is optional but highly recommended because it really brings out the chocolate flavor in the cake!
• butter: for the chocolate buttercream frosting
• powdered sugar: for the buttercream
• cream or milk: also for the buttercream – you can use either heavy cream or milk
• chocolate: to fill the cake, to dip strawberries in, and to decorate the top of the cake
• strawberries: the star of the show!
How to make chocolate covered strawberry cake:
Make the chocolate cake:
1. Whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
2. Whisk together wet ingredients. Whisk together all the wet ingredients, except for the boiling water (that comes in later).
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients. The batter will be quite thick at this point.
4. Add boiling water. If using, dissolve espresso powder into the boiling water and add it to your cake batter. Then add the coffee to the batter, and whisk until combined. Now the batter will be quite thin, but that’s what we’re looking for!
5. Pour batter into baking pans & bake. Cool cakes for 15 minutes in the pans, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. If you can’t fit all of your cake pans in the center rack of your oven (I don’t know anyone who can) you can bake 2 cakes, and then bake the last cake in another batch.
Make the buttercream frosting:
1. Beat together butter, sugar, and cocoa powder. The mixture will be quite crumbly.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and milk/cream. Beat together until light and fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes if using an electric beater or 5 minutes by hand). Gradually add in more milk/cream if needed, to get the right consistency.
Assemble & decorate!
1. Melt chocolate.
2. Stack and fill cake layers. Place a cake layer on your serving platter and spread a layer of buttercream (about a 1/4 cup worth). Pipe a buttercream boarder, sprinkle strawberries into the center, and drizzle over melted chocolate. Top with another cake layer, and repeat with another layer of buttercream, strawberries, and chocolate. Top with the final cake layer.
3. Frost the outside of the cake with your remaining buttercream.
4. Decorate! Spread some melted chocolate over the top of the cake – use a spoon to pour drips down the side of the cake for added flare! Dip strawberries in remaining melted chocolate and nestle on top of the cake.
* Chill cake to make slicing a million and one times easier!! *
Check out these other recipes!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake Recipe
For the chocolate cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil or any other neutral flavored oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
For the chocolate buttercream frosting:
- 1 & 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (optional)
- 3 to 6 tablespoons milk or heavy cream, or more as needed * see notes
For assembly and decoration:
- 10 ounces semi-sweet Baker's or couverture chocolate, finely chopped ** see notes
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, or any other neutral flavored oil like the ones listed above – you could even use butter or coconut oil here
- 2 cups finely diced strawberries, plus more whole strawberries for decorating on top
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease 3 (9 inch) cake pans with butter or oil, and dust the bottom and sides of the pan with cocoa powder. Tap out any excess cocoa, and set aside.
- Make the chocolate cake: In a large bowl, whisk together you flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Combine your wet and dry ingredients, and mix together until just combined. The batter will be thick.
- In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine boiling water and (if using) espresso powder). Mix until the espresso is dissolved, then add the hot coffee to your cake batter. Working relatively quickly, whisk the hot coffee into the cake batter. Now, the batter will be thin.
- Pour your cake batter into your cake pans. Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If you can't fit all of your cakes in the center of your oven, you can bake them in 2 batches.
- Cool the cakes for about 15 minutes in the pans, and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.
- Make the chocolate buttercream frosting: In a large bowl, add in butter, and sift over your sugar and cocoa powder. Using an electric mixer fitter with the beater attachment (on low speed), or a wooden spoon, mix everything together until the butter is broken up into pea sized pieces and you're left with a dry and crumbly mixture.
- Add in your salt, vanilla, and milk/cream. Beat together for about 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed if using a mixer, or about 5 minutes by hand, until it's light and fluffy. If needed, gradually add more milk/cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get your desired consistency. Set aside.
- Melt the chocolate: In a heat safe bowl, combine chocolate and oil. Melt in your microwave or over a bain-marie. Set aside the chocolate to cool enough to handle (about 10 minutes).To melt in your microwave, melt for 30 seconds on high, then pause to take the bowl out and give the chocolate a stir. Continue heating in 10 second bursts, pausing after each burst to stir, until the chocolate is fully melted.To melt over a bain-marie, fill a small saucepot with 1 inch of water and bring to just under a simmer over low heat. Place the bowl of chocolate over the pot (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water). Heat, stirring occasionally, until fully melted.
- Assembly: Place a cake layer on your serving platter. Spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting overtop (about 1/4 cup), then pipe a buttercream boarder along the edge of the cake layer (this is to keep the filling in place).
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with half of the chopped strawberries (1 cup), then drizzle some of the melted chocolate over the strawberries (about 2 to 3 tablespoons). Top with another cake layer, and repeat the process of spreading buttercream over top, piping a buttercream boarder, and topping with the remaining 1 cup of strawberries and another drizzle of chocolate. Top with your final cake layer.
- Spread the remaining buttercream frosting along the top and sides of the cake. Spread some of your melted chocolate over the top of the cake – and if you'd like, use a spoon to create drips down the sides!
- Dip your whole strawberries in the remaining melted chocolate and arrange on the top of your cake. (Optional) Use any remaining chocolate to drizzle over the top of the cake. This cake is easier to slice if you chill it for an hour beforehand, but you can technically serve it right away!