Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake

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This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake is a moist chocolate cake layered with fresh chopped strawberries, strawberry buttercream and chocolate ganache! It’s covered in a chocolate drip and chocolate covered strawberries for a stunning and delicious cake!

This post is sponsored by Challenge Butter, but all opinions are my own.

Pinterest image Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake

This is one of those cakes that just brings out the “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” – both for the look and the taste. It’s such a fun cake to put together and serve, and it’s perfect for a special occasion or holiday like Valentine’s Day.

When I think of Valentine’s Day, chocolate covered strawberries seem to be kind of iconic. They can be romantic, but also are simple enough to share with friends. When turned into a cake, it takes new form and combines two of the best flavors – chocolate and strawberry!

This cake starts with tender, moist chocolate cake layers. The cake layers are filled with three layers chopped strawberries and strawberry buttercream and two layers of chocolate ganache. All the elements of chocolate covered strawberries in every bite!

To finish it off, it’s covered in more strawberry buttercream and a chocolate drip! The buttercream swirls on top with the chocolate covered strawberries make it just perfect!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake overhead viewChocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake slice on black plate

How to make a Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake

This cake is made up 5 elements:

  • Chocolate Cake
  • Strawberry Buttercream
  • Fresh Chopped Strawberries
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Cake

The first thing you’ll make for this cake are the chocolate cake layers. You’ll begin by creaming the butter and sugar together. Be sure to do two things in this step. First – cream the butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes, until you see the color of the mixture lighten and the texture become fluffy. Second – use a great quality butter to ensure a great cake. As you may know already, I love Challenge Butter! It’s such a creamy butter and it goes from farm to fridge in just two days, so you know it’s fresh. It has no added hormones, artificial flavors or fillers, which I’m a big fan of. You know you’re getting a high quality butter when you buy Challenge and it shows in it’s noticeably creamy texture.

Next, you’ll add your eggs one a time and mix everything together until mostly combined before adding the next egg. This ensures things are incorporated evenly.

Then you’ll combine the vanilla extract, warm water and cocoa together. Combining the cocoa with the warm water both helps the cocoa dissolve and brings out the chocolate flavor. Add the chocolate mixture to the butter mixture and mix together until well combined.

Finally, alternate adding the dry ingredients to the batter with adding the milk. You’ll add the dry ingredients in two parts and the milk in one part. Be sure not to over mix the batter, as that can leave to a tough cake.

Bake the cake and then make the fillings.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake side viewChocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake slice close up

Strawberry Buttercream

To make the strawberry buttercream, you’ll start with a great, high quality butter. Again, I’m using Challenge Butter. I combine the butter with a little shortening to help stabilize the buttercream, particularly when it’s at room temperature, but feel free to use all butter.

Next, you’ll add about half of the powdered sugar. This buttercream uses a fair amount of powdered sugar, but it’s in line with a standard decorator’s type buttercream. It adds volume to the frosting and helps make it the right consistency for frosting a cake and piping with it.

Heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract are added next. The vanilla adds a little flavor, while the cream helps to get the right consistency of frosting and add creaminess to it.

To add strawberry flavor, I used freeze dried strawberries. It’s a simple way to add great flavor, but if you’d like to use fresh strawberries, check out my recipe for Strawberry Buttercream Frosting. It shows you both ways – freeze dried strawberries and fresh ones.

Finally, add the remainder of the powdered sugar and any additional cream needed to get the right consistency of frosting.

Challenge Butter with Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake in backgroundChocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake on silver stand

Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate ganache is super simple to make! A mix of chocolate and some hot cream that you whisk together until melted and you’re done! If you feel you need more guidance on it, check out my full post on chocolate ganache – with recipe and tips.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

And finally, there’s the star of the show. While you can always buy chocolate covered strawberries, making them is so much less expensive and very easy to do. Check out my recipe and guide to Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

The fresh chopped strawberries are straight forward, of course. And once you have everything ready, layer it all together, frost the cake, decorate it and your done! Simple, right? Of course I have tutorials for all those lovely steps that I’ve linked to within the recipe if you need any help with technique. From leveling your cakes, to frosting it, to adding the chocolate drip, I’ve got you covered.

The finished cake is so darn good! The chocolate cake is tender and moist, the strawberry frosting with pops of fresh strawberry add lots of flavor, and the chocolate ganache adds that little touch that makes it just like eating a chocolate covered strawberry. A delightful cake! I hope you enjoy it!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake slice on plate with cake on stand in background

More Great Strawberry Desserts:

Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes
Fudgy Strawberry Brownies
Homemade Strawberry Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches
Strawberry Cheesecake Chocolate Cookie Cups
Strawberry Brownie Cheesecake


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Recipe

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12-14 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake is a moist chocolate cake layered with fresh chopped strawberries, strawberry buttercream and chocolate ganache! It’s covered in a chocolate drip and chocolate covered strawberries for a stunning and delicious cake!


Scale

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake Layers

  • 2 cups (260g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (224g) unsalted Challenge butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) warm water
  • 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk

Chocolate Ganache

  • 9 oz (1 1/2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups (about 2 oz | 57g) freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 3/4 cups (336g) unsalted Challenge butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (142g) shortening
  • 10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Salt, to taste
  • 24 tbsp (30-60ml) additional water or heavy whipping cream

Additional


Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line the bottom of three 8-inch (20cm) cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
3. Add the butter and sugar to a large mixer bowl and beat together until fully creamed and light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until mostly combined after each addition.
5. Add vanilla extract, water and cocoa powder to another small bowl and stir together until smooth.
6. Add the chocolate mixture to batter and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
7. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
8. Slowly add the milk and mix until well combined.
9. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined and smooth, but do not over mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
10. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
11. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
12. While the cake layers cool, make the chocolate ganache. Add the chocolate chips to a small bowl.
13. Heat the cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Let it sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool to about room temperature.
14. To make the strawberry buttercream frosting, add the freeze dried strawberries to a food processor and grind into a fine powder. Set aside.
15. Add the butter and shortening to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.
16. Add about half of the powdered sugar and beat until well combined and smooth.
17. Add the freeze dried strawberry powder and mix until well combined.
18. Slowly add the half cup of heavy cream and the vanilla extract and mix until well combined and smooth.
19. Slowly add the remainder of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
20. Add salt to taste and some additional water or heavy cream, if needed to get the right frosting consistency. Set aside.
21. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. Next, cut each cake horizontally to make 6 layers of cake total. See my tutorial for how to level and torte a cake.
22. To build the cake, place the first layer of cake on a cardboard cake circle or a serving platter. (For more help with building the cake, see my tutorial for how to fill and stack a layer cake)
23. Spread about half a cup of strawberry frosting evenly onto the cake layer, then add 1/2 cup of the diced strawberries. Press the strawberries down into the frosting and spread a very thin amount of strawberry frosting over the strawberries so that the next cake layer has something to stick to.
24. Add the next layer of cake.
25. Pipe a small dam of frosting around the out edge of the cake layer, then fill it in with about 5- 6 tablespoons of the chocolate ganache. Spread into an even layer, then add the next layer of cake.
26. Repeat layers 23-25 for another layer of strawberry frosting and fresh strawberries, chocolate cake, chocolate ganache and then another layer of chocolate cake. Add a third layer of strawberry frosting and fresh strawberries and then top off the cake with the last layer of chocolate cake. You should have three layers of strawberry frosting/fresh strawberries and two layers of chocolate ganache.
27. At this point, you can refrigerate the cake for a bit to firm up, if you like. When you’re ready, use your strawberry frosting to fully frost the outside of the cake.
28. Use the remainder of the chocolate ganache to add the chocolate drip to the cake. See my tutorial for how to make a chocolate drip cake. It will have cooled off by now, so you’ll want to carefully heat it back up in the microwave.
29. Use the remainder of the strawberry frosting to add swirls to the top of the cake. I used Ateco tip 847.
30. Finish off the cake with some chocolate covered strawberries.
31. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. The cake is best when stored well covered for 2-3 days. The chocolate covered strawberries on top of the cake will be best eaten within 24-48 hours, so you might want to add those shortly before serving.

Keywords: chocolate covered strawberry cake

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55 Comments
  1. Jennifer L

    I love all your recipes! I just made the margarita cupcakes yesterday.  Where would I find sufficient quantity of the freeze dried strawberries?  Is there a substitution for freeze dried? I love your book, I hope you would consider doing another one. I know I can print these recipes but the book is beautiful and inspiring. It is a go to gift for grads, brides and friends!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the recipes! I’m pretty much always able to find freeze dried strawberries at Target. I also often find them at the grocery store. If you would prefer to use fresh strawberries in the frosting, check out my post on strawberry frosting. https://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/homemade-strawberry-frosting-two-ways/

      And it’s wonderful that you’re enjoying the cookbook! Thank you so much for sharing it with people! There aren’t any plans for another one right now, but maybe one day.

  2. Suzy-q

    WOW! Beautiful cake! Too pretty to cut! I’ll have to give it a try sometime.
    Thanks for the wonderful creations, Lindsay.

  3. Anil Kumar

    The cake looks so yummy. I haven’t made this kind of cake. I don’t have words to say that how much i like strawberry & strawberry cake. Thank you so much for this you made my day.

  4. Nurit Philip

    Looks amazing and so yummy!, I think I am going to make it for my husband’s birthday!
    Thank you so much.

  5. Andie

    This looks SO yummy! I am so excited to make it! I do have a question about your chocolate cakes, in general. I have used your “moist chocolate cake” recipe several times, and it always tastes soooo good, but I have trouble with the structure and stability often, and have actually had it crumble a few times (and I am very thorough about the recipes). I notice that this cake has more of a “droppable” texture, and that you cream butter and sugar at first, instead of using vegetable oil like in the other one. i’m just wondering why this recipe is different than that one, and what made you use this recipe for this cake instead of your other one? Thanks so much, Lindsay!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you enjoyed the moist chocolate cake! It is a very tender cake. I don’t tend to have issues with how tender it is, but occasionally people mention that they do. It’s hard for me to know if it’s just how someone handles a cake differently or some thing else. But in a cake like this with so many layers, it seemed more ideal to have a cake with a tighter crumb that is easier to torte and stack so that people don’t have those issues. I also sometimes kind of just prefer a different texture in certain cakes. I just like how the crumb and flavor of this cake goes with these fillings. I hope that helps answer your question!

  6. Judith Webb

    Looks fantastic but I’m in the UK, would you add the conversion for grams or ounces please?

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve added grams and milliliters in the ingredients for items it seems appropriate already. Is there one that doesn’t have a measurement that you would find helpful? I can do my best to add it, if so.

      1. Judith Webb

        Thank you. Just wondering now what shortening is? I hadn’t noticed that you had added grams etc to your recipes but either grams or ounces work for me and ml of course. Thanks for the reply

      2. Lindsay

        Shortening is the same as Crisco, if you are familiar with that. It is a butter replacement. If you don’t have access to it, you can use additional butter.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12