Dark Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream


Brownie enthusiasts will adore this chocolate cake's rich texture, while strawberry fans will cheer for the buttery icing.

Dark Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream
Photo: Jennifer Davick
Prep Time:
1 hrs
Bake Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 1 ½ cup water

  • 3 cup (567 grams) granulated sugar

  • 2 ¼ cup (281 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten and room temperature

  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature

  • ¾ cup canola oil or olive oil

  • Fresh Strawberry Buttercream

Fresh Strawberry Buttercream

  • 8 egg whites, room temperature

  • 1 ½ cup (300 grams) sugar

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 6 sticks (1 1 /2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon-size pieces and room temperature

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and beans scraped

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 ½ cup fresh strawberries, halved


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8x2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper. Grease the paper; set pans aside. Bring water to boiling.

  2. In a very large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

  3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir to just combine with a rubber spatula, scraping down the bottom of the bowl to make sure there's no dry bits (mixture will be thick). Pour in the boiling water and stir to just combine, scraping down bottom.

  4. Divide batter between prepared pans, filling pans about 1/2 full (about 3 cups batter per pan). Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of each comes out clean.

  5. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Before icing, wrap cooled cakes in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

  6. Place a cake layer on serving platter. Frost layer with 2 cups buttercream. Repeat with remaining cake layers and frosting.

Fresh Strawberry Buttercream

  1. In a very large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water continually whisk egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches 160°F. Remove.

  2. Beat with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add butter, one Tbsp. at a time, until mixture thickens and becomes smooth and spreadable (If it begins to curdle, continue to beat, adding another piece of butter until smooth). Stir in vanilla bean seeds and vanilla.

  3. In a food processor or blender, blend strawberries until smooth. Press through a fine mesh sieve. Stir strained strawberry mixture into the frosting.

To make Ahead:

Prepare and frost cake as directed above. Loosely cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving to allow the frosting to soften. If you like, prepare cake layers. Wrap or place in freezer containers. Freeze for up 1 month. Thaw and frost as directed.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

739 Calories
47g Fat
77g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 739
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 47g 60%
Saturated Fat 24g 120%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 478mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 77g 28%
Total Sugars 59g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 8.3mg 41%
Calcium 87mg 7%
Iron 2.3mg 13%
Potassium 272mg 6%
Fatty acids, total trans 1g
Folate, total 45.7mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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