Nothing like coming to you with a little Valentine’s Day dessert inspiration the day before! I hope you’ll forgive me when I tell you it’s a chocolate strawberry cake that is halfway homemade but all seriously, truly, decadently delicious. It’s exactly the kind of dessert you want for the day — chocolate-y, a little extra special and made with love (but not so much that you’re in the kitchen all day long and leave no time to hang with your main squeeze/BFF/awesome self).
The base of this cake is made with Immaculate Baking Co.’s chocolate cake stratch mix which is made up of these ingredients — sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, corn starch, salt and vanilla. That is it. You add in some milk, butter and eggs and bake it and the cake part is done. Whew. Halfway there already! All that’s left is to make a homemade strawberry buttercream frosting (which is so easy to make, promise, and so good you’ll be tempted to eat it all with a spoon… but don’t! Because it’s much better on the chocolate cake, swears) and a decorative/edible topping of chocolate-covered strawberries (so apropos).
Frost the cakes, top it with the strawberries and share it with those you love. For me, that was my daughter (who, admittedly, ate all the frosting off the cake first) and my husband (who has been asking for “generous” slices every night for dessert since I made it a couple of days ago, and that’s saying something because he’s not a big dessert person) and myself. I mean, you have to love yourself the most on Valentine’s Day above all. And cake is the way to do it, IMHO.
This is a Valentine from me to you, in heart-shaped chocolate strawberry cake form. I hope you love it.
- 1 box (21 oz) Immaculate Baking Co. chocolate cake stratch mix
- Milk, butter and eggs called for on cake mix box
- 1 heaping cup fresh strawberries, stems and leaves removed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Chocolate-covered strawberries, for topping (optional)*
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F for shiny metal pan or 325 degrees F for dark, nonstick or glass pan. Grease and flour bottoms and sides of 2 heart-shaped pans (or two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans).
- Prepare cake ingredients as directed on cake mix box. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake 25 to 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Cool cakes 10 minutes in pans, then carefully remove from pans and cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in blender or food processor, blend strawberries and lemon juice until fully pureed. Pour puree into small saucepan. Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, 10 to 15 minutes until mixture reduces to about ¼ to ⅓ cup. Cool completely to room temperature.
- In large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, beat butter and strawberry mixture 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in powdered sugar on medium speed 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is smooth. Add milk and vanilla; stir to combine. Increase speed to high and beat 1 minute more until frosting is creamy and fluffy.
- Place 1 cake layer on serving plate. Frost top with generous amount of frosting. Top with remaining cake layer; frost top and sides with remaining frosting. Decorate with chocolate-covered strawberries, if desired. Store leftovers tightly covered in refrigerator up to 3 days.
- *To make chocolate-covered strawberries, melt ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Dip strawberries halfway into chocolate mixture, then transfer to wax paper or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes to set.
P.S. I used 2 of these heart-shaped pans (8-inch size) for the recipe and they worked beautifully!
Disclosure: I received compensation from Immaculate Baking for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.