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Chocolate Strawberry Cake

This Chocolate Strawberry Cake is supremely chocolatey, moist, and tender with a strawberry whipped cream frosting that’s unbelievable.

A slice of chocolate strawberry cake with sliced strawberry on a white plate.
This Chocolate Strawberry Cake is a moist, tender cake with just the right amount of sweetness and rich chocolate flavor.

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Why This Recipe Stands Out

Here’s why you’ll love this chocolate strawberry cake:

  • Deliciously Moist: This cake is wonderfully soft and tender, with a robust cocoa presence balanced by the sweet tang of fresh strawberries. It’s a lot like our other favorite strawberry recipes like the best chocolate strawberries.
  • Make-Ahead: The whipped cream frosting is stable, meaning leftovers will keep well in the fridge and can be stored for later use.
  • Versatile: If you have some leftover batter, it can easily be turned into delicious cupcakes, too! They’re the perfect companions to our Strawberry Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting.
  • Crowd Pleaser: Friends and family will love the rich chocolate flavor and refreshing fruity notes of this cake!
  • Impressive: Shaved chocolate and strawberry slices make the cake look incredible, and perfect for special occasions.

Key Recipe Ingredients

  • Good Quality Semi-Sweet Chocolate – We use 3 oz of good quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped. It adds a rich, chocolatey flavor to the cake that’s simply irresistible.
  • Fresh Hot Coffee – It’s a secret ingredient that enhances the chocolate flavor without making the cake coffee-flavored. You can use decaffeinated coffee as well.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – It’s the key ingredient that gives the cake its intense chocolate flavor.
  • Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting – This frosting is not your ordinary whipped cream. It’s stabilized, meaning it holds its shape for days in the fridge.
  • Fresh Strawberries – The star of our cake is the fresh strawberries. They add a sweet and tangy flavor that perfectly compliments the rich chocolate.

Substitutions And Variations

Here are a few of our favorite substitutions and variations for this chocolate strawberry cake:

  • Nuts: Toasted chopped pecans or almonds would work great as a garnish. We do this with our Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake.
  • Different Fruits: Try raspberries, blueberries, or even cherries for a twist on this delicious recipe.
  • Cupcakes: This batter makes killer cupcakes, too! We had a bit of leftover batter and made amazing cupcakes with it.
  • Frosting: Feel free to switch up the frosting colors and flavors to your liking.

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions

  1. Combine chopped chocolate with hot coffee, stirring occasionally until melted. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  1. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until thick and yellow. Gradually add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture.
  2. Next, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  1. Divide batter between cake pans and bake for 60-70 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks. Invert layers and remove wax paper.
  2. Soak plain gelatin in water in a microwave-safe bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then microwave for 15-20 seconds to melt. Let it cool to lukewarm.
  1. Stir heavy whipping cream in a large mixing bowl. Add vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and Kahlua, if desired.
  2. Beat whipped cream mixture until ribbons form. Slowly pour in liquid gelatin while beating. Beat to stiff peaks and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  1. Mix desired amount of chopped strawberries with whipped cream to make the filling.
  2. Spread filling between layers of chocolate cake. Frost cake with whipped cream and garnish with strawberry slices and shaved chocolate and serve.

For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.

How To Prep Ahead

This Chocolate Strawberry Cake is a show-stopping dessert that can be made even more convenient with a few prep-ahead tricks. Take a look at our best prep-ahead and make-ahead tips for this recipe:

  • Cake: Both layers of the cake can be made a day ahead. Once they have cooled, wrap them well and leave at room temperature overnight. This will make the assembly process even quicker the next day.
  • Frosting: The stabilized whipped cream frosting for this cake can also be made up to two days in advance. Once prepared, cover the cake and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it. This will also allow the flavors to meld together, making the frosting even more delicious.
  • Freeze: You can even bake the cake layers and freeze it for up to 2 months. The same goes for the stabilized whipped cream frosting! When you’re ready to serve, allow them to thaw and assemble the cake as instructed.
Overhead shot of a Chocolate Strawberry Cake topped with sliced fresh strawberries.
This Chocolate Strawberry Cake tastes incredible and is also an absolute showstopper.

Commonly Asked Questions

What type of chocolate should I use for this cake?

For this chocolate strawberry cake, we recommend using a good quality semi-sweet chocolate that is finely chopped. We love using Guittard chocolate, but you can use any other high-quality brand.

Can I use a different type of frosting for this cake?

While we highly recommend the stabilized whipped cream frosting for this chocolate strawberry cake, you can also use a traditional buttercream or cream cheese frosting if you prefer.

How do I store the Chocolate Strawberry Cake?

This cake should be stored in the refrigerator due to the fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Cover it well to prevent it from drying out. It can be stored for up to 3 days, but we doubt it will last that long!

Can I use frozen strawberries for the filling?

Yes, you can use frozen strawberries for the filling if fresh ones are not available. Make sure to thaw and drain them well before chopping and adding to the whipped cream.

How long does Chocolate Strawberry Cake keep?

This chocolate strawberry cake can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to cover it to maintain its freshness. However, we doubt it will last that long once your family and friends taste this delicious cake!

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Overhead shot of a Chocolate Strawberry Cake topped with sliced fresh strawberries.

Chocolate Strawberry Cake

5 from 26 ratings
This luscious Chocolate Strawberry cake inspired by Gourmet is supremely chocolatey, moist, and tender. The Kahlua whipped cream is unbelievable. Strawberries make the perfect filling accompaniment. You won't be sorry you tried this one!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Amy Dong


For the Cake:

For the Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 16 tsp water
  • 4 tsp Knox plain gelatin
  • 4 cups very cold heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 TB powder sugar
  • 2 T Kahlua, optional

For the Filling:

  • Fresh strawberries, chopped (about 1/2 cup, give or take)
  • Sliced strawberries, for garnish


For the Cake (can be made 1 day ahead)

  • Preheat oven to 300F.  Grease two 10×2 round cake pans.  Line bottoms of pans with rounds of wax paper, and grease the paper.
  • Combine finely chopped chocolate with hot coffee, and stir occasionally until chocolate is completely melted.  Set aside at room temp.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a second large bowl, beat eggs until thickened and lemony yellow – about 3 min with standing mixer or 5 min with hand-held mixer. 
  • Gradually add in oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture.  Continue beating until well combined.  Add flour mixture and beat on medium until just combined well. 
  • Divide batter evenly between the cake pans.  Bake in middle rack until toothpick comes out clean or almost-clean, about 60-70 minutes.
  • Cool cake completely in pans on racks.  Can cool overnight at room temp, wrapped well.  When cool, slowly run a thin knife around edges and invert layers.  Carefully remove wax paper.

For the Frosting

  • In large mixing bowl, stir in heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, powder sugar, and Kahlua.  Put this bowl, along with  beaters, in fridge to keep cold.
  • Mix Knox gelatin with water in a microwave safe bowl.  Let sit for about 10 min, for gelatin to soak up the water.  Microwave for about 15-20 seconds, to melt the gelatin.  Stir well, and let cool to lukewarm.
  • Take out the bowl with whipped cream ingredients.  Beat on medium until ribbons form. Quickly check that your gelatin mixture is still liquid and almost cool.  If it has coagulated, reheat in microwave for 5 seconds.  Resume beating whipped cream mixture, while slowly pouring in liquid gelatin into the mixture as it is beating.  Beat to stiff peaks.  Keep in fridge until ready to use.
  • Mix desired amount of chopped strawberries with about 3/4 cup of the whipped cream to make the filling.
  • Spread filling in between layers of chocolate cake.  Frost cake with whipped cream.  Garnish with strawberry slices and shaved chocolate, if desired.  Cake keeps very well in fridge as long as it is covered.


  • When choosing your semi-sweet chocolate for the cake, go for a high-quality brand like Guittard. It will make a noticeable difference in the richness and flavor of the cake.
  • To ensure that your cake has the perfect texture, make sure your eggs are at room temperature before adding them to the batter. Cold eggs can cause the batter to curdle.
  • You can make your own buttermilk by using 1 1/2 cups whole milk mixed with 1 1/2 T vinegar, and let that sit at room temp for at least 15 min, allowing it to curdle. Mix well before incorporating.
  • Adding gelatin ‘stabilizes’ the whipped cream frosting so it keeps its shape well, without fear of getting runny.
  • Both the cake layers and the whipped cream frosting can be made a day ahead, making this cake a great option for special occasions.
  • You can even freeze the cake layers for up to two months. Just be sure to wrap them well to protect them from freezer burn.
  • Freshly sliced strawberries make a beautiful and delicious garnish for this cake. They add a pop of color and a burst of fresh strawberry flavor.
  • The stabilized whipped cream frosting and fresh strawberry filling make this cake a perfect choice for warm-weather celebrations. Just be sure to keep it refrigerated until it’s time to serve.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating. We ❤️ hearing from you! 
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Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 829kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 301mg | Potassium: 414mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 1924IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: Bake

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Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Monica
    • 5 stars

    I haven’t tried it yet but I just made it. I wish I had looked at the photo while decorating it. I would have used more whipped cream in the filling. It clearly has more than 3/4C whipped cream to make it that thick. I ended up with extra whip and that was after putting quite a bit on the top. I forgot about the piping. I used less strawberries on top and more chocolate shavings and I mean… a lot! I hope it ends up tasting good. It’s a belated birthday cake for myself since we didn’t get to do anything. Now storing it… that’s going to be an issue with it being so tall and not having a cover tall enough for it.

      • Amy Dong

      Aww, happiest of birthdays, Monica! 🙂

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