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March 3, 2014

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

Last Monday, I drank enough water, took my vitamins, had myself a delicious/healthy breakfast and made myself a healthy salad for lunch. Things were going well! When I got home and stood in front of the fridge trying to figure out what we’d eat for dinner the leftovers of this cake stared back at me. I accidentally put it on shelf that was at eye level and a little voice in my head said, “DON’T DO IT, TRACY!!!”  But then I did. One sliver turned into a gigantic piece. I had cake for dinner while standing in the kitchen because MONDAY.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

I made this cake for taco dinner night with my parents last weekend. It was so simple that I was able to take pictures of the process while entertaining and getting dinner ready. The ingredients are modest and the cake is actually vegan if you subtract the whipped cream!

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

It’s a cake that doesn’t smack you over the head with chocolate; it’s all about the whipped cream and strawberries!  This cake is so good, fluffy and airy that it makes you abandon your intentions of eating “healthy.” It might become a staple this Summer when we’re entertaining.

And we’re off! Simple ingredient tiiiiiime.

chocolatecakestrawberries 441

Now we mix in the wet ingredients. You make a well in the center and stir it up.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

Transfer to prepared cake pans. Prepared means sprayed with cooking spray.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

Bake! Now slice up the strawberries. You should add a little balsamic vinegar in them for a little punch.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

We’re getting strawberries here in California. Sorry/not sorry :)

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

We’re gonna trim the “dome” off the  bottom cake to make it flat & even. This is so that it doesn’t slide.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

Now we make some whipped cream!

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

YESSSS.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

Layer half of the strawberries on top.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

Follow it with the other cake and then spread the rest of the whipped cream on top.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

Finish with the rest of the the strawberries.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

Get in there.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

There’s beauty in simplicity.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream // shutterbean

There’s beauty in cake.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Cream

serves 8-10

recipe slightly adapted from Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn

for the cake

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups cold water

for the filling

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream (about 1 1/2 pints)
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 quart strawberries, washed hulled & thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350F with a rack in the middle position. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and add the oil, vanilla, vinegar and cold water. Whisk until well combined.

Divide the batter between two 8 inch cake pans sprayed lightly with cooking spray.

Bake the cakes, side by side for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.

Whip the cream to soft peaks in a large bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip again until just stiffened; do not over whip.

Slice the domed top off one cake round to make a flat surface and put it on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread with a thick layer of the whipped cream. Top with a layer of half the strawberries. Top with the other cake round, domed side up, and spread it with another thick layer of whipped cream. Top with remaining strawberries. Slice and serve with any extra whipped cream and berries on the side.

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  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    I would have wanted this cake for my dinner too! I mean, hello, it’s gorgeous!!!! Pinned

  • Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)

    Hahaha! Eye level is a very dangerous place for forbidden food to be placed. I don’t blame you at all and probably would’ve done the same thing. 😉

  • Jennie

    That is an incredible looking cake! I mean, just look at those colours. I wish, wish, wish I had some in my fridge right now for a Monday dinner!

  • Sera

    I use a really similar recipe for my go to chocolate cake – up the cocoa and bake in a bundt tin :) it’s good by itself, and brilliant warm with vanilla icecream, chocolate sauce and slivered almonds 😉 Also served with a chocolate ganache and a berry/cherry compote. It’s just incredibly versatile, and I got the recipe from my host mum in my first year of uni – she called it Wacky Cake, supposedly because it lacks the traditional eggs and butter.

  • Maryea {happy healthy mama}

    If you were able to take pictures while entertaining, this really is an easy cake! I love recipes that look impressive but are super easy. :)

  • Marie @ Little Kitchie

    Salad for lunch, cake for dinner… it’s BALANCE! It’s actually just amazing you didn’t eat this for every meal because it looks incredible!!

  • Jane M

    You know that saying??? A silver A slice A slab A slob! Like I even care when it happens to me!!! Happy Monday!

  • Lori H

    I am making this cake soon! It looks amazing. How far ahead would you guess I could make it? Is it a “serve immediately” kind of dessert?

    • Tracy

      I made it about 4 hours before I served it. It holds up well in the fridge. Overnight the strawberries get bit softer and a little runny so I think it’s best served the day of. But if you have leftovers, they’re still good….eaten while standing up in your kitchen.

  • Jessica @ Living La Vida Holoka

    These sinfully delicious treats always seem to taste better when eaten standing up for some reason! This looks so amazing!

  • Claire @Lemon Jelly Cake

    I love the contrast between the chocolate cake and whipped cream… so pretty! How could you not go for the leftovers? How could there even BE leftovers? 😉

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This cake is stunning! I love this recipe!

  • Jesse

    what a beautiful dessert? do you ever add coffee or espresso to your chocolate desserts? i am partial to it when my two-year old is cooperating enough for extra steps:)

  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health

    this cake covers all the basic food group, may be i should have this with spinach smoothie and call it a balanced breakfast. Happy Monday :)

  • Gaby

    So easy and it’s looks amazing! Question: could you make this gluten-free just with a gluten-free flour (like Cup4Cup)? Or would you have to make some other ingredient substitutions/adjustments?

    • Tracy

      I really wish I could help you with that but I have almost no experience with gluten free flours. I have tried Cup4Cup and I know it’s supposed to be cup for cup- so it might be worth a shot!

      • Gaby

        Okay, thanks so much! I work with a team that includes both vegan and celiac diets, so I’d like to bake them something that everyone can eat (and enjoy) and would only require maybe one special ingredient…instead of like 5, which is often what happens!

  • Shikha @ Shikha la mode

    I’m so stoked that it’s March so we can get some berry action happening! Even though I was seeing strawberries at the farmer’s markets in December because of the drought, I held off until the real deal hits now.

  • Jenna

    There goes my diet.

  • Heather Christo

    love it. I am going to make this with GF flour and coconut whipped cream for my daughter. She will go bananas.

  • Jessica (bakecetera)

    cake is an acceptable dinner on any day that ends in y …

    i love the recipe! it’s simple, but still looks so (sooooo) moist and dreamy. yum!

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    Well here we are at Monday again and I think my Monday calls for cake! This recipe looks wonderfully easy and totally delicious. It might be difficult for me to find nice strawberries around here (it’s currently -30 degrees…CELSIUS), but I’ll see what I can do!

  • sandra

    In truth you could have done worse. This cake looks so light and fluffy – a healthier version of what it could have been… and it has fresh fruit!! So eat away.

  • Katy

    What a beautiful cake! I would definitely eat this for dinner. Three classic combinations, they never go out of style. Strawberries + cream + chocolate = win. Pinned.

  • Tracy | Pale Yellow

    Nothing wrong with eating cake straight out of fridge! Love this cake, it’s gorgeous!

  • Amy

    There is totally beauty in cake and because Monday and because you are a grown up it’s totally okay to indulge in beauty and cake for dinner :)

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    But I so love to be smacked over the head with chocolate… This cake is just the prettiest though, I can totally see why cake for dinner happened. It looks so fluffy!!
    Heidi xo

  • Lauren

    Growing up we called this Wacky Cake. It was the go to cake my dad always made. Your version with strawberries and whipped cream looks very tempting, I don’t know if I could resist a slice for dinner!

  • Iquo

    Haha! Cake for dinner! Reminds me of Bill Cosby and him feeding his kids chocolate cake for breakfast (or was it dinner too?) That cake looks divine! Can’t wait to make it!

    Iquo

    http://www.keaishop.com
    http://www.iquoismusic.com

  • Kinsey

    I love that cake recipe–I got it from my grandmother who grew up in Iowa during WWII and called it 3-holer cake! I love it because it’s so easy and fits a lot of different dietary and allergic restrictions.

  • Lety

    Tracy is the new Martha Stewart. Yum!

  • Caroline {TheBarbeeHousewife}

    Chocolate & strawberries=perfect. Strawberries & cream=perfect. Chocolate & strawberries & cream=omg, I need this now!

  • Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    Most of my lunches start as just a bite or just a sliver while standing barefoot in my kitchen. They are usually the best kinds of meals! This cake rocks my world!

  • Jennifer

    My birthday isn’t until May, but I think this is going to be the cake I make for it.

  • Karen

    This cake recipe is my grandmother’s famous chocolate cake! It is THE family recipe in our family – filled with amazing and countless memories. There wasn’t a day my grandmother couldn’t fix with this cake. It’s really just love in a cake to me. I’ve never seen the recipe anywhere else before. Yesterday was the anniversary of when she passed. Reading your post was like getting a kiss from her. My girls and I just made the cake today to celebrate her. Thanks for the post!

  • Little Gray Pixel

    Why do you do this to me!?!?! Looks sooooo good.

  • Crystal

    What an impeccable chocolate cake and photographs. I am definitely saving your recipe.

    http://www.thecrystalavenue.com

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  • Grace

    I just baked this cake and 2/3 is already gone! i halved the recipe for a smaller pan, subbed the sugar with maple syrup and served it with vegan coconut cream frosting.. this was really easy to make thanks for sharing the recipe!! This cake is perfect for my nephew who has every single food allergy known to man.

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    Dying to be a guest at your house for dinner.

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  • Sarah Theis

    Hi Tracy,

    I am making my best friend a dessert for her birthday this Saturday. I think this might be the perfect cake! She asked me to surprise her with anything dark chocolate.

    You wrote that this cake is all about the whipped cream…but I wanted to make sure that the chocolate flavor comes across too. Do you have a recommendation on how to make this cake even more chocolatey or even dark chocolatey?

    Thanks a million!!

    xo sarah

    • Tracy

      I would use a bit of espresso powder in the batter or a darker cocoa. I know that Hershey’s cocoa powder is pretty intense. I hope that works for you!

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  • heather

    Ok, I feel like this a silly question. I am SO not a baker. I am planning to make this cake for a birthday celebration but I am taking it to a friend’s house. Is it best to “assemble” the whip cream, etc. just before serving? Thank you SO much for the recipe, it looks amazing!

    • Tracy

      Super easy! The best part is that it doesn’t have to look perfect. The whipped cream is very forgiving.

  • Heather K

    Made this for Easter with fresh local stawberries. It was a hit and super easy and quick to put together! Thanks for another recipe I can add to my repertoire!

  • Danielle

    This cake is amazing! So amazing that I am determined to make a non-chocolate version for my son’s first birthday smash cake. *But…will this recipe work as a vanilla cake? Is there a conversion to this? I love that this is egg free yet the perfect cake density etc.

  • Jenna

    I’ve made this cake as written a couple of times & it’s amazing! Stands up well as a layer cake with buttercream too. My daughter is allergic to eggs so it’s great to find a solid eggless cake recipe! I just tried a vanilla version (used 2 1/4 cups flour & no cocoa, I subbed the water for milk & let it sit with the vinegar for a bit to make a buttermilk sub, added vanilla bean paste & swapped the oil for… Browned butter! Omg, it was amazing!)

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