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.