Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake

I didn’t used to be a cake person.  When Sister and I were little we always chose ice cream cakes for our birthdays, and not the new modern kind that have cold cake at the bottom, just straight up ice cream in the shape of a cake with a ganache on top.  So when asked to make a yellow cake for a friend’s party, I was a little stumped.  But thinking of what I know about her and her sister and their enjoyment of chocolate-covered strawberries.  I decided to create this chocolate covered strawberry layer cake.  And I have to say, it was pretty awesome.  This will totally make you into a cake person.  It’s light and delicate, perfect for spring.  It’s almost like strawberry shortcake, but better…since it has a rich chocolate ganache.  It is a bit of a process, so if you’re not feeling quite so ambitious, feel free to use a box cake mix.  But I would definitely recommend making your own whipped cream, it’s easy and really delicious.

But first let’s recap all the food for the party!  I went with a casual comfort-food theme, with a few heavier dishes since this was going to be dinner for most of the party-goers.  Here’s what I served:  beef sliders, turkey meatballs, mini corn dog muffins, mac and cheese, amazing bruschettacaramelized onion dip, smooth and creamy hummus, fruit salad, several cheeses, simple chocolate fudge, mint and chocolate bark, and chocolate covered strawberry layer cake.  Can you believe there was too much food?

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer CakeChocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cake (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 30-40, makes a 9×13″ layer cake

Yellow Cake

Adapted from allrecipes

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 16 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease two 9×13″ pans with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper and spray again.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then beat in the vanilla.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Alternate adding in the flour and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Be careful to only mix it until just combined after each addition.

Divide batter evenly among the two prepared pans.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.  Let cool in pans completely.  (I read after making this cake that refrigerating the cakes make them easier to slice in half, so feel free to try that and report back).

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 lb semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup double-strength brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, heat cream, butter, sugar and salt over low heat until butter is melted, stirring occasionally.  Turn off the heat and add the chocolate.  Let sit for about 30 seconds, then whisk the chocolate into the cream mixture until smooth.  Whisk in the coffee and vanilla.  Let sit until the mixture comes to room temperature and is a good spreadable consistency (about 3 hours).

Strawberry Layer

  • 5-6 cups chopped stawberries
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit overnight, or at least for several hours.

Whipped Cream

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (more to taste)

In a large bowl, beat heavy whipping cream with the whisk attachment of your electric mixer.  After about a minute, once it’s fluffy, slowly whisk in the sugar, continue to whisk until stiff peaks form.  Taste and adjust sugar as needed.


Place one of the cakes on your serving platter, then slice the cakes through the middle, using a long bread knife.  I found it helpful to slide a thin flexible cutting board between the layers to move them about.  Spread chopped strawberries along the bottom layer, then spread a layer of whipped cream.  Top with top half of the cake, then repeat.  For the final layer of cake, just cover with a thick layer of the chocolate ganache (do not put strawberries or whipped cream on the top), allow ganache to ooze over the sides.  Garnish with whole strawberries.

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