Italian
Easy Strawberry Chocolate Cake

This Strawberry Chocolate Cake combines rich chocolate cake with the natural sweetness of ripe strawberries! It’s easy to make from scratch and is the perfect balance of indulgence and fruity freshness in every bite.

Slice of chocolate and strawberry cake on a white plate.Slice of chocolate and strawberry cake on a white plate.

This tender and moist chocolate strawberry cake is perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion where just a decadent treat that combines the perfect pairing of chocolate and strawberries will suffice.

While I love my homemade strawberry cake, there’s something special about the fruity combination of chocolate and berries, like in this cake or my Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Puff Pastry.

I made this cake first for my daughter and the Italian whose love for strawberries has no limits! And if Valentine’s Day has to be chocolate and strawberries, be sure to add a drizzle of chocolate to my Strawberry Cannoli and Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake too!

Because you will love this recipe

  • Easy to do: With just one layer and no frosting, this simple strawberry chocolate cake is a simple treat!
  • Moist and tasty: A tender, moist chocolate cake is studded with sweet strawberry flavor and then topped with Chantilly whipped cream for an amazing dessert!
  • Special occasions: Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or a birthday, the combination of chocolate and strawberries is always the perfect dessert!

Ingredients of the chocolate and strawberry cake recipe

  • Cake flour: This adds a lighter, more tender crumb for the best chocolate cake recipe.
  • Baking staples: Yeast and salt add lift and leavening and improve the flavor.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: I used Dutch process cocoa powder.
  • Butter: I used softened salted butter. If using unsalted butter, adjust the added salt.
  • Granular sugar: It gives the cake its sweet flavor.
  • Egg: One large room temperature egg is all you need to hold the cake together.
  • Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract adds another layer of rich flavor.
  • Milk: It is best to use 2% or whole milk.
  • Fresh strawberries: You will need fresh strawberries for both the cake and garnish. For best flavor, use redder berries as they are sweeter.
  • Chantilly cream: Thick or whipping cream with at least 30% fat, icing sugar and vanilla extract.

If you don’t have Dutch-processed cocoa, you can use an equal amount of natural unsweetened cocoa powder plus a pinch of baking soda to neutralize the acidity.

Ingredients for the recipe.Ingredients for the recipe.

Substitutions and variations

  • Icing: For a light strawberry frosting, use the whipped cream frosting from my Strawberry Cupcakes, make cream cheese frosting, or try the buttercream frosting from my Vanilla Birthday Cake.
  • Silky Chocolate Ganache: After the cake has cooled, drizzle it with the chocolate ganache from my marble cake.
  • Extra chocolate: Add mini chocolate chips to the cake batter for extra chocolate flavor!
  • No strawberries? Try raspberries instead or even add a little strawberry jam before baking.
  • Side: Add some chocolate covered strawberries for garnish or if serving for a holiday, Italian Chocolate Kisses are perfect for chocolate lovers.
Cake on a white plate.Cake on a white plate.

How to prepare chocolate and strawberry cake

To start, in a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa to remove any lumps and make a smoother cake batter.

Dry ingredients whisked in a white bowl.Dry ingredients whisked in a white bowl.

Next, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, reduce the speed, add the egg, milk and vanilla, then beat to combine.

Wet ingredients whisked in a silver bowl.Wet ingredients whisked in a silver bowl.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until smooth.

Cake dough in a silver bowl.Cake dough in a silver bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Place fresh cut berries on top and sprinkle them with sugar.

The dough in the cake pan and the strawberries on top before baking.The dough in the cake pan and the strawberries on top before baking.

Cook until the cake is cooked, check the cooking with a toothpick. Let it cool a little in the mold and then move it to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with Chantilly cream and fresh strawberries to taste.

The cake is baked and on a wire rack.The cake is baked and on a wire rack.

Cooking tips

  • Cake flour: It’s easy to make cake flour: For each cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  • Coffee: To enhance the flavor of the chocolate cake, dissolve ½ teaspoon of soluble espresso powder in the milk.
  • Milk butter: If you want an even lighter and more tender cake, use buttermilk instead of regular milk.
  • Avoid excessive mixing: Overmixing the cake batter will lead to a dense, dry strawberry chocolate cake as too much gluten will develop.
  • Dry the strawberries: After washing the strawberries, dry them otherwise you will add too much liquid to the surface of the cake.
  • If the cake darkens on the surface: Tent with foil and continue cooking until done.
Slice of chocolate and strawberry cake on a white plate with a slice on a white saucer.Slice of chocolate and strawberry cake on a white plate with a slice on a white saucer.

Warehousing

Since this cake contains fresh strawberries, I recommend storing this Chocolate Strawberry Cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you want to prepare it in advance I would wait to add the fresh strawberries and Chantilly cream until ready to serve it.

The cake can also be frozen, wrap it well and place it in a freezer bag, it will keep for up to a month in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use a different sized pan?

YES! I love how this cake bakes on top with a springform pan, but if you don’t have one, simply use a 9-inch square cake pan or an 8×4-inch loaf pan. Cooking time will vary depending on the pan used.

Can I use frozen strawberries?

Unfortunately no. Since we are baking chocolate cake with strawberries, using frozen strawberries would release too much moisture during the baking process. If you’re making a strawberry frosting to top the cake, though, frozen strawberries should work well as long as they’re completely thawed.

Can I turn this cake into cupcakes?

It should work! You should get about half a dozen cupcakes. The cooking time will decrease. I would halve the cooking time and then start checking the cooking.

Can I turn this into a layer cake?

You could possibly double this recipe for a layer cake, but I would recommend simply making my chocolate cake recipe and layering it with fresh strawberries instead.

A slice of strawberry cake on a white plate with whipped cream.A slice of strawberry cake on a white plate with whipped cream.

More strawberry dessert recipes

So if you’re looking for a simple, easy, moist strawberry chocolate cake, then this is it. Add some Chantilly cream and make everything even more special! Enjoy!

CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • cups flour for cakes/pastry
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt (if using unsalted butter use ¼ teaspoon salt)
  • 2 spoons unsweetened cocoa (Dutch processed)
  • 6 spoons softened butter)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 great egg (room temperature)
  • ½-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk (2% or whole milk at room temperature)

EXTRA

  • ½ pound strawberries (peeled and cut in half)
  • 1-1½ spoons granulated sugar
  • 5-6 strawberries for garnish (optional)

CHANTILLY CREAM

  • 1 cup heavy cream/full cream/whipping cream with at least 30% fat
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 spoons sifted icing sugar

Prevents the screen from going dark

CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa.

  • In a medium bowl beat until the butter and sugar are light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, reduce the speed to medium-low and add the egg, milk and vanilla to combine.

  • Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat to combine.

  • Pour into the prepared cake pan. Place the cut strawberries on top and sprinkle them with sugar.

  • Cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160°C (325°F) and cook for approximately 50-60 minutes. If the cake starts to darken too much, cover it with cling film and continue cooking. Check the cooking with a toothpick or if it has some crumbs attached it is ready.

  • Leave to cool for 20 minutes in the tin, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with Chantilly cream and fresh strawberries to taste. Enjoy!

CHANTILLY CREAM

  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks appear, then add the vanilla and sifted sugar, beating until stiff.

For room temperature ingredients, remove from refrigerator 45-60 minutes before using.
It’s easy to make cake flour: For each cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Since this cake contains fresh strawberries, I recommend storing this Chocolate Strawberry Cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you want to prepare it in advance I would wait to add the fresh strawberries and Chantilly cream until ready to serve it.
The cake can also be frozen, wrap it well and place it in a freezer bag, it will keep for up to a month in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 48G | Protein: 5G | Fat: 21G | Saturated fats: 12G | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 1G | Sugar: 29G | Vitamin A: 755UI | C vitamin: 16.8mg | Soccer: 84mg | Iron: 0.7mg

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Updated as of January 23, 2018

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