Strawberry Chocolate Cake

This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own.

Strawberry Chocolate Cake is the perfect springtime dessert! This single layer chocolate sheet cake is topped with a layer of strawberry cream cheese frosting, then another layer of a fudge-y chocolate frosting. It’s perfect to bake and share with anyone who adores chocolate and strawberries. Makes one 9″x13″ cake.

A close up of Chocolate Cake, with strawberry icing and chocolate icing

Mother’s Day is this coming weekend. I don’t know about you, but strawberries and chocolate always remind me of it.

When I was a kid, we’d purchase decadent chocolate-covered strawberries for my mom at a local candy shop. The shop only made them for Mother’s Day, and they were insanely delicious and worth waiting the entire year for.

And then my mom would share them with us—thanks, Mom!

So those strawberries served as inspiration for this here Chocolate Ganache-Covered Strawberry Chocolate Cake.

Why I love this recipe:

My friends at Sprouts Farmers Market asked me if I’d develop a Mother’s Day recipe featuring organic strawberries.

I took the challenge, perused their store for inspiration and landed on this cake because it combines some of my favorite things into a dessert.

Before we get into it: This is not a layer cake. It is a sheet cake. Also, we’re not adding strawberry to the chocolate cake itself. Instead, we are adding a layer of strawberry goodness on top of the cake.

It is totally delightful.

The chocolate sheet cake is light fluffy, intense and flavorful.

The strawberry cream cheese frosting is wonderfully gooey. And you can cover it up with the chocolate ganache frosting, making the strawberry filling layer a surprise if you want it to be!

More strawberry dessert recipes: Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake PopsiclesSmall-Batch Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese IcingPatriotic Strawberry BruschettaStrawberry and Blueberry Hand Pies

Need more dessert inspiration? Pop on over to my Dessert Recipe Index for more ideas.

Overhead of ingredients to make the chocolate sheet cake

What you’ll need to make recipe:

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In addition to these tools, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe for Chocolate Strawberry Cake:

  • All-purpose flour—we keep unbleached AP flour in our house, but the regular kind works. I have not attempted to make this cake with a gluten-free flour, so I do not have a recommendation as to a substitute.
  • Dutch process cocoa powder—we need this for both the chocolate cake, as well as the chocolate frosting. We’re using Dutch process cocoa powder, specifically, so please read the labels on your ingredients.
  • Leaveners—we’re using both baking powder and baking soda to give our cake some lift.
  • Kosher salt—I prefer to use fine kosher salt or fine sea salt when baking.
  • Unsalted butter—this is going to be the fat we add to the cake, and it’s delightful. Be sure to melt yours.
  • Bittersweet chocolate—you may use baking bars, like I did for this recipe. You may also use bittersweet chocolate chips if you have those on hand.
  • Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar, this is our sweetener for the cake. There is no substitute.
  • Coffee—yes, you read that right. We’re using brewed coffee in this cake to bring out the chocolate flavor!
  • Milk—we need this for the cake batter, as well as the frosting. Please note that the milk for the cake needs to be at room temperature, so you can remove it from the fridge early or warm it for 10-15 seconds in the microwave.
  • Eggs—not only do these provide structure to the cake, but they’ll help give the cake some lift and fluffiness.
  • Pure vanilla extract—this adds some vanilla flavor and depth to the cake batter. Please try to use the pure kind, not the imitation.
  • Powdered sugar—also known as confectioners sugar, we need this for the strawberry and chocolate frostings.
  • Cream cheese—I always recommend using full-fat cream cheese to make cream cheese frosting that much more decadent and delicious
  • Strawberries—hull and half these fresh berries after washing and patting them dry. We’re going to toss them into the food processor to make puree.

How to make a Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Filling

Make and bake the cake

Preheat the oven, and spray the baking dish with nonstick baking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Whisk to combine.

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, blend the melted butter and chocolate together in another bowl.

Add the sugar to the butter-chocolate mixture, and stir until well-combined.

Pour in the milk and coffee, and then mix. Add the eggs and vanilla next, beating until incorporated.

Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until combined. You might have to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl once or twice during this process to ensure everything has been mixed in.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish, and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely before frosting. Otherwise, the frosting will melt.

Pro tip: Once the cake cools, pop it out of the baking dish. Wrap it in plastic wrap. Place it in the freezer.

Collage of a woman making strawberry cream cheese frosting in a blender and the ingredients for it
Collage of the ingredients to make chocolate ganache frosting and a woman drizzling the frosting once it reaches the correct consistency

Make the frostings

This cake calls for TWO different types of frosting. (Please note that we’re got a chocolate ganache and a strawberry cream cheese frosting base. We’re not making strawberry buttercream.) It’s a little extra, I know, but it’s utterly delightful, so go with me here.

For the strawberry frosting, puree the strawberries in the blender. Then add the cream cheese, and blend until smooth. Next, add the powdered sugar and blend some more.

For the chocolate ganache frosting, whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Drizzle in the milk, and whisk until smooth.

Store both frostings in the refrigerator until you’re ready to frost the cake.

A chocolate sheet cake is shown on a light-colored background after coming out of the oven

How to frost the cake:

When the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the strawberry frosting on top. Spread it out with a butter knife or an offset spatula.

Transfer the cake to the freezer for 15-30 minutes so the strawberry frosting sets. (The longer you give it, the better. The strawberry frosting is lovely and gooey, but this makes adding the chocolate ganache a little tricky.)

Once the strawberry layer has set, remove the cake from the freezer, and drizzle on the chocolate frosting. Gently spread on top of the strawberry layer.

Place the cake in the freezer for another 15-20 to ensure the chocolate sets.

Slice the cake, and enjoy!

Collage of two photos showing how a chocolate cake is frosted with two different frostings

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

This Chocolate Cake with Strawberries is a total delight and would be great for various occasions, including Mother’s Day and Easter, among other casual occasions.

I don’t think there’s ever a bad time to make and serve cake.

Here are some ideas of how you can entertain with it:

  • Bake the cake in advance! Make it 1-2 days in advance, and cover it loosely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate. Remove the cake from the fridge 1-2 hours before you plan to serve it. This will help the strawberry filling to become gooey!
  • Let the strawberry filling be a surprise! Seeing my 4-year-old light up when she realized there was a PINK layer in this cake made my day.
  • Share the leftovers with neighbors, friends or family. There’s nothing like letting people know you’re thinking of them. Take a few leftover slices to say hello and let your people enjoy this chocolate-strawberry goodness.
A slice of Strawberry Chocolate Cake is lifted out of the cake
A fork cuts into a slice of Strawberry Chocolate Cake

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I decorate this cake with fresh strawberries?

Absolutely! Feel free to use more strawberries to the top of this cake! Slice them or leave them whole. Either way, they’ll be beautiful!

How can I make this chocolate cake dairy free?

This cake has a lot of dairy elements to it, and because of that, I can’t recommend any swaps.

Can it be done? I’m sure!

Will it taste like it’s supposed to taste? I don’t know, which is why I don’t have a suggestion as to what to do.

A chocolate sheet cake, drizzled with strawberry cream cheese frosting and chocolate ganache, is served on a light-colored background

Quick tips for making Chocolate Strawberry Cake

  • Bake this cake in advance, and store it in the fridge on a platter, covered loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Make sure the cake is completely cooled before frosting. Freeze the cake between frosting layers so that they don’t get mixed up.
  • Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting on the cake!
  • How to store: Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate leftover cake for up for 4 days.
Overhead of the final Strawberry Chocolate Cake, sliced and ready for consuming

Other cupcake and cake recipes great for sharing:

Now who’s ready for a slice?!?

Scroll on down to learn how easy this Strawberry Chocolate Cake is to make!

A close up of Chocolate Cake, with strawberry icing and chocolate icing
Yield: 15 slices

Strawberry Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes

Strawberry Chocolate Cake is the perfect springtime dessert! This single layer chocolate sheet cake is topped with a layer of strawberry cream cheese frosting, then another layer of a fudge-y chocolate frosting. It's perfect to bake and share with anyone who adores chocolate and strawberries.

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate baking bars, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup coffee, at room temperature
  • ½ cup milk, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Strawberry Frosting Layer

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup organic strawberries, hulled and halved (makes ¼ cup puree)

Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons milk

Instructions

Make and Bake the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with nonstick baking spray, and set aside.
  2. Get out two mixing bowls for the batter.
  3. In the larger of the two bowls, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk.
  4. In the smaller bowl, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment to blend the melted butter and chocolate.
  5. When the butter and chocolate are combined, add the sugar. Beat together until everything is incorporated.
  6. Pour in the milk and coffee, and mix until combined.
  7. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating until incorporated into the wet ingredients.
  8. Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until combined. You might have to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl once or twice during this process to ensure everything has been mixed in.
  9. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish.
  10. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Let the cake completely cool before frosting. (I will sometimes pop my cake out of the baking dish and place it in the freezer once it’s cooled down some to speed this time up.)

Make the Frostings

  1. In the base of a blender, puree the strawberries.
  2. When the strawberries have been blended, add the cream cheese mixture, and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the powdered sugar to the blender, and continue blending until everything is well mixed.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  5. Add the milk, and whisk until smooth.
  6. Set aside. Refrigerate if you make these in advance.

Frost the Cake

  1. When the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the strawberry frosting on top of it. Spread it out with a butter knife or an offset spatula.
  2. Place the cake in the freezer for 15-30 minutes so the strawberry frosting sets.
  3. Once the strawberry layer has set, remove the cake from the freezer, and drizzle on the chocolate frosting.
  4. Gently spread the chocolate frosting on top of the strawberry layer.
  5. Place the cake in the freezer for another 15-20 to ensure the chocolate sets.
  6. Slice the cake, and enjoy!

Notes

How to store: Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate leftover cake for up for 4 days.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 348Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 294mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 39gProtein: 5g

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