Good God. That’s pretty much what I said after a bite of this cake. First and foremost, say hello to strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream. I am a fool for not trying this earlier. Perfect in every way. Sweet, but not overly sweet. Rich, but not so that you can’t eat it straight from the bowl. That isn’t a joke, unfortunately. While regular buttercream will always have a special place in my heart and cakes, I will be using this version more and more. If you’ve tried it, you’ll know why. If you haven’t, try it and I highly recommend Sweetapolita’s version that I used here. When this cake was posted on Sweetapolita, I bookmarked it immediately. With dark chocolate cake layers contrasted with the light pink strawberry-speckled buttercream, this is a stunning cake perfect for a special occasion. What better one than my first Mother’s Day with the two grandmothers. I initially wanted to make the towering six-layer cake, but with a shortage on time, I decided to do a simple two layer cake, using my favorite quick go-to chocolate cake recipe. I love using this cake recipe because it uses one bowl. Less cleanup after means that I can enjoy the cake faster.
Adapted from Allrecipes
- 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk (I have used almond milk and it has turned out just fine)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup strong hot brewed coffee
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Grease and flour 2 8-inch round pans.
- In a large bowl sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Add the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
- Mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes until everything is incorporated.
- Stir in the hot coffee. This will make the batter very runny.
- Pour evenly into the greased pans.
- Bake 35 minutes (make sure it passes the toothpick test) and remove from the oven.
- Cool the cakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Do not frost a cake that has not been completely cooled.
Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Sweetapolita
- 1/2 cup fresh ripe strawberries
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 5 large egg whites, day old and room temperature
- 1 and 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 3/4 lb butter, unsalted (3 sticks of butter)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Take your butter from the fridge and cut it into cubes and set aside on a plate on your counter – just not in your fridge.
- In a food processor, add the strawberries and process until smooth.
- Add the strawberry puree to a saucepan with the 3 tbsp sugar.
- Over a medium-low heat, cook down the strawberries into a thick sauce (cooking for about 15-20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Once thickened, set aside to cool.
- Wipe down a large (preferably steel) bowl with lemon juice to ensure that no trace amounts of oil remain. Oil is danger to meringue.
- Add the egg whites and sugar to the mixing bowl and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), stirring constantly with a whisk. Be gentle but consistent with the stirring. Keep whisking until you get a temperature of 150F for the mixture using your candy thermometer. Another way to check is to dip your hands in the mixture and rub it between your fingers. It should be completely smooth, with no grainy-ness. If there is any grains of sugar, keep stirring/whisking. you want the sugar to be completely dissolved and the egg whites to be hot (and cooked).
- Once it gets to be 150F, attach the bowl to your electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high heat until the meringue is thick and glossy. You know you are done when the bowl is also room temperature to the touch, and not at all warm. It cannot be warm at all.
- Once you get stiff thick peaks with your meringue, switch from the whisk attachment to the paddle attachment.
- You are going to start adding the butter, one cube at a time. Your butter should be cool, not cold, at this point.
- With the mixer on low speed, mix until you get a smooth rich texture. The mixture will look curdly at some point, just keep mixing. I promise you it will come together.
- Add vanilla and salt, and continue to mix on low speed until everything is combined.
- Add the strawberry puree until well blended into the buttercream.
recipe from Sweetapolita
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/3 cup butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
- Place the chocolate and butter into a bowl and melt over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture until completely melted.
Assembling the Cake
- Place the first layer of cake and add buttercream frosting. Place the other layer on top.
- Crumb coat.
- Refrigerate for one hour.
- Remove from fridge and frost the cake. Try to be as even and straight as possible. Don’t worry too much about the top as you will be pouring chocolate all over it.
- Chill the cake.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and pour the chocolate glaze over the cake.
- Chill the cake again to set.
- Remove from the fridge at least 2 hours before you serve the cake. You want this cake to be completely at room temperature when you serve. Otherwise, the buttercream will be too hard and will taste just like butter. For those that complain of the Swiss meringue buttercream, this is the number one problem and can be easily remedied if you just let you cake sit out.