One of my best friend’s birthday was last week so, of course, I offered to bake the cake for her special day. I asked if she had any specific flavors in mind and she told me that she loves strawberries.
With this in mind, I went to brainstorming on recipe ideas. One of my all-time favorite cakes is this cookies and cream cake, layered with an oreo whipped cream. And strawberries taste great with whipped cream…
Thus, the idea for this cake was born: four soft layers of chocolate cake, topped with strawberry whipped cream, and covered with a fudge buttercream.
Now, this cake was a bit difficult to construct (as is the original oreo cake) because the layers and whipped cream are all so delicate. The best way to keep everything together is to flash-freeze the cake whenever things start to seem wobbly. Once you have the fudge buttercream on, the whole cake is able to stabilize itself and you won’t have anything to worry about. My best recommendation is to make this cake a day ahead of time so that it will have plenty of time to rest in the freezer, if needed.
Once decorated, store the cake in the fridge.
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cream cheese
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup strawberries, diced
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
- 1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp hot water
- Strawberry slices and chocolate, to decorate.
- 1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease two 8-inch cake pans.
- 2. Sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Now add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and water. Mix just until combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- 3. Make the Whipped Cream: Whip the cream cheese in a medium bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip until smooth. Now whip in the strawberries. Mixture should turn pink. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Now, with a spatula, fold in 1/3 of the whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the rest of the whipping cream. Now place the bowl in the fridge and start making the buttercream.
- 4. Make the Buttercream: In a medium bowl, whip the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and cocoa powder. Whip until the mixture appears crumbly. Add the hot water and vanilla and whip until smooth. Place about 1 cup of the buttercream in an icing piping bag with a large round tip.
- 5. Assemble the Cake: This is a four-layer cake, so horizontally cut each cake in half to create the four layers. Place the first layer on a plate and pipe an outline or a rim using the chocolate buttercream – this is to keep the whipped cream in place. Inside this rim of frosting, spread a thick layer of the strawberry whipped cream. Repeat this process until all four layers are put together. Now place the cake in the fridge (or, preferably, the freezer) to firm up – chilling for just 15 minutes is ok if you’re in a rush, but I would recommend chilling it for an hour.
- 6. Now frost the outside of the cake with the chocolate buttercream. Thinly frost the sides to seal all the layers together. Next frost the top, then use the remainder of the buttercream to make the sides look crisp. Decorate the top of the cake with strawberry slices and maybe some melted chocolate.
- Note: Halve the buttercream portion of the recipe to make a “naked” layered cake. To do this, assemble the cake and chill as directed. In step 6, frost only the top layer of the cake with the buttercream. Top with strawberries.