Valentine’s Day Cake
Tessa's Recipe Rundown...
Taste: Chocolate plus strawberry is perfection, not to mention totally romantic!
Texture: The cake is ridiculously rich and moist, the frosting is luscious and flavorful, and the chocolate covered strawberries on top add a whole new realm of juiciness combined with shattering chocolate goodness. MMM.
Ease: Assembling and decorating a beautiful cake is totally doable, especially with my step-by-step video, but it does require some patience and makes a mess. Let’s be honest! Totally worth it when you see jaws drop at its beauty!
Appearance: Stunning and so impressive.
Pros: Romantic and beautiful cake that actually tastes good.
Would I make this again? Absolutely. Would be great for any romantic occasion.
I am so giddy sharing this Valentine’s Day Cake recipe and easy cake decorating video with you that it was almost impossible to wait until now to publish. This cake turned out so beautiful it would be the perfect way to show your love and appreciation for someone this Valentine’s Day, or any other special occasion. The best part is that if I can do it, you totally can because I have little patience for cake decorating (Cake Boss gives me nightmares). I’ve included a step-by-step video showing you exactly how to replicate the cake you see in these photos, including a bunch of tips and tricks so be sure to give that a peek below.
The chocolate cake is so unbelievably moist, rich, and flavorful, even people who don’t like cake will like this. Not to mention the strawberry buttercream adds that perfect luscious, creamy, and thick bite of flavor that complements the chocolate wonderfully. And c’mon. Chocolate covered strawberries on top? Does life get better than that? I don’t think so! By the way – if you want some extra tips on buttercream, check out my post on How to Make the Best Buttercream!
For the cake
- Butter, for greasing
- 1 3/4 cups (7.9 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
For the strawberry buttercream
- 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 16 ounces (4 sticks or 2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup seedless strawberry preserves
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Red gel food coloring, if desired
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries, for garnish
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (8-inch) round cake pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add in the salt and mix on low speed until combined. In a large measuring up or small bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the hot coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Don’t overmix, the mixture should be very thin.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Freeze until hardened.
For the buttercream:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add in the strawberry preseves, salt, and vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add about 1/4 teaspoon gel food coloring, if using, and beat until the buttercream is evenly colored. Add more coloring if desired.
Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a flat surface or cake pedestal. Remove some of the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a plain open tip and pipe a large ring around the edge of the cake layer. With an offset spatula, evenly spread the frosting over the rest of the layer to make the filling. Place the second cake layer on top, flat side up, and spread a very thin coating of frosting all over to make a crumb coating. When scraping away excess frosting, be careful not to add the crumb frosting back in with the clean frosting. Freeze the cake until firm.
Remove from freezer and spread the remaining frosting evenly over the cake, scraping away excess frosting and smoothing imperfections with the offset spatula. If desired, place more frosting in a piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe a decorating border along the cake. Top with chocolate covered strawberries before serving.
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