If you love rich chocolate with notes of strawberries, you’ll love this cake! Although this recipe appears to have a lot of steps, it is actually straightforward and easy. The strawberry buttercream adds a lightness to the rich chocolate and the dark chocolate ganache adds more aesthetic appeal, plus that burst of extra chocolate you crave.
Dark Chocolate Strawberry Cake [Vegan]
For the Cake:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (whisk flour before measuring)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vegan butter, softened
- 5 tablespoons vegan egg replacer mixed with 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
For the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup puréed strawberries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Ganache:
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1 cup coconut cream (solid portion from a can of coconut milk refrigerated overnight)
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round baking pans, then line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper. Butter the parchment and set aside. To a mixing bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sift in cocoa powder then whisk mixture 20 seconds and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (if using an attachment that doesn't constantly scrape bowl, then stop mixture occasionally throughout entire mixing process and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl), whip together sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Combine almond milk with vegan egg powder until smooth removing any clumps. Add vegan eggs to standing mixer on low speed.
- In a liquid measuring cup, measure out almond milk then whisk in vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar. Working in phases, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with 1/2 of the vegan buttermilk mixture to the standing mixer, and mixing just until combined after each addition. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure everything is incorporated.
- Spread the mixture into an even layer and bake in preheated oven 26-30 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool in cake pan 10 minutes then run knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto wire racks to cool completely. Once cool, frost the first layer with strawberry buttercream frosting, then layer on the second and coat all over. Store cake in an airtight container in refrigerator.
To Make the Buttercream:
- Mix sugar and butter in a mixer on low until combined, light, and fluffy. Add vanilla. Continue to sift in the powdered sugar gradually. The consistency should thicken. When you reach the right thickness, lightly whip in the strawberry puree until you achieve the desired color. If it becomes less thick than desired, add more powder sugar.
To Make the Ganache:
- Place chocolate chips in a large measuring cup. Heat coconut cream and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat until boiling, careful not to scorch. Pour heated cream over chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir chocolate to make sure completely melted and smooth.
- Slowly pour ganache over top of cake, letting it drip down the sides. If needed use a spatula to help spread ganache on top over sides. When ganache is set, cake can be transferred to a serving plate. Chill cake for 4 hours before serving.