Chocolate Strawberry Cream {Birthday!} Cake

It's that time of year again... my birthday! I can't believe I'm another year older. {I'm shuddering at the actual number.} However, for as long as I remember, I've been told I look way younger than I really am. It will only be a matter of time before it catches up with me so I might as well enjoy it while I can! This birthday is a special one because it's the first one {of many, I hope} that is gluten free. I'm thankful that these days, it's easy to be gluten free, have my birthday cake and eat it too! I've been thinking about what cake I'd like to celebrate with and the first thing that came to mind was chocolate. I love strawberries and that's when I decided to make this Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cake. Rich chocolate cake is filled with a sweet vanilla whipped cream frosting and fresh strawberries. It's possibly the most delicious gluten free cake I've ever had...

The original strawberry cream cake recipe was made using a yellow cake. I substituted the yellow cake for chocolate for a twist. I've coveted the original recipe for awhile but never got around to making it. Even though I can't attest to how it would have tasted using regular all purpose flour, I can say that the gluten free version I made below was pretty awesome. I love how there was a bit of fresh strawberries in every bite, along with the light and fluffy sweet whipped cream that had a touch of cream cheese for extra richness. So here's to another year... and I'm sure it will be a delicious one!

Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cake
recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated, May 2006

Chocolate Cake:

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour  {or gluten free flour + 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum}
3/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup strong coffee, cooled
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Strawberry Filling:
2 pounds fresh strawberries; washed, dried, and stemmed
1/4 cup strawberry preserves

Whipped Cream:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla paste
pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream

1 whole strawberry
few fresh mint leaves

For Cake:

Set oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans ( can use 8-inch cake pans an
increase the baking time slightly).

In a large bowl combine the sugar with flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix until combined.Add in eggs, cooled coffee, buttermilk or milk, vanilla and oil; mix using an electric mixer at medium speed beat until smooth.

Add in the water/coffee mixture and beat for another 2 minutes (batter will be quite thin). Divide mixture evenly between the two cake pans.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until cake tests done (the baking time will vary depending on what size of pan you use), or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 3-5 minutes before removing and cooling on a wire rack.
For Strawberry Filling:
Halve 24 of the best looking berries and reserve. Pick berries that are uniform in size, if possible. Chop up the the remaining berries; toss with the strawberry preserves and let sit for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain juices from berries and set aside until cake is cooled.

For Whipped Cream:
When cake is cooled, place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk at medium high speed until light and fluffy for about 1-2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in a slow steady stream. When almost fully combined, increase speed to medium high and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 3 minutes more.  You should have a total of about 4 1/2 cups of the cream mixture when finished.

To Assemble:

Place bottom layer on cake plate or cardboard round and spread 1/2 cup frosting over the top layer of cake. Arrange a ring of 20 strawberry halves, cut sides down and stem ends facing out, around perimeter of cake layer.

Pour some of the macerated berry mixture in the center, then spread to cover any exposed cake. (You may not use all the strawberry mixture

Top with the other cake layer and gently press down (whipped cream layer should become flush with cake edge).. Spread another 1/2 cup frosting over the top layer of cake. Arrange a ring of 20 strawberry halves, cut sides down and stem ends facing out, around perimeter of cake layer.

Spread remaining whipped cream on the sides of the cake. Garnish with a whole strawberry and fresh mint leaves. Serve, or chill for up to 4 hours.


  1. This looks fabulous. I love the pretty pink against the dark chocolate color. Great pick for your birthday!

  2. Happy Birthday Joelen! What a beautiful cake!

  3. This looks delicious Joelen. I love the combination of strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate. What a perfect birthday cake! I hope you have a great day!! -Kim

  4. I must try this delicious recipe!! Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Strawberries, chocolate and whipped cream sounds like the best birthday present one could ask for.

    Happy Birthday, Joelen!

  6. Looks like the perfect cake to celebrate your birthday the gluten-free way! Happy Birthday!! :)

  7. Nice,do u sell them