Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake

Rich dark chocolate cake layers with fresh strawberries, strawberry buttercream and chocolate ganache.

I had such a blast hosting my first cake class a couple weeks ago, I just couldn’t wait to get another one on the calendar. This time, instead of demonstrating different cake decorating techniques, I decided to make a cake from start to finish because even though it seems so simple to follow a recipe, there’s a lot of little things that people sometimes overlook (i.e. make sure you’re scooping your dry ingredients into the measuring cups and scraping off the top with a knife to get the most accurate measurement, make sure you spray your cake pans with non-stick spray, use parchment paper on the bottom and spray again, don’t keep opening your oven to check if the cake is done because it causes your cake to sink, over-beating your cake batter will create too many air bubbles and also cause your cake to sink, use a scale to divide your cake batter evenly between all your cake pans, etc.). There’s a lot to remember, but knowing all these things will help create the best tasting and the best looking cake around!

So, for my class, I chose to demonstrate my High Altitude Friendly Chocolate Cake. It’s a great cake to know how to make because it not only tastes incredible, but it can also be paired with so many different frosting flavors. I’ve made this cake with chocolate frosting, salted caramel frosting, vanilla frosting, peanut butter frosting, cream cheese frosting, salted caramel chocolate frosting, marshmallow frosting, and most recently, strawberry frosting.
Oh, man!!! Can we talk about this strawberry frosting for a minute? It’s incredible. My mom, who’s in town for the week, took one bite of it and immediately compared it to the strawberry truffle at See’s Candies. It’s not just a strawberry frosting, it’s more like a strawberry and cream frosting. It’s so flavorful and fluffy and pairs perfectly with this slightly bitter dark chocolate cake and chocolate ganache.
My mom also took the liberty of naming this cake: Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake. She was right on the money! Thanks, mom!
My fabulous students… thank you all for spending an evening with me making cake! 
I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we did!!!

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake

Yield 1 3-layer, 8-inch cake

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake.

Rich dark chocolate cake layers with strawberry buttercream and chocolate ganache.


For the Chocolate Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons (225 g)  all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups, minus 4 tablespoons (350 g)  granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (88.5 g) good quality cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g)  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup (109 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g)  vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (236.6 g) hot water

For the Strawberry Frosting

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 1/2 cup  strawberry preserves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) strawberry emulsion
  • 2 tablespoons (28.87 g) heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt 
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (115.5 g) heavy cream (If you want a thinner consistency to your chocolate ganache to be able to do the drip technique, use 1 cup cream with 1 cup chocolate chips) 

Filling (optional)

  • 1 cup (120 g) chopped strawberries


For the Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper, then spray the parchment paper as well. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, water and vanilla. Mix lightly until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and mixing for 30 more seconds on medium-low speed.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans (about 15 to 16 ounces in each 8-inch pan or 10 ounces in each 6-inch pan) and bake for 18-20, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use. You're still going to want to level your cake layers to ensure a completely even surface for frosting and stacking. 

For the Strawberry Frosting

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for about one minute on medium speed.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and mix until combined.
  3. Add the strawberry preserves, strawberry emulsion and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until combined.
  4. With the mixer still on medium-low speed, add the whipping cream. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat the frosting for about 3 to 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  5. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and use a wooden spoon to stir the frosting by hand to push out any air bubbles. 

For the Chocolate Ganache

  1. Combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and place in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds, stir the mixture and heat for another 30 seconds. Using a whisk, mix the melted chocolate and cream until it comes together to create a smooth, silky ganache. Let the ganache cool to room temperature before using on the cake. 


  1. Level each of the cake layers. Spread a small amount of frosting on a cake board to help hold the cake in place.
  2. Place the first cake layer, bottom-side down, in the center of the cake board. Using an offset palette knife, spread about 1/2 to 2/3 cup frosting evenly across the cake layer. If using fresh strawberries, sprinkle 1/2 cup strawberries on the frosting and gently push them into the frosting.
  3. Place the second cake layer on top of the strawberry frosting layer and repeat step 2.
  4. Place the final cake layer, bottom-side up, on top of the second strawberry frosting layer and give the cake an even crumb coat, making sure to fill in uneven areas of the cake to create an even foundation for your main frosting.
  5. Freeze the cake for 10 minutes to set the crumb coat.
  6. Continue to frost the cake and then spread or drip ganache. 

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

Get my free cake decorating guide
Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

You Might Also Like

Leave a Comment


  1. This cake was delicious! It was my first time trying a “fancy” cake and I am happy with how it came out! This tutorial is amazing. The only thing I had an issue with was that it felt like I had just enough frosting. Maybe I put too much in between the layers? Also, my cake did not sit as high as the one in the photo. I used 3 8″ pans, but it seems shorter for some reason. Thank you for the tutorial! Loved it.

    1. Yeah, you may have put too much in between the layers. I aim for about 3/4 cup of frosting between layers. If you want extra frosting for decorating, I do recommend making another half of the recipe. As for the cakes rising, have you checked your baking powder expiration date? If that’s expired, the cake won’t rise as well. Also, be careful not to overmix the batter or it will cause the cake to sink or be short.

  2. Hello Courtney,

    Been following you in the instagrm. Want to ask If I can use a fresh strawberries instead? And how many cups I need?

    1. It will change the consistency of the frosting if you use too many fresh strawberries because they have a lot of water content. I’d use a jam in the frosting instead and fresh strawberries in between layers

  3. Hi Courtney your cakes are amazing and I love them😘
    Is there a way for me to make this recipie eggless?
    Thank you so much for sharing with us❤️

    1. You can use my egg free and dairy free chocolate cake recipe for the chocolate base of this cake.

    1. Strawberry emulsion is a flavoring like extract but without the taste and smell of alcohol. And yes, strawberry preserves is a jam.

  4. Hi Courtney, I just now trying your recipe for a birthday cake. My cakes are in the oven as I type this. My batter was very liquidy, almost water like, is that normal? What consistency should I be looking for? Your help in this would be greatly appreciated.

  5. I tried this recipe and it was awful. I think there is a mistake in the ingredients list. Too much baking soda or baking powder? I double-triple checked to make sure I followed the directions perfectly. My husband and I tasted it and then threw it out. Please correct the mistake because it was a lot of work for nothing. That said — the frosting is divine!

    1. Hi. I’m so sorry you didn’t like this cake. The recipe is correct. There should be 2 teaspoons baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon baking powder – so not too much of either that it would somehow affect the taste.

  6. Hi! I’m wondering why this buttercream recipe uses room temperature butter when your cake class, videos, and other recipes talk about how cold butter makes the perfect buttercream. Does it have something to do with mixing it with the strawberries? Just wondering! Thanks!

  7. Just tried this one today! So Good and moist chocolate cake!
    Ran out of frosting super frustrating. It’s not the first time so now I’ll 1.5 to 2x the frosting recipes I don’t need the added stress!😜

  8. This looks sooo good! Just wondering about the “optional” strawberry preserves in the buttercream…I’m guessing you did not use it here? It seems like it would give the frosting a more chunky texture than it looks in these pics.

  9. Hi there!
    What kind of cocoa powder do you recommend? I’m always so confused about Dutch versus unsweetened and everything else!! Thanks!

    1. I use callebaut extra brute from Orson Gygi but you can use Hersheys special dark if that’s easier to find!