Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake – Rich dark chocolate cake layers with fresh strawberries, strawberry buttercream and chocolate ganache.

strawberry chocolate cake recipe for beginner's.


Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake

Another favorite cake around here for the Valentine’s Day is my Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake. This decadent dessert is made with my moist and rich dark chocolate cake layers, silky smooth strawberry buttercream, dark chocolate ganache, and fresh strawberries. One bite and you’ll instantly be thinking you’re diving into a See’s Candy truffle. 

delicious and easy strawberry and chocolate cake recipe.


The Perfect Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake is truly perfect, in my opinion. It’s rich, moist, and full of chocolate flavor. 
Ingredients for the Perfect Chocolate Cake
  • Buttermilk
  • Oil
  • Water or coffee
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • All purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Dark cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
dark chocolate and strawberry combo cake recipe.
How to Make the Perfect Chocolate Cake
  • Start by combining the wet ingredients (all of which should be at room temperature) in one bowl, whisking to combine. 
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, you’ll then combine the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. 
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. 
  • Note: the batter is thin, but don’t let that scare you. With buttermilk, oil, and water (or coffee), there’s a lot of liquid – which means, this cake is ultra moist!
dark chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream.

Strawberry Buttercream

This strawberry buttercream is something special! The smooth texture and incredible flavor comes from using LorAnn Oils Strawberry Emulsion. Because we’re using an emulsion instead of strawberry puree, the buttercream holds together so well. 

In addition to powdered sugar, butter and heavy whipping cream, make sure you get the emulsion. It’s essential for the flavoring. You’ll find it on Amazon, as well as Michael’s and Orson Gygi. 


Other Valentine’s Cakes You’ll Love


Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake

4.94 from 30 votes
Rich dark chocolate cake layers with strawberry buttercream and chocolate ganache.


For the Cake

  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups (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 (6 g) salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (109 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (236 g) hot water or coffee

For the Buttercream

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 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 ½ batch.

For the Ganache

  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) heavy whipping 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)

Garnish and Filling

  • Strawberries


For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 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.
  • 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.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, water and vanilla. Mix lightly until combined.
  • 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.
  • 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 25 to 30, until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  • Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • 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 Buttercream

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for about one minute on medium speed.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and mix until combined.
  • Add the strawberry emulsion and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until combined.
  • 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.
  • 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 Ganache

  • 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. 


  • Level each of the cake layers. Spread a small amount of frosting on a cake board to help hold the cake in place.
  • Place the first cake layer, bottom-side down, in the center of the cake board. Using an offset palette knife, spread about ½ to 2/3 cup frosting evenly across the cake layer. If using fresh strawberries, sprinkle ½ cup strawberries on the frosting and gently push them into the frosting.
  • Place the second cake layer on top of the strawberry frosting layer and repeat step 2.
  • 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.
  • Freeze the cake for 10 minutes to set the crumb coat.
  • Continue to frost the cake and then spread or drip ganache. 
Cuisine Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword chocolate, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Strawberry Cake, Strawberry, Strawberry Buttercream, Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake

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!

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Recipe Rating


  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. Hi! This cake looks incredible and I really want to bake it for my kid’s birthday next month. I have a question though, do you have any intructions for baking in 9 inch cake pans? Would I still use 3 and lower baking time, or would I just use 2 pns instead? Please enlighten me 🙂

    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!

  10. 5 stars
    By far my favorite! But I say that on every one. I made the mistake of putting the strawberries on top without them being dipped or placed in frosting. Big mistake! The were weeping and the ganache started dripping within the hour. Also I would definitely make extra frosting next time! The strawberry emulsion was the BOMB!

    1. Oh yeah, and I added 1tsp of instant coffee. I got that idea from you on another recipe, AND I made it gluten free!

  11. im planning on making this recipe this weekend but i havent been able to find strawberry emulsion anywhere. im gonna substitute the emulsion for strawberry extract. how much do you recommend i substitute it for?

  12. I made the chocolate ganache using chocolate chips like the recipe says and it came out very thick, even with the added cream. It did not drizzle the way yours did in the picture. Is it supposed to be baking chocolate bars and not chips?

    1. Chips is what I use. The type of chips and the type of cream you use can make a difference. A higher fat cream will make the ganache thicker and will require more cream overall.

  13. 5 stars
    Another amazing recipe. While I myself am not a huge chocolate and strawberry fan love it and those who have received this cake from me have gone nuts over it.

  14. 5 stars
    The beautiful photo drew me in and when I made this, it did not disappoint. Because I made it for fun and not an occasion, I boxed and delivered pieces to family, friends and neighbors and EVERYONE loved it.

    I, like many other reviewers, went back and made more frosting but your recipe absolutely notes that one batch will not be enough for piping. The recipe is phenomenal – thank you so much for sharing!

  15. Just for clarification, the recipe says that all ingredients should be room temperature, but it also calls for hot water or coffee. Should the water be hot hot? 🤔

    1. So sorry for the confusion. You add the water or coffee with the vegetable oil and eggs. I’ll get that fixed. Thanks.

  16. I was wondering if I can make this cake ahead of time and if I should keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.

  17. 3 stars
    This cake wasn’t one of my favorites. It was just okay. The chocolate cake itself was good, nice and moist, but the strawberry buttercream had a very artificial taste that I didn’t care for. I used the exact strawberry emulsion you listed.