Chocolate Berry Cake

It’s always fun to learn something new. And if you don’t already know how to make a beautiful chocolate lattice, today is your day to learn something new! This technique will be a great addition to your dessert decorating tool kit. It’s a very easy technique that offers such a wow factor to dessert decorating. Today we’re using this technique to give an extra pop of pizazz to this seemingly unassuming cake! And when you bite into this cake, the perfect combination of strawberry goodness coupled with rich chocolate will have your taste buds singing.

 Gold Cake Stand

Almost a nod to the chocolate lattice is our timeless 12-inch vintage round metal cake stand featuring a hand-crafted steel frame decorated with an ornate fleur-de-lis pattern. The antique gold is a finish made of water-based food grade paint. It’s elegant and versatile and will make entertaining a breeze on any level. 

Chocolate Berry Cake

Prep Time: 60 minutes (Does not include setting time for the strawberry filling)
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Serves 16

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ cup hot prepared coffee

Strawberry Filling

  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, cut into bite size pieces
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Décor

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • Fresh strawberries for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. For the cake: In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. Next, add remaining ingredients (except water and coffee) and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Stir in hot water and hot coffee until completely incorporated. Batter will be thin.
  3. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean. Allow to rest in the pans for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. While the cake is baking, prepare the strawberry filling. This step can be completed in advance so the filling has time to cool and set. In a medium sauce pan, mix water and cornstarch together until smooth. Stir in strawberries and sugar. Cook strawberry mixture over medium heat until thick; about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before using.
  5. To make the chocolate lattice: This 1-minute tutorial, courtesy of Sweet and Savory by Shinee, perfectly showcases this technique. To get an idea and see how simple this is, check it out then come back to this step! In a microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips and coconut oil then microwave in 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth. Then, pour chocolate into a Ziploc bag and cut a very small opening at the tip. In a swirly motion shown in the video, pipe along the entire marked area on the parchment paper. Wait 30-60 minutes so that the chocolate is almost set but still pliable. 
  6. While the lattice is setting, prepare the frosting. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until cream and light in color; about 2 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar until it's all incorporated then add in remaining ingredients and beat on high for 3 minutes. Add a little more powdered sugar if batter is too thin or add a little more milk (1 tablespoon at a time) if batter is too thick.
  7. To assemble: Place the first layer of cake on the center of the cake stand. Spread a layer of frosting on the top of the first layer of cake. Also, pipe a circle of frosting along the outer edges of the cake- this will keep the strawberry filling in place without pouring out. Spread the strawberry filling evenly over top of the frosting and within the frosting circle. Top with second cake layer. Next, frost the entire top and sides of the cake.
  8. While the chocolate lattice is almost set but still pliable, gently place the two pieces around the cake, seam to seam, and peel the paper gently away from the chocolate. Top cake with a mound of strawberries. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Jessica