Summertime Chocolate Cake

2 Aug

I LOVE cake! And I really love chocolate cake. So when I was having my mother and mother-in-law for dinner on a hot summer evening I wanted chocolate cake but felt that chocolate icing would be too heavy so I changed it up a bit.  I used whipped cream for icing and added fresh strawberries to jazz it up.  I used the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe, Beatty’s Chocolate Cake, it is wonderful. The first thing you should do is prepare the strawberries, then make the cake and then the whipped cream.

Summertime Chocolate Cake


1 quart fresh strawberries-washed, stems removed and cut up pretty small.

2  Tablespoons Sugar

Mix the sugar with the strawberries, refrigerate. The berries will get a bit soft and juicy, perfect to put in and on the cake.


Butter, for greasing the pans

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

2 cups sugar

3/4  cup good cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk, shaken

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee ( I used 3/4 cup hazelnut coffee-I have found that 1 cup is just too much liquid)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter 2 (8 inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.   This just seems like alot of work to me so I just butter the pans well and don’t seem to have a problem.

Sift 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. Now, not everyone has an electric mixer and I don’t always use one, you can certainly use a whisk or even a fork if you must.  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.  With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.  With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean – in my house that means a toothpick.  Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. This is when I make the whipped cream.


1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Put a metal bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it nice and cold to make the whipped cream in. Pour in the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the cold bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 15 minutes.  For this, an electric mixer is best, a whisk or hand beater will work but can make your arm go numb.

Once the cake has cooled completely place one layer flat side up on a cake plate. With a knife or spatula, spread the top with whipped cream then place about 2/3 of the strawberries on top of the whipped cream.  Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the remaining whipped cream evenly on the top.  Put the remainder of the strawberries on top of the cake, I put them in a pretty ring around it but you can do as you like.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  And Voila! A tasty, cool chocolate cake that is perfect for a hot summer evening!

3 Responses to “Summertime Chocolate Cake”

  1. Sheila August 6, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Looks yummy! I will def have to try this one!!!


  2. bakedelicious August 3, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Yum Yum Yum… looks delicious.


    • christinavl August 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

      Thanks so much! I checked out your blog quickly and looks great-I’ll look at it more later when I have time 🙂


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