Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is my most popular cake recipe, and it’s not surprise why! The moist, fluffy cake layered with a fruity strawberry buttercream frosting make this dessert perfect for any occasion.

Have I mentioned before that I LOVE CAKE?

IMG_0218 copy

Because I really, really do. Especially when it’s chocolate.

The first attempt at this cake, as you probably read about before, was an absolute disaster.

It was an epic failure. And left me cleaning out our oven for about an hour. Not my finest baking attempt.

Luckily the second attempt came out perfectly! Turns out I just needed to cut down the recipe a bit.

IMG_0283 copy

I suppose I can look on the bright side – I ended up with an amazing cake that literally will melt in your mouth AND a clean oven.


And a whole new perspective on baking.

The best part about this cake, aside from the fluffy, moist chocolate cake, is the fresh strawberry puree in the buttercream frosting. The taste of strawberries literally pops in your mouth.

I think I am going through a strawberry obsession.

You know how I had that obsession with lemon and that other obsession with goat cheese? This is like that. Except times twenty.

You probably think I am a bit crazy. But come on, strawberries and chocolate?

Who in their right mind can live without that combination?

IMG_0356 copy

So go ahead, indulge yourself. You know you want to.

This Recipe’s Must-Haves

Pin this Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting recipe for later!

Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting |

Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Moist, rich chocolate cake with buttercream frosting made with fresh strawberries.



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ Tbsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup boiling water


  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 4 ½ cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup fresh, ripe strawberries, washed, stemmed, and hulled
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter three 9" round cake pans, and dust with extra flour, tapping out excess.
  3. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low-speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, approximately 3 minutes. Turn mixer off and carefully add boiling water. Beat on high for approximately 1 minute until well-combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until set and a toothpick inserted in the center of each comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes of a cooling rack, turn out cakes onto the rack and allow to cool completely before frosting and assembling.
  5. To make the frosting, puree the strawberries in a food processor. Set aside.
  6. Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Gradually confectioners sugar, beating until just combined.
  7. Add strawberry puree and vanilla and beat until the buttercream is light and fluffy (approximately 3-5 minutes).
  8. Frost the tops of your cakes and stack on top of each other to form three layers. Add a final layer of frosting to the outside and decorate with extra strawberries if you desire.

62 Responses to “Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting”

  1. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — April 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm (#)

    I simply love these flavors! I’d of course be perfectly content with a bowl of that frosting and spoon too 😉

    • admin — April 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm (#)

      Hahaha that is exactly how the leftover frosting disappeared! 🙂

  2. Ali — June 23, 2013 at 11:57 am (#)

    Exactly how much butter do you use for the cake? and then the frosting? (You cannot buy sticks in my supermarket and I’m a little confused!) Thank you.

    • Cake 'n' Knife — June 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm (#)

      Thank you for noticing that! I updated the recipe (one stick of butter is equal to a 1/2 cup). Let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. Denise — July 2, 2013 at 3:57 am (#)

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!! I’m going to make this for my daughter’s third birthday- she asked for a chocolate and strawberry cake, and this recipe is perfect!!

    Thanks again!! 🙂

    • Cake 'n' Knife — July 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm (#)

      You are so welcome! Let me know how it comes out! 🙂

  4. Anna — July 21, 2013 at 10:51 pm (#)

    This looks AWESOME! And, naturally, sounds delicious. I’m going to try making it tomorrow..wish me luck! Slightly anxious because I’m in the UK and I don’t have any American measuring cups, so it might be slightly haphazard. I’ll be making it for afternoon tea with my grandmother this time and then, if it turns out as great as yours, I’ll try a gluten-free version for my mum’s birthday.

    • Cake 'n' Knife — July 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm (#)

      That’s wonderful! I bet it will turn out great. 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

  5. Anna — July 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm (#)

    It turned out great and went down an absolute storm with the taste-testers! I converted the measurements to metric so I thought I would share them for other Brits/people who don’t use cups:

    ◦ Unsalted butter, room temp for pans (about 1 tbsp)
    ◦ 150g plain flour, plus more for pans
    ◦ 300g granulated sugar
    ◦ 100g cocoa powder
    ◦ ½ tbsp baking soda
    ◦ ¾ tsp baking powder
    ◦ Course salt
    ◦ 2 large eggs
    ◦ 200ml buttermilk
    ◦ 60ml plus 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
    ◦ 1 tsp vanilla

    ◦ 350g sticks unsalted butter
    ◦ 550g cups icing sugar
    ◦ 125g fresh, ripe strawberries, washed, stemmed, and hulled
    ◦ 1 ½ tsp vanilla

    I’ve rounded the amounts up where the conversions came to odd, unmeasurable amounts. The amount of strawberries was quite an estimation because, quite obviously, the amount of strawberries that fit into half a cup depend on how big they/the pieces are. Nonetheless, that texture of the buttercream was fine and it tasted great!

    • Cake 'n' Knife — July 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm (#)

      Oh great, I am so glad it turned out well! Thank you for the conversions – I appreciate the help with that! 🙂

    • Lorraine — July 31, 2013 at 11:38 am (#)

      These quantities are great as I’m from the UK. After my daughter requested “strawberry and chocolate” cake for her birthday I was thrilled to fine this recipe on Google. Hope it turns out like the picture.

  6. Name — November 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm (#)

    Can you use the frosting on cupcakes.

    • Cake 'n' Knife — November 19, 2013 at 8:05 am (#)

      Definitely! If you are piping the frosting, I would suggest adding one tablespoon of heavy cream or whole milk.

  7. Danielle — December 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm (#)

    Use just the icing recipe for a strawberry cake it was great. Tastes almost like Haagen Dazs strawberry ice cream. My son has requested this on his birthday cake now.

    • Cake 'n' Knife — December 9, 2013 at 8:04 am (#)

      So happy to hear that! Thank you!

  8. Echo — December 19, 2013 at 11:50 pm (#)

    The cake you made looks absolutely heavenly!

    Do you think I can make the cake ahead a couple of days, and then assemble them?

    thanks alot!

    • Cake 'n' Knife — December 20, 2013 at 7:48 am (#)

      Thank you! Since the cake is very moist, the cake will definitely last a couple days if you store it in an airtight container (or cover with plastic wrap).

  9. Alexandra — January 29, 2014 at 9:40 pm (#)

    GORGEOUS cake!! I plan to make it for valentines day, but cut it into a heart shape 🙂 — is there a way to adjust the recipe for two layers instead of three?

    • Cake 'n' Knife — January 30, 2014 at 8:22 am (#)

      What a great idea!! Share any pictures you take with me on Facebook or Instagram if you can! There are a couple ways you could do that. The first I would suggest is the easiest, when you are dividing the batter just divide in two instead of three. You will end up with a little extra frosting, but it’s probably the simplest route. Alternatively if you want your layers not to be as thick, you can cut the cake recipe by one-third (though that can be a little tedious if you aren’t great with math, like me!). Let me know how it goes!

  10. Lobna — January 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm (#)

    The cake looks amazing, however can i use butter or sunflower oil instead of the canola oil.
    thankyou 🙂

    • Cake 'n' Knife — January 30, 2014 at 1:26 pm (#)

      You can definitely use sunflower oil as a substitute! 🙂

  11. Jennifer — February 9, 2014 at 7:09 pm (#)

    Can you use frozen strawberries in this frosting?

    • Cake 'n' Knife — February 10, 2014 at 8:36 am (#)

      I think you can definitely use frozen strawberries! Just make sure you let them thaw completely and drain out any excess liquid before using them in the recipe. 🙂

  12. Phil — May 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm (#)

    My wife made this for our youngest daughter’s 3rd birthday cake … Phenomenal! Thank you for the recipe! Does the finished product need to be refrigerated?

    Thanks again!

    • Cake 'n' Knife — May 20, 2014 at 6:26 am (#)

      Sincere apologies for my delayed response – I would either consume within a couple days if you are leaving it out of the refrigerator. Otherwise, definitely refrigerate so it lasts longer!

  13. Sarah — June 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm (#)

    One trick I’ve learned with fresh strawberry buttercream is to start with more strawberries, then cook down the puree for 15 minutes on the stovetop (and cool before adding to the buttercream, of course). It allows you to really amp up the strawberry flavor without adding too much moisture to the frosting.

    Nice simple and quick chocolate cake recipe, I made this with my daughter for her fourth birthday!

    • Cake 'n' Knife — June 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm (#)

      What a fantastic idea! I am going to have to try that, thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  14. Rusty — June 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm (#)

    I made this for my wife’s birthday last year. It was such a hit, she and the kids have requested I make it again for this year’s birthday… so that’s what I’m doing this weekend. Great recipe!

    • Cake 'n' Knife — June 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm (#)

      Thank you so much! That means the world to me for you to say! 🙂

  15. Jessica — October 7, 2014 at 8:55 am (#)

    My daughter requested a chocolate cake with strawberry frosting for her 6th birthday this Saturday. Your recipe looks delicious! I need to make a cake and about 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes for her class. I’m wondering if I could skirt by with using the 3rd layer for cupcakes instead.

    • Meghan B. — October 7, 2014 at 6:17 pm (#)

      Oh thank you Jessica! I think you could definitely use this recipe, but I don’t think the third layer would be quite enough for 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes. I would suggest doubling the recipe to make sure you can make a two layer cake and that many cupcakes.

    • Jessica — October 13, 2014 at 7:33 am (#)

      Megahn — your cake was amazing!! I ended up making the cake Saturday and the cupcakes Sunday. My daughter, Jillian, helped with the cupcakes and put various colors of sprinkles on all of them.

      That frosting is SOOOO good! A little addictive, lol. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!


    • Meghan B. — October 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm (#)

      Thank you Jessica!!! I am SO glad you, and especially your daughter, enjoyed it!! 🙂

  16. Name — December 12, 2014 at 2:24 am (#)

    Oh my goodness, this looks delicious! I’m definitely making this! thanks for sharing!

  17. Manon — February 26, 2015 at 4:20 am (#)

    Meghan, this cake looks incredible and just perfect for my daughter’s 6th birthday! However, I’m a bit worried about the lacklustre taste of our winter strawberries – do you think I could amp the flavour by adding some freeze-dried ones in with the puréed fresh?

    • Meghan B. — March 2, 2015 at 4:58 pm (#)

      My sincere apologies for the delay in getting back to you Manon! I have been traveling and haven’t had a strong connection to login. You can definitely use freeze dried ones!! You may want to rehydrate them just a little with some water so it purees a little easier, but this is a great idea when strawberries aren’t in season. Love it!

  18. Cora Lee Monroe — April 17, 2015 at 5:01 pm (#)

    I found your recipe in Better Home an Gardens, March 2015.  The frosting called for 8 egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, salt,  Beat in a bowl over simmering water.  Add 6 sticks of  sticks of butter.  Really!!!  Why is so much salt and fat necessary?

    • Meghan B. — April 18, 2015 at 9:23 am (#)

      Hello Cora Lee! Unfortunately the recipe you found in Better Homes and Gardens was not my recipe. As you can see on my post, the frosting recipe only calls for 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter. I believe the recipe you found in the March 2015 issue was by Beth Kirby. You should be able to track that recipe down on the Better Homes and Gardens website. I do agree with you though – 6 cups of butter is a lot!

  19. mnmkutie — May 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm (#)

    Hi! I have a few questions
    1) is the buttercream frosting very heavy and thick or is it kinda watery?
    2) is the cake very sweet?
    3) do the flavors balance out well?
    4) is the cake very rich with chocolate? and is it heavy?
    Thank you and sorry for so many questions.

    • Meghan B. — May 17, 2015 at 8:54 am (#)

      Hello! No need to apologize, I am always happy to answer questions! The buttercream is more heavy and thick. The cake is sweet, but I would say the flavor is more chocolatey than sweet. The flavors do balance out well! Overall, it is a richer cake but the cake itself isn’t too dense. If there are any other questions I can answer, please let me know!

  20. Frank — May 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm (#)

    The frosting absolutely excellent.  The cake was good but seems to have come out a little drier than I expected.  I only baked 30 min @ 350 and it was done.  Should I have baked it for a shorter time?

    • Meghan B. — May 14, 2016 at 2:14 pm (#)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Sometimes ovens can be different so baking times can occasionally vary. For me, the cakes came out just right after 35 minutes on 350. You might want to try 25 minutes to see if that works better for your oven so the cakes end up more moist!

  21. penny — May 17, 2016 at 9:38 pm (#)

    Any reason to think that using frozen strawberries wouldn’t work well?

    • Meghan B. — May 18, 2016 at 7:12 am (#)

      Frozen strawberries should work just fine! I would just thaw them completely and then drain them before using them.

  22. Jennifer — July 17, 2016 at 2:11 pm (#)

    I made this cake a year ago for my daughter’s 3rd birthday and she loved it. Even when I am not making chocolate cake, I find I keep coming back to this recipe for the strawberry frosting. It is delicious and makes any cake feel more special.

    • Meghan B. — July 18, 2016 at 12:28 pm (#)

      Thank you so much Jennifer! It’s still my fav frosting recipe of all time 😉

  23. Stacy — September 23, 2016 at 6:47 pm (#)

    I was really excited to bake this for my daughter’s 4th birthday party (tomorrow, of course). But I set the timer for 35 minutes, got my kids into bed, and came back with 6 minutes to spare when I started smelling burnt chocolate. I pulled the cakes out and they were completely overdone, with baking for just 29 minutes. I am a good baker (should have trusted my instincts on the amount of time, sigh) and have good quality cake pans. I would highly recommend adjusting the bake time — probably to 20-24 minutes.

    • Meghan B. — September 26, 2016 at 4:18 pm (#)

      I’m so sorry to hear that Stacy! Unfortunately some ovens do vary in their cooking time occasionally. I haven’t heard about these cakes burning from others before, but I appreciate you bringing your experience to my attention!

  24. Sophia — November 26, 2016 at 7:03 am (#)

    Can I substitute whole milk for the buttermilk? What would be the difference?

    • Meghan B. — November 28, 2016 at 3:04 pm (#)

      If you can go for buttermilk, I would highly recommend doing so! The buttermilk makes the cake lighter and more tender. Otherwise you can add 3/4 Tbsp lemon juice to 3/4 cup whole milk. Let sit two minutes and then you’ll have a homemade buttermilk substitute!

  25. Tenley — May 2, 2017 at 10:40 am (#)

    This looks amazing – my son’s going to love it for his birthday! I’m not great at adjusting baking times from cake to cupcakes — how long should I bake cupcakes for? I’ll keep an eye on them regardless but a ballpark would be so helpful. Many thanks!

    • Meghan B. — May 2, 2017 at 12:17 pm (#)

      Hi Tenley! I would start with 20-23 minutes, to be safe. Might take a little longer but that will get you started!

  26. Elizabeth — September 29, 2017 at 11:22 am (#)

    I made this for my son’s 18th birthday today and the layers came out REALLY thin, I’m sure I used the proper amounts. Do you know why this may have happened? The batter seemed very runny and only filled a thin layer in each pan so they did rise a bit. But hhree layers stacked without frosting is only 1 3/4″ tall. Any ideas?

  27. Elizabeth M. — September 29, 2017 at 12:30 pm (#)

    I made this cake last night – the batter was very thin and didn’t fill the pans much and didn’t rise too much – three layers stacked w/out icing is about 1, 3/4″. I did see my baking powder had “expired” back in April so I’m going to try it again today with new. But if you have any feedback (like it’s supposed to be like that!) let me know! I’ll check in after my second batch and let you know how it turns out. Making for our son’s 18th today!

    • Meghan B. — September 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm (#)

      Hey Elizabeth! The first thing I was going to say was it sounds like your levener didn’t work! I am guessing the baking powder is the culprit because I’m not sure what else could have happened there. The layers aren’t huge but they should be closer to 1 inch per layer. Let me know how it turns out!! Happy birthday to your son!

  28. Virginia — April 16, 2018 at 11:43 pm (#)

    I made this last year for my daughter’s 3 year birthday and she talks about it all the time. Can I ice the cake the night before or is it better to do it morning of party? Can I make the frosting the night before!? I only made cake once a year!

    • Meghan B. — April 19, 2018 at 9:15 am (#)

      I prefer to ice the cake the day of the party! You can definitely make the frosting the night before – just make sure you store it in an airtight container!

  29. Beth — May 3, 2018 at 5:12 pm (#)

    Strawberry puree conversion:
    1 cup whole strawberries = 0.5 cup pureed strawberries

    I spent some time looking this up for myself, because we had gone strawberry picking, and I overzealously pureed the ones that got squished on the drive home… THEN I looked up the recipe for frosting and had no idea how many cups of whole strawberries I had pureed! Now I can measure out 1/4 C of puree, and know it’s pretty close to the 1/2 C of whole strawberries the recipe calls for.


  30. Jessica — October 18, 2018 at 5:10 am (#)

    I recently made this for a church function and was too embarrassed to even take it. My frosting came out like a strawberry lump of butter. It was almost the consistency of fondant and it was very oily. I have double checked the recipe and still can’t find what I did wrong, but apparently I didn’t do something right!

    • Meghan Y. — October 22, 2018 at 8:30 am (#)

      I am so sorry to hear that! I haven’t personally experienced this frosting getting that thick, but it could be due to a few different things. My first guess would be the butter was too cold when you started and it likely needed to be warmed and beat longer. This is a really great write up on saving broken buttercream –> (it happens to everyone at least once!)

  31. Pingback: Recipe Of The Week - Sound Planning Group

  32. Santini — February 17, 2019 at 5:30 pm (#)

    I’m pretty sure this tastes so delicious! I can’t wait to try this one on the weekend! Thank you for sharing!

Leave a Comment