This gorgeous Chocolate Cake with Strawberries is frosted with rich chocolate ganache, topped with lightly sweetened strawberries and decorated with a pretty lacey chocolate ring. An impressive cake for any occasion!
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This cake is a showstopper. The lacey chocolate ring is easy to make, but will wow your guests.
The 6-inch cake is egg-free, dairy-free, and sweetened with coconut sugar. It’s the perfect dessert for a chocoholic that can’t eat eggs or dairy. However, everyone will enjoy this cake; you won’t miss the traditional cake ingredients in this moist and impressive strawberry chocolate cake.
Of course, if you prefer a traditional 9-inch chocolate cake, you can make additional strawberry topping and make a bigger lace collar.
This is a recipe from a beautiful new cookbook by a good blogging friend, Deeba Rajpal. Her book, Passionate About Baking – Chocolate is a stunning cookbook that’s filled with pictures of artfully decorated chocolate desserts.
How to Make Egg-Free Chocolate Cake with Strawberries
This cake isn’t hard to make, however, planning the right steps will make things easier for you. Here is how I recommend making the cake components:
- Bake the cake and let it cool fully.
- Make the strawberries and let marinate.
- Make the chocolate ganache frosting and let it cool.
- Frost the sides and top of the cake.
- Make lace collar and let it stiffen slightly.
Then, to assemble the chocolate strawberry cake, follow these steps:
- Wrap the lace collar around the cake and place in the refrigerator to completely chill the lace.
- Remove the parchment paper from the lace.
- Scoop strawberries onto the top of the cake.
Tips for Making the Chocolate Cake
First, make sure that all of your cake ingredients are at room temperature. This helps things blend easily without having to overbeat the batter.
Note that because of the whole wheat flour, the batter will have a slightly grainy texture. This is normal and won’t affect the finished product.
Be careful not to over-mix the cake batter, as the flour can become tough with too much mixing.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting Tips
When making your ganache frosting, the cream should be heated just to a simmer. You should see bubbles consistently rising to the surface at the edges, but not a rolling boil.
When mixing the cream and chocolate, start stirring in small circular motions in the center of the bowl. As the ganache starts to form, you can stir in larger circles until the ganache is completely formed, smooth and creamy.
The ganache should be cooled before using it on the cake. It should be thick but soft and spreadable. If the ganache is too soft and warm, it will pour rather than spread. If the ganache is too cool, it will thicken and not spread.
But don’t worry if your ganache cools too much. You can simply warm it in the microwave. Heat it in 10-second intervals until warm and you are able to stir it again.
Decorating the Cake with Strawberries
It’s important to let the strawberries marinate as instructed. This allows the sugar to dissolve and the chia seeds to soften. Chia is a great ingredient here because it absorbs water and helps the berry mixture gel like jam.
The sugar and the lime juice will also turn into a nice glossy syrup that will be shiny on the strawberries.
If you don’t have chia seeds (they’re usually found in the baking aisle at the grocery store), you can omit them. The strawberry topping may be runnier, however.
How to Make Chocolate Lace to Decorate Cake
The chocolate lace piece around the outside of this layer cake is a true show-stopper. And it’s so easy to make. Here are some tips:
First, measure the circumference of your cooled cake and cut your parchment paper to the appropriate length.
Next, measure the height of your cake. Then draw a line across your parchment paper 1 inch higher than your cake. This will allow for the lace to stand taller than the cake and be more of a showpiece.
Then comes the fun part: making the lace. You do not have to be artistic. You can do a series of S’s or figure 8’s, squiggles, etc. The important part is that the chocolate overlaps periodically to provide stability and structure. If you go over the line you drew that is okay too, it’s just a guideline so your lace wrap looks evenly proportioned.
When wrapping your cake with the lace, the chocolate should be stiff and hold its shape but still flexible without breaking.
With the parchment still attached to the chocolate, wrap the chocolate lace around your cake. Gently press the chocolate against the sides of the cake so it adheres. Leave the parchment in place and chill the cake so the chocolate lace chills through and hardens, at least 30 minutes or more.
When you’re ready, remove your parchment by gently pulling it from the chocolate. It should remove easily. If you find a difficult spot, do not yank. Instead, brace the chocolate lace and pull a little firmer until it releases.
Assembling the Cake
To assemble this chocolate strawberry cake, start by spreading the ganache over the sides and top of the cake.
Next, add your lace collar as described above.
When you’re ready to serve the cake, scoop the strawberries in the center of the cake and stack to add some height. Garnish with fresh flowers and mint, optional.
Serve the cake at room temperature. This will help it have a soft crumb and a smooth and creamy ganache.
If the cake has been kept in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature for an hour before serving.
I recommend using a hot knife to cut the cake. This is primarily for the chocolate lace. Run a knife under hot water and then wipe it off. The blade should easily slice through the lace with no cracking.
More Chocolate Cake Recipes
If you’re looking for a more traditional chocolate cake, try these family-favorite recipes:
- Perfectly Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting is made with classic Hershey’s milk chocolate.
- Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Maraschino Cherry Filling is always a classic at birthday parties.
- Chocolate Cake with an Oreo Cheesecake Filling has a tangy surprise layer of whipped milk-and-cookies cheesecake.
Chocolate Cake With Strawberries
- 1 ¼ cup 160 grams whole wheat flour
- ½ cup 100 g brown sugar
- ¼ cup 45 g coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 200 ml coconut milk
- ¼ cup 60 ml brewed coffee, hot
- 3 tablespoons 45 ml oil
- 1 teaspoon vanila extract
- ½ cup 50 g cocoa powder
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- 1 cup 150 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup 250 ml heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ⅔ cup 100 g strawberries, quarter
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- juice of ½ a small lime
- ⅔ cup 100 g dark chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 6-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Gently heat the coconut milk, hot coffee and oil in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave in a heatproof bowl. Whisk in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix just until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until firm to the touch or a toothpick tester comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack in the pan for 15 minutes, then gently turn out to cool completely on the rack before frosting.
- Place the chocolate in a glass bowl. Heat the cream till hot but not boiling and pour over the chocolate.
- Allow to stand for 10-15 minutes until the chocolate softens, then add the honey and stir gently until smooth. Stir every 20 minutes until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
- Frost the sides and top of the cake.
- Stir together strawberries, chia seeds, brown sugar, and lime juice. Let stand for about 30 minutes at least to allow the berries to macerate (soften and soak up the sugar). Strain if the strawberries release too much liquid.
- Stir the melted chocolate until smooth and put it into a disposable piping bag.
- To make a lace collar for the cake, measure the height of the border that you would like, and the circumference of the cake. Cut a piece of parchment paper that size,
- Cut off a tiny hole on the end of the piping bag and squiggle patterns with the melted chocolate.
- Wait for it to almost set, where the paper is still flexible and the chocolate is not set hard. Wrap it around the cake and press gently to the frosted sides so that the pattern sticks to the sides.
- Refrigerate cake to set, about 30 minutes.
- Gently peel parchment paper from lace collar.
- Top with macerated strawberries.
- Slice with a knife dipped in hot water.