Six-Layer Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Buttercream Cake

Six-Layer Chocolate & Strawberry Buttercream Cake via Sweetapolita

Well, since my last post, I aged a year . . . yes, a year! I celebrated my birthday this past weekend, and, although we kept it cozy here at home, I couldn’t resist baking two different cakes. The truth is, I couldn’t decide what to bake, and since it was just going to be my little family, and I wanted to spend some time relaxing,  I didn’t want to get too fancy or crazy, but I still couldn’t decide what to make. Sadly (sort of), I can’t blog about the first cake I made because we (and by “we” I mean “I”) ate most of it and it was quickly out of the running to be photographed. If you’re curious what it was, I found the recipe here. It was delicious and intense in its chocolate-ness, and it had been on my mind for months. It was a perfect opportunity to give it a try! This 6-Layer Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Buttercream Cake was the second cake I made, and I made it because I wanted to bake a different version of the one-bowl dark chocolate cake I normally use, and I was craving Strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream. It’s really a simple combination, but I love the deep, dark chocolate cake paired with the light, creamy strawberry buttercream. The strawberry version of the buttercream is simply a matter of adding strawberry puree or fresh strawberries to your vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. I don’t make this version as much I should, actually, and it gave me a much-needed hit of strawberry and chocolate!

I couldn’t resist splitting the 3 layers into 6, since it’s a fast and easy way to create some drama in an otherwise classic birthday cake, and of course it’s a chance to include that much more Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I don’t think I could do this with a sugary frosting, as it would just be too much sweet (and, yes, I really do think there’s such as thing!), but it works well with this cloud-like, and not-too-sweet buttercream. As with the Rich Chocolate Cake recipe I use so often, this is a simple one-bowl recipe that offers a dark, super moist, and chocolate-y cake made with oil and my favourite extra dark cocoa powder: Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Dark. I love the intensity of this cocoa powder, both in its flavour and colour, and it really comes through in this cake. You may notice that I can’t stop baking with it!

Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Cake via Sweetapolita

I topped the cake with a dark and shiny (and simple) glaze, made with my favourite Callebaut Belgian bittersweet dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) callets, which also have a touch of real vanilla in them, and butter melted over a pot of simmering water. A quick and yummy way to add another hit of chocolate to the cake. I love this chocolate! I use it for brownies, ganache, buttercream, and more. It comes in callet form (like chips), which is so easy to melt without having to chop from a huge block. If you’re not a huge fan of such dark chocolate, you can always use semisweet, or in some cases milk chocolate. I use milk chocolate sparingly in baking because I find it so sweet, but there is definitely a time and a place for it–especially when it’s Belgian milk chocolate. In any case, I tend to use the extra dark variety in most cases.

For those of you who have requested a few more caking-baking tips, I’ve included a few below, and you can also refer to one of my earlier posts on the subject, 50 Tips for Baking Better Cakes.

Here is the recipe for all of the components of this cake–use them all, or any of them on their own, or mixed and matched with some of your other favourite recipes!

Six-Layer Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Buttercream Cake

Yield: One 6-layer, 6-inch round cake


    For the Cake:
  • 1-1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/3 cups (275 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) dark cocoa powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons (6 g) baking soda
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons (6 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 140 ml (5 liquid oz) buttermilk
  • 130 ml (4.5 liquid oz) espresso or strong, hot brewed coffee
  • 75 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • For the Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 5 large, fresh egg whites (150 g)
  • 1-1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks)(340 g) butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml)(or to taste) strawberry puree OR a handful (about 1 cup, or more to taste) of fresh, washed, and dried strawberries, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • few drops pink food colouring (optional)
  • For the Glaze:
  • 4 oz (115 g) high quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or callets
  • 1/3 cup (76 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes


    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C). Prepare three 6-inch round cake pans with butter, parchment paper rounds, and flour or cocoa powder. Tap out excess.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splash-guard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pans. If possible, use digital kitchen scale and weigh pans for even layers. Batter will be liquidy.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs, about 30 minutes total. Try not to over-bake.
  5. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
  6. For the Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  7. If using strawberry puree, place a handful of frozen strawberries in a food processor, and process until a smooth puree. Measure approximately 1/4 cup and set aside (you may want to add more puree to taste).
  8. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  9. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so). *Don't begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.
  10. Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and continue mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
  11. Add strawberry puree to taste or the finely chopped strawberries, and blend until combined. Add small amount of pink food colouring, if desired.
  12. For the Glaze:
  13. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth. *Be careful to not get even a droplet of water into your bowl of chocolate and butter.
  14. Assembly of the Six-Layer Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Buttercream Cake
  15. Slice the 1st cake layer in half horizontally, using a large serrated knife and place cut side up on your cake board, pedestal, or plate.
  16. Using a small offset palette knife, spread approximately 1/2 cup of buttercream evenly on the top.
  17. Repeat this with remaining cake layers, until you come to the final layer, which you will place face-down on the top of the cake.
  18. Place cake on a turntable (if possible), and using a small offset palette knife for the top of the cake, and medium straight palette knife for the sides, cover the cake in a thin layer of buttercream to seal in crumbs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or more). *This does not need to be perfect, as that will come with the top "coat" of buttercream.
  19. Repeat the previous step and for best results, use bench scraper held at 90° against the side of the cake, slowly turning the turntable and keeping your hand steady--let the turntable do the work. Clean up edges with your small offset palette knife.
  20. Chill cake.
  21. If glazing the cake, make the glaze and set aside for a few moments to cool a bit. Pour glaze over chilled cake, smoothing the top with a clean small offset palette knife.
  22. Chill again to set.
  23. *Bring to room temperature before serving--about 2+ hours. Never serve Swiss Meringue Buttercream until it is soft and room temperature.

For more about making Swiss Meringue Buttercream (and troubleshooting), you may enjoy reading these previous posts: Swiss Meringue Buttercream Demystyfied and Inside-Out Neapolitan Cupcakes & More About Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

A Few More Steps to Baking/Making Better Cakes

1. I always use a kitchen scale to weigh my ingredients. They’re small, light, and don’t have to be fancy or expensive; here is what I use: Salter 1020 Aquatronic Electronic Kitchen Scale. It’s just a great habit to get into. You wouldn’t believe the difference in what one person may scoop as a cup of flour, versus another, and weighing it to the exact gram/oz is your safest bet. Having too much flour can sure dry out a cake in a hurry, just as too little will throw it off kilter. I really believe that using a scale is one of the habits that made me a much better baker, and definitely more consistent. Trust me! I even use mine to weigh my coffee grinds for a perfect pot, my serving portions (when I’m eating clean), homemade burgers, and when dividing batches of pizza dough, etc.

2. You may notice that I bake “layer by layer,” so rather than baking a higher cake and slicing layers for a standard 3-layer cake, I bake 3 more shallow layers in 2″ high pans. This way, the cakes seem to come out more moist, with no “doming,” and ready to be frosted. It may seem an inconvenience at first, because you have to buy 3 cake pans in each diameter, but you get used to it quickly, and it’s so worth it. You also save the time trying to slice even layers, unless of course you are turning 3 layers into 6. But, then again, that’s worth it too!

3. Never open the oven before 20 minutes, or you could disrupt the baking process. Always wait 20 minutes, and then, if you’re baking 3 cake layers at a time, rotate the pans and then continue baking.

4. There are a few tools that I mention in almost every post, and since I’ve been receiving many emails asking more about the cake baking/decorating essentials, I thought I would take this chance to create a list of some of my favourite things in the kitchen, and things that I believe really make a difference:

I hope that helps those of you who were curious! See you soon with another baked treat.

Good luck & enjoy!


Share the Sweetness!


  1. says

    A baking marvel it is! Love the chocolaty drizzle over the gorgeous cake and the layers…Mmmm I don’t think I will ever be able to cut my cake this perfectly. Simply awesome both the cake and the clicks.

  2. Kathy says

    Fantastic!! Love the colors, the photos (as always) and I want to taste that so bad…once again thank you for all the great tips!!!

  3. says


    You are a cake GENIUS. Think I may go with your suggestion of buying separate cake tins for different layers. Though I’m positive I will never be as good a decorator as you are, hahaha.

  4. says

    Wow! This looks and sounds AMAZING! The Swiss Meringue Buttercream looks just like the frosting from my favorite bakery. Can’t wait to try it. Will have to try raspberry instead of strawberries though (allergic).

    P.S. I found you through a TastyKitchen tweet. ;)

  5. says

    This cake is so beautiful! I love it. You need (pretty please) to post more cupcakes!! I can’t even imagine the shenanigans you’d come up with! <3

  6. says

    Oh wow! This cake looks sinfully good! It is so amazing, and I’m sure taste fabulous! I love the chocolate drizzle on top of the frosting. It’s the perfect touch to a gorgeous cake.

    I am definitely adding this to my “Need to Bake” list!

    ♥ Kate

  7. LaToya says

    I should be sleeping (2:54am) yet here I am drooling over your gorgeous cake! Amazing job! Oh, and thanks for the tip about always serving Swiss Meringue Buttercream at room temp. I am making a farewell cake and was wondering it SMB would be a good choice. I love your blog!!!

    • says

      Melanie, what do you mean by “the baking chips?” I don’t recommend using regular chocolate chips for ganache, or in this cake a glaze. When I mentioned the bittersweet callets above, those are 70% cocoa solids from Belgian in callet (look like chocolate chips) form unique to Callebaut. You would want to use a good quality chocolate for best results.

      • says

        I used the Scharffen Berger 70% bittersweet cacao baking chunks. Excellent chocolate but I was so unhappy with the result, especially given the fact that the 6 oz. bags are $8 each! Thanks for replying!

        • says

          I don’t blame you; that’s too bad! I wonder what happened? I have used other brands as well, and it did seem to work fine. Were you doing ganache with heavy cream, or more of this kind of glaze?

          • says

            I did a traditional ganache with the heavy cream. I’m thinking that the baking chunks have some kind of ingredient to solidy the chocolate. I usually use the Guittard chocolate without issue. Ah well, next time!

  8. Amy says

    Rosie, once again an amazing cake! Can’t wait to make it myself.
    ps. Thank you so much for introducing me to swiss meringue buttercream. I made it for the first time last week and can’t believe how light it is and how much easier it is to decorate with. xoxoxo

  9. says

    Splitting the 3 layers into 6 was a great idea, it definitely adds a lot of drama to the cake. Gorgeous! I still have yet to make swiss buttercream, it’s next on the list!

  10. says

    Happy Belated Birthday Rosie!!! WOW – DID YOU CELEBRATE IN STYLE!!! this is absolutely gorgeous . . . someday, i’d like to attempt a layer cake like this one; i’m not a baker and not nearly crafty enough to do all the swirls, twirls and fancy piping you talented women do BUT i think i might be able to bake a cake like this one and have it turn out somewhat decent!! xo

  11. Jenny @ Hank + Hunt says

    Happy Belated Birthday Rosie!! What a gorgeous cake! I’m seriously drooling over here…YUM!

  12. Mary Sanavia says

    Happy birthday!!! (of course, that cake could only make it better!). My birthday is coming up too and I was thinking of making a cake exactly like this, but using blackberry buttercream…so funny!. Your pictures look delicious as always.

  13. Janice Clarke-Reiter says

    Beautiful! I’ll give it a try sometime soon. Rosie, can you use fresh strawberries instead of frozen to make the puree? Also, when you add the puree to the buttercream, should the puree be at room temperature? Happy belated birthday!

  14. says

    OMG! What a gorgeous cake. I’m searching for birthday cakes for my boyfriend, I don’t think a pink cake suits his tastes, but thanks for the idea!

  15. says

    I just love the look of this cake, how simple in appearance yet so strikingly beautiful! I would love to have a slice! Gorgeous photos too! :)

  16. thisoldbroad says

    Now THAT is a pretty cake! I’m quite done with all the fondant covered cakes, hopefully they are on the way out. This cake looks very tasty from top to bottom.

  17. says

    OH! your gorgeous cakes always make me feel as though I am looking into a Norman Rockwell Painting! Your talent is HUGE, and I never tire of your beautiful sweets :)

  18. says

    I absolutely adore the creativity of this cake! The flavors must blend so perfectly without it being too sweet. I wanted to point out that it looked like you were going to recommend a brand of dark cocoa powder, but it must have gotten cut off. Thank you for great photos, a great cake, and a great walk-through on how to layer it.

  19. says

    Happy birthday, Rosie! I always find that I end up baking myself more than one cake for my birthday – regardless of how many are being served – because I can never decide what I want, either XD

    This strawberry-frosted cake sounds incredible. You’re making me want to make more fruity buttercreams, too!

    Oh, and the glaze on top is simply stunning.

  20. says

    Well Happy (belated) Birthday Lady!! Boy oh boy, that cake looks amazing…right up my alley (although every cake you’ve made, has been right up my alley ;) Birthday Hugs coming your way!

    Jamie :)

  21. says

    What an absolutely gorgeous cake! I LOVE it! I recently make strawberry buttercream for my daughter’s first birthday but I wasn’t willing to go with just a little strawberry puree so I cut up strawberries and cooked them down to about 1.4 of their original volume and added that to straight butter/sugar/vanilla buttercream and it came out extremely well. VERY rich flavour of strawberries.

    This cake is very similar to my absolute favourite chocolate mocha cake that I make every year for my husband’s birthday and I imagine the combo of flavours was just divine. So happy birthday!

  22. Amanda says

    I am curious how you get your layers to stay so straight. The last layer cake I made was 4 layers and once I stacked and frosted it, it went into the fridge over night. The next day I cut it and the edges had sloped down. Do you have any advice for me?

    • says

      Amanda, if you chill the layers before frosting, that helps. I have also frosted cakes with soft, room temperature layers and although they do slope down, I truly don’t mind that so much. If it does bother you, then I would definitely chill them for about an hour or so first. Hope that helps!

  23. Aaisha says

    Oohhh I can’t wait to try this! I have been using your regular staple chocolate like the one for the smores cake, but sometimes it caves in the middle. Hah it sort of resembles an ‘inny’ belly button. It’s usually no problem because I even it out when I’m trimming off the dome, but maybe this cake will work better for me. I’m making another smores cake this weekend (my friends are always requesting it) so fingers crossed! Both one bowl chocolates have a similar taste right? Thanks!

  24. says

    Happy Birthday! Your blog is just lovely, and I’m so glad that I stumbled upon it. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. This post is making me drool!

  25. Leeann says

    Thanks for all the hints and beautiful cakes. I made the Neapolitan cake for my granddaughter’s birthday and couldn’t get that smooth finish like yours. Never thought to use the bench scraper! I did buy the Fat Daddio’s turntable last month and absolutely love it! Makes frosting the cake so much easier. Wish I could get my layers cut more evenly though…

  26. says

    I found you through a post recognizing you in Oh My! Handmade Goodness! Your blog is beautiful… as are you cakes and your adorable girls! Such love here in everything you do. I could spend hours floating around your blog. I don’t bake, but love to cook (I’m italian… LOL!), although, I might try to bake after seeing these incredible cakes!!!!

    Cute, cute, cute!

    A cookbook would be beautiful!!!!

    thanks for sharing your love of baking!

  27. Karen Lawson says

    TO YOU ROSIE, Wishing you the happiest of birthdays filled with love, laughter, presents, & CAKE!
    Cheers to the THINK PINK beaute,,,,now you are compelling me to run to a bakery cause I want a piece of happy pink cake, with some sultry Dark Chocolate on top!!1

  28. says

    Rosie, I hope you had a most wonderful birthday. I made this cake and used homemade cherry preserves instead of strawberries in the frosting. It was delicious. :)

    By the way, do you put use a 6″ cake board or a larger one? How do you transport it since it’s so tall and skinny compared to 8/9″ cake? It seems to want to topple over. Thank you.

  29. says

    Hey! I’m researching ganache recipes and your site is where I came first!! So I’ve noticed you make the chocolate glaze and ganache. I’m needing ganache to drizzle on a cake like the one in this post. Would the glaze be a better option? I’ve never made either.

    • says

      Lydia, you could make either a ganache or glaze to top a buttercream cake like this one–it’s completely personal preference and, sometimes, what you have in your refrigerator/pantry at the time you need it! The ganache uses whipping cream (heavy cream) and chocolate, and the glaze uses butter and chocolate. I use the Callebaut bittersweet callets that, when melted, are so shiny and wonderful that when combined with butter (and if you like, a bit of light corn syrup), it’s the perfect consistency for topping a cake. A ganache is also wonderful, though, so it’s basically just personal preference. Good luck!

  30. Hannah says

    Just made this. Its delish! But my cake looks nothing like the ones you made. Oh well, I guess perfect cakes take practice :)

  31. says

    Your chocolate cake recipe sounds amazing, but there is one problem for me….I don’t drink coffee. Do you have a suggestion as far as a substitution? I know it will change the flavor, so it won’t be exactly the same, but perhaps something else that can give a punch of flavor and not change the consistency of the cake. Or is there no hope for me? :(

    • says

      Hi Jacquie! Would it comfort you to know that I absolutely promise you won’t taste the coffee? It truly just enhances the flavour of the chocolate, and I know this because I have served it to many who challenge that idea, and say it’s incredible and it simply tastes very chocolatey. If you’re really against the coffee for caffeine reasons, you can add a nice rich decaf coffee to it, or, just hot water. The hot water won’t bring out the chocolate the way the coffee would, but it will still taste great! Good luck!

      • Anna says

        This cake looks so perfect and beautiful, I decided to make it for my sisters birthday tomorrow. I only had a 10 inch pan but since we will be 15 people I doubled the recipe and decided to make 8 layers. Unfortunately the mixture rises a lot. Each baked batch looks like a little vulcano and I really don´t know how to cut 8 even layers. Please tell me there is a solution to prevent this from happening next time because there definetely will be a next time: this cake is so yumm!
        thanks for the amazing idea!

  32. Liz says

    First, Happy Birthday! I read this before lunch, dreamed (obsessed) about it during work all day, made it this evening = amaaaaaazzzzing. My first swiss meringue and it turned out beautifully, thanks to your copious notes and tips! Can I ask where you attended culinary or patissier school?

    • says

      Thank you, Liz! I’m so glad your Swiss buttercream turned out well! It’s really such a staple, and there are endless ways of flavouring it. I took all of my baking/cake decorating courses at Bonnie Gordon College in Toronto, but since then it’s really been a lot of experimenting and self-teaching. Thanks again for the kind words!

  33. Keira says

    Hi, I love this cake and I tried to make the swiss meringue strawberrybuttercream but it didn’t work for me. I followed the recipe to the T but have no idea what went wrong. I think the mixture split but I tried to get it back via mixing as you suggest and it never worked. This is probably a massive ask but I think it would have helped if I had a picture of what it should look like in the mixing process e.g. before adding the strawberries. I will have to try again but thought you might be able to shed some light on my mistakes. Great website by the way, I love visiting your blog and seeing your creations.

  34. Vanessa says

    Happy belated birthday Rosie!! Many of my favourite people (e.g., hubby, dad and bro) are born in July and you’re def. one of my faves in the online cake world!

    How does this choc cake taste in comparison to your usual rich & dark choc cake and the choc fudge cake receipe you recently posted on aug 4?

    As a novice baker, I wondered whether you usually use a knife to cut your 3 layers into 6 or a cake leveler?

    • says

      Thanks so much, Vanessa! To answer your question about the 2 chocolate cakes, they are very similar. It seems most one-bowl chocolate cakes are very similar, and these 2 are definitely so. I did find it just a bit more fudgy with its ratios of liquid to dry, and I really liked it. As for layering, I only do it with a knife, but I found that the knife itself was key to success there. I use a mac serrated knife, and it’s seriously sharp and precise. I did try one of those levelers, but I just didn’t like it for some reason. It’s completely personal preference, though. I felt more in control with the knife, and maybe I was just determined to do it that way. I hope that all helps!

  35. says

    Thank you for this wonderful inspiration! I tried to make this cake today, and it turned out wonderful. This was the first time I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream and it really was a lot easier than I’d thought. I used raspberry instead of strawberry and the buttercream is delightfully tart and tasty. My chocolate wasn’t thin enough so I didn’t get quite the beautiful drops you did, but I’m still happy with how it turned out:

    • ceri says

      Yours looks like mine! I had the same problems with the chocolate pouring – like yours mine was thick and protruded far too much – decided to remove it and remix with less butter. Still not happy with my pouring as it lumpy at the top and chocolate has dulled.

  36. says

    I’m late to the party. Happy Birthday. This cake is so beautiful! Perfect in every way. I wish I could bake like you. I think I am a great cook but a so-so baker. I have to learn to slow down a bit and not get distracted.

    • says

      Sorry, Viyan, nevermind the vanilla cake comment–I thought this question came in under a different cake post. Yes, this is certainly sturdy enough for under fondant, in my opinion. I have used this type of cake under fondant many times, and it works well. Hope this helps!

  37. Jennifer says

    Hi! This cake looks so amazing. I tried my hand at making the strawberry swiss meringue buttercream for the first time, and it turned out beautifully…until I added the pureed strawberries. I, too, used frozen strawberries, then pureed them, and after I added the strawberries to incorporate them, the buttercream started to look like curds and I kept beating, hoping it would come back together, but no success. I wonder if you may know what went wrong? I definitely used more than 1/4 cup of puree. Should I have let the puree warm to room temperature completely? It was definitely still cold when I added it. Thanks for your help!

    • says

      Hi Jennifer,
      It sounds as though you did indeed add too much. If you introduce too much liquid, the buttercream will lose its stability. I always keep puree to 1/4 cup or less, but if you do want to try adding more, I would recommend adding it by tablespoon increments. Hope this helps!

      • Esha Shrestha says

        Yes, i had the same problem with the buttercream. I got overexcited and added, way over 1/4 cup puree and the buttercream turned out a very watery, unfluffy consistency. I was wandering if next time i could puree the strawberries and cook them to make it thicker and then add it to the buttercream to get a stronger flavor.
        Another problem i experienced was the glaze. Once it dried it became hard and stiff and upon cutting the cake it detached from the frosting and broke like shards of glass. Is this because my frosting was too watered down?
        The one bowl cake was great. It was soft and crumbly…and tasted so good. I will definitely be adding it to my favorite list.
        By the way i love the cakes you bake. They are all so pretty and just about complicated enough to be challenging, in a good way for me. So Thank you.

  38. Allan says

    Beautiful cake. Thanks for the recipe. I’m making this for my friend’s birthday this October. I hope I can pull it off. Thanks again for the recipe.

  39. Gaby says

    Hi Rosie! I looove your cakes… Have you try to put melted chocolate (or chocolate chunks) in the batter? Do you think it will work?


  40. Stacey says

    Hey Rosie,
    Thanks for the awesome recipe. I was wondering if I could possible freeze this cake and then let it defrost when it comes time to decorate?

  41. Liisi says

    Hey! The cake looks absolutely delicious! I wanted to ask wether I could substitute the vanilla extract with something else? Because they do not sell it in my coutry at all (how crazy is that?)! Can i just add vanilla sugar instead?

  42. Becca says

    I made this chocolate cake recipe for my 3 year old nephew’s birthday yesterday. It is hands down the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever made, and I have made more than a few in my life! I followed the recipe exactly, even weighing the dry ingredients and couldn’t be happier with the results. Only thing is, this recipe seems to rise quite a lot – I used a Wilton 3D train cake pan and filled it almost to the brim according to the pan instructions, but the cake volcanoed out of the vent hole in the top which has never happenend to me before! Fortunately I had the pan inside another pan that was lined with foil, so I just left it to bake as normal and the cake turned out great – even the batter that spilled out baked up beautifully and tasted good!

    I also used your ruffling technique to make an Ariel doll cake for my niece (also yesterday – it was busy!) and I love it! So simple and yet so pretty!

  43. says

    Hi Rosie,
    I am absolutely loving your blog because of lot of reasons, one of them is your experiments on cakes, I have a question, i tried a similar recipe, ina garten chocolate cake, just a difference in rations, ingredients are same, i also tried hersheys perfectly chocolate chocolate cake but i have couple of problems, they are very very soft, crumbly, big holes and tastes something like baking soda or powder, not sure what i am doing wrong, we have hintz cocoa powder available here and thats what i use. I really want to perfect my receipe for one bowl quick chocolate cake with oil. any help woiuld be appreciated. Thinking of giving one more try to this one.Thanks

  44. Vicki says

    I love your recipes and wanted to attempt this chocolate cake for my daughters birthday. We don’t have Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Dark in the stores here that I can see. Is there a good substitue you can recommend? As well since it is a stronger flavored cocoa that you use would the ratio change if using another cocoa instead?

    • says

      Hi Vicki,
      If you can get the best quality cocoa available, it will make a big difference. I’m not sure where you’re located, but here in Canada we have a brand called “Frye’s,” and it’s sold in grocery stores, but is better than most other grocery-store brands. If you can find a dark cocoa, that is ideal. Hope that helps!

      • Vicki says

        Hi Rosie,
        I am in Ontario but have never seen that cocoa before, unfortunately. I tried the cake with Fryes today and had my family try it. They all loved it so it will be made for the party. :-)
        Found a place online to order the cocoa you use so am looking forward to making it with that!
        Wonderful recipe and site!

  45. Stéphanie says

    THANK YOU ROSIE!!! Hadn’t it been for your detailed tips and notes, I am not sure I would have tackled this SMB… but I did! And it turned out looking just like the one on the photo I and sure feel like a pro! I have two questions. Since it is made of butter, will it be really hard when it comes out of the refrigerator or will the eggs and sugar prevent this? Can this be prepared ahead and frozen for a few weeks? Thank you again for everything!

  46. Sabrina says

    There was a party at my sister’s High School this week so I made her this cake to bring with her. I found the cake to be very rich and very delicious! I made the SMB the night before I was going to assemble it and I didn’t have any problems whipping it up at all! The next day when I went to re-whip it, however, it just started curdeling more and more. I was ready to toss it, but after following Rosie’s tips on SMB it came together beautifully!! I didn’t get to taste the assembled cake but the chocolate cake and the SMB tasted great seperately. I also made a cake with the extra batter and used it for an ice cream cake :)

  47. ceri says

    I sucessfully made the cake but struggled with the chocolate pouring. Firstly with the high amount of butter the mix was thick and upon pouring the chocolate set very quick down the sides and was thick lumps more like huge blobs so didnt look like soft like yours. I did manage to remove most of it and melted more chocolate with a “touch” of butter. Did pour better this time but again looked lumpy at the top. Yours is also incrediably shiny, I would of thought this would be tempered chocolate more than a butter mix. My chocolate was dull.

    • says

      Ceri, did you melt the butter & chocolate in a bowl over low (simmering) water until smooth? It should be completely melted and glossy before you use it. The butter is what actually gives it a nice shiny finish, so I would recommend sticking with the ratios I included, if you’re hoping for that affect. That being said, the chocolate glaze does thicken once it cools, but it should still be very smooth–it just won’t be as shiny. Just a note that the tempered chocolate is for when you’re looking for hard chocolate to have a nice shine and “click” when it breaks, such as a chocolate bar or treats in a chocolate mold.

  48. Kt says

    WOW Rosie, I have just found your blog and I am hooked! Decided to start with this cake (but did it with Raspberry frosting) so Delicious! Next I think the Strawberry Ice-cream parlour cake…. thank you. And my husband thanks you too!

  49. ximyana says

    wowwwww!!! ol ur cakes r sooooo greatttt n they luk amazingggg… i did try bakin ur chocolate cake but it jus wudnt rise.. it was very flat.. any idea y dat may have happned? but it tasted soooo guddddd.. olso frm where im around i cant get buttercreamm.. any substitute? plsssssssssssss

    • Stephanie says

      3/4 cup of milk with 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes, you will see the milk turn sour. I had no buttermilk in the fridge so this is what I did and it turned out fine.

  50. Lyndsey says


    I love your blog! This cake was my daughter’s first birthday cake, but I made it a 3-tier cake (4″, 6″, 8″) with the top tier being the baby’s cake. I also decorated it with some self-made fondant cherry blossoms. It was a HUGE hit with everyone. The soft pink and chocolate brown fit perfect with the cherry-blossom theme and the taste was phenomenal. We are believers in SMB now, thanks again!

  51. Stephanie says

    OMG!!! I tried only the chocolate cake part tonight and it is definitely a keeper! It is moist, dark and rich! I did it with my new/first stand mixer and I think that the fact that it stirred it slowly put an end to my sinking cake problem (overmixing problem I guess…) hurray! For those who wonder about the coffee, there is no distinct taste of coffee to the cake, just rich chocolaty flavor. Thank you!

  52. montserrat castro says

    I made the cake and it turn out great! the frosting was good until I started to add the butter it got watery I put in the fridge just like you said, but it didn’t work :( I dont know what I did wrong….

    • says

      Sorry to hear that! Was your butter very cold, or did you have it at room temperature? I wish I could be of more help, but it’s hard without knowing the exact steps you took. I wish you the best of luck next time!

  53. MMR says

    I made this cake, but substituted a vanilla cake for the chocolate cake (per request) and it was a hit! Thank you for sharing!

  54. Elysse says

    I just tried to make this for my moms bday. I followed each direction. The cake turned out okay but the frosting just was runny. No matter how many times I chilled it it remained watery. I am so frustrated with this cake. What can I do?

  55. Manuel says

    Hello. Is it possible to use other fruits instead of Strawberry? Which ones would you suggest?
    Thanks a lot from Cuba

    • says

      Hi Manuel,
      You can use almost any fruit puree you like, such as mango, passionfruit, raspberry, etc. You can use fresh raspberries or blackberries, but I don’t recommend blueberries. I hope this helps!

  56. NIcole says

    Made this over the weekend and it tasted great! But i do have one question…When i baked the cake it came out very “hole-y”” Not soft or fluffy. Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Or did i do something wrong?
    Thanks so much!
    You cakes are amazing!
    always wanted to go to the Bonnie Gordon School and check it out :)

  57. Erica says

    I’ve been drooling over this recipe for a while now and am going to finally attempt it this weekend. Sadly, I don’t have a fancy stand mixer (yet). If I use my little hand mixer (two beaters, two speed settings) for this recipe, am I doomed to failure?

  58. Niyati says

    Love love love everything on your blog… have been absolutely terrified of trying SMB but after going through your website finally found the guts to try it…
    All seemed to be going great… made the strawberry Buttercream… bought a can of epicure strawberries in light syrup(canned), pureed just the strawberries that were there and added them to the buttercream… smelt lovely but when i tasted it all i got was a very bland buttery flavor… I should also add that i used salted butter… and i did put more that the written 1/4 cup of strawberry puree.. what do u think could be the problem and how can i fix it…

  59. Willow says

    Good evening,

    Just a little comment from France to tell you that I find your website really beautiful. I found it by chance et I’ve never seen recipes like yours before. All your cakes, cupcakes (and more) seem delicious. I admire the quality of your work.

    I wish you all the best for your project.

  60. Hana.Vu says

    Hi! I was just searching for birthday cake recipes and found out your beautiful and fancy website. I really love the theme colours (which I think mainly pink, white and blue)
    For this recipe, what would happen if I don’t use pink food colouring? would the cream turn out pink, cuz you used strawberries?

  61. kai says

    i would like to ask, is it okay if i leave out the vanilla extract? I have been looking for this ingredient around but it’s difficult to get.

  62. Irma says

    Hi Rosie,
    I’m not done assembling this cake yet… but if I keep taste-testing and giggling and repeating my taste QA process… there won’t be anything left to assemble!!
    Thank you for such a delicious recipe. My buttercream turned out so well! it didn’t curdle at all, or separate. Just smooth and dreamy. What did I do right (or wrong)? The first time I made buttercream with another recipe, I kept beating and beating and beating till the curdled mixture came together. It didn’t taste as light as this recipe here.
    I used frozen strawberry puree, and LorAnn’s raspberry extract with some pink food colouring. I’m OH so happy. Just wanted to say Thank you!!!

    Back I go again. No. I won’t taste anymore. Or will I? =D

  63. Karen says

    Thanks so much for your detailed, goof proof, directions! I made my first fondant cake with your strawberry Swiss icing and it was a hit! I told everyone to check out your blog!

  64. says

    I made this cake for my sister’s birthday last year and it was a hit. I was surprised at how easy it was; I usually bake mixes and then frost with homemade frosting. Now I might just go from scratch for the whole process.

    A friend of mine has asked me to bring (several dozen) cupcakes to her wedding this August and I immediately thought of using this recipe again. I’ll make a trial batch this weekend to get the bake time right. Do you think this recipe will freeze well enough to premake all the cupcakes and frost just before the event?

  65. ann says

    will the buttercream come out alright if I use only the whisk attachment and don’t switch to a paddle attachment when adding the butter or will I whip in too much air? (The mixer I have is a magic mill – It comes with one bowl that works with a paddle attachment and a separate bowl for the whisk attachment, so it’s not just a matter of switching the attachment… one would have to transfer the beaten egg whites to another bowl to switch to the paddle attachment.)

  66. Daisy says

    Hey, that looks delicious mmmm … I want to do it now! :-D a question you have some video of how will the decoration of the cake with melted chocolate up? I made one a day was a disaster :,( and I returned all of chocolate so I’m only up, not if everything everywhere, you can give me a tip on this i would appreciate a lifetime! thanks for sharing these delicious cakes are best THOUSAND KISSES ARE ONLY … AND THANK YOU AGAIN!

  67. judi salasin says

    I love the one bowl chocolate cake. I was wondering if you have ever tried a creme de menthe filling and if so would it work with this cake and do you have a recipe for this?
    Thanks, You are the best!

  68. Ana says

    I don’t know if this is located somewhere else on your site but do you have any suggestions for high altitude? Any suggestions for changes in this recipe?

  69. says

    I made this cake yesterday for a friend’s little girl who LOVES strawberries! I only made two 8″ layers, but it was still divine! Thanks so much for a beautiful recipe and an inspiring website!

    P.S. I posted a pic on instagram of my efforts (@daisyrooandtwo)

  70. Leslie says

    I just made this cake for my neice’s 15th birthday. Super easy! Loved how quick and simple it was to make. And it was absolutely delicious! Thanks for yet another cake recipe that was perfect!

  71. Chloe says

    Heya was just wondering how i could make just a buttercream icing with the strawberries. I am allergic to eggs so can’t make the meringue icing.

  72. Laura says

    Hi Rosie,
    I made a four-layer version of this cake today… was absolutely delicious! I hope to start doing this professionally sometime in the near future, and you’ve been such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your talent :).

  73. Aman says

    Hey Rosie!! I just wanted to let you know I’m a huge fan!! I check your blog almost every day to see if you’ve put up a new recipe! My parent’s anniversary is coming up soon and they prefer to keep it low-key so I’ve decided to surprise them with this cake (in a much smaller scale, I’m thinking only one or two layers). I’m a total beginner when it comes to baking (though I love it so) and I’ve certainly NEVER made anything as elaborate as this Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream but I’m willing to try because it looks so scrumptious!! Wish me luck! :)

  74. Francine says

    I just discovered you looking for a white cake, but this looks amazing so I think I will give it a whirl. I have not made buttercream in awhile, do you recommend storing the cake in the fridge because of the buttercream or can it be left at room temp, that way you don’t have to bring it out two hours before you cut it?

    • Hil says

      Buttermilk is sour milk (you can easily make your own by adding a tbsp of vinegar or lemon to a cup of milk). You can do the same with almond milk, but be aware that the sour almond milk will have a thinner texture than regular buttermilk (it doesn’t curdle). You can sub the oil, make sure it’s completely liquid but not too hot. Also note, it will slightly change the flavor of your baking.

      • Judi salasin says

        You can also get a cultured buttermilk powder at the grocery store. I got tired of having to run to the store every time I needed buttermilk and the getting a quart and throwing the rest away. This is a powder that you mix with water. Works great. You can even put the powder in a recipe with the flour and just add the water with the other liquid ingredients.

  75. Jacintha says


    What a lovely cake! Can you tell me if the batter will stay okay if you bake the layers
    one at a time? I only have one 8″ pan and I mostly torte my cakes so buying two more pans would
    be a waste of money.

  76. Vanessa says

    Hi, I’m lovin this cake so much I wanna make it for my brother’s bday this weekend. How much batter do I need for a 12″ round cake (recipe x3?) and how would the baking temp and time change?

    Tks, you are awesome,

  77. India says

    Hey! Today was my father’s birthday and he loves chocolate and i love strawberries so I made this cake after having found it on Google. However, i did only two layers and put strawberries in the center as well. The cake turned out wonderful save for the fact it was tall, lopsided, and the chocolate glaze doesn’t appear to be as smooth or thick as yours. Either way, it still came out tasting wonderful and my father adored it!!!! Thanks!!!!

  78. Yanina Noboa says

    Hi, I have tried and tried to bake this recipe, the taste is incredible, but allways have the same problem, always no matter what I end up with a hole in the middle of the vake when they come out of the oven, canyou help me and tel me know why is that happenig please? no matter if i bake a cake or the same size of your cake it allways happens. Thanks

  79. Barbie says

    This looks delightful! My daughter asked for a chocolate cake filled with strawberries and vanilla frosting and this fits the bill perfectly! Thank you so much for sharing!

  80. Terysa says

    After drooling over every recipe on your website, I made this cake for a friend’s birthday, and it was SO GOOD. I will never use another chocolate cake recipe again, this was by far the best chocolate sponge I’ve ever made. As for the SMB… well, this was my third attempt, and I need to give it a bit more practice I think! It tasted great, but the texture wasn’t the satiny smooth shiny texture that it’s meant to be. I will keep trying though until I crack it! Thankyou again, trying your Pink Champagne Cake Pops next week :)

  81. Judi salasin says

    I have made this cake so many times with the exception that I use Creme de menthe instead do strawberries. I could never make it look as good as yours, but I kept trying and this time it’s pretty. Thank you for the recipe, and the hints about icing it. I still haven’t conquered your buttercream yet so I still make mine,but I’m not giving up. I am being patient because everything is so delicious I am definitely not the professional that you are. Thanks again

  82. Traci says

    Hey Rosie,
    Just stumbeled upon your site for the first time today.. I LOVE IT! Your cakes are so lovely, and the way you write about them makes me feel like your writing a personal email between friends.
    Question about this cake specifically…
    I’m thinking about making it for someone who does not like coffee. Can you really taste the coffee? Or can I make it without coffee? What would I use?

  83. Mandy says

    Can anyone please clarify for me if the Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder mentioned in this recipe a Dutch processed cocoa powder or is it the regular cocoa powder? I’m wanting to try this recipe this week so I hope someone can help soon.

  84. Donna says

    Hi Rosie, I have one question. I have tried the cake recipe using Swiss meringue instead of baking powder or baking soda, before mixing the flour-yolk mixture in. It turned out quite fluffy and spongy for a white cake. Our family like the spongy ones very much, like those ones they make at the Korean bakery. However, I am dying to try this dark chocolate recipe you have here (which doesn’t call for the meringue.) Actually, from the posted pictures, it seems very much like spongy dark brownie. On a side note, I am not fond of those American yellow cake (Pillsbury supreme moist or whatever.) So that being said, I hope you kinda get what my dilemma is here. Should I use the fluffy meringue or baking powder/soda. And if you might have already answer this in your other post on baking tricks, I will make sure to read those.

    I usually tinted some colors to my SMB. But I will be adding strawberry puree (<1/4 cup) for my grandpa birthday cake in a week or so.

    Thank you for sharing everything with us. Your bakeries are beautiful, and your children are lovely!!! (I love kids)

    Best, DN

  85. Laina suhai says

    Hello Rosie,
    I have been reading yr blog n really love yr awesome recipes after being introduced by my neighbour who loves baking in her free time. She has baked some cakes from yr wonderful recipes.recently she baked a 6layer cho cakes with strawberry swiss buttercream which she served during our auspcious Hari Raya Puasa n people just love including me n my whole family who was invited to her in law house. This has led me into writing to express my happiness in becoming one of your!

  86. Hannah says

    Hi Rosie

    I just started reading about your blog and I think your cakes are just so fabulous! I’ve been wanting to make this cake for a while but I don’t take coffee. So what can I use to substitute the espresso/coffee? :/

    • Kylie says

      I just made this on the weekend – tasted and looked AMAZING!!! I also don’t like coffee, so I just left it out and it didn’t make any difference to recipe.

  87. Nadia says

    Hi Rosie,

    Your site is wonderful and the cakes are just magical, thank you so much for sharing! Since reading your post on SMB, I worked up the courage to try it and it worked just perfectly for piping onto cupcakes or as a filling between cake layers. However both times that I tried to apply a smooth frosting on the outside of a cake with the SMB, it began to curdle again as I was actually working on smoothing the frosting on the outside of the cake. I take quite a while to add the buttercream to the cake and smooth the sides but I keep popping both the SMB as well as the cake in and out of the fridge just as I do with regular buttercream but it started to separate and get curdled looking; not leaving a smooth finish at all. Any advice on how to avoid this for frosting smooth cakes with SMB?

  88. Donna Hines says

    Hi Rosie: In the words of my daughter, there are some who are trailblazers and you are blazing a mighty trail! I love your cakes. I love Swiss Meringue Buttercream and I love you. I have made this strawberry cake twice. It is genius. Recently, we were transplanted from the deep south (coastal Mississippi) to California (San Lorenzo). It’s a whole different lifestyle and I am learning to live Cali style with a southern accent. Sometimes, I need the familiar comfort of a fabulous cake. You are my leader. Thanks for the mighty trail!

  89. Sophia says

    Hi Rosie. How many cupcakes can this batter yield? I’m thinking of baking this and frosting with old fashioned boiled milk buttercream. I’m not a big fan of SMB, but not sure if my go-to German buttercream can pipe a nice rosette on the cupcake and hold out in a tropical weather.

  90. Elise says

    I just made this cake, but changed the strawberry to raspberry and it is AMAZING! I made this along with your classic butter birthday cake and the black velvet cupcakes, but I made them red velvet with some red velvet emulsion. everything looks and tastes so good! I did the lot for a tea party and there wasn’t a slice left after! thank you for your stunning cakes, recipes and words of wisdom. You’re a true inspiration :)

  91. Dorothy says

    Lately I’ve been making one cake each week for fun! I just made this one and it came out great. Everyone was impressed with the six layers! It really did look professional and tasted great. The strawberry SMB tasted like ice cream! I was surprised at how well the strawberry flavor came through just like strawberry ice cream! My SMB has been both runny and curdled at times but you are right, it has been very easy to fix.

  92. Lily says

    Hi, this cake is amazing although are you able to advise how much of everything would I need to make an 8″ cake instead of a 6″?
    Also, how many people approx does this serve?
    Thanks and thanks for sharing your AMAZING cakes!

  93. Misa says

    Loving the strawberry buttercream alot!!
    I tried to replace the sugar on it with some marshmallow
    Although I should have melted the marshmallow seperately than the egg whites
    But ended up wonderful anyway
    Great recipe!!

    But how do youdo the buttercream so neatly?? Mine is not as perfect as the pic :(


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