Chocolate Strawberry Snack Cake
This chocolate strawberry snack cake is made with a light and fluffy chocolate cake topped off with tangy strawberry cream cheese frosting. The frosting is made with freeze-dried strawberries for extra flavor and color! The best part? The cake is made in an 8 x 8-inch square cake pan, making it perfect for a small celebration (or no celebration at all… we’ll get to that in a hot second).
This past June was my birthday month, and, true to my obsessive food blogging nature, I celebrated by making several cakes: this small batch funfetti cake, this rainbow unicorn cake, and today’s chocolate strawberry snack cake! Truthfully, because I’d shared the other two recipes on Hummingbird High, I wasn’t planning on sharing this one. I mean… that’s a lot of cake recipes in one month. And unlike the other two cakes, this one seemed relatively simple and almost boring in comparison.
But when I posted this cake on Instagram, several of you requested the recipe anyway! In the end, I was happy to oblige. I get it. There really is something inviting about those pink swirls and sprinkles. Besides—Erlend’s birthday was this Tuesday and, although he specifically requested a cherry pie, I figured he wouldn’t say no to an extra cake, too, right? Annnddd this is why we’re going on a diet next month, lol. But that’s another story. Back to this cake.
What Is A Snack Cake?
Okay, first things first… what the heck is a snack cake? Truthfully, no formal definition “officially” exists for the term. The New York Times confusingly writes that “Any kind of cake can be a snack, but not every cake is a snacking cake.” Okay, cool…wait, what? They go on to define a snack cake as a “thick square of tender cake that you can eat with your hands” with “icing, but not too much”. But don’t you DARE confuse it with cupcakes, leftover birthday cake and ice cream cake. Hmmm. Food & Wine interviewed three famous bakers and pastry chefs on the matter. None of them came to an agreement.
And finally, The Kitchn argues that “Snacking cakes are not for birthdays, or anniversaries, or going-away parties. They are for whenever the craving for cake and frosting hits, for baking on a whim and consuming casually, like on a Wednesday afternoon.” I like that definition a lot, but does that mean THIS chocolate strawberry cake—which I made for me and Erlend’s birthdays—doesn’t count as a snack cake? Oops.
My Definition of A Snack Cake
So, my personal definition of a snack cake is this: the snack cake is the sheet cake’s little sister. Most sheet cakes are baked in 9 x 13-inch pans, but snack cakes come in at half that size. They are instead baked in 8 x 8-inch pans. Snack cakes are typically one-layer affairs, ensuring that they come together quickly and easily. And—this is probably controversial, but—a quick-and-easy frosting is a must. Otherwise you’re verging into “Simple Cake” (these are single-layer cakes that haven’t been frosted, like this yogurt shortcake and this flourless chocolate cake) territory. Makes sense? Finally, you can bake snack cakes for special occasions like birthdays or potlucks, BUT you can also bake them any time you want. Like when a craving hits, or because you’re bored and just feel like cake, okay?
So… DO YOU AGREE? Come at me in the comments, lol.
Why You Should Make This Chocolate Strawberry Snack Cake Recipe
In addition to being extremely delicious, here are all the reasons why you should make this chocolate strawberry cake recipe:
This chocolate strawberry cake recipe comes together quickly… like, box mix quick.
The chocolate cake recipe is adapted from my cookbook, Weeknight Baking. And because my book is all about baking fast recipes on a weeknight, this chocolate cake recipe comes together really, really quickly. To wit—the recipe doesn’t require an electric mixer of any kind. Instead, simply whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, then whisk it all together by hand. Making the batter for the cake literally only takes 5 minutes, tops. Similarly, making the strawberry cream cheese frosting only takes 5 minutes, too! And because it is a simple snack cake with no layers, there’s no complicated frosting and assembling process. You’ll be in and out of the kitchen (eating this cake) in no time at all.
This chocolate strawberry cake recipe uses ingredients that are easily substitutable with others.
It’s likely that you already have all the ingredients you need to make this chocolate strawberry cake. But there are a handful—like cake flour, buttermilk, cream cheese, and freeze-dried strawberries—that you likely won’t have if you’re an infrequent baker. Just don’t worry! I provide substitutions for those ingredients below; be sure to check out the Ingredients section of this blog post! I’m all about saving you from an extra, unnecessary trip to the grocery store.
This chocolate strawberry cake recipe stores well.
The chocolate cake stays light and moist several days after baking. Similarly, the strawberry cream cheese frosting tastes better the longer it sits, with its flavors intensifying over time. So when combined? This cake is unstoppable. Really.
Chocolate Strawberry Snack Cake Ingredients and Substitutions
Now that I’ve convinced you to make this chocolate strawberry cake recipe, here’s your shopping list for the recipe:
Shopping List for Chocolate Strawberry Snack Cake Recipe
- cake flour
- granulated sugar
- natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- baking soda
- baking powder
- kosher salt
- virgin (unrefined) coconut oil
- pure vanilla extract
- unsalted butter
- cream cheese
- confectioners’ sugar
- freeze-dried strawberries
And let’s talk about some of its key ingredients:
This chocolate strawberry cake recipes uses 1 cup of cake flour to make the chocolate cake.
Cake Flour versus All-Purpose Flour
In the grocery store, you’ll likely find an aisle of more flour varieties than you would have thought existed: all-purpose, bread, cake, pastry, and many more. These varieties are defined by their protein percentages. Cake flour contains less protein than all-purpose flour. As a result, using cake flour in a cake recipe results in a cake with a softer and more tender crumb. If you need a brand recommendation, my favorite cake flour is Swans Down Cake Flour.
Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour in this chocolate strawberry cake recipe?
Yes! But it’s not a 1:1 substitution in terms of volume. 1 cup of cake flour (4 ounces or 113 grams) tends to weigh less than 1 cup of all-purpose flour (4.5 ounces or 128 grams). So if you’re planning on using all-purpose flour instead, you need to swap out the cake flour with ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (3.95 ounces or 112 grams) all-purpose flour.
Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
This chocolate strawberry cake recipes uses ⅓ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder to make the chocolate cake.
Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder versus Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder, when used in baking recipes, often comes in two varieties: natural unsweetened, and Dutch-processed.
Natural unsweetened cocoa powder is more typical and is cocoa powder in its purest form. It is slightly reddish brown in color and results in deeply flavored chocolate goods. Because it is slightly acidic, it is often paired with baking soda in baking recipes to help create a chemical reaction that will cause the baked good to rise in the oven.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder is natural unsweetened cocoa powder that’s been treated with alkaline to neutralize its acidity, giving it a darker color and milder flavor. It is the cocoa powder that is used for making midnight-black baked goods like Oreos.
Can I use Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this chocolate strawberry cake recipe instead?
In a pinch, yes. I’ve made this cake with Dutch-processed cocoa powder instead of natural unsweetened cocoa powder and it has come out fine (if a little bit flatter and denser). However, I recommend sticking with natural unsweetened cocoa powder. Like I mentioned in the earlier section, the baking soda in the recipe will react better with natural, unsweetened cocoa powder and give your cake a lighter and fluffier crumb.
This chocolate strawberry cake recipe uses ½ cup buttermilk to make the chocolate cake.
What is buttermilk?
Traditionally, buttermilk is made from the sour left liquid left over after cream has been churned into butter. These days, buttermilk is made by dairy processing plants injecting cultured enzymes into low-fat milk. The final product of both methods is more acidic than regular milk, giving baked goods (like this chocolate strawberry cake!) a wonderful, tangy flavor.
I don’t have buttermilk. What can I use instead?
Make your own buttermilk with whole milk. Whisk together ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) whole milk and 1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken, then use as directed in the recipe. Although you can technically use non-fat or skim milk to make buttermilk, I don’t recommend it. These non- and low-fat versions will lead to less flavorful baked goods.
Alternatively, you can also make your own buttermilk with yogurt. I learned this neat trick from my friend Izy at Top with Cinnamon. She thins out ½ cup natural, unsweetened, and unflavored yogurt with ¼ cup water to use in place of buttermilk. She says that you can also use a thicker yogurt (like Greek yogurt), but you’ll likely need to use more water to get it to the consistency of buttermilk. Similar to my note above, use whole yogurt if possible. Non- and low-fat yogurts will result in less flavorful baked goods.
Can I use powdered buttermilk?
Yes! Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make ½ cup buttermilk. Use as directed in the recipe.
Virgin (Unrefined) Coconut Oil
This chocolate strawberry cake recipe uses ¼ cup virgin coconut oil to make the chocolate cake.
Virgin (Unrefined) Coconut Oil versus Refined Coconut Oil
Virgin (or unrefined) coconut oil has a tropical, coconut flavor and aroma because it’s made from cold-pressed fresh coconut meat. Refined coconut oil, on the other hand, is neutral in flavor and does not have a coconut taste or aroma. That’s because refined coconut oil is made from coconut meat that is filtered, dried, and pressed for oil.
Note that both virgin coconut oil and refined coconut oil are solid at temperatures below 75°F. The recipe instructs you to melt the coconut oil to its liquid form if necessary. You likely won’t have to heat it for too long to get it to melt.
Can I use refined coconut oil in this chocolate cake recipe instead?
Yes! However, your cake will likely lose its subtle coconut flavor since refined coconut oil is neutral in flavor.
Can I use kind of oil in this chocolate cake recipe instead?
Yes! You can use whatever oil you have on hand instead. Vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, and peanut oil work best to replace the canola oil because they are also neutral in flavors. However, if you substitute out the coconut oil with one of the neutral flavored oils I mentioned, your cake will lose its subtle coconut flavor.
This chocolate strawberry cake recipe uses ½ cup boiling hot coffee to make the chocolate cake.
What kind of coffee do you recommend for this chocolate strawberry cake recipe?
Honestly, whatever coffee you have on hand works! I am lazy and hate making coffee at home, so I just used the pre-made coffee I had on hand: Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee. The more important thing about the coffee is to use coffee that’s still hot, preferably freshly boiled. Why? The hot coffee will “bloom” the cocoa powder in the batter, giving the cake its signature dark, rich color and deep chocolate flavor. When making this recipe and using coffee made from scratch, I recommend making the coffee first. You can prep the rest of the ingredients as the water for the coffee comes to a boil and brews.
Can I use espresso instead of coffee in this chocolate strawberry cake recipe?
Yes! If you are lucky enough to have an espresso maker at home, go for it. Just know that I’m mad jealous.
Can I use decaf coffee for this chocolate strawberry cake recipe?
Absolutely! Decaf coffee works wonderfully in this recipe.
Do I really need to use coffee for this chocolate strawberry cake recipe?
In theory, no. You can replace the coffee with hot water. However, if you use hot water, your cake likely won’t taste as chocolatey as mine. The coffee really makes the chocolate strawberry cake taste more like chocolate!
This chocolate strawberry cake recipe uses ½ cup cream cheese to make the strawberry cream cheese frosting.
Can I use low-fat or nonfat cream cheese?
Yes, but with reservations. Keep in mind that low- and nonfat cream cheese will lead to less flavorful baked goods.
What else can I use besides cream cheese?
According to this New York Times article on recipe substitutions, you could, in theory, substitute the cream cheese with other soft cheeses like mascarpone, neufchâtel, and quark. You could also potentially do a crème fraîche, sour cream, or a yogurt swirl. However, I haven’t tried any of these substitutions myself so I can’t 100% guarantee the results. I suspect that your frosting will be much looser though, since most of those soft cheeses tend to be softer than cream cheese. I suggest only using ¼ cup. Please let me know if you do and I’ll update the post with your results!
Do I have to use cream cheese for this chocolate strawberry cake recipe?
No, you don’t. I did because I personally love the flavor of sweet strawberries with a tangy cream. But you can substitute the cream cheese with ½ cup unsalted butter to make a traditional American buttercream frosting instead.
This chocolate strawberry cake recipe uses ½ cup freeze-dried strawberries to make the strawberry cream cheese frosting.
What are freeze-dried strawberries?
Freeze-dried strawberries are fresh strawberries that have been frozen in a low-pressure vacuum. These conditions cause the moisture in the fruit to first turn into ice, then into water vapor very, very quickly. In general, freeze-drying fruit removes water much more efficiently than traditional drying methods. You can read more about the process here, as well as all the different methods for freeze-drying fruits here.
Freeze-drying fruit helps preserve its nutrients and concentrates the fruit’s flavor. After the fruit has been freeze-dried, they look like smaller, shrunken, and dry version of themselves. You can see what freeze-dried strawberries look like in my pictures in this blog post—they are the strawberries in the small white bowl. Some of the fruit will have a crunchy texture; others, a little bit spongey. If stored properly, freeze-dried fruit has a shelf-life of several years. In baking, using freeze-dried fruit is a great way to add a lot of flavor and the sweetness of fruit without any of its moisture.
Where do you buy freeze-dried strawberries?
In the US, more and more supermarkets are starting to carry freeze-dried fruit. Both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market offer a variety of different freeze-dried fruits in their dried fruit and nut aisle. Most recently, I saw Target offer freeze-dried strawberries as part of their new Good & Gather brand. However, you can also buy freeze-dried strawberries online on Amazon. I recommend the Natierra brand.
Can I use other freeze-dried fruit in this chocolate strawberry cake recipe?
Yes! Feel free to substitute out the freeze-dried strawberries with any other freeze-dried fruit you prefer. Use ½ cup of whatever fruit you prefer (I personally recommend raspberries). The substitution will be 1:1 in terms of volume, but not necessarily in terms of weight. That’s because 1 cup of freeze-dried strawberries is slightly heavier than 1 cup of freeze-dried blueberries, whereas 1 cup of freeze-dried bananas weighs slightly more, and so on.
Also note that, if you swap out the strawberries with another fruit, your cake will no longer taste like chocolate strawberries and instead taste like the fruit you chose. I know that seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by some of the questions and comments I get on my Instagram and this blog, lol.
Do I have to use freeze-dried strawberries in this chocolate strawberry cake recipe? Can I use fresh or traditionally frozen strawberries instead?
If you freeze-dried strawberries are hard to find/aren’t available where you live, no worries. You can use fresh strawberries instead… with reservations. Under no circumstance should you just substitute the freeze-dried strawberries in the recipe with the same amount of fresh or frozen strawberries. Both fresh and frozen strawberries contain moisture that will wreck your frosting.
Instead, take a look at this (vintage) Hummingbird High recipe for strawberry layer cake—it uses frozen strawberries to make the frosting. Similarly, please look at this small batch strawberry cake recipe if you wish to use fresh strawberries. Both recipes instruct you to cook down the strawberries into a jam or a puree to concentrate their flavors. That’s because fresh strawberries are rarely flavorful enough on their own to flavor frosting. You really have to use a lot! In a pinch, you can use strawberry jam, too—check out the small batch strawberry cake recipe for more information.
How To Make Chocolate Strawberry Snack Cake
Here are the basic steps to make chocolate strawberry cake from scratch:
First, prep your ingredients for the chocolate strawberry cake.
- Prep your ingredients for the chocolate cake. (Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes)
If making coffee from scratch, I recommend making the coffee first. You can then measure out the rest of the ingredients as the coffee brews. I also recommend prepping the coconut oil first (if necessary—if it’s a warm day, it might already be liquid) by melting it and giving it a chance to cool slightly before using in the recipe.
- Make the chocolate cake batter. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
Thankfully, making the cake batter is an easy process. Simply whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, then the wet ingredients (with the exception of the coffee) in a large bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine, then whisk in the coffee. That’s it!
- Bake the chocolate cake. (Bake Time: 30 minutes)
Divide the cake between three 8-inch round cake pans and bake for 30 to 32 minutes. Note that you’ll need to wait for the cake to cool completely before frosting. Be sure to check out my baker’s tips below on how to make this recipe fit into your schedule!
Next, make the strawberry cream cheese frosting.
- Prep your ingredients for the strawberry cream cheese frosting. (Prep Time: 5 minutes)
When making frosting, it’s especially important to make sure to bring your butter and cream cheese to room temperature. Cold butter makes lumpy frosting that is difficult to frost and riddled with bumps! Similarly, don’t forget to sift your confectioners’ sugar. Unsifted confectioners’ sugar also makes bumpy frosting.
- Make the strawberry cream cheese frosting. (Work Time: 5 minutes)
The strawberry cream cheese frosting is a simple frosting that comes together quickly. Simply beat the butter and cream cheese until creamy, then add the confectioners’ sugar, finely processed freeze-dried strawberry powder, and salt. Beat until light and fluffy!
- Frost and assemble the chocolate strawberry cake. (Work Time: 5 minutes)
Simple snack cakes like this one are my favorite type of cake to make because they are so fast and easy to assemble. Simply scoop the frosting on top of the cooled cake and use an offset spatula to swoop and swirl it around on top of the cake. Don’t forget to garnish with sprinkles.
Chocolate Strawberry Snack Cake Recipe Troubleshooting and FAQ
FAQ: Baking Tools to Make Chocolate Strawberry Cake
Can I bake this chocolate coffee cake recipe in a 9-inch square cake pan instead of an 8-inch square pan?
Yes! Just note that using 9-inch square pan will result in a thinner cake. I also recommend checking for doneness 5 to 10 minutes earlier than the Bake Time listed in the recipe.
Can I bake this chocolate strawberry cake recipe in an 8-inch round cake pan instead?
Yes! Bake Time will be roughly the same as what’s listed in the recipe.
Can I bake this chocolate strawberry cake recipe in a 9-inch round cake pan instead?
Yes! However, I also recommend checking for doneness 5 to 10 minutes earlier than the Bake Time listed in the recipe.
Can I bake this chocolate strawberry cake recipe in a 9 x 13-inch cake pan instead?
You technically can, but I don’t recommend it. Why? The recipe only makes enough batter for a cake half that size. You’ll end up with a VERY thin 9 x 13-inch cake pan that will likely burn if you follow the Bake Time listed in the recipe below. So if you’re looking for a larger chocolate sheet cake, this potluck chocolate sheet cake is very similar to this recipe and makes a 9 x 13-inch cake pan.
Help! I don’t have a food processor to process the freeze-dried strawberries. What can I use instead?
No food processor? No problem. Use the following alternatives below instead:
- A blender. Place the strawberries in a blender and blend until you’re left with a fine, red powder with no strawberry pieces bigger than ⅛-inch pieces. Note that this alternative works best with a smaller blender like a NutriBullet.
- A manual or electric spice grinder. Manual spice grinders are typically operated with a crank—simply place the ingredient in the grinder, and turn the crank to grind it. This is the one I own. It’s fine, but I much prefer this electric spice grinder by Cuisinart. It is specifically made for grinding herbs and spices, and it is an absolute BEAST. It is so much less work than a manual spice grinder. I can have things like nutmeg, tonka beans, and cinnamon sticks fully powdered in less than 5 seconds. However, it doesn’t have the best ratings on Amazon. Why? The spice grinder bowl has a tendency to get stuck. Just make sure to store the machine disassembled and it shouldn’t be a problem!
- A mortar and pestle. When all else fails, go old school with a mortar and pestle. However, this is definitely the most labor intensive route of all the options.
Just note that the tools above will likely add more Work Time to the recipe. A food processor really is the most efficient way to grind the strawberries!
FAQ: Chocolate Strawberry Cake Recipe Results
Help! I made the chocolate cake but the center of the cake baked up weird. It’s not smooth, and instead looks like it bubbled and is bumpy. What did I do wrong?
First things first, don’t panic! Your cake will still taste good, I promise. That texture is the result of undermixing the cake after you’ve added the coffee. For best results, be sure to mix the recipe for the full 2 to 3 minutes described in the recipe. Doing so results in a smooth cake top.
Second, the cake is perfectly fine to eat. Simply cover the bumpy top with frosting. Alternatively, you can turn out the cake onto a serving platter. The bottom of the cake will be perfectly smooth and perfect for frosting!
FAQ: Chocolate Strawberry Cake Storage
How to Store Chocolate Strawberry Cake
The entire, assembled chocolate strawberry cake can be stored at room temperature, under a cake dome or a cake pan turned upside down, for up to 1 day. Store any leftover slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Can you freeze chocolate strawberry cake?
Yes! You can freeze the baked, unfrosted chocolate strawberry cake. Follow the recipe instructions for making and baking the chocolate cake. Once the cake has cooled, tightly wrap the entire cake in a sheet of plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw the cake at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Make the strawberry cream cheese frosting and serve.
You can also freeze any leftover, frosted slices of chocolate strawberry cake. Place the frosted cake in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, just enough for the frosting to stiffen. Once the frosting is stiff, carefully wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Best Chocolate Strawberry Cake Recipe Tips
Best Chocolate Cake Making Tips
- For this cake recipe, it’s especially important to add the coffee while it’s still hot (almost boiling, if possible!). The hot coffee will bloom the cocoa powder in the recipe, giving it a deeper flavor and an extra-dark color that’s signature to this cake.
- For this cake recipe, it’s especially important to add the coffee while it’s still hot (almost boiling, if possible!). The hot coffee will bloom the cocoa powder in the recipe, giving it a deeper flavor and an extra-dark color that’s signature to this cake.
Best Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting Making Tips
- The strawberry cream cheese frosting gets more flavorful with time. That’s because the moisture from the butter and cream cheese slowly hydrate the freeze-dried strawberry powder, making it more flavorful. For best results, I recommend making the strawberry cream cheese frosting a day or so ahead of the chocolate cake itself. Store the strawberry cream cheese frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the cake. Before assembling the cake, beat the frosting on medium-high speed until light and creamy once more, 2 to 3 minutes.
- The recipe for strawberry cream cheese frosting makes enough to generously frost the top of the cake and its sides, too. Although I didn’t do this for the blog post photos, I recommend turning out the cake onto a serving platter and frosting its top and sides. Doing so makes it easier to slice and serve the cake!
More Chocolate Cake Recipes
- 30th Birthday Chocolate Cake with Lavender Ruffle Frosting
- Chocolate Crème Fraîche Cake
- Geode Cake Tutorial
- Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Fluff Frosting
- Mint Chocolate Kintsugi Cake
- Potluck Chocolate Sheet Cake
More Strawberry Recipes
- Strawberry Malt Sugar Cookies
- Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Very Small Batch Strawberry Cake
- Whole Grain Strawberry Oat Scones
Chocolate Strawberry Snack Cake Recipe
For the Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) cake flour
- 1 cup (7 ounces or 198 grams) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (1 ounce or 28 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) buttermilk
- ¼ cup (2 ounces or 57 grams) virgin (unrefined) coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) boiling hot coffee
For the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (8 ounces or 227 grams) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- ½ cup (.30 ounces or 8 grams) freeze-dried strawberries, finely processed
- pinch of kosher salt
For the Chocolate Strawberry Snack Cake
- First, make the chocolate cake. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray an 8 x 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Spray the parchment, too.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined. Slowly pour in the coffee. The batter will be fairly runny; use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Use the rubber spatula to finish mixing until smooth and well combined, 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to smooth its top if necessary.
- Bake the cake. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. When done, the top of the cake should bounce back when gently pressed and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely in the pans on a wire rack before frosting.
- Once the cake is cool, make the strawberry cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla on medium-low until soft and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer on low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, freeze-dried strawberries, and salt and beat until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, then beat on medium-high until the frosting is creamy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Assemble the chocolate strawberry snack cake. Use an offset spatula to cover the top of the cake with the frosting completely. Garnish with sprinkles.
- Serve and store. Serve at room temperature. The cake will keep in an airtight container for 1 day. After that, transfer to the refrigerator and refrigerate for up to 2 more days.
This post was last updated on 8/16/2020.
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NO TIME TO BAKE?!
Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.