Valentine’s Day Cake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
February 4th, 2015

This impressive Valentine's Day Cake with chocolate cake and strawberry buttercream looks like something from a gourmet bakery, but is totally doable at home! Step-by-step cake decorating video included!

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Chocolate plus strawberry is perfection, not to mention totally romantic!
Texture: The cake is ridiculously rich and moist, the frosting is luscious and flavorful, and the chocolate covered strawberries on top add a whole new realm of juiciness combined with shattering chocolate goodness. MMM.
Ease: Assembling and decorating a beautiful cake is totally doable, especially with my step-by-step video, but it does require some patience and makes a mess. Let’s be honest! Totally worth it when you see jaws drop at its beauty!
Appearance: Stunning and so impressive.
Pros: Romantic and beautiful cake that actually tastes good.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Absolutely. Would be great for any romantic occasion.

Even I can make this beautiful Valentine's Day Cake at home! Chocolate cake, strawberry buttercream, and chocolate covered strawberries on top!

I am so giddy sharing this Valentine’s Day Cake recipe and easy cake decorating video with you that it was almost impossible to wait until now to publish. This cake turned out so beautiful it would be the perfect way to show your love and appreciation for someone this Valentine’s Day, or any other special occasion. The best part is that if I can do it, you totally can because I have little patience for cake decorating (Cake Boss gives me nightmares). I’ve included a step-by-step video showing you exactly how to replicate the cake you see in these photos, including a bunch of tips and tricks so be sure to give that a peek below.

This cake is STUNNING and totally doable!! Following the step-by-step video - my sweetie will love this!

The chocolate cake is so unbelievably moist, rich, and flavorful, even people who don’t like cake will like this. Not to mention the strawberry buttercream adds that perfect luscious, creamy, and thick bite of flavor that complements the chocolate wonderfully.

And c’mon. Chocolate covered strawberries on top? Does life get better than that? I don’t think so! By the way – if you want some extra tips on buttercream, check out my post on How to Make the Best Buttercream!

BEAUTIFUL. Romantic Valentine's Day cake.

How to make
Valentine’s Day Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
This impressive Valentine's Day Cake with chocolate cake and strawberry buttercream looks like something from a gourmet bakery, but is totally doable at home! Step-by-step cake decorating video included!


For the cake:

  • Butter, for greasing
  • 1 3/4 cups (7.9 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

For the strawberry buttercream:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 16 ounces (4 sticks or 2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup seedless strawberry preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Red gel food coloring, if desired
  • [url]Chocolate Covered Strawberries∞../chocolate-covered-strawberries/[/url], for garnish


For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (8-inch) round cake pans.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add in the salt and mix on low speed until combined. In a large measuring up or small bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the hot coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Don’t overmix, the mixture should be very thin.
  3. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Freeze until hardened.

For the buttercream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add in the strawberry preseves, salt, and vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add about 1/4 teaspoon gel food coloring, if using, and beat until the buttercream is evenly colored. Add more coloring if desired.
  2. Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a flat surface or cake pedestal. Remove some of the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a plain open tip and pipe a large ring around the edge of the cake layer. With an offset spatula, evenly spread the frosting over the rest of the layer to make the filling. Place the second cake layer on top, flat side up, and spread a very thin coating of frosting all over to make a crumb coating. When scraping away excess frosting, be careful not to add the crumb frosting back in with the clean frosting. Freeze the cake until firm.
  3. Remove from freezer and spread the remaining frosting evenly over the cake, scraping away excess frosting and smoothing imperfections with the offset spatula. If desired, place more frosting in a piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe a decorating border along the cake. Top with chocolate covered strawberries before serving.

Recipe Notes

The chocolate cake is so incredibly moist that it may sink a little in the center while baking. That's perfectly fine - you can still make a beautiful cake by turning the layers flat-side up when assembling!

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    June Burns — February 4, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Wow that is just amazing! It looks so fudgy and chocolaty, mmm 🙂

  2. #
    Jen @ Baked by an Introvert — February 4, 2015 at 8:21 am

    The cake is purely heaven! I love the chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  3. #
    Julia @ Sprinkled With Jules — February 4, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Beautiful job! It sounds delicious, I love the chocolate covered strawberries on top.

  4. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — February 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    wow, this looks amazing!! it’s gorgeous!

  5. #
    Gaby — February 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Stunningly gorgeous! This cake is a Valentine’s Day showstopper!!!

  6. #
    Olivia - Primavera Kitchen — February 4, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I’m at a loss for words! This cake truly is a work of art!

  7. #
    kay — February 5, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Ohhh my the cake looks soooo yummmmmy! 🙂

  8. #
    Annie @ Annie's Noms — February 5, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Oh WOWEEEE this is simply beautiful!! I love everything about it!!

  9. #
    GiGi Eats — February 5, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Wow! That cake is beyond beyond beyond beautiful!!!!!!

  10. #
    Cecilia — January 18, 2016 at 5:14 am

    Your cake looks amazing! I have never made a homemade cake so what do I do with the buttermilk? Do I just add the powder buttermilk? Or do I mix the buttermilk powder with water and then add it to the recipe? I’m not sure what “buttermilk, shaken” means?

    • #
      Tessa — January 20, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Just regular liquid buttermilk. When it sits in the container for a while it tends to settle and needs to be physically shaken to make cohesive again.

  11. #
    Clara wimberley — January 19, 2016 at 8:45 am

    You are great

  12. #
    Sienna Creado — January 20, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Your cake looks awesome. Will definitely try it out.

  13. #
    Sienna Creado — January 20, 2016 at 1:40 am

    YOur cake is awesome. Will definitely try it out.

  14. #
    vanity — January 21, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Do you freeze all your cakes before frosting, if so how long do you frost them for are they covered , uncovered, and with what ?

  15. #
    Dahianna — February 2, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    This looks amazing! Does freezing it make it easier to frost? And could I put it in the fridge if there is no room in the freezer 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — February 2, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Yep! Did you watch the video?! You could put it in the fridge but it will take longer to firm up for frosting.

  16. #
    Martha — February 9, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Can this be made into cupcakes? If so, how long do you bake them for?

  17. #
    Hannah — February 20, 2016 at 11:07 am

    I just made this cake. Not only is it fun to make, it is beautiful and delicious! I see me making it other times during the year!

  18. #
    Psthmini — February 4, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Lovely cake what is the cake tin size for this cake

  19. #
    Sandra — February 6, 2017 at 9:17 am

    How do I preserve the buttercream consistency while crumb coat is firming in frig.? (No room in freezer)

  20. #
    becky — February 11, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Can this recipe be used in an 11×15 pan

  21. #
    Sheri — February 12, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Thank you Tessa! I bake pretty often and this is
    -BY FAR- the BEST chocolate cake recipe ever! :)))
    My family went wild over it! They were saying it was the best cake I have baked while they were eating it!!
    This is now my one and only chocolate cake recipe!

    I made it exactly as your recipe read. I did put strawberry preserves between the cake layers instead of the buttercream icing to reduce the sweetness that icing brings, but I do this on all two layer cakes! Ps – be sure to let the cake cool before turning the layers onto the cooling rack or they will crack. This cake is soooooo moist! Many thanks Tessa!

  22. #
    Lalit Bisht — February 12, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    Wow! Lovely Valentine’s Day Cake, we just added this cake to our menu, people love this chocolate and strawberry cake.

    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  23. #
    Lexie — February 26, 2019 at 10:05 am

    If you do not add the coco powder will it be a vanilla cake and still taste good or do you have to add the coco powder?

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