My Valentine’s Day and Birthday Dessert(s)
Valentine’s Day is this week, which means it’s also my birthday week. And it’s a BIG birthday–the big 4-0. I never make a big deal about my birthday but this year I’m going to try to change that. And that starts with my absolute favorite cake recipe ever. Read on for the recipe and an extra special addition I’m adding to the top of the cake.
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Well, the end of my 30s is here, friends. And you know what? I’m pretty excited about it!
I’ve heard great things about the 40s from. my friends. Here’s what they said…their kiddos are getting to a more self-sufficient age…they’re more established in their career/have direction…know who they are better than at any other time in their life…have more disposable income…have more confidence they’ve earned through life’s challenges up to that point.
All of this rings true to me, which is why I’m excited!
Keep reading until the bottom! There are TWO recipes here!
Historically, I’ve never made a big deal about my birthday. In fact, a lot of the time we don’t even have a cake. However, this year, I’ve decided I’m going to make my absolutely favorite chocolate cake and I’m going to top it with another of my favorite desserts.
If you ever have a special occasion where you want to show someone real love through food, this is the recipe for you. Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, birthdays, Tuesdays…this cake is ALWAYS an impressive crowd pleaser.
In fact, as I wrote about the first time I ever made it for our Supper Club, one of our friends, who doesn’t even like cake, said it was quite possibly the best dessert he’s ever had. So let’s get to the recipe, shall we?
The Cake Dreams are Made of:
Double Berry Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Raspberry & Strawberry filling
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup HOT water
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 4 sticks salter butter, softened
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- ½ tbsn vanilla extract
- 6-9 tbsn buttermilk to desired thickness, milk also ok in a pinch
- 1 bag (5-6 cups) powdered sugar I started with 5 and added as needed
Double Berry Filling
- 2 cups strawberries I used fresh, could use frozen
- 2 cups raspberries same as strawberries
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsn corn strach
- 2 tbsn lemon juice
- ½ cup water, divided
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour either three 6-inch or two 9-inch cake pans; set aside.
- In an electric mixer slowly sift together flour, sugar, soda, salt and cocoa.
- Add oil and combine till it forms a mixture like wet sand.
- Then add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and combine thoroughly.
- Then slowly add in the hot water and mix till combined. DO NOT over mix.
- Disburse between pans and bake for 25-30 mins or until it passes the toothpick test.
Chocolate Buttercream Cake
- Cream together butter, cocoa and vanilla.
- Then slowly add powdered sugar in alternating with cream (adding 1-2 TBL at a time). Beat until fluffy and a nice spreadable consistency.
Double Berry Filling
- Place berries in a saucepan with, sugar and lemon juice and half the water.
- Heat on low to medium until sugar is dissolved. Then mash any remaining large parts of fruit.
- In a separate small bowl – add the cornstarch to the remaining water and mix well. Add to fruit mixture.
- Cook on low -the mixture will thicken and looks glossy. Set aside to cool in a new bowl.
- ADD the filling to a cup of chocolate buttercream frosting. Keep mixing until the consistency is thick enough to spread on the cake and stay in place.
- Allow cakes to fully cool, preferably in the freezer for at least 1 hour. This will allow them to set and be much easier to work with.
- Lay your first cake layer onto a cake stand or board and spread the filling on top.
- Repeat steps with the remaining layers. Frost cake with remaining frosting.
- Top the cake with either remaining filling and berries or use fresh berries and flowers to top the cake.
Here are some of my favorite kitchen tools:
But Why Stop There? Let’s Top It Off with Another Dessert!
When I made this cake the first time. I attempted the double berry ganache for the top. It did NOT go well and I had to improvise. The result was an unforgettable combination and I will probably always make this cake this way now. So here’s what I topped the cake off with and what I’m planning to make for my birthday dinner too.
Inside Out Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
- 24-36 strawberries washed and dried
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream or Kahlua
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Place chocolate chips and cream or Kahlua into a small bowl and nuke for 30 seconds on high. If not melted continue for 10 seconds each time until melted. I usually double the recipe and it takes 50-60 seconds total.
- Set aside until cooled just a bit. I actually put it into a piping bag with the tip in place or a Ziplock bag–don't cut the tip yet.
- In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy.
- Add the chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture and beat until combined.
- If you haven't already, put the finished mixture into a piping bag or Ziploc bag and fill those strawberries up. Heap the chocolate onto the top a bit.
- Put them into the fridge for at least an hour and they last up to 24 hours — if you can keep your hands off of them for that long.
Now this strawberry dessert also makes for a special treat on its own so if you’re not feeling up to the whole cake for Valentine’s Day or special occasion, you could make these strawberries and wow tastebuds as well.
So what do you think? Is this dessert worthy of the big 4-0 celebration? We’re planning on at least 10 for dinner and I’m beyond excited to see celebrate with all of my friends. I hope whatever you end up doing, that this is a fantastic week filled with love and lots of fun!