Chocolate-Strawberry Queen Cake

Looking for a sweet way to thank your mother for her years of devotion? Try this luscious, showstopping Chocolate-Strawberry Queen Cake that combines tender almond cake, ripe spring strawberries, and a decadent buttercream frosting. We can never thank our mothers enough, but this cake is certainly a good start.

Chocolate-Strawberry Queen Cake
Yields: 1 (8-Inch) Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups cake flour*
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon strawberry preserves, divided
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • Garnish: Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour; line pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat 1 cup butter and granulated sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in extracts. Pour batter into prepared pans, and smooth tops.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  5. In the work bowl of a food processor, place strawberries; pulse until smooth.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat salt and remaining ½ cup butter at medium speed until creamy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. Add strawberry purée and 1 tablespoon preserves, beating until combined. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch tip.
  7. Pipe a ring of frosting around inside edge of bottom cake layer to create a border. Fill center with ½ cup preserves. Repeat with second cake layer and remaining ½ cup preserves. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread frosting on top and sides of cake. Scrape sides of cake with a spatula to remove excess frosting to achieve the “naked” cake look. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  8. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave cream on medium until steaming, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate morsels. Let cool for 10 minutes. Starting in center of cake, pour chocolate, working clockwise to outside edge. (You may have some leftover.) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish with Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, if desired.
Notes
* We used Swan’s Down.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
 
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, melt 1 (10-ounce) bag chocolate melting wafers according to package directions. Dip 16 fresh strawberries (about 1 pound) halfway into chocolate, and place on parchment paper. Let stand until chocolate is hardened.

 




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