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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heart Cake

Update (1/12/2016): The title of this recipe has been changed from Chocolate Strawberry Surprise Inside Cake to Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heart Cake because unbeknownst to me, the words “Surprise Inside” are a registered trademark, owned by Amanda Rettke from the I Am Baker blog.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heart Cake

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and not too late to make this adorable Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heart Cake. It’s a lot easier than you think. I used 2 cake mixes, one chocolate and one strawberry, plus homemade strawberry cream cheese frosting. Isn’t it cute! And the perfect treat for chocolate covered strawberry lovers.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heart Cake

Although it is fitting for February 14th, I think you could make this love filled cake anytime. Make it for a birthday party, bridal shower or even a baby gender reveal (baby girl of course). The pink icing might give that one away, so in that case, I would use white icing. Strawberry extract is the flavoring for this frosting, so it will still be berry good even if it’s not pink. Melted good quality bittersweet chocolate makes the outer layer of cake extra rich and fudgy.


The first step is to whip up the batter for the strawberry cake. I used a mix and prepared it according to the package instructions.


Pour the batter in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal it. Set aside. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. I used a Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet Pan. Place a small corner of the plastic bag and pipe the batter in long lines across the prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F. for 9-11 minutes. (Note: You might have some extra batter. If that’s the case, you could make a few cupcakes.)


Let it cool about 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for an hour. You could skip this step but the cake is easier to handle when it’s chilled.


Meanwhile prepare your chocolate cake mix according to the package instructions. Melt 1 cup of good quality bittersweet chocolate in the microwave for about a minute. Pour into batter and stir to combine.


Line a 10 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of chocolate cake batter into pan. Spread to cover bottom of pan.


Using a 3″ heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts from the chilled strawberry sheet cake. (Those sweet hands belong to my son, Luke. What a great little helper he is.)


Place the hearts in the cake batter, pressing them to bottom of pan. Make sure they are very close together. They should fill up the length of the pan. Pour the remaining batter on top. (Note: I used all of the batter and it overflowed a little, so I would recommend using all of the batter, but reserve about 1 cup or so. You could make a few cupcakes.)


Bake the cake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I put a cookie sheet under the loaf pan, just in case there was some overflow which there was. Let the cake cool completely.


This is an easy frosting. Beat a half stick of softened butter with 4 ounces of softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium high until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon strawberry extract and 3 drops of red food coloring. Stir to combine.


Ice the cooled cake and add sprinkles. If your family really loves frosting, you could double the recipe to have extra.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heart Cake

Slice up your Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heart Cake (preferably with an audience) and listen to the oohs and aws as the pretty pink heart is revealed.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heart Cake

Serving Size: 10-12


  • 1 (15.25 oz/432g) strawberry cake mix, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 (15.25 oz/432g) chocolate cake mix, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 cup (150g) good quality bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
  • For the frosting
  • 1/4 cup (57g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces (113g) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
  • 3 drops red food coloring
  • Sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. (I used a 13"x18" half sheet pan.) Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Prepare strawberry cake mix according to package instructions. Pour batter into a large ziploc bag. Seal (letting extra air out first) and cut a small corner of bag. Pipe lines of batter on to the prepared cookie sheet, filling up the entire pan. (You might have extra batter. If so, you could make a few cupcakes). Bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. (You could skip this step but cake is easier to handle when chilled.)
  2. Line a 10 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick cooking spray before and after placing parchment. Set aside. Prepare chocolate cake mix. Add melted bittersweet chocolate. Stir to combine. Pour a little bit of batter in the loaf pan (about 1 1/2 cups). Spread to cover bottom of pan. Set aside.
  3. Remove strawberry cake from the refrigerator. Using a 3" heart shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts from the cake. Do them side by side, using as much of the cake as possible. Place cookies upright, point side down, in the cake batter lined loaf pan. Line up the cookies side by side, filling the whole length of the pan. Pour remaining chocolate batter on top of heart cookies. Reserve about a cup of batter. You don't want the pan filled too much or it will overflow. Place a cookie sheet under loaf pan before baking, just in case. You can make a few cupcakes with the extra batter, if desired. Bake the cake at 350°F. for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  4. For the frosting: Place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat on medium high until smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar. Once combined, turn speed up to medium high and beat for about a minute or two. Turn mixer off to add flavoring and red food coloring. Mix until combined.
  5. Remove cooled cake to a platter and frost. Add sprinkles. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heart Cake

50 Responses to Chocolate Covered Strawberry Heart Cake

  1. Surprise inside cakes are so much fun and the pink hearts are so cute. I have not tried on of these cakes yet but I hope to in the near future!

  2. WOW! In love with your cake! The surprise heart in the center is so bright and perfect. I like that you used strawberry cake here which is the perfect combo with chocolate especially around this time of the year. It’s like chocolate dipped strawberries in cake form. LOVE IT!

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  7. Wendy says:

    This looks delicious

  8. Leah says:

    That cake looks so cute! I love to look at these kinds of surprise cakes, but I always wonder a couple things, and that always prevents me from trying them out. First, does the inside cake, the one that is baked twice get dried out? Second, would the outcome be different with homemade cake batter vs cake mixes?

    • Leah – The middle is not dry because the hearts bake for just 10 minutes. I’ve never tried it with homemade cake batter, but it would probably work fine. Let me know if you try it.

  9. Cloey says:

    Hi, wonder what your cookie sheet size was for the strawberry cake! Thanks!

  10. Aida says:

    My husband doesn’t really like chocolate, would it be the same to make it with maybe vanilla and red velvet?

  11. Susan says:

    One hour seems like a very long time, is this right, has anyone made this?

    • Susan – Yes. That’s how long it took in my oven. You can check it at 45 minutes by sticking a toothpick down into the middle. If it comes out clean, then it is done.

  12. karen says:

    are you using 2 10 x 5″ loaf pans? 2 cake mixes won’t fit in a loaf pan. Adorable cake!

  13. Sheila says:

    Love this cake!! I am going to make it for my nephews birthday!!

  14. Samuel says:

    I see many ways to change this basic idea for a special occasion, just by changing the cake batters used.

  15. lore mm a says:

    Hello this cake looks amazing ,it will be perfect for valentines day. I was also wondering about the loaf pans, did u use one or two? And also if I don’t have a cookie sheet for the hearts what you other pan can I use. Thanks

  16. Jillene says:

    What a great recipe and directions you provided! I made this cake today. I used a smaller heart cut out (as that was all I had that fit in the pan as my larger one was too big). One box of strawberry cake mix baked on a large baking sheet made enough hearts for three cakes. Then, using the smaller hearts, the whole chocolate cake mix fit in the pan without over filling. I baked mine for 42-45 minutes and it was done through. Thanks for such a beautiful idea!

  17. Shelley says:

    It looks great. I was wondering though, how do you know just where to cut the cake so the hearts will come out properly ? Do they bake together into 1 solid piece ?

  18. Susan says:

    The cake was delicious, my oven did require a shorter time. Made a test one for my family and tonight one for my study group, they’ll love it.

  19. marylou says:

    just wondering why the strawberry cake has to be piped into the pan through the plastic bag, instead of doing it the regular way?

    • Hi Marylou, the strawberry cake batter is piped onto a cookie sheet so you can bake it for 10 minutes, then cut out the hearts. That’s how you get the heart shaped cake in the middle. See the step-by-step photos in this blogpost for more info. Thanks.

  20. Lucy says:

    Hello, just stumbled onto your blog and I like it already. Can this method of using cut-out strawberry hearts also work with round (circle) pans?

    • Thank you, Lucy! And yes, I think you could but you would have to use smaller hearts and a deep enough round pan to accommodate the hearts. The hearts would need to line up side by side and form a circle, so you would get a heart with each slice of cake.

  21. Megan says:

    I wonder if this would work in mini loaf pans…smaller hearts, obviously, and then it could be individual cakes to share with neighbors/friends.

  22. Kathy Sherman says:

    Made this cake for my Granddaughter. She loved it. And it was so easy and fun to do. Had some batter left over from both the chocolate and strawberry so made cupcakes and put in the freezer for some other time. Thanks for the wonderful recipe and already designing an easter cake with the same concept!!

  23. Tiffany says:

    Hi just wondering how important is it to add the bittersweet chocolate to the batter? was ready to make this and then realized I don’t have the chocolate

  24. dawn says:

    this is in the oven right now!! Cant wait to eat it!!

  25. Jen says:

    I made this for Valentine’s Day and it came out great! So I decided to try it again for St. Patrick’s Day with a twist! I used ande’s mint chips melted into the cake batter with green cake mix for the center and cut out shamrock shapes for the center, and sprinkled ande’s mints on the top of chocolate frosting! Delicious!!

  26. Dee anna says:

    So I tried this And the center around the hearts didn’t bake. Did I put to much batter?

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  28. Robin says:

    I have some in the oven right now. Smells so good! I, too, had a lot of extra cut-outs. Perhaps because my shape cutter was smaller than 3 inches–maybe closer to half that size. 🙂 Which also meant I used more of the chocolate batter in the pan. I also noticed that my loaf pan, which I would more typically use for bread, is much smaller than your 10×5, being 8.5 x 4.6 (ish?). So I greased up my set of mini loaf pans (and the shapes filled far more space in those 🙂 ) and ended up using 2 of them to finish off the chocolate mix.
    Because I have half a pan of shapes left, I think I will make this double next time; 2 chocolate cakes to 1 strawberry cake. At least if I keep using the same size cutters! 🙂

    Taste tests this evening, and I think I have my father’s day dessert figured out 😀

  29. Alessandra says:

    Adorei… Fiz e ficou lindo. obrigada.

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  32. barb says:

    I’m wondering if you can pour the strawberry batter onto the cookie sheet and smooth it out rather than go to the ‘trouble’ of piping. I love this cake! Thank you

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