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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.