Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

Happy belated Valentine's Day to my readers!  Hope you enjoyed the day with loved ones, and maybe even some chocolate.  Today's post is about a special cake recipe I made for Valentine's Day, as well as an idea of a present for your significant other.

My husband and I had a nice Valentine's Day, though dinner was a bit of an adventure. The Chinese restaurant we went to ran out of rice! They got some more, but dinners were delayed. When we did get ours there were some issues with the food, but they were really quick to fix it. They gave us a free dessert to make up for it! Between eating a little of that, and my cake, I've had enough sugar for a while!

For my cake, I wanted to surprise my husband with something different. I've made chocolate cake a lot recently. One of my favorite treats is chocolate covered strawberries.  My husband always got me them for my birthday and Valentine's Day from this special chocolate store. We haven't found a good place yet in our new town, so I decided to try to create a cake that would represent the chocolate covered strawberry.

I started with a homemade strawberry cake recipe.  For the icing, I had to decide on what type of chocolate to use.  My favorite is white chocolate and my husband's favorite is milk chocolate. I wanted to use milk chocolate, but couldn't cover the outside with it , since I wanted the cake to look like an iceberg for a penguin theme.  I decided to use the white chocolate buttercream for the outside, and fill the cake with milk chocolate. This cake has a lot of steps, but is not too hard to do.

Let's start with the strawberry cake recipe. It is "Aunt Annie's Strawberry Layer Cake," found on lots of sites online.

Strawberry cake ingredients:
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 package (3 oz) strawberry gelatin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup mashed unsweetened strawberries
Strawberry cake directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Beat together cake mix, gelatin, water and oil.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form (approx 3-5 minutes).
  • Fold in egg whites and mashed strawberries
  • Spray cake pan with cooking spray.
  • Pour batter into cake pan
  • Bake cake for amount of time based on size, for help refer to the Wilton baking time chart.
Next up is the white chocolate buttercream I covered the cake with.  You could also fill the cake with this if you want to go for all white chocolate.  The recipe is originally found on Wilton's website. I did a two layer 6 inch cake, so I didn't need as much icing as this recipe called for.  I actually scaled it down quite a bit, dividing all the amounts by 3.  It was just enough to cover the cake. Below is the original recipe.

White Chocolate Buttercream ingredients:
  • 18 oz white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used a mixture of hot water and vanilla creamer instead of milk)
  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 cups confectioner's sugar
  • an additional 1/4 cup milk (for chocolate)
White Chocolate Buttercream directions: 
  • Microwave chocolate with a little milk added to it (around 1/4 cup). Microwave on high for around 1-2 minutes. You don't want to over heat the chocolate, as you stir it will continue to melt.
  • Cream softened butter and shortening with mixer.
  • Add vanilla
  • Mix in sugar about one cup at a time (icing will appear dry).
  • Add milk and beat until fluffy.
  • Mix in the chocolate.
Finally, I decided to try to develop my own milk chocolate filling. Here's the approximate recipe I used. You can add more or less sugar depending on how thick you want it.  I wanted a slightly thinner filling. Just be careful it's not too thin, as the cake layers can tend to slide.  I had a little trouble with that at first.

Milk Chocolate filling ingredients:
  • 1 cup melted chocolate chips
  • 1.5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Milk Chocolate filling directions:
  • Melt chocolate chips
  • Beat melted chocolate and softened butter until light and fluffy
  • Beat in milk and confectioners' sugar
After finishing the icing and filling, I sliced the cake in half, filled it, and iced it.  I finished the cake with the penguin cake topper and side dots I shared on a previous post. I also added black food coloring and piping gel to the left-over chocolate filling.  I piped "You Melt My Heart" using Wilton tip #3.

I also made my husband a special gift for Valentine's Day .  I can't take credit for the idea, I've seen this project all over Pinterest. It's a mini scrapbook filled with ideas for a years worth of dates I will plan. It was fun to think of unique ideas and creative dates we don't always do.

To make it, I bought some stickers, scrapbook paper, and small scrapbook at a local craft store. I also found mini calendars that I could use on the pages. Here are the tools I used

Below are some pics of the pages . For each month I have a calendar with important dates marked. I used double sided tape and only attached the calendar on the bottom and sides. It is a pocket that I can insert tickets, maps, etc into! The other side has a description of the various dates.

This scrapbook was a lot of fun and my husband loved it. It would be great for birthdays or anniversaries as well. Hope you enjoyed these Valentine ideas!

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