Kitchen Garden Seeds

Strawberry Fields Cake
Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms * Kitchen Garden Seeds
Recipe Seeds

After years of trying different recipes and never being really satisfied, I finally created the perfect mocha cake recipe for my taste buds. I use all-purpose flour since I don’t usually have cake flour on hand. I prayed that the finished cakes tasted as good as the raw batter. I think it does. It even comes out of the cake pans easily without using parchment paper.

The Mocha Cake recipe is wonderful when Strawberries are in season too. Then, I forsake the Mocha frosting and Strawberry Topping. Once the cakes are at room temperature, slice each cake into two layers so that there are four layers. Wash, dry and slice freshly harvested Strawberries and sprinkle them with fine sugar and a splash of raspberry liqueur. After about an hour, spoon the Strawberries over the bottom layer and top with a 1/2 inch layer of whipped cream sweetened with brown sugar and vanilla paste. Assemble the remaining layers of the cake, spreading each with the macerated Strawberries and whipped cream. Top the final cake layer and cake sides with an ample frosting of whipped cream. Decorate the top with whole strawberries. Slice with a serrated bread knife. (Sometimes I freeze one of the cakes and make just a two-layer cake, saving the second cake for another time. Such restraint.)

Strawberry Fields Cake
  • Butter and hot cocoa mix to prepare cake pans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Espresso Powder (Williams Sonoma)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste (Williams Sonoma)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 8-ounce jar homemade Strawberry jam, room temperature

  • Mocha Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet baking chocolate (German)
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon Espresso Powder (Williams Sonoma)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste (Williams Sonoma)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided

  • For the Cake:
    Butter two 9" cake pans. Rather than using flour, dust each buttered cake pan with hot cocoa mix (any sort except the kind that has little hard marshmallows in it). Set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate while beating to incorporate fully.

    In a medium bowl, dissolve the Espresso Powder into the brewed coffee, whisking to remove any little clumps. Add the vanilla paste, buttermilk and heavy cream, whisking to incorporate.

    In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

    Add one third of the liquid mixture into the butter mixture, mixing to fully incorporate. Add one cup flour, mix lightly. Add one third of the liquid mixture, mixing lightly. Add the second cup of flour, mixing lightly. Add the remaining liquid, mixing until just incorporated. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes, until inserted cake tester is clean. Allow the cakes to come to room temperature before turning out on individual plates.

    For the Frosting:
    Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 3 cups of confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add 1/4 cup heavy cream, mixing well. Add the last one cup confectioners' sugar, beating well. Add the last 1/4 cup heavy cream, to reach the desired consistency.

    In a tiny bowl, dissolve the Espresso Powder into the boiling water, whisking to remove any clumps. Add the vanilla paste, whisking to incorporate. Allow it to cool down.

    Mix in the melted chocolate (let it cool a little). Add the vanilla paste and coffee mixture, mixing until smooth and fluffy.

    To Assemble:
    In a small bowl, stir the homemade Strawberry jam to soften. Spread half of the jam (4 ounces) on top of the bottom cake layer. Let it soak in a little bit, then spread with a thin layer of the Mocha Frosting. Place the second cake layer on top of it and spread with the remaining 4 ounces of Strawberry jam, allowing it to soak in a bit. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining Mocha Frosting. Chill the cake until serving at room temperature. Before serving, decorate the cake with sliced fresh Strawberries.