Valentine's Day Cake

5.0
(1)

Fill their hearts with sweet strawberries and buttercream frosting.

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
Servings:
12

Cute enough for kids and tasty enough to impress your sweetheart, this heart-shaped bake is sure to take the cake at any Valentine's Day celebration. Cut from a rich, single-layer chocolate cake, this festively-shaped sheet cake is big enough to feed a crowd and still have lots of leftovers. Berries add a gorgeous, natural pink color to the buttercream frosting and lend a tart touch to the icing's sweet flavor too. Before cutting and frosting, make sure you have a platter or cake board big enough to work on. Our Test Kitchen suggests frosting it on a nice cutting board or parchment-lined sheet tray to make traveling with it easier. Serve after a romantic dinner with a strong cup of coffee or pair with vanilla ice cream at a class holiday party for the perfect Valentine's Day dessert.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (3 oz.)

  • 1/3 cup boiling water

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz.) salted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs, separated

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 3/8 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt

  • 3/4 cup whole buttermilk

Frosting

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz.) salted butter, softened

  • 4 1/2 cups (about 18 oz.) powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries (from about 3 large strawberries)

  • 1 to 2 drops soft pink food coloring gel

Garnishes

  • Pink sanding sugar (optional)

  • Sliced strawberries

Directions

Prepare the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease (with butter) and flour 1 (8-inch) round cake pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; lightly grease parchment paper with butter. Grease (with butter) and flour 1 (8-inch) square cake pan; line bottom of pan with parchment paper; lightly grease parchment paper with butter. Set aside.

  2. Place chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth. Let stand until cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

  3. Beat butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add vanilla and cooled melted chocolate, beating until blended. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating on low speed until just blended after each addition.

  4. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

  5. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in centers of cake layers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans; remove parchment paper, and let cool completely on wire racks, about 1 hour.

Prepare the Frosting

  1. Beat butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and strawberries, beating on medium speed until mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in desired amount of soft pink food coloring gel until desired color is reached.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Place the square layer on a serving platter in a diamond position. Cut round cake in half crosswise, creating 2 perfect half-moon shapes. Position halves against the 2 top angles of the square, forming a heart shape. Spread Frosting over top and sides of cake, and sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired. Arrange strawberry slices around top edge of cake

    Valentine's Day Cake
    Photographer: Will Dickey Prop Stylist: Missie Crawford Food Stylist: Erin Merhar
Related Articles