Foolproof Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries
I know starting a post with profanity and all caps is aggressive, but I have strong feelings, and sometimes internet expression is hard. I’m sorry.
The truth is, I’ve been a die-hard cake fan for as long as I can remember. And when I say “cake,” I mean real cakes that you can slice. Cupcakes are fine, but they have a weird cake to icing ratio, and there’s something about them that bothers me. I get that everyone likes the “portable” aspect, but it’s not like you can’t hold a piece of cake in your hand if you need to. (I’ve done it plenty of times, including at weddings, and have never once had an issue.)
My childhood birthdays usually involved two cakes (one regular, one ice cream), and I was just as excited about them as I was about my presents, which says more than a lot. Around third or fourth grade, I started baking my own ridiculous multi-layer Duncan Hines monstrosities (shades of my domestic future), and whenever my mom visited me at boarding school, we’d go to the same mediocre restaurant solely because I liked their lemon-raspberry cake. I sought out parties with sheet cakes in college, I have questioned my compatibility with Logan based on his lukewarm feelings about cake, and I cry every time I watch the scene in Office Space when Milton does not receive his piece of cake.
I’m tempted go on, but you get the point. (How many times have I said “cake” so far?)
Unsurprisingly, my lifelong love affair with the dessert has become a family joke, and whenever we’re in the vicinity of a cake, someone will always say something like, “Serena, they have cake here!!! Did you see the cake?? Do you want some??!!”
Since “cake spottings” usually happen in public places and/or around strangers, they can sometimes get awkward. I mean, yeah, I live for cake (and champagne), but people don’t necessarily need to know that. And trying to play it down only makes things worse. For example, if I say, “That’s nice,” or “I’m good,” my sister will say, “You don’t want the cake?!! But YOU LOVE CAKE!!” and then maybe turn to the person I’m trying to have a meaningful, non-cake oriented conversation with and say, “She really does love cake. It’s like her favorite thing in the world.”
BOOM. I’m the crazy cake lady.
The most hilarious thing about this real-life fact is that I’ve kept it offline all these years. (There’s only one cake recipe on this entire site, which is madness.) It’s not like I’ve been purposely keeping my cake obsession from you—God knows I wave my freak flag around here enough—it’s just that I rarely bake cakes. I find them laborious, and stressful, and wayyyy too easy to screw up.
However, I do have one cake recipe that I swear by, and I figured it was high time I shared it. After all, some of you may be fellow cake weirdos, and to keep this baby from you any longer would just be cruel. So, without further ado, I give you Foolproof Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries.
This cake is delightful. Super moist (askdjlf!!), slightly fudgy, and topped with plenty of fluffy, vanilla-scented whipped cream and fresh berries, it may just be the perfect dessert. It’s simple, yet decadent, and I’m pleased to report that the recipe is 100% idiot-proof. Seriously. I’m talking 25 minutes of hands-on time, zero skill, and no fancy equipment. And look how pretty it is! If you can spread whipped cream and upend a bowl of berries, you can make this stunner. MAGIC.
Just FYI, the actual cake portion of this masterpiece happens to be vegan, which is always fun. And if you wanted to make the entire thing vegan, feel free to swap the whipped cream for coconut whipped cream. (Tracy can show you how.) I’m sharing this information for no other reason than to point out the cake’s potential to be served at a wider range of gatherings (i.e. those involving vegans). In case some of you Logan-esque types were getting excited, “vegan” is not synonymous with “healthy.” This cake is still a cake, dudes, it simply doesn’t involve animal products. Please exercise normal human portion control when eating it.
Foolproof Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries: (Serves 8-10)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup organic cane sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Ghirardelli.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut oil (in liquid form)
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the whipped cream:
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
3 cups berries/fruit of your choice (I used a combo of blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cherries)
Preparing your Vegan Chocolate Berry Cake with Coconut Cream:
-Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cake pan (8”x8” or 9”x9” will both work) and set aside.
-In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the coconut oil, water and vanilla extract until well combined.
-Bake for 30-35 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully flip the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. (As you can see, my cake had a weird little lip on one side. Perfection is overrated.)
-Place your cake on a serving plate or cake stand. Using a spatula, gently spread the whipped cream on top of the cake in an even layer. (I recommend leaving a ½-inch cake border around the edge as the whipped cream with spread a little when you add your fruit.)
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