Foolproof Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries

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vegan-chocolate-cake-with-whipped-coconut-cream-and-fresh-berriesI FUCKING LOVE CAKE.

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?)

Foolproof-Chocolate-Cake-With-Whipped-Cream-and-Berries-2Unsurprisingly, 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.

Foolproof-Chocolate-Cake-With-Whipped-Cream-and-Berries-3The 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.

Foolproof-Chocolate-Cake-With-Whipped-Cream-and-Berries-4This cake!

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.

Foolproof-Chocolate-Cake-With-Whipped-Cream-and-Berries-5Just 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-Berries-6Or you could bake this on a Sunday, grab the biggest fork you can find, and get down with your bad self. Maybe make yourself a whipped cream bikini/speedo while you’re at it. You. Do. You.

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.

vegan-chocolate-cake-with-whipped-coconut-cream-and-fresh-berries-step-1-Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.

vegan-chocolate-cake-with-whipped-coconut-cream-and-fresh-berries-step-2-Quickly stir in the cider vinegar. (You’ll see some pale swirls in the batter. It’s the vinegar and baking soda reacting, which is a good thing.)

vegan-chocolate-cake-with-whipped-coconut-cream-and-fresh-berries-step-3-Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan.

vegan-chocolate-cake-with-whipped-coconut-cream-and-fresh-berries-step-4-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.)

vegan-chocolate-cake-with-whipped-coconut-cream-and-fresh-berries-step-5-Meanwhile, whip your cream. Place the cream in a mixing bowl with the vanilla extract and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Careful not to over whip, peeps!

vegan-chocolate-cake-with-whipped-coconut-cream-and-fresh-berries-step-8-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.)

vegan-chocolate-cake-with-whipped-coconut-cream-and-fresh-berries-step-9-Top the cake with your berries/fruit.

vegan-chocolate-cake-with-whipped-coconut-cream-and-fresh-berries-9Admire your masterpiece!!! (Then slice and serve.)


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  1. Melissa Shorter on February 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Oh My Gosh, would love to make this but honestly that first line disgusted me. Can you not speak without using profanity?

  2. Darlene Crandall on November 27, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Can this be made Gluten Free??

  3. Cake Delhi on September 5, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    This cake looks delicious. I love all things cake!!
    Cakes to Delhi

  4. Remi Jawando on June 12, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    This looks amazing! Would this work as a two layered cake or is the center not dense enough for it? Thanks!

    • Serena Wolf on June 13, 2016 at 9:08 am

      I’ve actually never tried this as a two layer cake, so I can’t say for sure, but I do think it would work! I would multiply the recipe by 1.5 (The single layer cake is quite thick) and then bake it in two 8×8 layers. Just decrease the bake time for the layers by a few minutes.

      • Remi Jawando on June 15, 2016 at 7:54 pm

        Thank you!

  5. Kay Battista on February 25, 2016 at 9:09 am

    This looks so lovely. Do you have a guess as to how many cupcakes this would make?

    • Serena_Wolf on February 25, 2016 at 9:15 am

      I haven’t tested it, but I’m pretty sure it will make 12 standard cupcakes!

      • Kay Battista on February 25, 2016 at 9:21 am

        Thanks! My boyfriend requested this cake for his birthday, almost to a tee..including the cream and berries!! I’m so glad you posted this recipe.

  6. Ellie Richardson on December 23, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve made this cake 3 times and it is always a total crowd pleaser. It is one of the easiest recipes and always come out perfectly. I have one in the oven to give to a friend for her birthday today. Love all your recipes!

    • Serena_Wolf on December 24, 2015 at 8:04 am

      AH thank you, Ellie–thrilled this was such a hit (it’s one of my faves)! Happy Holidays!

  7. Uday Sharma on September 12, 2015 at 1:15 am

    I’m one of those persons who just like to eat cake and don’t know how to make. By the way it’s a great article for cake lovers.

    Happy Birthday Wishes For

    Happy Birthday Cake

  8. Rachel Smith on July 5, 2015 at 4:48 am

    Oh my gosh this looks and sounds too good not to try!!! How divine! You writing style had me in stitches too!! 🙂

  9. happyvalleychow on June 23, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I’m not much of a baker but this recipe is definitely doable. Thanks for sharing!

    • Serena_Wolf on June 25, 2015 at 10:41 am

      My pleasure, Eric. Hope you try it!!

  10. Diane Salter on June 23, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    CAKECAKECAKECAKECAKE! Nothing better in the Whole Wide World!

    • Serena_Wolf on June 25, 2015 at 10:47 am


  11. mimi rippee on June 23, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I’d rather eat cheese than cake, but I have to say that this is gorgeous, and looks easy enough for a novice baker to make!!! I FUCKING LOVE CHEESE!

    • Serena_Wolf on June 25, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Thank you, Mimi! (And for the record, I fucking love cheese too…)

  12. CakePants on June 23, 2015 at 10:43 am

    As someone whose blog is named after cake (or more accurately, after the type of pants that are forgiving enough to accommodate eating large pieces of cake), I feel it would be redundant to tell you how much I too like cake. I love the sheer simplicity of this recipe – and how elegant and unfussy it looks. Delicious!

  13. Alex Morris on June 23, 2015 at 8:28 am

    CAKE IS LIFE. I am more than excited to make this soon!!

    • Serena_Wolf on June 25, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Glad we’re on the same page about this…

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