I made this cake for my dearest oldest sister Leanne aka Gyoza Girl Eats, pretty much thee number one fan of Coco Cake Land and supporter of all my crazy ideas over my entire lifetime. My only regret is the time I bit her on the leg when we were kids. SORRY SIS!!! This bonkbonks cake literally has it all: coffee toffee strawberry chocolate with all the textures (and flavours) I love, hehe. And magically, they all worked together! Coffee buttercream, homemade salted toffee shards and toffee crunch pieces, strawberry buttercream and moist dark chocolate cake layers, it kinda reminded me of a triple ice scream scoop. With sprinkles on top of course. I also decorated it with freeze dried strawberries and a light scattering of edible tea flowers that I picked up in NYC when I was hanging with the awesome Diana of Jewels of New York! I know, I know – so many components to this cake. WILDCARD.
There are definitely a few components to this coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe, but you could make the toffee and the chocolate cake layers the day before, then assemble everything the day of. Add the freeze dried strawberries at the very end just before serving, as the moisture from the buttercream will soften the crunch of the berries. You could also swap out for actual strawberries too of course! Or raspberries, you nut!! The toffee recipe is my absolute fave because 1. It’s easy as hell 2. it’s dangerously delicious and 3. it’s from the hilarious and awesome Erin Gardner‘s book, Erin Bakes Cake, a super fun and creative “choose your own cake adventure” book packed with her tried and true recipes, but also using lots of grocery store ingredients to create eye-catching cool designs! If you love the taste of a triple scoop cone with texture, sweet and salty components, tangy fruit vibes and CHOCOLATE, think about making this!
Coffee Toffee Strawberry Chocolate Cake
For the cake
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup of Dutch process cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee, I used two shots of espresso topped up with hot water equal to 1 cup
For the toffee
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Coffee Buttercream
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure coffee extract
- pinch of salt
For the Strawberry Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 cup high quality strawberry jam, such as Bonne Maman
Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep three 8 x 2 inch round cake pans by spritzing with vegetable oil and lining with parchment paper circles.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
- In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Make the toffee
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until golden and bubbly – this may take anywhere between 7 and 10 minutes. Pour onto prepared baking sheet.
- Allow the toffee to cool completely before breaking into smaller jagged pieces for the garnish, and also chopping it up into fine, crunchy toffee bits for the filling!
- Leftovers can be sprinkled onto ice cream, used in another cake or stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks!
Make the coffee buttercream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, coffee extract and pinch of salt on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
Make the strawberry buttercream and assemble cake
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and jam on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
- Making sure the cake layers are completely cooled, place the first layer on a cake board or cake plate, using a dab of coffee buttercream to adhere. Using a serrated knife, trim off any dome that may have formed (save for snacking.) Add a generous dollop of coffee buttercream and spread over the layer using an offset spatula. Evenly sprinkle a large handful of toffee bits on top and gently press down into the buttercream.
- Trim the second layer as needed and place cut-side-down on top of the first layer, pressing gently to adhere. Spread a generous amount of strawberry buttercream on top of the layer, again adding the toffee bits.
- Add the final trimmed cake layer, cut-side-down, on top of the strawberry buttercream, pressing gently to adhere.
- Using the coffee buttercream, frost the the entire cake using your offset spatula. Use a cake smoother to smooth the sides and top if desired. Chill the cake in freezer for ten minutes to set the buttercream.
- Add a final coat of coffee buttercream to the cake, smoothing to your desired finish.
- Using a piping bag fitted with your favourite open star tip, pipe the entire top of the cake with strawberry buttercream drop stars. Add larger angular toffee bits on top as decoration, as well as freeze dried strawberries, sprinkles and edible tea flowers, if desired!
- Serve cake at room temperature. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for three days, bring to room temperature before enjoying!