- 1 3/8 c all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 c granulated sugar
- 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 3/8 tsp baking powder
- 1 3/8 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/8 tsp salt
- 1/3 c canola oil
- 5/8 c buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 c hot coffee
- 1 T vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Generously grease two eight-inch round pans with pan coating and set aside. For flatter layers, wrap the pans with damp strips of tea towel.
Sift all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer or other large mixing bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes (use the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer). Scrape sides of bowl with a spatula and mix for 30 seconds more. Batter will be very fluid. Pour batter into the greased cake pans, using a kitchen scale to ensure you have the same quantity of batter in each pan.
Bake for 25-35 minutes on middle oven rack or until a toothpick comes clean. Remove pans to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes or until sides of cakes have pulled away from the pans. Using another cooling rack placed on top of each cake pan, flip the racks and pans over and press on the bottoms of the pans to remove cakes. Let cake cool to room temperature.
For the Filling/Topping:
- 1 pound fresh strawberries
- 1/8 c cold water
- 2 tsp gelatin
- 1 5/8 c whipping cream, very cold
- 3/4 c powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp salt
While the cake cools, wash strawberries and allow to dry slightly in a colander. Trim off the greens and slice the strawberries into a bowl and set aside.
Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, pour gelatin and water into a stainless steel bowl. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Place 1/3 c of cream in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once cream comes to a simmer, pour slowly over the gelatin. Mix with a fork until gelatin has dissolved. Place the bowl in the fridge and allow to cool until the outside of the bowl is neutral in temperature. Stir the bowl often or the cream will begin to gel.
Using the whisk attachment of a standing mixer, beat the remaining cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt on high until soft peaks form, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Reduce to medium-speed and drizzle the gelatin mixture into mixer bowl. Return to high and beat until firm peaks form. Mixture will resemble Cool Whip.
Once your strawberries are sliced and your whipped cream is prepared, slice each layer of chocolate cake into two using a good bread knife. I find it’s easiest to rotate the layer while you are slicing, making sure you keep the knife level as it slices around the cake.
Place one of your new, small layers onto a plate or serving platter. Spread one fourth of the whipped cream over the top of the cake layer to the edges, leaving the sides bare. Spread one fourth of the strawberries evenly over the whipped cream. Repeat the order for the next three layers.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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