Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cake

Chocolate covered strawberries: luxurious, rich, decadent,delicious… What could make them even better? How about a whole cake inspired by them?

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I combined rich chocolate cake layers with luscious strawberry Swiss meringue frosting, and topped the whole thing off with a robe of melted chocolate and a ring of strawberries.

Chocolate Strawberry Cake

Fresh Strawberry Frosting (Inspired by Sweetapolita)

  • 5 egg whites
  • 3 sticks of unsalted butter (1.5 cups) – softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree (I used frozen-thawed strawberries and put them in the blender for 30 seconds)
  • pinch of salt
  • pink food coloring (optional)

Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. Place over simmering water and stir gently but frequently until the mixture reached 160F on a candy thermometer (about 5 minutes). Pour this into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat until it forms stiff, glossy peaks and the bottom of the work bowl no longer feels hot (that part is important!). This might take 10 minutes or so, take an Instagram break and wait it out!

Now that the meringue is no longer hot, switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment, and start adding the softened butter a few tablespoons at a time. If things start to look curdled, turn up the speed and just beat it into submission. If after all the butter is in, it looks too runny and not like frosting, put it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up, then resume mixing. If everything is looking good, texture wise, add in the salt, vanilla and strawberry puree. If it’s not quite pink enough, go ahead and cheat with a little food color 🙂

Melted chocolate swirls

Melted Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Melt the chocolate and the butter together in the microwave or over a double boiler. Stir well. Use right away.

The trick to getting a nice, drippy, melty chocolate look, is to have your frosted cake very cold when you add the chocolate on top. The butter in the chocolate makes it firm up more quickly, so if you spread a thin layer on top of a cold cake, and gently frost out to the edges with a bit of spillover, it will firm up and stay in those drips. I love how this turned out, and am already thinking of other cakes I could use this look on!

Cake with fresh strawberries

Enjoy!

JillianCupcake

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Leftover Candy? Make Candy Bark!

Candy bark closeup

Maybe you hosted a Valentine’s Day party last weekend with a candy bar, or maybe you have little ones coming home with grab bags full of conversation hearts, or maybe you just can’t resist a good post-holiday candy sale. Whatever the reason, it’s a real possibility that you are finding yourself in a leftover candy “crisis”! But fear not, a solution is at hand!

This is a super quick and fun project that only really needs 2 ingredients: candies, and chocolate (chips or candy melts work well for this). Sprinkles optional 🙂

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Start by gently melting chocolate chips or candy melts over a double boiler or in 30 second intervals in your microwave. Spread a piece of wax paper over a baking tray, and then pour the chocolate right on top and gently spread with a knife or spatula. If you want to layer multiple colors of chocolate, like I did, chill the first layer in the refrigerator for a few minutes before melting and pouring on the second layer.

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Then, grab an assortment of candies. I had conversation hearts and holiday M&Ms. While the chocolate is still melted, sprinkle the candies on top. Toss on sprinkles if you like, and for a messier look, drizzle more melted chocolate over the whole thing. Chill in the refrigerator until everything is set. About 15 minutes.

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Take the wax paper off the sheet and use a large knife to chop it into big chunks. This would also make a great neighbor gift or party favor before the holiday!

Hopefully this helps everyone suffering with a leftover candy “problem” *wink wink*

-Jillian Cupcake

Valentine Throw Pillow Covers with Pom Pom Trim

Valentine Throw Pillows

Cute seasonal throw pillows always seemed like a great idea, but I had always thought that they would be too impractical.

“Where will I store all these extra pillows in my tiny apartment?”

“They’re so expensive!”

And then I discovered the beauty of the DIY envelope back pillow cover, and everything changed. It’s actually very simple to make covers for throw pillows that you can remove for easy washing or storage.

Heart Pillow

I don’t have a full tutorial for this process, but to make pillow covers, all you need are:

  • A pillow insert (you can get these in different sizes online at Amazon, or at a local craft store)
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Thread
  • A sewing machine
  • Decorative trim (optional)

For these pillows, I made a plain white pillow cover, and then made a heart shaped applique out of different pink prints. I bought pom pom trim at the fabric store, and carefully sewed it between the layers of the pillow cover to make trim. The pom poms were the trickiest part, but I think they give the pillow such a fun look!

Since I don’t have a full tutorial, here are videos that I watched to understand how to make the pillow cover, and how to do applique.

Valentine's Day Puppy

Penny loves how they bring some fun Valentine’s day spirit to the living room! I love that I can toss them in the washer to remove dog hair 🙂

How do you like to decorate for Valentine’s Day?

Until next time,

-JillianCupcake

Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Cake

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I have a soft spot in my heart for vintage style decorated cakes.

Vintage Valentine CakeMaybe it’s fond childhood memories of snagging the corner slice of birthday cake bedecked in buttercream roses, or my love of all things pink and lacy. Or maybe it’s just an appreciation of laboriously handcrafted goods, because good-golly-miss-molly all that piping was not easy! I definitively need more practice with my piping bag.

buttercream swags

For Valentine’s Day this year, I wanted to make a cake that evoked that old school, Italian bakery style look. The key to this look is to just keep piping on more and more detail. Shell boarders! Layered swag edging! More layers of edging! Put a rose on it!

rose detail

For this cake, I filled chocolate cake with dense fudgy filling, and enrobed it in baby pink Swiss Merinue Buttercream.  For the flowers, I used Basic Buttercream, as it’s much sturdier for piping intricate detail.

batter pour

chocolate cake

Here’s a little secret to making a boxed chocolate cake mix taste amazing. I always add a teaspoon of instant coffee or instant espresso powder to the dry mix. It makes the chocolate flavor of the cake more intense!

Valentine's Day Cake

With a Valentine like this, no one will be able to resist being your sweetheart!

-JillianCupcake