This is the best Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Cake ever! It’s completely gluten-free too! Made with rich chocolate sponges and fresh strawberries, it’s simply bursting with flavour.
If you love strawberries as much as me, you’ve just got to check out my Vegan Strawberry Pie, Vegan Strawberry Tiramisu and No-Bake Vegan Strawberry Cheesecakes.
Chocolate Strawberry Cake
2 super easy gluten-free, vegan chocolate sponge cakes with a fresh strawberry buttercream and homemade strawberry compote, this cake is fresh, rich and flavoursome. It’s also allergen friendly being 100% vegan, gluten-free, a great option for those with coeliac’s disease.
Let’s talk about the layers.
This cake has two 8 inch sponge cakes. 8 inch cakes are the best in my opinion, especially for a celebration cake. They’re not to big, but not too small!
Speaking of parties, I actually made this cake for my mum’s birthday (love you mum)! We all absolutely devoured this cake, with my dad stating ‘it’s possibly the best gluten-free cake he’s eaten’ and ‘it didnt taste gluten-free at all! You know it’s a delicious recipe when your dad gives you that kind of feedback – haha!
The cakes are gluten-free, with the use of gluten-free flour and raising agents. The cakes are super easy to make and filled with lots of chocolate flavour. They are extremely rich and moist, you wont be able to tell it’s gluten-free!
I made a fresh strawberry compote which is swirled in the middle of the cake, alongside the buttercream. I prefer to make a compote rather than use jam as its more flavourful, but you can of course use strawberry jam if you prefer. The buttercream is flavoured and coloured with real strawberries, no pink food gel here! Strawberry compote adds a sweet, fruity flavour to the cake which pairs beautifully with chocolate.
I also added in some freshly sliced strawberries to the middle of the cake for extra flavour and texture.
This SCRUMPTIOUS cake is adapted from my very popular Vegan Blackberry Cake recipe. With a gluten-free sponge, and strawberry compote in the buttercream, this cake is a summer must make!
How to make a chocolate strawberry cake :
Find the complete recipe with all measurements in the recipe card below.
Make the cakes
- The first step in making this delicious cake is to bake the cakes. In a large bowl (or stand mixer with paddle attachment), mix together the dry ingredients – cocoa powder, gluten-free flour, baking powder bicarbonate of soda and sugar.
- In another medium sized bowl, whisk together the dairy-free milk, lemon juice or vinegar, set aside for 5 minutes to curdle to make a buttermilk.
- In a separate bowl, add in the flaxseed and cold water. Mix then set aside to thicken.
- Mix and combine everything together along with the hot water, then pour into the cake tins.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick inserted down the middle of the cakes come out clean. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Make the strawberry compote
- Add the strawberries, cornflour, lemon juice and sugar into a small saucepan, place on the hob over a low heat. Reduce down until the mixture has thickened and is like jam. Allow to cool before using.
Make the buttercream
- Whip the butter in a bowl, using a electric hand whisk or stand mixer with balloon whisk attachment.
- Sift in the icing sugar and whip in the compote and aquafaba. Check the recipe card below for more tips and tricks for getting the perfect ‘swiss meringue buttercream’.
Slice the strawberries
- Use a sharp knife to slice strawberries to use in the middle of the cake. Try to make the slim slices. Tip – Before use, dry the strawberry slices on kitchen paper. This will help remove any excess moisture which could effect the consistency of the buttercream.
Assemble the cake
- Place a cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand.
- Add the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a swirl of buttercream over the cake, adding some of the compote and the strawberry slices.
- Place the other cake layer on top, then coat the whole cake with buttercream. Use an off-set spatula to help spread the buttercream out, and use a cake scraper to get the slices of the cake neat.
- For decoration, add any left over buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star-tip nozzle, pipe swirls around the top edge of the cake.
- Cut strawberries in half, dab them on kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture and press onto the side of the cake. Best to do this just before serving, as the strawberries are moist, they can leak moisture down the sides of the cake.
Tuck in and enjoy!
Tips for a successful cake :
Prepare your pans before making the cake : To prepare your pans, line the base and sides of the tin with grease-proof paper. Stick the grease-proof paper into the pan using a little vegan butter/margarine.
Make sure the cakes are cool before frosting : There’s nothing worse than making a cake, to ruin it by putting buttercream on then it melting off. Make sure everything is cool before assembly.
Make sure the compote is cold before adding it into the buttercream : If you add hot / warm compote into the buttercream, it will immediately melt the butter, creating a liquid buttercream. It might even split the butter, so make sure it’s cold before it goes in!
Use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to make the buttercream : To make my ‘Swiss meringue buttercream’, it’s always best to use an electric whisk for this, as it will create an extremely light and airy buttercream. I personally use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment as I find this gives perfect result.
Use a vegan block butter for the buttercream : As you’ll be adding in compote to the buttercream, it’s best to use a vegan block butter as this will help create a sturdier buttercream. Strawberries contain a lot of moisture, so if you were to use a vegan margarine, it will be a very loose buttercream.
To to store the cake / left over slices?
The cake can be stored in the fridge, best eaten within 4 days of making. I find it helpful to cover the cut open part of the cake with some grease-proof paper to prevent the cake from drying out.
When served straight from the fridge, the buttercream will have set. Leave it on the contertop to come to room temperature for around 10 minutes.
Looking for more cake recipes? Check these out:Print
Chocolate Strawberry Cake
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 8–10 1x
- Diet: Vegan
The BEST Vegan and Gluten-free Chocolate Strawberry Cake- a rich chocolate cake, fruity strawberry compote & fresh strawberry buttercream.
Ingredients for the cakes
- 70g of cocoa powder
- 270g of self raising gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
- 410g of caster sugar
- 250ml of dairy-free milk
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- 15g of ground flaxseed
- 65ml of cold water
- 220ml of hot water
- 120ml of sunflower oil
Ingredients for the strawberry compote
- 150g of fresh / frozen strawberries
- 50g of caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon of corn starch / corn flour
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice / water
Ingredients for the buttercream
- 200g of dairy-free block butter
- 200g of icing sugar
- 3 tablespoons of strawberry compote
- 40ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine)
- Fresh strawberries
- Flowers (not edible!)
Method (chocolate cakes)
- Preheat oven 180°C fan and line two 8-inch loose base / spring-form cake tins with grease-proof paper.
- Sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar into a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add the dairy-free milk and lemon juice/vinegar into a jug or bowl, whisk to combine. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to curdle. This makes a vegan buttermilk.
- Add the ground flaxseed and cold water into a bowl, stir to combine and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Add the vegan buttermilk to the dry ingredients, along with the flax eggs, oil and hot water. Stir into a batter. It will be quite thin.
- Evenly divide the batter into the cake tins (approximately 700g of cake batter in each tin). Tap on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
- Place the cakes into the middle of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes come out clean and they are springy to the touch.
- Once baked, allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove from the tins and place on a cooling rack to cool fully. I like to place the cakes in a sealed container overnight. This makes them even more moist.
Method (strawberry compote)
- Place the strawberries into a medium-sized saucepan and sprinkle over the sugar, cornflour / cornstarch and lemon juice / water.
- Place on top onto the hob over a medium to high heat and bring to the boil. This will take around 5-8 minutes. Keep stirring with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from sticking and burning. It will start to turn thick. Once thick, remove from the heat and allow to cool before using. As it cools, it will thicken up even more and turn into a jellified sauce/jam.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. As the compote cools, it might go too thick. If this happens, give it a vigorous whisk before use.
- In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter, whip until pale and creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand-mixer will work great too.
- Sift in the icing sugar and add in 3 tablespoons of strawberry compote, whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.
- Pour in the aquafaba and whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don’t over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until it’s thick and creamy. The buttercream should be airy and light. You might need to add in some more butter to get it to the right consistency. Tip- If the buttercream ever looks like its splitting, add chunks more butter at a time while its still whipping on medium / high speed. It should come back together within a minute or two.
- Stack and fill the cakes with some buttercream and compote (watch how I decorate this cake here). Optional: Place slices of fresh strawberries into the buttercream / compote before placing the other cake on top.
- Place the second cake layer on top. Pressing it down gently so it sticks.
- Crumb coat the whole cake with a little buttercream, then place into the freezer to firm up. This will take 5 minutes. You don’t want to actually freeze the cake, just set the buttercream firm. This helps with ease at applying the final coat. If you’d like to learn ‘how to ice cakes’ and applying buttercream, make sure to pick up a copy of my book. It will really help you!!
- Apply a thick coat of strawberry buttercream all around the top and sides of the cake. Use a cake scraper or pallet knife to make it smooth.
- Make decorative lines in the buttercream using a small off-set spatula, drag it from the bottom to the top of the cake, wiping off any excess buttercream in-between each swipe.
- Transfer any left over buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip nozzle (I use a Wilton 2D tip), and pipe a decorative swirl along the top edge of the cake.
- To decorate the cake, press whole, fresh strawberries to the side of the cake.
- Decorate the top of the swirls with some flowers, the flowers I have used here are gypsophilia and I think make the cake look beautiful, but they are NOT edible! If you do use these flowers remember to remove them before eating. Check out the photos on this post for reference.
To store: Store in a sealed container in the fridge, allow to come to room temperature before enjoying.
What is aquafaba? Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of chickpeas. The chickpea water or brine as it’s called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, cupcakes and delicious meringue buttercream. You can also get aquafaba in a carton for easy use.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
- Category: Cakes and layer cakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: gluten-free cake, vegan chocolate strawberry cake, chocolate strawberry cake
Hi Holly, I’d love to make this cake but don’t have access to GF self-raising flour, will it work with regular self-raising flour? TIA
Helloo, as the sponge cake been specifically made to be gluten-free, I wouldn’t switch out the flour. Instead, Use this sponge recipe -https://www.thelittleblogofvegan.com/2022/06/vegan-funfetti-cake.html , then follow the steps for the strawberry compote and buttercream as normal. Hope this helps xx
Do you just have aquafaba on hand from other cooking?
Hello, You get aquafaba (chickpea brine) from a can of chickpeas. Open the can, drain the chickpeas, then simply use the chickpea water, this is called aquafaba. The chickpeas can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge 🙂 If you want a use for them, check out my vegan sausage rolls, https://www.thelittleblogofvegan.com/2019/01/easy-vegan-sausage-rolls.html Enjoy! x
Hi Holly, thanks for all the wonderful vegan recipes! Can I confirm if 410 g of sugar is correct?
Hello,Thank you! It sure is 🙂 x
I made this for my boyfriend’s birthday and it was delicious! I think I could have used double the frosting, I could not achieve the same look with the amount of frosting made in the recipe. I will definitely make this again!
The cake look great but it didn’t rise as much
as in the photo I’m guessing you’ll have to
make double this recipe to achieve a good
Hello, oh what size cake tins did you use? If you used larger tins, it will be a flatter cake! xx
The frosting is really delicious but there’s not enough for two cakes and pretty decorations. Definitely double the frosting recipe if you decide to make this cake.