Box of Chocolates Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 3-layer 8-by-8 cake
For the Chocolate Strawberry Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1 ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 ¼ cups whole milk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Classic Fudge Frosting Top:
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • pinch of fine salt
  • ¼ cup (½ stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons milk
For the Red Frosting:
  • 4½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 one-ounce bottle red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
To make the Chocolate Strawberry Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 8-by-8 square pans with baking spray, set aside.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk cocoa powder and espresso powder. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just comes warm to the touch, but not simmering. Pour hot milk over the cocoa and espresso powder, whisk to combine. Let stand until cool, about 6 to 9 minutes.
  4. Once cool, whisk in sugar, jam, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Gently whisk in dry ingredients, until smooth and lump free. Use a rubber spatula to ensure nothing is stuck on the bottom.
  5. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating halfway. A toothpick inserted will come out clean with moist, fudge like crumbs. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely.
To make Classic Fudge Frosting Top:
  1. Sift cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth (because it's such little butter, be sure not to scratch the inside of the mixing bowl), about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn speed to low and slowly add the sifted dry ingredients. If the mixture is looking too thick, add milk a tablespoon at a time. You want a smooth, not runny, consistency and a deep fudgey color.
To Make the Red Frosting:
  1. In a bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter and beat on a high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  3. Reduce the speed to low and the add in sugar/cocoa mixture.
  4. With mixer on low speed, add in milk, red food coloring and vinegar.
  5. Beat on low/medium low speed until smooth.
To assemble the Box of Chocolates Cake:
  1. Place one layer on a cake board, securing it with a dab of frosting. Pipe the perimeter with Red Frosting. Fill the inside with the Chocolate Frosting. Repeat this with the second layer, topping with the final third layer. Do a crumb coat to even out the cake's shape. Chill for 10 minutes. Apply a thicker coat of Red Frosting.
Cake recipe adapted form Food Network
Recipe by Layer Cake Parade at