Over the last few months, I’ve realized that food is my love language. If I want to show my affection or support for someone—a friend, a family member, Dr. Cake Pants, Phoebe, etc.—I turn to food. So naturally, with the most love-centric holiday on the horizon, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create a special dessert: chocolate snack cake with strawberry frosting!
This recipe is a variation on a theme: the chocolate cake has appeared in a number of posts (Baileys peppermint chocolate cake, Black Forest poke cake) and the frosting is the same as the one I used for my lemon snack cake, only with freeze-dried strawberries instead of freeze-dried raspberries. If you’ve never used freeze-dried fruit in frosting before, you’ll be amazed at how much flavor and color it adds – no artificial coloring needed! Several people have even told me that although they generally dislike frosting, they very much enjoy this frosting because it’s not overly sweet and the predominant flavor is fruit, rather than sugar.
If you’re anything like me and Valentine’s Day kind of crept up on you, this chocolate snack cake with strawberry frosting is going to be a lifesaver. Not only is it quick to make and vegan to boot, but you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry! You may not have a bag of freeze-dried strawberries on hand, BUT, life hack time: do you have a box of Special K with berries? Bingo. Or if all else fails, just skip the strawberries and toss some colored sprinkles on top!
- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup freeze-dried strawberries
- chocolate-covered strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until all the lumps have been broken up.
- Add the water, vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract to the mixture of dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
- For the frosting: in the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar. Add the almond milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Using a food processor or blender, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder. Add the powder to the mixer bowl and mix until combined. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Optional: top with chocolate-covered strawberries.
- If you are not concerned with keeping the frosting vegan, feel free to use regular butter and regular milk.