One of the first recipes we made together was Sean’s birthday cake in December 2014.  It is a delightful concoction of chocolate and strawberries, two of his favorite things.  For more of the story on that, see below, because we really know you’re just after the recipe.


Chocolate Strawberry Celebration Cake

(a.k.a. Sean’s birthday cake)




  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • I cup (8 oz) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted


  • 2 cups butter, softened (Yes, that much butter.  Trust us.)
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk


  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 lb fresh strawberries


  1. Combine the first seven ingredients; beat on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat on medium for 2 minutes.  Transfer to 2 greased and floured 9 inch round baking pans.
  2. Bake a 350 degrees for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick near the center comes out clearn.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter, confectioners sugar, and cocoa until light and fluffy.  Beat in milk until smooth.  Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.
  4. Pipe or spoon melted chocolate onto waxed paper in decorative designs; let stand until set.
  5. For ganache, place chocolate in a small bowl.  Heat cream just to a boil, pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth.  Drizzle over top of cake, allowing ganache to drape down sides.
  6. Arrange strawberries on top of cake.  Top with chocolate garnishes.