Strawberry Chocolate Kahlua Cake (with Espresso!)

I found this cake recipe on My Incredible Recipes and it was so beautiful in the photos, I just had to give it a try! Plus I love the flavors of strawberry and chocolate together, I love espresso, and I felt Kahlua would just be a little bonus. It was but very faintly which worked for me. I will say I made a couple of errors while making this cake (which we all had a good laugh at on my Facebook page) but even so, it turned out well, and church people said they loved it! It is very moist cake full of flavor, not at all overpowered by espresso or Kahlua (in fact, I might would add a dab of espresso next time). These instructions make for a delicious dessert!! Let me know if you give it a try.

Note, their recipe used a ganache topping which was beautiful in their photos but I didn’t do that for this cake (probably from pure exhaustion, lol). You can visit their website for the ganache ingredients.

Strawberry Chocolate Kahlua Cake



Prep time


Cooking time



Cake Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour

  • 3 cups sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups special dark chocolate cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1/2 cup Kahlua

  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • Frosting Ingredients
  • 2 cups unsalted sweet cream butter softened

  • 6 cups powdered sugar

  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup finely diced strawberries

  • 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

  • Strawberries for topping

Directions for Cake Layers

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray three 9 in cake pans with Baker’s Joy.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the espresso, Kahlua, and the warm water until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, using a mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined.
  • Gradually add in the eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, espresso mixture you made, oil, and vanilla until combined. Like a dummy, I forgot to add the espresso mixture until after I’d finished everything else and put the darn pans in the oven – I had to go back and add it which was a big mistake!
  • Divide the batter between the 3 pans.
  • Place in the oven to bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow cakes to cool completely before removing them from pans. The original recipe said to let cool for 20 minutes; I did but it was still too soon and my frosting melted into my layers, not good. I would let them cool completely before applying any frosting.
  • Directions for Frosting
  • Using a mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, diced strawberries and heavy whipping cream until combined and creamy and stiff with peaks. My suggestion is add the butter in small portions at a time so it blends well.
  • Directions for Assembling Cake
  • Place one layer of your cake onto cake plate or board.
  • Using an ice cream scooper, scoop about 4-5 scoops of frosting on top of layer and smooth out evenly.
  • Place second layer of cake on top and repeat.
  • Place last layer on top and repeat. Use remaining frosting to do sides of cake.
  • Top with strawberries for decoration if desired. I chopped a few strawberries up finely and sprinkled on top!


  • *For my espresso, I purchased Cafe Bustelo instant espresso packs so I could just one little pack at a time but they also sell it in small cans, great for recipes with espresso flavors.

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