Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
-1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
-3/4 cup hot water
-2 large eggs
-2 tsp vanilla
-1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
-2 cups unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
-1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 1 cup whole fresh or frozen- stemmed, hulled and pureed)
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease 1 six-inch round baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment.
Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients (water in slowly as not to cook the eggs, if very hot).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on medium for 2-3 minutes. The batter should be thin.
Pour evenly into the prepared pan. (There will be a lot left over if you're using a small pan. You can either dispose of it or make more cakes.)
Bake until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out mostly clean, for 30-35 minutes. Gently flip each cake out onto a plate and slide onto a cooling rack. Continue to let it cool before frosting.
Make strawberry puree by blending the fresh strawberries in a food processor or mixer. Blend until small bits remain. In a mixing bowl, add the dairy-free butter (the butter needs to be cold for this to work well).
Cream the butter just until it starts to break apart. Add in half the powdered sugar and beat again. Add in the strawberry puree and extract. Beat again. Add in the remaining powdered sugar and blend again until well combined.
While the cake is still upside down, pipe the top of the cake with the frosting in a circular motion. Using a small spoon, place dollops of ganache around the top edges of the cooled cake, allowing some to drip down. Design your cake with the meringues, macarons, and chocolate garnishes (aka picks). Serve and enjoy!!