I have to be honest, I don’t know the exact origins of this recipe. It’s one of those family/friends index-card creations that gets passed around year after year, maybe even generation after generation (the ingredients do conjure up thoughts of 50’s fabulousness). It’s been a staple in my Aunt Mary Jo’s home for years and summer visits by her in Tennessee always mean we’ll be sneaking slices of it morning, noon, and night! The proof of this cake’s popularity is in the pudding, so’s to speak. And my version is just a slight variation on the one you might already know and love. It’s a semi-homemade workhorse that would make Sandra Lee proud…a delicious combination of fresh strawberries with ingredients you probably have in your pantry and fridge. You can change up the flavors depending on your likes or wants, I made this cake a few years ago with berry gelatin and fresh blueberries…raspberries or tart cherries would also be delish as they come into season. Summer means fresh fruit and here’s just one more way to play with it while it’s in season and indulge your sweet tooth at the same time!
For the Cake:
1 cup strawberries, chopped (I prefer to use fresh, but frozen is fine, just strain out the excess juice after you thaw them).
1 3-ounce box strawberry gelatin
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 box white cake mix
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
For the Frosting:
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons light cream cheese, room temperature (if you have strawberry cream cheese, it’s even better!)
1/3 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
Pinch of kosher salt
1 box powdered sugar
Extra strawberries, sliced, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your cake pan(s), set aside. This recipe will make one 13×9-inch single-layer cake or two 8-inch or 9-inch layered rounds.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped strawberries, eggs, and gelatin. Mix on medium-high speed (if using an electric mixer) for 2 minutes until the strawberries are thoroughly incorporated.
- Add the oil, water, cake mix, and flour into the other wet ingredients and mix for a minute or until everything is just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into the cake pans (split equally if making 2 rounds) and bake on the center rack of the oven: 18-22 minutes for two round pans; 32-38 minutes for one 13×9-inch pan. To ensure the cake is fully baked, insert a clean toothpick into the center, if when you remove it, it is dry, the cake is ready.
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes before removing from the tin(s) and continue to cool on a wire wrack.
- Make the frosting while the cake cools by mixing the strawberries, butter, cream cheese, and salt for 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Then, slowly incorporate the powdered sugar about 1/2 at a time on low speed until the frosting is the consistency you like. It might not take the entire box, so add the sugar gradually.
- Frost your cake, then garnish with extra sliced strawberries before you serve and nosh!