The strawberry fields are ripe for the pickin’ around here, so it’s time to exasperate my family with all things strawberries. This is actually the cake that I have requested for each and every birthday of my life, so it holds a special place in my heart. My mom had her own version, but she found this one of Paula Deen’s, and she’s been using it ever since. You need to come up with some reason, any reason, to make this cake this very week. Your family will thank you. Promise.
INGREDIENTS: 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin 1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed 4 large eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup water Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting 1/4 cup butter, softened 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed 1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract 7 cups confectioners’ sugar Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional
Also optional is adding a thin layer of strawberry jam to each layer.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
For the cake:
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
For the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.
Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. While you’re at it, spread a thin layer of strawberry jam between each layer, too. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.