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Mother’s Day Strawberry Cake

Don’t let the down-market ingredients fool you. This cake is the height of refinement when served with a garnish of fresh berries in season. No one would ever suspect Jell-O to be a primary ingredient. First published in the ’80s in Mississippi Magazine, this recipe has been a favorite of my family for ages. My mother would make it every year for the church picnic (toting it in a fantastic Tupperware cake carrier I wish I could find now) and I recall it being the center of many a Mother’s Day lunch. Mama took out the coconut and pecans called for in the original icing recipe, and I think her tweak makes for a lighter, prettier cake in the end. Wherever it is served, it is a bright spot of deliciousness, and pretty too. (Photo by Rory Doyle for Mississippi Magazine).

Ingredients

  • 1 (16.5 oz) box of white cake mix
  • 1 (3 oz) package of strawberry Jell-O
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries lightly thawed

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With mixer, combine cake mix and dry Jell-O mix together. Add oil and milk, beating at medium speed. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Slowly blend in strawberries. Pour into two greased and floured 9-inch pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely. Ice with strawberry buttercream icing (recipe below). Yields 12-16 servings.

Strawberry Icing Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (16 oz) package confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup strawberries pulsed in food processor

Directions

With mixer, cream butter and cream cheese. Beat in confectioners’ sugar. Blend in strawberries until well mixed. Spread between layers, on sides and top of cake. Garnish with fresh berries.

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