Joy the Baker

Southern Style Strawberry Cake

June 2, 2008

Praise the heavens!  I got a new cookbook!  I think I was in a cookbook rut.  I found myself relying on the same two cookbooks day after day for my baking indulgence.  Granted, they’re great cookbooks- charming, attractive and funny- but I had heard all their stories, seen all of their dress shirts, and laughed at all their jokes.  I needed something new.

Just when I was about to accept my circumstance, a charming new love came into my life. Sweets by Patty Pinner is my new darling.  This book is more than just a collection of recipes.  Sweets is a gathering of family memories.  In my life food is all about family and memories, so this book has quickly become so so dear to my heart.

Sweets is a southern style cookbook.  The recipes are extremely approachable.  Some of the cakes are made with (gasp!) cake mix, and then fancied up with additional ingredients.  The family pictures are utterly charming and the stories that go along with each recipe are really touching.  I read this book, cover to cover on an airplane, like a novel.  I just love it!

Let me tell you about this strawberry cake.  First things first- it’s sweet and moist and covered in cream cheese frosting and pink tinted coconut.  The best part?  It’s pink on the inside.  Pink!  Come on!  Who doesn’t like pink cake?  This is the kind of dessert that needs to be presented on your prettiest cake platter, under the spot light in your china cabinet.  It’s a show cake.  But it’s also really delicious.  And…  with the fabulous presentation of the cake, and the inevitable oooohs and aaaaahs you’ll get from guests, you’ll NEVER have to tell anyone just how easy it was to make.  It’ll be our little secret.

Southern Style Strawberry Cake

from: Sweets

Print this Recipe!

1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix (without pudding)

1 (3 ounce) package strawberry jello

1 Tablespoon self rising flour

4 teaspoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the cake, combine to cake mix, Jello, flour and sugar in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Add the oil.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition  Add the water and strawberries and mix well.  Divide the batter evenly into three 8-inch round baking pans that have been oiled and floured.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the layers pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer the layers from the oven to wire racks.  Let them cool, still in their pans, for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, run a knife around the inside edge of each pan, then unmold each layer onto the racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

2 (1 pound) boxes powdered sugar

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

pink food coloring

4 sliced strawberries

To make the frosting, in a bowl combine the cream cheese and butter.  Beat until soft and pliable and no lumps remain.  Add one box of the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract.  Beat until incorporated.  Add the second box of sugar and mix until incorporated.  If you would like a smoother consistency, and a slash of milk.  If you would like a thicker consistency, and a bit more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.

Put the coconut in a small bowl and sprinkle with two or three drops of pink die.  Mix with hands to distribute the color and wash hands immediately.  Once the cake is frosted, decorate the top of the cake with the shredded coconut and sliced strawberries. Enjoy!  Happy Strawberry Summer!


123 Comments Add A Comment

  • This just screams summer to me and I love that it starts with a cake mix! Thank you so much for sharing. I have a feeling my family will be thanking you once I treat them to this gorgeous creation!

  • You know I am going to have to buy that now. I will send my husband your site when he complains about another cookbook. ;)
    Looks like a fabulous cake.

  • This looks sooooo good. I grew up in the South and never once saw a cake like that. If I had I might never have moved to Seattle! :-)

    I used to shun recipes that use cake mix but some of them are really good. I just made one the other day that had creme sherry in it and it is magical. When I told my friends that it had a cake mix base, they didn’t believe me! I guess it’s all about tweaking it the right way. That and never, ever using canned frosting. Bleh!

  • I like pink cake! And I also really like cream cheese frosting and strawberries. Sounds to me like I’l love this cake!

  • Looks delicious … it reminds me of the birthday cake my mom always makes me too. It’s a box mix and she uses jello, but she doesn’t mix everything to get a uniform color like that. Instead she bakes the cake like normal, then lightly pricks the tops with a fork and drizzles liquid jello onto it, usually 2 different colors. So that way it’s sort of marbled looking when you slice it, very pretty. She makes cream cheese frosting too, but I think hers is cream cheese, whipped cream, and powdered sugar … I wish I had a piece right now!

  • My mouth is watering,… white cake mix hu? who cares! I am going to bake it!

  • This is the recipe my mom always uses for my birthday cake!! I LOVE it!! (she doesn’t use the pink tinted coconut on top though….I’m definitely going to pass that little tip on to her!!) This looks fantastic and delicious – a beautiful cake!

  • I looked at this book about two months ago in a little book store in Chapel Hill, NC and fell in love with it too. Didn’t buy it though and regretted it all weekend…now I’m regretting it again. Glad to hear someone else liked it as well and gives it good marks…

  • What a great looking cookbook and recipe! I was itching for a new cookbook too, so I bought two the other day…I’m in heaven!

  • oh boy. Pink cake! I may have to bite the bullet and buy cake mix and jello and make this one!

  • This looks sooo good! I am going to add this to my “quick recipes to make for an impromptu get together” collection!

  • Killer photos in this post here. Nice work!

  • A real princess cake. I could see this being a hit at my niece’s 5th birthday. The cookbook sounds like a great read!

  • What a beautiful cake! The colors are fabulous & I can only imagine how good the strawberry / cream cheese combo would be.

    I’ve recently discovered the library has an endless supply of cookbooks. No more cookbook ruts for me!

  • I’m not a fan of coconut, but this pink cake looks so good I may make it anyway! Looks delicious!

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