When it comes to Paula Deen I have mixed emotions. As a mother and someone who doesn't wish to die of heart disease in my forties I'll admit her southern recipes are often impractical for everyday fare. But as someone who loves good food I also have to admit that her butter soaked recipes are tried and true. I have relied on Paula Deen many times in the past and I have yet to be disappointed. So, if you're looking for something rich and delicious, she's your girl. And her strawberry cake is no exception.
I just made this cake last weekend for Easter, and so I've inserted a few editorial notes in italics:
Paula Deen's Strawberry Cake
- 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
- 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin (Don't be afraid, it's not one of those gross jello recipes,your Aunt Erma used to force on you in your childhood. I promise.)
- 1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed (I used fresh strawberries. I cut them up and mashed them a few hours before I started baking the cake so they would macerate and resemble thawed, frozen strawberries.)
- 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 (I forgot to buy the strawberry extract and didn't taste quite as good without it)
- 7 cups confectioners' sugar
- Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. (I used a 9x13 pan and baked it for 12 minutes longer).
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 vanilla 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. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.