I am not a baker.
I don’t own a stand mixer, or even a hand mixer. And I don’t particularly like to measure or deal with the chemistry of having ingredients at specific temperatures before putting them together (softened butter, room temperature this, cold that) or fretting when a cake won’t come out of a pan, or a cake collapses. Or I get curious, open the oven door to peak, and ruin the cake. Give me a break; there are just too many particulars.
However, my mom can flat out bake a cake: Pound Cake, Chocolate Sheetcake (famous), Brownstone Front Cake, Hummingbird Cake and her own Strawberry Cake.
Discovering this no-fail recipe may get me at least partially on track to becoming a master cake baker. I give you… Paula Deen’s Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake. It’s essentially a measure-free jazzed up box cake.
1 box white cake mix (18.25 oz)
1 box strawberry Jello (3 oz)
about 15 oz of frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 package cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
about 10 oz. frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 cups confectionerss sugar
Fresh strawberries for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare two round, 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray.
2. Combine cake mix, Jello, thawed strawberries (pureed if you want to wash another appliance), eggs, oil and water. Stir until smooth. Divide between the two pans and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
3. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on wire racks.
* A little trick I’ve picked up from my mom: Wrap the cake layers in aluminum foil and freeze until you’re ready to ice the cake and eat. A slightly warm cake can melt frosting away, but freezing the cake will not remove the moistness and it will help the cake keep its form.
4. Mix butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add 1/4 cup thawed strawberries (again purred if you want to wash another appliance) and vanilla extract. Add confectioners’ sugar in small batches until smooth.
Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries if you’re feeling like a hostess with the mostest. I took this beauty to Topsail Island for a 4th of July celebration with friends and the Cozort family.
While at Topsail, Captain Jack and Kathy kept us well fed with the famously awesome Low Country Boil (crab legs, clams, shrimp, kielbasa, red potatoes, corn on the cob and spinach), old fashion pork BBQ, hamburgers/hotdogs and Texas Caviar. Many of the recipes feature Captain Jack’s very own spice rub, which can be purchased at a local market on Topsail Island. Or if you have connections, you can go straight to the distributor.