'Best ever' strawberry cake starts with a mix

Linda Cicero
The Miami Herald

Q: When I saw a strawberry cake recipe in your column I was so excited, and then I realized it wasn't the one I wanted. The recipe I want I clipped from your column long ago and lost in Hurricane Andrew. It called for fresh or frozen strawberries in the batter and frosting, and you would never guess it came from a mix.

A: This recipe dates from 1983 and originated with Glenda Rice Collins of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, who said it brought back memories of her home economics teacher, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, at Cherokee Junior High in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Avenue, Doral, Fla. 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

Best Strawberry Cake Ever

1 box white cake mix

1 (4-serving size) strawberry-flavored gelatin

1/2 cup water

4 eggs

1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, halved

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, halved

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan, three 8- or 9-inch round pans or one Bundt pan.

Beat cake mix, dry gelatin mix, oil and water with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Continue to beat for 2 minutes. Beat in strawberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake 20 to 25 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for sheet cake, 50 minutes to 1 hour for Bundt cake, or until cake springs back when pressed in center. Cool on wire racks.

To make frosting, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy and no sugar granules remain. Beat in strawberries, salt and nuts. Makes 12 servings.

Per serving: 536 calories; 23 g fat (7.3 g saturated fat; 38 percent calories from fat); 79 g carbohydrates; 82 mg cholesterol; 464 mg sodium; 4.8 g protein; 0.6 g fiber.