Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mama F's Strawberry Cake

As with everything in my life, this recipe has a back story. Did was my best friend from the time we were in eighth grade on. Every year she had a slumber birthday party. Every year her mother, Mama F, made this fabulous cake. When BabyGirl asked for a "pink strawberry cake" for her fourth birthday, I could think of nothing better than this cake. I emailed Mama F & begged for her recipe. She gladly sent it to me. Last year, I discovered Did did not even have her mother's recipe. I told her it's because her mother likes me more...but in reality, it's because Did never asked.

You should also know that Mama F was an English teacher & is a published author. If you read this recipe through, you'll see those facts clearly. So with no more ado and without further gilding the lily, I give you Mama F's Strawberry Cake exactly as it was sent to me.

This is out of the section of The James K. Polk Cookbook [the first one] from the recipes sent in by 1st ladies. I'll try to remember and italicize my editorial comments.

Strawberry Cake
1 package yellow or white cake mix
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin (Jello)
3/4 cup cooking oil (I use 1/2 c oil and 1/4 c water)
1 cup chopped nuts (I don't put these in because I don't want to)
4 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1 package (10 ounces) frozen strawberries or 1 pint fresh strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar*
Mix all ingredients and beat well; pour into a greased angel food cake pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done. (Mama F always baked the cake in two 9 inch round pans for a layer cake instead.)
Serve plain or with whipped cream.** Rosalynn Carter
OK, FarmWife, here's how the cake you ate deviates:
*In strawberry season, I freeze strawberries. Specifically, I slice them, mildly fill quart freezer bags with the slices, add 1/4 cup sugar, seal, and let them languish on the counter until they form a little juice- probably no more than 30 minutes. FOR THE CAKE, I thaw a quart of the berries and, with a slotted spoon, scoop out about 10 ounces of them to put in the batter. There will be juice and several slices left. Onward...
**After the two layers are cool, I "ice" the cake with a really big bowl of Cool Whip (or store brand sub) with the remaining strawberry juice and pulp stirred in. The two ingredients will at first vigorously resist being combined, but persevere; it will happen.
Of course, with this icing, the cake will have to be covered and refrigerated and, if your cake holder is like mine, will take up a huge space. I stick toothpicks in the tip and sides so the Saran Wrap doesn't stick to the icing. It's better/moister if it sits a day.

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