Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"A Hot Pink Birthday"

candles on the cake, and a little traditional decoration
Saturday was my birthday, I turned 23! I took the day off work, got a brand new hair cut, tried my hand at bar tending (more on that later) ate crab Rangoon (my favorite) and baked wonderful magnificent strawberry cake!

new hair cut!

I know it seems lame in theory to bake your own birthday cake but this cake is so easy it didn't seem like work anyway.  At first glance this seems gross I know but, I grew up eating this cake. My grandmother has been making it for as long as I can remember for just about every occasion (it's the very same I raved about on new years) and I just love it to death. I'll even be scandalous and tell you that even though I'm mildly allergic to strawberries this is (in all my 23 years) my favorite cake ever. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago I even knew the recipe was written down someplace so I could make it ( a true rarity among southern cooks) and just like I'm sure you did, the moment I read down the list and found Jello mentioned as an ingredient I was shocked, confused and a little icked out. I mean, Jello? In a cake? Really?

It's very traditional tasting though, and moist (no globs of Jello like you'd expect) you bake the Jello powder in with the cake mix and it just makes everything extra berry-ish and extra hot pink!
The only thing anywhere near gross about this cake is that it's not exactly easy on the eyes (my brother said it looked like raw hamburger meat). The globs of berry all over the place remind me of a few things inappropriate to mention on a food blog and because the icing has actual strawberries in it, it never completely firms up like butter cream does so it's kind of drippy and runny.  If you're patient though and stick it in the fridge here and there your layers will stay straight and stay together. 
One thing I've always loved about eating this cake when my grandmother makes it, is that she so busy she doesn't have time to wait around for some icing to firm up. She just tacks it together with toothpicks while it's warm, gets the icing done and fishes them out after. Which kills me. Every now and then you'll get a slice with a toothpick sticking out the side. haha.

halfway frosted it almost looked like a macaron

I followed the recipe as written this time because I wanted it to taste like her cake( and it totally did), but I'm looking forward to revisiting this recipe later when I'm a more seasoned baker and replacing some of the things I'd object to if I got the recipe from anywhere else (i.e. the various mixes and dyes). This is however perfect exactly as is, looks, allergies, toothpicks and mixes be damned.

Strawberry Jello Cake

1 Box white cake mix
1 (3 ounce) Package strawberry jello
1 Cup Wesson oil (vegetable oil)
½ cup water
4 eggs
One half of a(16 ounce) pkg frozen strawberries, thawed and crushed

Beat at low speed until mixed.  Bake in two 9 inch cake pans 350° for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.

1 box powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
one half a (16 ounce) pkg frozen strawberries, thawed and crushed

Mix together.  Spoon over cake.

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