When it’s your turn to bring dessert for 12 to the holiday barbecue, this one’s a real old-fashion treat.  The recipe, in various forms, shows up in Mid-west community and church cookbooks since the 1950’s.  Convenience foods were making an appearance and local recipes reflected the trend.  Usually cautious about boxed mixes, this one appeared so often it seemed worth a try.  One of the recipes warned that it probably wouldn’t fit in the small baking pan in the instructions, and several called for an entire box of jello.  But the lure of another strawberry dessert won out—a few tweaks later, it was a winner!    This cake can be made and frosted a day ahead—it holds up well.


  • About 20 good-size strawberries
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 2 tblsps strawberry jello powder
  • 1 cup oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed strawberries


  • ½ cup butter (1 stick) softened
  • 3-4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup drained, mashed strawberries

Chop strawberries, add a little sugar, and bring to slow simmer for about 5 minutes.  Mash and let cool.  Using electric hand mixer, combine all cake ingredients, including 1 cup mashed strawberries.  Measure the ½ cup strawberries for the frosting, and strain liquid into the cake batter.  Butter a 13” x 9” baking pan and line with parchment paper.  Fill with batter and bake at 350’ for 30-35 minutes—until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cake completely before frosting.

Beat softened butter with hand mixer—then gradually add sifted sugar, a cup at a time.  Beat well every time.  Frosting should appear soft and fluffy—it may need a tiny bit of milk or cream.  Add drained strawberries last and stir in by hand.  Use all the frosting on the cake for a nice finish. 

The Kitchen Hive

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