Fresh Strawberry Cake: A story of adapting a classic Southern recipe
One of the most popular Southern cakes that begins with a cake mix is a strawberry cake. If you travel much in the South and visit bakeries, diners, and homes, you will find this layer cake – bright pink and brimming of strawberry flavor.
It is a Sunday cake, a birthday cake, a celebration cake. And it gets that strawberry color and flavor both honestly and maybe not so. For in the cake and frosting there are mashed fresh berries as well as a package of strawberry gelatin.
Which took me down the path of creating a more natural strawberry cake with my Simply Yellow mix. Why add gelatin (which contains food coloring and artificial flavors), I wondered, to a mix that is decidedly natural, clean, pure?
So I baked a strawberry cake with my mix and added only mashed ripe strawberries to the batter, no gelatin. It was a delicious cake – moist, lovely – but it did not resemble visually the strawberry cakes of memory. So I began adding just a little strawberry gelatin to see how little I could add to make the cake pink and still have a natural flavor. One tablespoon was about right, but you can be your own judge and omit the gelatin or add as much as you like.
This is an easy strawberry cake that uses my mix. It is perfect for spring parties but also summer picnics, fall birthdays, winter celebrations, and Valentine’s, too. Garnish this cake with sliced fresh strawberries all mounded in the center or with shavings of white and dark chocolate. However you garnish it, this cake will take you back in time and create new taste memories as well.