Recipe of the Week, January 20: Strawberry Cake
This cake is fabulous. You can leave out the nuts and coconut if you're making it for someone who doesn't like them (as in the photo) and it's still delicious.
1 box white or yellow cake mix (approx. 18 to 21 ounces)
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 cup flaked coconut
1 package (3 oz) strawberry flavored gelatin
1/2 cup milk
1 cup mashed fresh or frozen strawberries (if using frozen, drain some of the juice off and reserve)
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix cake mix with strawberry flavored gelatin. Add eggs, coconut, oil, and milk; and beat until well blended. Stir in 1 cup mashed strawberries and 1 cup pecans. Bake in 3 generously greased and floured 8- or 9-inch round layer pans at 350° for 35 minutes, or until cake tests done*.
Spread frosting (directions below) over cake layers and sides of cake.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick butter (2 ounces), room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup strawberries, mashed (drain and reserve juice)
5 to 6 cups sifted powdered sugar (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
Thoproughly blend cream cheese and butter; mix in vanilla and powdered sugar until a firm but spreadable consistency is achieved. Stir in drained strawberries and pecans. Drizzle cooled layers with reserved juice then spread with a layer of icing; ice sides and top.
Store cake in an airtight container or wrapping; refrigerate.
*Lightly touch cake in the center with a finger; if it springs back, the cake is done.