Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Southern Strawberry Cake - Happy 13th Birthday Mackenzie & {My Promise to My Sweet Girl}

Last Sunday we celebrated my sweet girl Mackenzie's 13th Birthday...... *sigh* Thirteen!!! Where did time go and when did my baby turn into a young lady? Her dad was out of town so we celebrated a day late. Mackenzie is a simple girl just like her mama (I love that about her). 

All she wanted to do for her big day was go out to eat as a family and have mom make her birthday cake! It doesn't get any simpler than that. I did take her for a shopping day at Justice and she picked out quite a few cute outfits.
Dad helped her with the remaining money she needed from saved Christmas Gift Cards & Birthday money to finally purchase the Ipod touch she's has been wanting. Oh how things have suddenly changed.

No more tea parties, playing dress up or baby dolls. Now it's all about music, friends, giggling girls, and make up. I wish time would stand still so she could be my sweet little girl forever, but I know that's not happening.

Mackenzie and I picked out a Southern Strawberry Cake to celebrate her big day. She loves pink, so this cake was the perfect choice. Frozen strawberries are added to the batter as well as to the butter cream frosting. The strawberries give the frosting such a pretty pink color with added speckles throughout the cake.      

I got this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, "Sweets" by Patty Pinner. I have read this cookbook from cover to cover twice. It's packed full of soul food desserts and memories for each recipe. It's such a great read as well as a great cookbook.  I recognized so many of my favorite southern cakes and desserts that it was hard to put it down.  
Happy 13th Birthday my sweet girl and welcome to the teenage years.

  • I promise to nag you about your homework, chores, and making the right choices when it comes to clothes, make up, boys, and friends. 
  • I promise to ask you where you're going, who you're going with, and what time you will be home as well as checking in with you when you're gone. I promise to give you a curfew and consequences if you break it (because nothing good ever happens after midnight). 
  • I promise to make sure you go from putting on your seat belt in our car to knowing and trusting that you will always wear it in any car, including your own. I promise to add a GPS to your phone and your car, so I can find you at all times. 
  • I promise to take your phone and car away from you if I catch you texting when you should be driving. Speaking of driving I promise to teach you myself instead of daddy, because we all know he doesn't have the patience. Besides woman are clearly better drivers. 
  • I promise to help you pick out the appropriate homecoming and prom dress and help you get ready. Know that I will stay up all night to make sure you make it home safely. I also promise not to be too tired to hear all about your big night when you get home, so don't leave anything out. 
  • I promise to always be here with a open ear if you want to talk about anything without placing judgement. I promise that if you do break the rules that there will always be a punishment and this is only because I love you my sweet girl.
  • I promise that if you make the wrong choices along the way that I will do everything in my power to get you back on track. I also know one day that you will say you hate me, but please know that only means I'm doing my job.
  • You won't understand all my rules and limits that I place on you, but you will understand them one day when you have your own children. Always remember Mackenzie that no matter what you do or say I will always love you .  
Happy Birthday My Sweet Girl!

Southern Strawberry Cake
1 - box white cake mix (without pudding)
1 - (3 ounce) package strawberry gelatin 
1 - tablespoon flour
4 - teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 - cup vegetable oil
4 - eggs
1/2 - cup water
5 - ounces mashed frozen strawberries, thawed, drained (reserve any juice)

Strawberry Butter cream Frosting:

1 - stick (1/2 cup) real butter, softened 

1/4 - teaspoon clear vanilla extract
3  3/4 cups powdered sugar (1-16 oz box)

1/4 - cup mashed frozen strawberries with juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

To make the cake, combine the dry cake mix, gelatin, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well. 

Add the oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well (using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer) after each addition Add the water and strawberries and mix well. 

Divide the batter evenly into two 9 x 1.5 inch or two 10 -inch round baking pans that have been greased and floured. 

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the layers pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer the layers from the oven to wire racks. Let them cool, still in their pans, for 10 minutes. 

After 10 minutes, run a knife around the inside edge of each pan, then UN mold each layer onto the racks to cool completely.

To prepare the frosting beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, powdered sugar and strawberries with juice. 

Beat until creamy (adding more sugar if the frosting is too thin).  

If the frosting is too thick thin it out with milk (1 teaspoon) at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Frost cooled cake. 

Recipe source: Sweets by Patty Pinner
Servings: 14 -16


Katie said... #

This looks heavenly. My daughters will be two and three next month and I think I'll be whipping up one of these beautiful things to celebrate with.

Deb said... #

Can't wait to try this cake recipe, but loved your blog post more! Made me a little "weepy". My daughter just turned 23 in November, graduated college in December and is off serving in Uganda at a special needs orphanage for 3 months. Cherish these next ten years, no matter how crazy they get...I promise they will go by WAY TOO FAST!

Tina Butler said... #

Thank you so much Deb. She's the only sweet girl I have. My oldest son turns 19 next month and time has flown by with him. It's so sad when your babies grow up.

The Better Baker said... #

What a great post! Happy Birthday to your beautiful Teenage daughter! The recipe looks awesome too. She has great taste. *-* I know you are enjoying every moment...they do grow up much too quickly.

Anonymous said... #

What do you use if you don't have
10 inch pans. Looks great!

Tina Butler said... #

You can also use 9 x 1.5 inch round cake pans as well. I would not go any smaller. Standard round cake pans are 8 inches. If you use 8 inch round pans you will need to use 3.

NancyC said... #

Your strawberry cake looks so good–I can see why it's your daughter's favorite! I hadn't heard of the Sweets cookbook, so I'll have to check it out!

Jane said... #

That is so nice Tina! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

Donna Davis said... #

What a sweet letter to your daughter! I loved it, and I wish her a Happy 13th. The cake looks wonderful, and I can't wait to try it. Thanks for giving us a smile today!

Ana V said... #

Happy Birthday to your lil angel....the time flys. My oldest just turned 13 in December and though I am very happy an d proud of the lil woamn she is becoming I still miss her baby years...I do have 2 other girls ages 10 and 6 plus a lil boy age 2 and one on the way...so I have a while before I gotta get used them all beeing grown...I hope it goes by slowly! :)

Anonymous said... #

Does this cake need to be refrigerated and can you use a 9x13 pan?

Tina Butler said... #

The original recipe called for 3 round cake pans. I used two 10 inch. It might be too much batter for a 9x13 in, so all I can suggest is try it.

As for refrigerating the cake or not. I did not, because it did not have a cream cheese frosting. I usually only refrigerate cakes that have a cream cheese or whipped cream frosting. As well as any cutartd or fruit filling or fruit toppings.

Crystal said... #

Tina, I cried the whole way through your post. My grandmother made this very cake for each of my birthdays, and it made me somehow feel like thoe times would last forever. I now have two daughters of my own that I bake this cake for, cant believe my babies are 15 and 7! I love what you wrote to your daughter, it says so much to her, and about you as as mom. Thank you for bringing back fabulous memories, and being such a great mom as well, she will thank you each and every day for being what she needed : )

barb said... #

beautiful cake looks yummy and what you said almost made me cry . love my sister tina and my neice kenzie love u hummus from burrito auntie barb

Lori said... #

She MUST look like you exactly when you were little. She's absolutely lovely Tina! Please give her my belated birthday wishes followed by a whoop whoop holla!

Unknown said... #

Tina, I have tears in my eyes. You are such an amazing Mom. Your daughter is so lucky! And she is a doll. Happy belated birthday to your cute girl... oh and this cake sounds amazing. Totally making this soon!

Anonymous said... #

I was wondering what I can do instead of the self rising flour. Is there a way I can substitute regular flour with baking powder? This looks so delicious!!

Tina Butler said... #

Copy and paste this link http://www.mommyskitchen.net/2008/05/emergency-cooking-substitutions.html or open the link in a new window. It's my baking & cooking substitution listing. Scroll down just a tad and you will see "how to make your own self rising flour" using all purpose. You should be good to go after that.

Anonymous said... #

I used the recipe with a 13x9 pan and its cooling as we speak. I think this might wind up being daughters bday cake too. She just turned 3 and cake day is tomorrow! :)

cloey t. said... #

For the frosting,I wonder what kind of juice I need to add with strawberries. It says strawberries with juice, what kind of juice I need?

Tina Butler said... #

You would use the same kind (frozen strawberries in juice) like you added to the cake batter. You can find frozen strawberries w/juice in the freezer section of the grocery store.

Unknown said... #

Hi! Just wanted to say that I have that cookbook and it is a wonderful one with awesomw awesome stories!

Anonymous said... #

Don't have self rising flour what can I sub?

Tina Butler said... #

Since it is only 1 tablespoon of self rising flour. I think you could get away with using 1 tablespoon of all purpose or cake flour.

Anonymous said... #

Ok. Thanks! :). Making this Saturday for my daughters 4th birthday!

Anonymous said... #

hi great recipe! has this been tried as cupcakes?

AlexLuv2Cook said... #

Can I use fresh strawberries instead of frozen ones for this recipe?

Unknown said... #

Where's the link to Pinterest??

Tina Butler said... #

The pin it button is at the top and bottom of the post.

Valerie said... #

Love this cake. It is always requested by friends and family. I also bought the cookbook "Sweets" by Patty Pinner. Love it!!!

Unknown said... #

Im from denmark and we dont have cake mixes or self raising flour, any ideas what to use instead? Looks very good, my kids will love it

Anonymous said... #

I have made this cake for years. I was a high school librarian and made 3 cakes in sheet pans for my assistants (40-52) each year on my birthday. My recipe included 1 c. chopped pecans and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut in the cake batter. Never even crumbs left in the pans, LOL!

Anonymous said... #

Is strawberry gelatin the same as jello? and what would happen if I use regular vanilla extract and not clear

irishfancy said... #

Wait until your oldest is turning 47. Then you really wonder where the time went. Think I will make this cake for Valentines. My guys will love it. Thank you for posting.

Anonymous said... #

I love the promises that you have made to your daughter for her 13th birthday. Very heart touching for me. I plan on trying this cake it sound wonderful.

novalh42 said... #

I purchased whole frozen strawberries. Was that right? I guess I need to cut them up??

Unknown said... #

My cake didn't rise much at all! :( Was I supposed to use self rising flour? Where in the recipe does it say to do so??

Tina Butler said... #

This recipe uses a cake mix, so it should have no issues with rising. I'm sorry, but not seeing you prepare the recipe makes it hard for me to figure out what went wrong. One tablespoon of flour would not affect if the cake rises or not, so I don't know what happened.

Anonymous said... #

Made this cake for my daughters bday...she lovvvvved it and said it was the best cake everrr. I felt the frosting was too sweet and next time I will sub corn starch for a cup of powdered sugar.

Unknown said... #

Beautiful Birthday wishes Thanx for sharing the lovely wishes and quotes

Unknown said... #

it is awesome, i like it.

tom cruise‬‏ said... #
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said... #

Can this be made in a bundt pan

David said... #

I wish you a very very Happy Birthday to you and Birthday Wishes fill the life with joy and blessings.

Krishna said... #

A Very Happy BirthdayBirthday Wishes for Sister God Bless.

gburcalow said... #

I am wondering if there is any reason a gluten free yellow cake mix could not be substituted? I have not found a white one yet. My granddaughter and I avoid gluten. Strawberry cake is one of my all time favorites!

Syed Muhammad Ali Shah said... #

Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog stand out.
Please let me know where you got your design. Bless you

luvs2bemom said... #

I have been using your recipe for the past year or two and I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for sharing! My family and friends love it and I’ve got one in the oven right now to take to church tonight!- Belinda Morris

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