Pride Goeth before a fallen cake

March 29th, 2008 Laura

This Easter, though having intended not to have to make a dessert (I in fact bought a dessert from a local bakery, namely St. Joseph’s Pastries, a seasonal delight here in NYC) but with about a cup of strawberries going soft (the sad truth is that if you buy a box of strawberries and stick ‘em in the so-called “crisper” drawer for a few days everybody in the family forgets about ‘em, nobody eats ‘em, and when finally confronted with them, nobody wants them.  Yet a hue & cry arose from the family when I decided to bake with ‘em). I had to do something with ‘em, and I was just itching to try the “light strawberry cake” recipe posted below on the grounds that it would be both delicious and low cholesterol.  So, acting on an impulse, and realizing that it was an incredibly wonderful coincidence that I had a spare box of strawberry-flavored gelatin and an angel-food cake mix that had passed its expiry date late last year, I threw it together before any one could effectively stop me, and was proud to pull from the oven a light, airy cake that was a deep rich pink inside.  I was proud that I had been lucky and the cake had been browned and risen fairly evenly and had not fallen during baking.  However, the top of one of the layers “deflated” upon exposure to the cold air (it could have been far worse considering the dire warnings they give you not to bake Angel Food cake batter in layer pans and NEVER to grease the pan (both pans were greased & floured).  Alas, this happy outcome was not to last.  Having greased & floured my shallow round layer pans thoroughly, I gave a vigorous “shake” to each to help move the cake out.  The cakes came out of the pans with no trouble, but you know how they say “if something seems too good to be true it probably is”.  That was precisely the trouble: the cakes came out of the pans a little _too_ easily. My shaking of the second pan must have been too vigorous, because layer #2 not only ended up breaking apart, but on the floor.  The remaining cake, though not looking as good or as “polished” as I had hoped tasted better than store bought mixes for pink strawberry cake and I think it was more moist.  I’ll probably make this again for Mother’s Day.


Light Strawberry Cake

Light strawberry cake is beautiful, delicious

Dear Jeanne,

I love this cake, but a cup of oil is a lot. Can you make it just as delicious with less oil?

— Jo Ann, Dallas


1 box white cake mix

3 tablespoons flour

1 box strawberry gelatin

½ cup water

1 cup oil

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed


¼ pound butter or margarine

1-pound box powdered sugar

Strawberries, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 F. With an electric mixer, combine the cake mix, flour, gelatin, water and oil. Beat well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and strawberries. Divide the batter between 2 or 3 round layer pans. Bake 25-30 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the icing ingredients, adding as many strawberries as needed to make the icing spreadable.

Makes 12 servings.

Dear Jo Ann,

This is a delicious and beautiful pink cake. I find that reducing the fat in cake mixes works very well, and the strawberries added to this one really add a lot of flavor, moistness and color. If you wish to reduce the amount of icing, use only two layers of cake and put the icing only on the tops, not on the sides. This method adds plenty of icing, and looks very nice. Adding fresh berries on top of the cake or on the serving plate adds extra nutrition and beauty.


1 box white or yellow cake mix

1 small (4 servings) package sugar-free strawberry gelatin

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup strawberries, thawed if frozen, pureed if fresh

½ cup water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 egg whites


2 tablespoons butter, softened

4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

Strawberries and juice to moisten (about 2 tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray 2 cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour. Set aside.

Place the cake mix, strawberry gelatin and flour in a large bowl, and mix together. In another bowl, combine the strawberries, the water and the vegetable oil. Pour wet ingredients all at once over dry ingredients and combine. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating after each addition. This should take several minutes.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool on a rack.

For frosting: In a large bowl, mix together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and beat well. Add the strawberries a little at a time until the icing is a good spreading consistency.

Place the first layer rounded side (top) down on a serving plate. Spread with about ½ cup of icing. Put the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread it with another half-cup of the icing. Spread the rest of the icing on the sides if using, then refrigerate.

Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains approximately:

Original Recipe: 623 calories; 31 gm fat; 83 mg cholesterol; 296 mg sodium; 84 gm carbohydrates; 5 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.

Revised Recipe: 311 calories; 8 gm fat; 6 mg cholesterol; 289 mg sodium; 57 gm carbohydrates; 4 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.

For more information, go to Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light (Pocono Record), P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (63 cents), self-addressed envelope.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Michelle  |  September 3rd, 2008 at 3:33 am

    It looked like a molten sea of Pepto-Bismol.

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