Grandmother's Strawberry Cake

Every. Single. Birthday.  This is the desert I requested from my Grandmother.  Strawberry Cake. Still to this very day I love a strawberry cake for my birthday. 

Now I have to divert for a second.  My grandmother was not a lovey-dovey kind of grandmother.  But every cloud has a silver lining.  She was a librarian who would read and tell me stories.  Grandmother was also a good cook who brought her family to the table.  Almost every Sunday lunch was at her house.

My grandmother had some signature recipes.  Her small, flaky biscuits were delicious.  Her muscadine jelly was to die for...and on her biscuits, oh my!  But this cake stands out as the #1 best thing she ever made.  

It is surprisingly easy.  Click HERE for the printable recipe.

Cake Ingredients
1 box of white cake mix
1 small box of strawberry jello
1/2 cup of water
3 large eggs  (4 if medium) beaten
1 cup of strawberries
1/2 cup of oil

You can make this recipe in 3 round pans or for an easier version you can make it as a sheet cake in a 9 x 13 pan.

Mix cake mix, jello, oil, beaten eggs and water. Beat on high for 2 minutes.  Add strawberries and mix well.  Pour into greased pan(s).  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Use a cake tester to make sure the cake is completely done before removing.  

Icing Ingredients
1 stick of butter softened
1 box of confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup of drained strawberries

Cream butter, add sugar.  Mix well.  Add strawberries and stir into the mix. Ice as you desire...just try to keep yourself from eating all the icing before you ice the cake. 

It's neat to think that in spite of a really hard relationship I can come away with some sweet memories...and a delicious cake recipe.

Grandmama's Strawberry Jelly

When we were newly married, Taylor's Grandmama became my cooking/cleaning coach.  I was never able to surpass my teacher...bless my heart, she tried her best.  She could out-cook and out-clean me any day of the week--even at 80 years of age.  

Strawberry jelly was one of her best lessons.  If I follow her directions, I can still make some good jelly. 


Click HERE for the printable recipe.

The very first step is to make sure that your mason jars and tops are cleaned and dry.

4 cups crushed strawberries
7 cups of sugar
1/2 T of butter
1 package of Sure Gel gel

Wash the strawberries and remove the caps.  This year I put my strawberries in the blender on the lowest setting. (This would never have happened with Grandmama!) This cut my cooking time down by a lot.  I will do this from now on.  The result was more jelly than jam...but I was really pleased with the difference.

Put 4 cups of the crushed berries into a large pot on the stove.  Add the butter and sugar.  Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.  The package of Sure Gel calls for a 1 minute boil, but Grandmama always said they got that wrong.  (I mean what do they really know?)  So I have always doubled the cooking time on the recipe.

Once the first boil is finished add the package of liquid gel and boil for 2 more minutes.  Remove from the stovetop.

While the jelly is still hot, ladle it into your clean mason jars.  Leave just a little bit of space between the top of the jar and the jelly...don't fill it completely to the tip-top.  Once you have filled the jars take a damp paper towel and wipe the top of the glass jar clean from any jelly that may have gotten on it in the pouring.  Screw the lids on the jars.  

You can jump through all the canning hoops if you like that process.   But I am not a fan.  Grandmama taught me to let the jars completely cool on the counter and then put them in the freezer!  The jars usually seal themselves as they cool, but by placing them in the freezer you can make certain they will be ok.  I have had years where I have made enough jelly to last from one making to the next year's making.  The last jar out of the freezer was just as delicious as the first.

You may hear people talk about freezer jam...this is not freezer jam.  It is cooked jelly that you freeze.  I think the result is VERY different.  

I haven't made this jelly in years.  I don't know if I just did not want to do it without Grandmama or if I was thinking it was going to be hard.  (You see, Grandmama thought that if you were going to make 1 batch you might as well make 8).

Elizabeth Jane begged me to make some jelly.  She doesn't even like jelly, but she wanted to try cooking it. I agreed and I am so thankful I did.  And the process was MUCH easier than I remembered.  

The very first smell of cooking strawberries took me back to cooking with Grandmama.   I though it would be sad...and it was a little.  But mostly it was happy.  It was fun to think about our times together and it was sweet to think about sharing part of Grandmama with Elizabeth Jane.  I think she was smiling in Heaven as she watched Elizabeth Jane help me cook her recipe. 

Easy and Decadent Chocolate Cobbler

This is my go-to dessert.  I learned about it from my mother-in-love who gives credit to her dear friend Cathy Burleson for it.  I thank Cathy and so does my entire family!

Those thanks said...this IS dessert.  You need to remember that when reading this recipe.  We are not making something to be healthy here.  Just like you should not read the ingredients on a candy bar, (Why. Would. You. Do. That?  It's candy....for Pete's sake.) read this recipe knowing it's not one you would make very often.  But it is a treat when you do!

If you have folks coming at the last minute this is a win!  It is one of those comfort foods that you almost always have all the ingredients for!  And there are very few desserts that are any easier to make than this one.


Click HERE for the printable recipe.

2 sticks of butter
3  1/2 cups of sugar
1  1/2 cups of self-rising flour
1 t. vanilla
3/4c. milk
6 T. cocoa
2 c. water

Heat oven at 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a 9 x 13 pan.  Mix 1 1/2 cups of sugar, flour, vanilla, and milk.  Pour this mix over melted butter.  DO NOT STIR.  (Resist the urge....I know it's hard but it will blow the whole deal.)

Mix 2 cups of sugar and 6 T of cocoa.  Sprinkle all over the above mixture.  Again, DO NOT STIR.

Pour 2 cups of boiling water all over the above mixtures.  Remind yourself...Say it with me.  I WILL  NOT STIR.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.