Cooking with Ease by Melissa Tate: Mimi’s Strawberry Cake

(ROCKWALL, TX — February 1, 2019) Mimi’s Strawberry Cake is that strawberry cake. The one you see on a good old fashioned pot luck dessert table. The one you ate when you were a kid at a church function. It is not the strawberry cake you find on the menu at a restaurant. Nor in your most favorite bakery. My theory is, this cake is too easy for a professional. And it uses a cake mix which I’m pretty sure frowned upon in the culinary industry.

Growing up, we had Mimi’s Strawberry Cake at least twice a year. Once, for my birthday, as requested with sour cream chicken enchiladas and Dr Pepper. Still 3 of my favorite things! And again, on Valentine’s Day. My mom made this cake every year for my dad. Chocolate covered strawberries are like an appetizer to this cake. Fine for the occasion, not really needed and not near as good.

Her original recipe called for oleo, letting me know it definitely originated before the mid 50’s. “Oleomargarine” was made with animal fat and was a cheaper, softer product than butter but it was white and didn’t look great when you spread it on your bread. For this reason, the manufacturer dyed it yellow. When it came out on the market the butter industry was more than concerned. They lobbied to make change. Some states banned the sale of oleo all together, others required that it be dyed bright pink (to make it less appealing) and the rest prohibited the yellow dye. Their solution was to sell it in it’s natural white color and let you add the dye! As time went on, laws changed, the name changed and we ended up with what we now have, yellow margarine flying off the shelves in supermarkets around the world.

I would imagine this cake has been made hundreds of times in home kitchens over the past 50 years. Their are 7 simple ingredients. It’s easy to put together and the taste is unbeatable. The recipe calls for frozen sliced strawberries in sugar. These can be found in a 16oz plastic tub in the freezer section, near the cool whip.


Melissa Tate

1 box white cake mix
1 3oz box strawberry jello
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 16oz container frozen sliced strawberries in sugar, thawed (you will use the liquid in the cake and the strawberries in the icing)
3 cups powdered sugar
6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
strawberries from frozen sliced strawberries in sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bundt pan with nonstick baking spray. Sift jello and dry cake mix together. Drain juice from strawberries into a large measuring cup. Add water to measuring cup to equal 1 full cup of liquid. Set strawberries aside. Combine dry mix, oil, eggs and strawberry liquid. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake 30-35 minutes until done all the way through. While cake is baking, prepare the frosting. Combine powdered sugar, butter and strawberries. Once you remove cake from oven let sit in pan just a few minutes. You want to ice the cake while it is still warm. Dump the cake by turning cake pan over onto a large plate that has a lip around the edge to catch the run off icing. Spoon icing onto cake, letting it run down into the funnel and also down the outer edge. Save any extra icing for those that like that sort of thing. You can serve this cake warm, room temp or cold.

Melissa TateBy Melissa Tate of Rockwall. Melissa is a freelance food writer and owner of Photo-Wagon mobile photo booth. She also helps her husband run their family farm, Tate Farms, and event center, Summerfield at Tate Farms. They are currently managing the Smirl Chapel Relocation & Preservation Project. Find Melissa on Facebook or Instagram at @melissatatetx to follow the adventures. Headshot by Kelly Alexander Photography.

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