Steno Pad Recipes: Strawberry Cake

October 3rd, 2013

A retro recipe for a deliciously kitchsy Strawberry Cake

My mother-in-law, Millie, raised her family on classic Southern cooking. When she died in 1998, I inherited her wedding dress, her cast iron skillet and a steno pad of recipes my husband grew up with. Some of these have become our own children’s favorites. Others, I’ve never gotten around to making, so I’ve decided to blog my way through them all, building a digital record of her recipe pad. A printable recipe link can be found at the bottom of this post, with her ingredients and directions transcribed exactly as written. My adaptations are in brackets. Feel free to repin, test, tweak, and share. Millie would be pleased. 

What kind of cake to serve at a midcentury party for a midcentury man? One made with Jell-o, of course! And cake mix, and frozen strawberries in heavy syrup. Yeah, run away you foodie snobs. More AWESOME strawberry cake for us! All the steno pad recipes have been good so far, but this one was a huge hit. I made a double batch, for four layers. The finished product was a bit of a cakewreck, because I still mixing up the frosting when the party guests arrived, and was more interested in drinking and talking than finding my icing bag, but somehow that all fit with the theme. The pastel candles were perfect, too.

The only glitch I hit with this recipe was that the cake stuck like crazy to the pans. The subsequent patching of the layers accounts for the lopsidedness you see in the picture. Next time I will definitely use parchment instead of relying on cooking spray. And there will be a next time, because this is a birthday classic. I bet it would make fantastic cupcakes, too.

Interesting aside, before I give you the recipe: sometimes I need help in translating my mother-in-law’s vintage quantities (what is the modern equivalent of a #2 can of pumpkin, for example?), so I google similar recipes. So far, I’ve found an uncanny similarity between Millie’s recipes and Paula Deen’s. It’s as if they grew up in the same kitchen. The only difference between Paula’s strawberry cake and Millie’s is that this one calls for twice the oil. We will assume Millie’s is better.

Queen Frostine, perhaps after a rum and cola. Or two.

Strawberry Cake
  1. Betty Crocker white cake mix (1)
  2. 1 box Strawberry flavored jello
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 1/2 ctn strawberries and juice (Frozen, in syrup. A carton is 15-16 ounces. I weighed 8 ounces.)
  5. 1 c. cooking oil
  6. 1/2 c. water
  7. 1 stick butter
  8. 1/2 carton strawberries and juice (as above)
  9. 1 box powdered sugar
Sift together
  1. Betty Crocker white cake mix (1)
  2. 1 box Strawberry flavored jello
  3. Beat
  4. 4 eggs
  5. and add to above mixture.
  1. 1/2 ctn strawberries and juice (Frozen, in syrup. A carton is 15-16 ounces. I weighed 8 ounces.)
  2. 1 c. cooking oil
  3. 1/2 c. water
  4. Mix well and bake in greased and floured (or parchment lined) pans 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.
  1. 1 stick butter
  2. 1/2 carton strawberries and juice (as above)
  3. 1 box powdered sugar
  4. Mix till well blended and spread on cooled cake.
Adapted from Millie's Steno Pad
Planting Dandelions

4 Responses to “Steno Pad Recipes: Strawberry Cake”

  1. Amy B. says:

    The frosting on it was amazing. I kept trying to sneak a private moment to lick the bowl.

  2. Elizabeth Clark says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Kyran. My grandmother had this recipe & I have yet to find it. I know it had Jello & frozen strawberries, so this must be it! Her name was Pearl. Maybe she & Millie have met by now!

  3. I remember this being very popular in the late 70s. I still have the recipe somewhere. It’s very good. Usually “cake wrecks” (Love that) are wonderful!

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