Friday, October 10, 2008

Thanks, Mom

Tomorrow is Mister Man's birthday. Part of the tradition around here is that whoever has a birthday can choose whatever he wishes for his dinner and also for the cake, which I will make.

This year, it's a bit tricky, as Northwestern inconveniently scheduled a game at 2:30 on his birthday (the year he was born, it was at 11:15 on ESPN2 at Indiana and they won in overtime). And he has swimming lessons in the morning. Needless to say, we're doing a birthday breakfast instead with cake as soon as Daddy and I get home from the NU game, which he chose to not attend.

No problem. When asked what he wanted, Mister Man replied that he wanted pancakes and bacon (hey, fits with breakfast, cool!) and a Thomas cake. I clarified that I meant what flavor, and he decided on white cake with vanilla frosting. Peachy. I can do that.

Enter my mom. Yesterday she was talking to him about his birthday, and she's somehow convinced him that he now wants a strawberry cake. A what? Seriously, I've never heard of a strawberry cake. Lucky for my family, that doesn't deter me. When my husband wanted a chocolate cherry chip cake, I figured out how to make one. is my friend. I consulted my dear friend. Ooooo, look! Lots of strawberry cake recipes. As I flipped through them, I quickly came to the realization that every one of them calls for white cake mix and strawberry Jell-O. Shhh but I've never made a cake from a box before, and I don't have any box mixes.

So this morning -- after we picked up 230 pumpkins for the Pumpkin Fest at school and dropped them of -- we headed over to the store to buy eggs, as my lone egg just wasn't going to cut it, and cake mix. That's about when I realized we weren't going to make it home before Mister Man's bus would come to take him to afternoon preschool. I added bananas to the list so he could have a snack for school, and the poor kid now has Little Miss's princess backpack at school.

I still can't leave a recipe alone, but hopefully this one will turn out ok. It's still in the oven as I type, and I'm planning to make a white frosting so I can make the train tracks and put Thomas on it later tonight.

So here's what I did:

1 box white cake mix
1/2 of a 6 oz strawberry Jell-O (yep, calls for 3 oz and I have 6 oz in my house)
4 eggs
2/3 c oil
1 1/2 - 2 c strawberries
1/3 c milk
1 1/2 t lemon juice

Mix the cake mix and Jell-O in a bowl.

Add the eggs and oil to a measuring cup and whisk until well blended.

Pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry and then mix.

Hull the strawberries, and place them and the milk into a blender. Puree. Pour the pureed strawberries into a sieve to remove the seeds (I, for one, am not interested in a crunchy cake!).

Use a spatula to push the puree through the sieve until you get tired of it or until you have essentially only seeds remaining.

Stir it all together, and add the lemon juice (if you want it sweeter, leave it out but it was too sweet for me). The recipe calls for you to beat it for four minutes, but I just stirred really well for a couple. Pour it into a prepared 13x9 pan, and bake at 325 for 32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

With luck, the cake will turn out well and everyone will be happy. I will say that I tasted the batter, and it was surprisingly decent although with a weird bite to it, but I think that's just what box cake mixes do.

Oh, and yes, you'll hear all about Mister Man's birth story tomorrow. Come on back and settle in with a nice piece of strawberry cake!


anymommy October 10, 2008 at 4:00 PM  

Happy Birthday Mister Man, hope that cake is delicious!

MaBunny October 10, 2008 at 5:23 PM  

Looks nummy, but chica, Duncan Hines has an AWESOME strawberry cake mix...then u top it with cream cheese frosting.../drool...
However, I have made a cake from scratch before and never thought about white cake mix and strawberry gelatin - very easy idea.
Your cake mix looks very good:)
Happy Birthday Mr Man!!!

Angela October 10, 2008 at 8:16 PM  

Yum! Yours looks great. Let us know how it turned out!

My MIL makes a white cake, then pokes holes in it and pours liquid strawberry jello (like the mix, before it sets) down over the top, so it's very moist and sort of marbled. Then she makes a white 7 minute icing for the top.

PS I tagged you on my blog!

Crista October 11, 2008 at 1:43 AM  

Thanks for the comment love! That cake sounds so yummy, I love strawberry cake!

Karen October 11, 2008 at 9:51 AM  

Hope it turns out - looks yummy enough!

Gombojav Tribe October 11, 2008 at 10:38 AM  

What a good mommy you are!!

Michelle October 11, 2008 at 10:53 PM  

Anymommy - Thanks! And yes, the cake (somewhat surprisingly for me, considering what I started with!) actually was really good. Three of the nine of us (ok four if you include Mister Man) asked for seconds. Phew!

Mabunny - Oh. I never even thought to look for a strawberry cake mix. Duh! Oh well, I like to bake from scratch anyway, so it's all good. And I have a feeling this may have turned out better than a straight box anyway ;) OH! And we topped with chocolate cooked frosting - YUM!

Angela - It was good. Of the 9x13 cake I make, I have less than 20% left with 9 of us eating (and I only had one small piece). I've heard of that Jell-O cake before and maybe had it once? But definitely not what Mister Man wanted... and I aim to please!

Domestic Goddess - Welcome! And of course. I hope you enjoyed the surprise! The cake was great, and it's good to know that someone else has heard of strawberry cake before :)

Karen - Luckily, it did. Mister Man asked to have this cake next year for his birthday, too. Nothing like planning ahead, right?

Gombojav Tribe - Thanks for the compliment! I don't know that I'd go that far, but in certain things I try to make sure I do well for the wee ones. Birthdays should be special.

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