11 September 2009

Joyce Snyder's Strawberry Cake

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

Strawberry cake is my Mother's birthday cake. From childhood, my Grandmother would faithfully bake Strawberry Cake on September 3rd for my Mother. Even when she was in college at Marygrove in Detroit, an hour's drive from Jackson, my Grandmother would make sure that her eldest daughter had this cake to celebrate. As luck would have it, a visit by my parents to Detroit this year coincided with my Mother's birthday - of course I had to make Strawberry Cake and it was a great success. I was concerned that a dish so entrenched in memory and nostalgia would be hard to duplicate but judging from the clean baking dish at the end of the night, I needn't have worried!

Joyce Snyder's Strawberry Cake
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
2/3 cup frozen or fresh strawberries (mostly berries)
1 - 3 oz box strawberry jello
2/3 cup oil
1 deluxe white cake mix

  1. Beat all ingredients together
  2. Follow baking directions on cake mix
Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

1/4 lb butter (or margarine)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 to 2 lb 4X sugar
juice and leftover berries

  1. Mix together to spreading consistency
  2. Frost when cake is completely cool
Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

I've found that fresh strawberries are indeed the best way to go but you can use frozen in a pinch. I mashed the strawberries with a fork before adding to the cake as it's easier to have smaller pieces rather than whole berries in the mix! Also, note that 4X sugar is confectioner's sugar and the amount needed will vary based on your desired frosting consistency.

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

04 September 2009

Sugar Cookies

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

I recently made these for a friend/co-worker's birthday and within 20 minutes flat there were only crumbs! Don't ignore the impact a simple sugar cookie, when made well, can have on a crowd. The other thing I love about these is their chameleon-like quality - they're insanely easy to dress up or down depending on the event.

Sugar Cookies
2/3 cup shortening or butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
4 teaspoons milk
1 1/2 cup sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

  1. Thoroughly cream together shortening/butter, sugar, and vanilla
  2. Add egg and beat until fluffy
  3. Stir in milk
  4. Sift dry ingredients together
  5. Stir dry mixture into wet and blend well.
  6. Drop on greased cookie sheet
  7. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes
  8. Remove from pan and cool
Notes: Although the recipe calls for shortening only, I used butter with positive results. If you are going to add sprinkles or other accouterments to the cookies, add before cooking to ensure they will stick to the cookies!

Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography