The Mailbox: Reader recipe requests

Seeking fresh recipes

I was hoping for recipes using fresh produce when it is available at its peak; when it is plentiful and ripe. This would be helpful through the summer months and even into autumn. Any and all recipes are appreciated. Thanks.

Leon Ramsey, Sacramento


Simply delicious strawberry cake

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves 12

Becky Boyd of Fairfield was looking for a strawberry cake recipe that used a white cake mix as a base for the cake. The frosting called for cream cheese and strawberries.

This is a Paula Deen recipe and sounds like a match for Boyd.

Note: The prep time does not include the cool time after cake layers are baked.



One 18.5-ounce box white cake mix

One 3-ounce box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin

One 10-ounce package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and puréed

4 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

Strawberry cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

Sliced fresh strawberries, optional, garnish

Strawberry cream cheese frosting (makes about 4 cups):

1/4 cup butter, softened

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

One 10-ounce package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and puréed

1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract

2 to 3 drops of red food coloring for pinker frosting, optional

7 cups powdered sugar


For cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two round 9-inch cake pans. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add puréed strawberries, eggs, oil and water. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Spread strawberry cream cheese frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.

For frosting: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Beat in ¼ cup of the strawberry purée, reserving remaining for another use. Beat in extract and red food coloring, if using. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Per serving: 660 cal.; 6 g pro.; 103 g carb.; 26 g fat (9 sat., 8 monounsat., 8 polyunsat.); 102 mg chol.; 385 mg sod.; 1 g fiber; 96 g sugar; 35 percent calories from fat.