Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gramma Johnston's Strawberry Jell-O Cake

My dad's birthday was on Sunday, and he requested that I make the cake that his mom (my Gramma Johnston) always made for him growing up. Strawberry Jell-O cake. One of my favorite cakes as well, so I never mind making it.

I've used her recipe for a long time to make this cake for many different occasions. I've altered the icing, but the cake recipe is hers. Someday I hope to make my own jell-o cake recipe from scratch (this is the only box mix cake I make). 

It was delicious as always, and uglier than usual. That's ok though because my dad says he likes ugly cakes. (Yes I believe him...)

Strawberry Jell-O Cake


  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 1 box of strawberry jell-o (not the sugar free kind)
  • 1/2 of a cup of water
  • ¾ of a cup of canola oil
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries, chopped (frozen ones will work too as long as they’re sliced)

For the frosting
  • 12 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 of a cup of butter, softened
  • 3-5 cups of sifted powdered sugar (to desired thickness)
  • 1/2 of a cup of chopped strawberries


Make the cake
  • Preheat the oven to 350°
  • Grease two 9” cake pans, and put parchment paper in the bottoms. Grease the parchment paper
  • Chop the strawberries into quarters (chop the larger ones into 6-8 pieces)

  • In a large bowl, mix together cake, jell-o, oil, and water, and beat well

  • Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition
  • Add the strawberries and mix well
  • Pour evenly between the two pans and bake for 20-25 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean)

  • Let cool in the pans for about 15 minutes before removing and cooling on a cooling rack

Make the frosting
  • In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar and set aside
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy and pale
  • Add in the strawberries and beat well to mush them up a little bit
  • Add in the powdered sugar, and continue adding until you reach your desired texture

Assemble the cake
  • Place one of the cake layers on a serving dish and ice with frosting
  • Layer the second cake on top, and finish icing

NOTE: This icing in typically goopy, (definitely not pipe-able). If you don’t refrigerate it, it will slide around when transporting and the icing tends to get ugly. 

Because I feel like it, I'm going to expose how ugly this cake gets if you don't refrigerate it, and live in Missouri where it's absurdly hot in the summer

Yes, I put 56 candles on this cake. My dad asked why and I said "I felt like being absurd" The response..."that's my girl"


Approximate Nutrition Information if cake makes 12 slices (turn back...don't look!)

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