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It’s here; it’s finally here. None other than spring, that is. It’s like awakening from a cold frigid dream that you endured because, well, you have to. Along with the bright colors, blooms, peeping frogs and lively night sounds, spring has sprung and our tastebuds are beginning to evolve from heavy, deep-fried foods and stews and more toward a lighter, fresh cuisine. Oh, it’s true I am knee deep in salads and grilled vegetables dripping with sauces, doused in crumbled feta and goat cheese. But I will not neglect the crop of strawberries arriving with bells like Santa on Christmas morning. They too, have their place in the wonder of spring and all its glory. Though strawberry pies, jams, jellies and shortcakes are dishes the bright red berry conjures, a cake with its essence is a dessert that is relevant any time of the year. I mean, who says no to cake? Not me.

This cake is as delicious as it looks. I found myself restraining from devouring it minutes after it was iced. Night fell, I went to bed without giving it a thought. Within an hour, I couldn’t resist. I sliced a piece, being careful to get just the right amount and wound up slicing it a little wider, and then even more wider. It called me from slumber, that’s how delicious this cake was.

The strawberries are ripe and tangy. A fruit worthy of its reputation it made this cake shine.

Strawberry cake

1 white cake mix

1 cup smashed fresh strawberries

3 / 4 cup oil

4 eggs

3 oz. strawberry gelatin

1 / 2 cup milk

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients. I pour this in a small round tin being sure to evenly distribute.

Bake at 350 until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Allow to cool and ice this.

Cream cheese icing

1 8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 / 4 cup smashed strawberries

1 / 4 cup butter

4-5 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

In a food processor place the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, strawberries and half the sugar.

Add the rest of the sugar a little at a time until creamy and smooth.

Frost the cake.

Top with whole strawberries.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and was a longtime resident of Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003.

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