Grandma Dorothy’s Strawberry Cake

Everyone in the family of Paul’s “Grandma Dorothy” will remember her strawberry cake. Most of the time, she would prepare this as a Texas sheet cake — baked, frosted and served right in the half-sheet pan (12x18x1).


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 pkg. strawberry Jello (regular size box, not double box)
  • ½ C hot water
  • ¾ C frozen strawberries in syrup (1/2 box frozen pkg of up to 20 oz), thawed & drained
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ C vegetable oil


Place contents of thawed container of frozen strawberries into strainer suspended over glass bowl until drained thoroughly.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 12 x 18 lasagna pan or half-sheet tray with butter and flour.

Dissolve Jello with hot water. Add remaining ingredients and beat well with electric mixer. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes.

OPTIONAL: you can baste each finished & cooled cake layer with the reserved strawberry juice.

Frost with strawberry frosting once the cake is completely cooled (or refrigerated).

Strawberry Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 4 oz butter at room temperature
  • 16 oz. powdered sugar (or more)
  • up to ¾ cup (remaining ½ pkg) frozen strawberry box, thawed (use only enough to make it easy to spread)

Cream room temperature cream cheese and butter together well with electric mixer. Begin by beating cream cheese first, then add butter and beat again. Add the other 1/2 container of drained strawberries and VERY little liquid (if any) from the strawberries (drain well !!); mix until strawberries are incorporated into the butter cream cheese. Add powdered sugar, in batches, mixing in between batches until desired consistency for frosting. Mixture will be thick (do not over beat). 

IF YOU ARE MAKING A LAYER CAKE: The frosting is easier to work with if it is chilled for 20-30 minutes after making, as well as cooling the cake layers. Because of the added strawberry fruit, it can be more heavy and runny. You may have to add more powdered sugar to compensate or chill the frosting. Store finished cake in the refrigerator!

I had to decipher her original recipe over several conversations with grams Dorothy — to the best of her memory. Then it took several attempts to get it right. Here is her original recipe card:

Grandma Dorothy’s original recipe – it took some recipe testing!

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