Strawberry Cake

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!


If I had my druthers, I’d invite every one of you right into my kitchen this afternoon and slice you up a piece of this cake. But, since that’s probably not going to happen, I’ll just share the recipe, and maybe you can invite a friend or two over to enjoy it too. ;)


My sister-in-law buys the most wonderful Strawberry Cake from a bakery in Western Kentucky every Easter, and I’ve always wanted to make one at home. So,  I can’t even begin to tell you  how excited I am about this little (big?) slice of happiness!


While the cake is pretty darn good, the icing is perfection. When I read through the directions I was afraid it would be a little more challenging than I had time for, but it really was fairly simple, and undoubtedly the best Strawberry Icing I’ve ever tasted. So, dust off your mixing bowls and get ready to bake – this one will be perfect for Easter brunch in your home too!


{Excuse me while I run and get just one more bite of that cake, then we’ll get started . . . } ;)


Strawberry Cake


  • 1 white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 3 oz package Strawberry Jello
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cup mashed fresh strawberries (divided)
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted and divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Mix together cake mix and dry Jello in mixing bowl
  2. Add eggs, oil, water and 3/4 cups mashed strawberries.
  3. Beat with mixer until blended.
  4. Pour into two greased and floured 9" pans.
  5. (Important - be sure to grease your pans well and then flour them, or they will not come out of the pan.)
  6. Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes in cake pans, then place on wire racks and cool completely.
  8. While cake is baking, smash 1 cup strawberries until smooth (you may want to use a blender - I used my Pampered Chef chopper and just got them good and smashed.)
  9. Place strawberries in saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  10. Continue to cook until mixture is reduced by about half (for about 12-18 minutes.)
  11. Remove from heat and cool completely. (I put them in a small bowl in my refrigerator to cool more quickly.)
  12. Beat butter with electric mixer until fluffy.
  13. Add in 1 cup powdered sugar until blended.
  14. Add 2 tablespoons of cooled strawberry puree and vanilla extra, beat into butter mixture until blended.
  15. Repeat with another cup of confectioners sugar, then an additional 2 tablespoons of strawberry puree.
  16. Add one more cup of confections and another 2 tablespoons strawberry puree.
  17. Beat in remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar until light and fluffy.
  18. Spread frosting on cake and enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 4/9/14):

  • Duncan Hines Cake Mix BOGO $1.89 at Publix
  • Betty Crocker Cake Mix $1.25 at Kroger
  • Publix Butter on sale $2
  • Kroger Land O Lakes Butter on sale $2.50, use $1/1 Land O Lakes Butter
  • Strawberries on sale $2.99 at Publix, $2.50 at Kroger or $.99 at Target


Cake recipe adapted from, and Strawberry Icing Recipe from All Recipes.  Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Nestle Toll House Morsels $.72 This Week At Publix!


Most items go on sale every 8-12 weeks in the grocery stores, but one exception to that general rule is on Nestle Toll House Morsels.  For whatever reason it seems like they’re deeply discounted only once or twice each year, and THIS IS THAT WEEK!  (Yes, I’m hollering at you because it is a VERY exciting week for all of us penny pinchers.) ;)


Nestle Toll House Morsels BOGO $2.99 at Publix starting today or tomorrow (depending on your area)


So, print these coupons now. . . no one should miss this deal.  If you’re not a Publix shopper we’ll be watching for sales at other stores as well, but this is probably my favorite bargain of the year!


Not sure what to do with those chocolate chips? Here you go . . .

See all the deals at Publix this week, and check out the complete Publix weekly ad to plan your trip before you go. 


Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake (12 Days Christmas Baking)

Gooey Butter Cake Chocolate


Time for our last day in the 12 days of Christmas baking series (whew!) Pretty sure I’ve gained five pounds this last few weeks, so I think I just might be ready for it to be over. ;)


This Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake recipe though is one I’ve always wanted to try, and it was easy to pack up to give as gifts.  I’ve made the original gooey butter cake for years and while I think that one might still be my favorite, this was pretty yummy. . . especially for chocolate lovers! Here’s the recipe so you can see what you think. . .


Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake12 Days Christmas Baking


  • 1 stick butter, melted, plus 1 more stick butter, melted (also butter for greasing pan)
  • 18 oz. package chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 16 oz box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350 and grease 13"x9" pan.
  2. In large bowl, mix together one egg, one stick melted butter, and cake mix. Stir until well blended.
  3. Pat mixture into prepared pan (batter will be thick.)
  4. Beat cream cheese until smooth using mixer.
  5. Add in additional 2 eggs and cocoa powder and mix well, then add in powdered sugar.
  6. Mix until all ingredients are well mixed together.
  7. Slowly add in additional 1 stick melted butter and vanilla, continuing to beat until mixture is smooth.
  8. Add in nuts if desired (I didn't use them.)
  9. Spread filling over cake mixture in pan.
  10. Bake 40-50 minutes, being careful not to overcook the cake (the middle will still be a little bit gooey after finished baking.)
  11. Let cool on wire rack and enjoy!
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Recipe adapted from Food Network. Looking for more penny pinched dessert ideas? Here you go.

Cherry Cheesecake Christmas Cookies {12 Days Christmas Baking}


My friend Cheryl was sweet enough to bring down these cookies for me to share with you earlier this week, and I’m so excited that she did! They were delicious, and a yummy different treat that I hadn’t tried before.


She found the original recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, so you can check it out HERE as well for more tips. If you have another special treat you’ve made this Christmas, I’d love to hear about it!

Cherry Cheesecake Christmas Cookies12 Days Christmas Baking


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cans (20-ounce) cherry pie filling


  1. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth using electric mixer, for about two minutes.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Put dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes until firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Put graham cracker crumbs in shallow bowl.
  8. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, then cover with graham cracker crumbs.
  9. Bake 2" apart on baking sheets, and make a small hole in the center of each ball.
  10. Put 3 cherries in the center of each cookie.
  11. Bake 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned around edges.
  12. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  13. Optional ~ sprinkle with powdered sugar, enjoy!
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Recipe adapted from All Recipes. Looking for more penny pinched dessert ideas? Here you go.

Slow Cooker Christmas Candy


Looking for another favorite Christmas treat to try? Don’t miss this Christmas Crack (aka Saltine Toffee Candy)

You all know when I saw the words “slow cooker” and “chocolate” all together in the same recipe, there was no way I couldn’t try it out. ;)  This is the easiest recipe I think I’ve ever made, and it makes a ton . . . perfect if you need something simple to make this weekend to share, and a great way to free up your oven!


I changed the original recipe a bit by topping it with sea salt at the end and using a little less white chocolate, and I’m betting you could make other changes as well. Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it out too!

Slow Cooker Christmas Candy


  • 1 16 oz jar salted peanuts
  • 1 16 oz jar unsalted peanuts
  • 1 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2 10 oz bags peanut butter chips
  • 1 4 oz block white chocolate bar
  • sea salt (optional)


  1. Layer everything in your slow cooker except the salt (beginning with the peanuts.)
  2. Cook on low setting for 2 hours.
  3. Stir ingredients around and cook an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from slow cooker and place in small muffin cups.
  5. Cool until hardened for at least one hour ~ enjoy!
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Recipe adapted from


Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here!
 Also, check out these recipes we’ve shared so far:

Molasses Cookies: 12 Days of Christmas Baking (Day 9)

Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies


This is a guest post from Alicia, and I’m just thrilled that she offered to share it with us!  Alicia is mom to two children, and shares simple recipes using items you have in your pantry on her blog Everyday Home Cook.  Follow her on Facebook and find more of her delicious recipes like Blue Cheese Appetizer Pizza, Cranberry Almond Bars, Simple Kettle Corn, Shortbread Sandwich Cookies and No Knead Bread over HERE


Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies are a perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray. They are not as spicy as gingerbread (not to mention not as much work!), but very flavorful and sweet. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so find a festive plate and share with family and friends!

Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies

[Read more...]

Honey Bun Cake {aka Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}

This is a re-post of my favorite ever recipe to make at Christmas. If you haven’t tried it I promise you’ll love it, and it’s a great way to celebrate on Christmas morning!

This is one of my all-time favorites though, given to me by a friend who baked it for our family soon after we had our third baby. I’m pretty sure that I ate nothing other than Honey Bun Cake for two days straight after she brought it! It’s undoubtedly the yummiest, moistest, make-me-the-happiest breakfast cake ever. . . I promise.

We usually bake it early Christmas Eve so it’s marked off our to-do list, and you can just imagine how yummy the kitchen smells the rest of the day (heavenly!) Last year my littlest (who was then just four), made several comments asking why we get all the presents when it’s Jesus’ Birthday. :) She thought we should make Him a Ladybug Cake, but was pretty content with this one after it was all baked up. Let me know if you try it out. . .I’m almost positive this one will become a favorite in your home too!

Honey Bun Cake {Our Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}

Honey Bun Cake {Our Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}


  • {For Cake}
  • 1 yellow cake mix Duncan Hines Cake Mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • {For Filling}
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar $0.55/1 Dixie Crystals Sugar, exp. 12/31/11 (Publix Winter Savings Booklet)
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • {For Icing}
  • 2 cups powdered sugar $0.55/1 Dixie Crystals Sugar, exp. 12/31/11 (Publix Winter Savings Booklet)
  • 3-4 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • {Note: my friend always doubles the icing, I usually use 3 cups powdered sugar, 5-6 tbsp. milk and 3 tsp vanilla, not quite double but a bit more than the original recipe calls for.}


  1. Mix the cake mix, sour cream, eggs, sugar & oil.
  2. In separate bowl stir together the brown sugar & cinnamon.
  3. Pour 1/2 of the cake mixture into 9×13 pan. Then add the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.
  4. Pour remaining cake batter on top.
  5. Bake at 275 for 50 -60 minutes. (And just wait for your house to start smelling divine!)
  6. While cake is baking, mix the icing ingredients all up together and pour over cake after it's cooled slightly.
  7. Enjoy!
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Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here! Also, check out these recipes we’ve shared so far:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Bars

This has been one of those crazy-busy-drive-a-momma-crazy kind of days, but I did manage to sneak in a few pics of one of our favorite homemade treats. Facebook has been making nuts (if you’d like to see PPP on Facebook you’ll want to check this out), I broke my youngest’s Christmas handprint  plate from school . . .that I literally just had gotten (a few very sweet teachers went out of their way so I’d have a full set of all of my children’s plates – of course I managed to drop it and it smashed all over the garage floor ~ still sniffling over that one), and I’m just feeling a wee bit taken over by those Christmas Crazies all over again.


I did manage to get my Christmas cards ordered, update my driver’s license, and even make a return to Walmart though. That counts for something, right? ;)


Anywhoo, here’s the recipe (after a whole lot of rambling you probably weren’t quite up for ~ sorry folks!) The good news? Even on a bad day I know deep down I’m still crazy blessed, and undoubtedly things will feel better in the morning. (Isn’t that always the case?) If you’ve had one of those crazy-busy-what-and-really-can-I-survive-til-December-25th? kind of days, hugs to you too.





Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies


  • 10 oz. package Reese's Peanut Butter Chips
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 oz Hershey's Semi Sweet Chocolate Chunks


  1. Heat oven to 350 and grease 9x13 dish.
  2. In small bowl, place peanut butter chips and microwave for 1 minute, then stir.
  3. Microwave chips an additional 30 seconds or until chips are melted and smooth when stirred. Cool for a few minutes.
  4. In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla.
  6. Beat in peanut butter chips, flour and salt.
  7. Add in chocolate chunks and peanuts. Spread into pan (batter will be thick.)
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes, until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.
  9. Cool completely on wire rack and cut into squares.
  10. Enjoy!
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Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here! Also, check out these recipes we’ve shared so far:

Peppermint Glazed Chocolate Cake

This is a guest post from my friend Julie at Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss, and I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing it is to have her helping out with tonight’s seventh day of our 12 Days of Christmas Baking series!  I met Julie and her sister Amy a few months ago at a blogging conference and she was so sweet, and when I checked out her blog I fell in love.


Julie loves Jesus and her family, has quite possibly the most beautiful home I’ve ever seen, and was sweet enough to help me out a recipe this week. Be sure to check her out on Facebook and Pinterest, and visit her at Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss blog as well!



Merry Christmas, everyone!  I’m Julie from

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss, and I’m excited to be a part of Laurie’s 12 Days of Christmas Baking!  If you’ve read my blog, you know I’m a fan of easy, yet delicious recipes, and this cake is the perfect example of that.


With the busy-ness of the season, it’s no time to 

reinvent the wheel, so this recipe starts with a basic chocolate boxed cake, baked according to package directions. I baked mine in a bundt pan, but it could also work as a layer cake.

Once the cake is baked and cooled, it’s time for the fun part.  Continuing with the easy theme, scoop out some chocolate fudge frosting into a bowl and microwave it until is just barely melted.


Then, carefully pour the melted frosting evenly over the cake, letting flow down the sides a little.


Then, place the cake in the fridge to harden the

frosting while you mix up the peppermint glaze.


The easy peppermint glaze is made from just a few ingredients




1 cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 Tbsp milk

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1/2 cup crushed candy canes


In a small bowl, just mix up the powdered sugar

and milk until it becomes a thick glaze.  Then, just add the peppermint




Then, just drizzle it over the cake, sprinkle on the

candy canes, and enjoy!


Thanks so much to Julie for sharing this wonderful recipe with us! Be sure to visit Julie at Less than Perfect Life of Bliss ~ here are a few posts you won’t want to miss . . .

White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars (12 Days of Christmas Baking)


These are one of my favorite Christmas treats to bake, and it packs well to give as gifts! Last Christmas I found this recipe for White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars (originally adapted from Martha Stewart), and couldn’t wait to try them out. They were perfect, and such a nice different treat to bake.


I had everything except molasses in my pantry, so I substituted with honey and they turned out just the way I would have expected, however they might be a wee bit richer with molasses. Either way, I’m pretty sure you’ll love with the results, and am betting you’ll want to add them to your gotta-make-each-year list too. They also pack easily, so they’re perfect if you’re getting recipes ready to share this Christmas season! (By the way, with the amount of butter these babies call for I definitely would have figured they were a Paula Deen recipe rather than from Martha Stewart, but apparently butter makes things better for everyone.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never made another recipe that called for this amount of butter, but I’m sure that’s why they’re so good!) 

White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars


  • 2 3/4 cups + 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup molasses (I substituted with honey)
  • 10 oz, white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray 17x12" baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together butter, brown sugar and white sugar with a mixer until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and yolk, 1 at a time and mix well.
  4. Add in vanilla and molasses (or honey if substituting). Reduce mixing speed to low.
  5. In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  6. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and bake 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan on wire racks.
  8. Enjoy!
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Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here! Also, check out these recipes we’ve shared so far:

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