Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake Has a Surprising Vintage Ingredient

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Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake

Lately, I've been looking into the past in search of simple tried-and-true recipes that have stood the test of time. These recipes call for simple ingredients with minimal prep, but provide enough taste and flavor to make you want to incorporate them into your regular rotation. From the Depression Era Mug Cake all the way back to an 89-year-old recipe for "Dream Bars," I've found myself falling in love with vintage recipes and try to give a new one a try each week. The latest one to pique the interest of my palate? Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake recipe.

In addition to being a life-long humanitarian and the wife of President Jimmy Carter, it appears that beloved First Lady Rosalynn Carter was also very skilled in the kitchen. And thanks to the National Archives Catalog, we now have what is known as a "Carter Family Favorite." Regal just like the woman herself, this strawberry cake recipe comes from the records of the First Lady’s Office and has been a mainstay in the Carter family for decades.

After seeing just how simple the recipe was, I gathered up my ingredients and got right to work. Here's how it went.

Get the recipe: Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake

Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake Ingredients<p>Courtesy of Dante Parker</p>
Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake Ingredients

Courtesy of Dante Parker

Ingredients for Rosalynn Carter’s Strawberry Cake

What you need to get started is a box of either yellow or white cake mix, one small pack of strawberry Jell-O, cooking oil, chopped nuts, eggs, flour, frozen or fresh strawberries and sugar.

How to Make Rosalynn Carter’s Strawberry Cake

This might actually be the easiest recipe that I’ve ever followed. Based on the recipe from the National Archives, the instructions are as follows: mix all the ingredients together, beat well, pour into an angel food cake pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the cake is done. Simple enough, right?

Related: Rosalynn Carter's Cause of Death Revealed

Now you may be saying to yourself, “That cake pan he used doesn’t look like an angel food cake pan,” and you’d be correct. What you’re seeing is a Bundt pan, which is similar to an angel food cake pan, albeit not completely the same. Unfortunately, this was the only pan I could find in time and might also be the reason for my only critique of this tasty cake.

Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake Mix<p>Courtesy of Dante Parker</p>
Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake Mix

Courtesy of Dante Parker

What I Thought of Rosalynn Carter’s Strawberry Cake

The cake was quite delicious. I honestly didn’t think it would be based on how simple the recipe was, but I was pleasantly surprised. The cake was sweet and full of strawberry flavor, though I believe it would have been more enjoyable if there were actually more pieces of strawberry in each bite.

My version of the cake was very soft and filling, but I think the idea is for the cake to be lighter and more airy. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found myself sneaking pieces of the cake late at night for dessert. I even went back again the morning after and ate a larger piece for breakfast. Now this could be my sweet tooth talking, but I think adding some sort of strawberry icing on top would have really set this cake off.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Christmas Pudding

Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake Final<p>Courtesy of Dante Parker</p>
Rosalynn Carter's Strawberry Cake Final

Courtesy of Dante Parker

Tips for Making Rosalynn Carter’s Strawberry Cake

1. Cut the strawberries in half. Though the recipe calls for whole strawberries, I found it difficult to cut clean pieces of cake because it was full of whole berries. Next time, I'd halve the strawberries or maybe chop them a bit smaller than that. I think the cake slices would be neater and have more fruit flavor if each piece was filled with smaller pieces of strawberry.

2. Use an angel food cake pan. Make sure that you use an angel food cake pan and “nothing bundt” (pun intended!). Although these are interchangeable with the tube pans used for angel food cake, they are less ideal for more airy and chiffon-like cake textures. So unless you are looking for a denser form of cake, stick to what Rosalynn Carter suggested and use the tube pan for a lighter, airier slice of cake.

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