Dear Jeanne: I love this cake, but a cup of oil is a lot. Can you make it just as delicious with less oil? — Jo Ann, Dallas

Dear Jo Ann: This is a delicious and beautiful pink cake. I find that reducing the fat in cake mixes works very well, and the strawberries added to this one really add a lot of flavor, moistness and color.

If you wish to reduce the amount of icing, use only two layers of cake and put the icing only on the tops, not on the sides. This method adds plenty of icing, and looks very nice. Adding fresh berries on top of the cake or on the serving plate adds extra nutrition and beauty.


STRAWBERRY CAKE

1 box white cake mix

3 tablespoons flour

1 box strawberry gelatin

1/2 cup water

1 cup oil

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed

Icing:

1/4 pound butter or margarine

1-pound box powdered sugar

Strawberries, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 F. With an electric mixer, combine the cake mix, flour, gelatin, water and oil. Beat well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and strawberries. Divide the batter between 2 or 3 round layer pans. Bake 25-30 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the icing ingredients, adding as many strawberries as needed to make the icing spreadable.

Makes 12 servings.


LIGHT STRAWBERRY CAKE

1 box white or yellow cake mix

1 small (4 servings) package sugar-free strawberry gelatin

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup strawberries, thawed if frozen, pureed if fresh

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 egg whites

Frosting:

2 tablespoons butter, softened

4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

Strawberries and juice to moisten (about 2 tablespoons)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray 2 cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour. Set aside.

2. Place the cake mix, strawberry gelatin and flour in a large bowl, and mix together. In another bowl, combine the strawberries, the water and the vegetable oil. Pour wet ingredients all at once over dry ingredients and combine. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating after each addition. This should take several minutes.

3. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool on a rack.

4. For frosting: In a large bowl, mix together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and beat well. Add the strawberries a little at a time until the icing is a good spreading consistency.

5. Place the first layer rounded side (top) down on a serving plate. Spread with about 1/2 cup of icing. Put the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread it with another half-cup of the icing. Spread the rest of the icing on the sides if using, then refrigerate.

Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 623 calories; 31 gm fat; 83 mg cholesterol; 296 mg sodium; 84 gm carbohydrates; 5 gm protein; 1 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 311 calories; 8 gm fat; 6 mg cholesterol; 289 mg sodium; 57 gm carbohydrates; 4 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.


Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her Web site, jeannejones.com.

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