This Strawberry Pecan Cake is a family recipe. One that has been passed down from generation to generation. Granny Cile, aka The Cake Lady, shared her cake craft with our community for many years. Whether it was baking for a church event or delivering her signature cakes to the parish hall for a family in need, Granny baked.
As Granny broke into her 80s, she modified her recipes as a way to simplify. Completely from scratch was all she knew back in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Her cakes were sought after. Her family and church family felt the love she shared in each one she delivered.
As Granny ‘matured’ she modified some of her recipes to include boxed cake mixes. While she still had large canisters of flour, sugar and all the other ingredients required to make her luscious cakes, she shifted her recipes. I am here to tell you that this glorious Strawberry Pecan Cake recipe is just as amazing in 2014 as it was when I first enjoyed it back in 1999. Granny Cile is not my Granny, but she is still family. I share often that my work family completes me. Tammy’s Granny, who shared her cakes at our annual Thanksgiving Luncheons each year, was definitely considered family.
Granny began to show signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, yet remained such a strong woman. How do you question or challenge the matriarch of the family when they struggle or perhaps…adjust to the restrictions of the disease? Granny continued to quilt and bake and worship. I’m not knowledgeable enough to speak to the challenges this dear family faced, or how others living with parents of dementia did. What I do know is that our baby-boomer generation will benefit from education on this topic. What I have witnessed, through multiple work-family members, is that this disease can stop you in your tracks. Loved ones and caregivers are left bewildered. Emotionally and physically drained. Your unconditional love carries you through.
Granny Cile made the most amazing cakes, in her day and beyond. Let’s give praise and remember just how beautiful family recipes can be. Even if they are someone else’s family recipe.
This Strawberry Pecan Cake is deliciously moist with hints of coconut. I slightly adapted the icing recipe because I made this a four layer cake. The addition of cream cheese made the icing a bit sturdier, but just as sweet and creamy.
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 3-oz. package strawberry Jello
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, drained
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup strawberries, drained & mashed
- 1 cup coconut, plus ¼ cup for decorating
- 1 cup chopped pecans, plus 25 halves for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 9-inch or 4 7-inch cake pans.
- Mix ingredients in order given. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Cool completely before removing from pans.
- Cream sugar, butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Spread between layers and on top and sides of cake. Decorate with pecan halves and coconut.
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