I have a summer strawberry obsession. I love the sweet little berries and insist on trying my hand at growing them every year despite never having any luck. This year, I gave up on my inner fruit farmer and decided to celebrate the beginning of strawberry season (and my birthday!) with strawberry cake instead.

This super delicious, super easy recipe comes from the diva of sweet treats herself, Paula Deen. It can be way too hot to even leave the oven on too long during a Texas summer, so I loved the quick 20-minute bake time for this recipe. Plus the mix of fresh and prepackaged ingredients helps keep this cake decadent and surprisingly refreshing – without breaking the bank. Take a slice out on the patio and enjoy!

Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake

1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon
strawberry extract
7 cups confectioner’s sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (Any leftover puree can be used in smoothies or over ice cream.) Gradually add confectioner’s suger, beating until smooth. Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.

Our intern is Desiree Johnson, a journalism graduate and Texas native. The 27-year-old loves painting, her dachshund Munchie and learning to use what she calls her “real, adult-sized kitchen.”