January 24 is my husband's birthday, and his favorite kind of cake is strawberry. So this year I made him a strawberry cake, per his request, and he graciously allowed me to adorn it with roses for practice.
The recipe I used was recommended to me from one of my mother's coworkers - it comes from Paula Deen. I can't decide whether I can truly call it homemade, since instead of adding flour or sugar it calls for a box mix, but the confusion ends there. It's an easy recipe and the addition of gelatin mix makes for an interesting, almost carbonated-tasting kick. The use of frozen strawberries in syrup makes the cake very moist.
The only variation I made in the recipe was the baking time. My cake didn't look done after only twenty minutes, so I left it in a bit longer. It ended up taking twenty-eight minutes total.
For the frosting, I used this recipe. It worked well for me last time so why fix what isn't broken? I ended up running out before my cake was done being decorated, though, so I had to make another half batch. I used butter instead of shortening for this because I had run out of shortening. The color was slightly yellower but my family couldn't tell until I pointed it out.
This is the first layer cake (or rose cake, for that matter) I've made that I actually got to taste, so here's my opinion of the frosting. While it holds its shape perfectly for a rose cake, the roses cause the frosting to be so thick that it's almost too sweet. With this particular cake recipe, the slight tang of the gelatin mix mingled nicely with the sweetness, but with other recipes the sweetness might have been overwhelming. I think next time I'll use less sugar. With a whole two-pound bag of sugar in it, I suppose it's a "DUH" that the frosting would be that sweet, but oh well.
The final verdict: With this cake, this frosting would be perfect in lesser amounts. With other cakes, I can't say since I haven't tasted it myself, but I imagine that it would be too sweet if paired with a cake recipe that was also super-sweet. Altogether, my cake went over well and I am happy with it. Still a long way to go on my decorating, but I'm getting better!