Rosalynn Carter's Family-Favorite Cake Recipe Starts with a Box Mix

We can see why it's so beloved.

<p>Getty Images/Dotdash Meredith</p>

Getty Images/Dotdash Meredith

It’s been a little over two weeks since we lost former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who passed away on Nov. 19 at the age of 96. In that time, so much has been shared about Mrs. Carter and her work in the White House and in the years following.

Some of the chatter has been about what she liked to make in the kitchen. We’ve already shared the recipe for her 'Plains Special' cheese ring, a four-ingredient appetizer that deserves consideration during your holiday festivities. The U.S. National Archives shared the recipe on X (formerly Twitter) with another of Mrs. Carter’s recipes: strawberry cake.

If the cheese ring is holiday-worthy, we think it would be wise to put her strawberry cake recipe in your back pocket for a special New Year’s Eve dessert or, given its pink hue, maybe Valentine’s Day (which isn’t as far away as we’d like to think it is!).

Rosalynn Carter’s Strawberry Cake, a Carter Family Favorite

Mrs. Carter indicated that this cake, which contains a box of cake mix and a box of Jell-O, should be baked in an angel food cake pan (sometimes called a tube pan). A Bundt pan would work, too.

One of the things that strikes us about this recipe is that it's written like the recipes we find in our grandmother’s cookbooks. There’s an expectation that you’ll know what cooking oil is. Today, the recipe would probably say canola oil or vegetable oil. There’s no precise order in which you should add the ingredients. The home cook is supposed to know not to mix the strawberries with the other ingredients but instead stir them in at the end after the rest of the batter is thoroughly mixed.

And that half cup of sugar? Is it used only if you use fresh strawberries, or do you add it whether you’re using fresh or frozen? Our best guess is that the sugar is added to fresh strawberries to help them macerate and release their juices (since the box cake mix already includes sugar).

Here’s our slightly updated version of her beloved recipe:


  • 2 tablespoons flour, or as needed

  • 1 package yellow or white cake mix

  • 1 (3-ounce) package of strawberry gelatin (such as Jell-O)

  • 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries (or 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled, sprinkled with 1/2 cup sugar)

  • 1 cup chopped nuts

  • Whipped cream (Optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Grease and flour a tube pan.

  2. Beat cake mix, gelatin, oil, and eggs in a bowl until well incorporated. Add strawberries and nuts and mix in by hand. Pour batter into the prepared tube pan.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  4. Let cake cool before inverting to a serving plate. Serve plain or with whipped cream.

We’re sure that Rosalynn Carter’s family felt loved whenever she made this family-favorite strawberry cake, the same way our families and friends feel loved whenever we bake something for them. 

Read the original article on All Recipes.