Cook’s Corner

‘Best ever’ strawberry cake starts with a mix

DeliverLean’s Coconut Shrimp Cakes with Pineapple Salsa
DeliverLean’s Coconut Shrimp Cakes with Pineapple Salsa
Imghard Genrenbeck

Sleuth’s Corner

Q: The Sunday Cake recipe in your column reminded me to request the recipe for “Sundae Cake” that probably appeared in Good Housekeeping or Family Circle magazine 20 or 30 years ago. It is a variation of a marble cake but the chocolate marbling was quite syrupy. The texture was similar to a rich pound cake. As I recall, a rich chocolate glaze was drizzled over the cake, but it really did not require any icing at all. It was baked in a Bundt pan or tube pan.

Barbara Reis , Coral Gables


Orange Pineapple Muffins

1/2 cup pecans

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple

2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup milk, plain yogurt or sour cream

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest


1/4 cup fresh orange juice

Coarse decorator’s or demerara sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Spread pecans in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast 8 minutes. Allow to cool, then chop into small pieces.

Coat a muffin tin with vegetable oil spray, or fill cups with paper liners. Drain pineapple. Increase oven heat to 375 degrees.

Whisk flour with salt and baking soda. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the egg and beat until thoroughly blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the milk, orange extract and zest. Stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in the toasted pecans and drained pineapple.

Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to wire rack. While muffins are still hot, brush tops with orange juice and sprinkle with the sugar. Makes 16 muffins.

Source: Linda Cicero for Cook’s Corner

Per muffin: 156 calories (51 percent from fat), 9 g fat, (4.1 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated), 27.8 mg cholesterol, 2.8 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 0.8 g fiber, 177 mg sodium.


Best Strawberry Cake Ever

1 box white cake mix

1 (4-serving size) strawberry-flavored gelatin

1/2 cup water

4 eggs

1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, halved

1/2 cup vegetable oil

For the frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 (16-ounce) box confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, halved

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan, three 8- or 9-inch round pans or one Bundt pan.

Beat cake mix, dry gelatin mix, oil and water with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Continue to beat for 2 minutes. Beat in strawberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake 20 to 25 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for sheet cake, 50 minutes to 1 hour for Bundt cake, or until cake springs back when pressed in center. Cool on wire racks.

To make frosting, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy and no sugar granules remain. Beat in strawberries, salt and nuts. Makes 12 servings.

Source: Adapted by Linda Cicero from the Cook’s Corner archives

Per serving: 536 calories (38 percent from fat), 23 g fat, (7.3 g saturated, 7.1 g monounsaturated), 82 mg cholesterol, 4.8 g protein, 79 g carbohydrate, 0.6 g fiber, 464 mg sodium.

Main dish

DeliverLean’s Coconut Shrimp Cakes with Pineapple Salsa

For the salsa:

1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, snipped

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lime

Salt to taste

For the shrimp cakes:

1 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded

1 egg

1 pound cod fillets

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Toss all the salsa ingredients well in a glass bowl, and refrigerate.

Place shredded coconut in a pie pan and set aside.

Pulse egg, cod, shrimp (reserve a few if desired to steam and use as garnish) and salt in a food processor until well combined. Form mixture into 8 balls about 2 inches in diameter. Pat into disc shapes, and coat in coconut.

In a large skillet, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Fry the cakes until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with pineapple salsa, garnished with steamed shrimp if desired. Makes 8 shrimp cakes.

Source: Adapted by Linda Cicero from DeliverLean.

Per shrimp cake: 164 calories (36 percent from fat), 6.6 g fat (4.8 g saturated, 0.6 g monounsaturated), 119 mg cholesterol, 19 g protein, 6.9 g carbohydrate, 1.4 g fiber, 363 mg sodium.

Q: When I saw the strawberry cake recipe in your column recently I was so excited, and then I realized it wasn’t the one I wanted. The recipe I want I clipped from your column long ago and lost in Hurricane Andrew. It called for fresh strawberries in the batter and frosting, and you would never guess it came from a mix.

Susan Cushman

A: This recipe dates from 1983 and originated with Glenda Rice Collins of Palm Beach Gardens, who said it brought back memories of her home economics teacher, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, at Cherokee Junior High in Tulsa, Okla.

Q: My family has fallen in love with the orange pineapple muffins at our Giant Eagle grocery store. They are moist and full of incredible citrusy flavor, with a crunchy sugary topping. Could you get the recipe?

Nancy Kerchmar

A: I was unable to snag the proprietary recipe, but tinkered to come up with muffins I hope will come close. I found on my first attempt that using orange juice makes the batter too acidic for a nice rise, so I relied on zest and extract, with orange juice in the brush-on to give it more flavor and shine and hold the crunchy sugar. The pineapple makes these muffins very moist and quick to spoil, so be sure to store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Q: Can you tell me how DeliverLean makes its shrimp cakes?

G. W.

A: Whether you’re watching calories or looking for something different to serve during Lent, these coconut-fried shrimp cakes are easy and delicious. DeliverLean is a South Florida company that creates and delivers portion-controlled meals.

Send questions and responses to or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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