Fats Domino’s Flavor-ite | Strawberry Cake
It’s well known that the Plateau is home to a dynamic and compelling population with intriguing and dynamic histories. Yet, perhaps none more so than Colleen Kerrigan, photographer and owner of the Business Spot and Studio 106. Hers is the story of the Strawberry Cake for this month’s recipe column.
Kerrigan grew up in New Orleans. Her maternal Grandfather was a jazz musician back in the 20’s, performing with Al Hirt and Pete Fountain among others, “back in the day, before they were famous.” Kerrigan’s Mother, Haydee Ellis, inherited her Father’s love of music early on, playing the guitar at a youth mass, eventually forming a band with neighbors playing local venues, and then working at a radio show focused on music. As Kerrigan told it, “They had recently taped an interview with Fats Domino and were going to deliver a taped version to him. Mom knew that he loved strawberries. So she baked the old standard New Orleans lemon go-to cake but changed the gelatin and the flavor to strawberry… And he loved it. From that day forward – for the next 25 years – she made and delivered to him a strawberry cake on his birthday.” Haydee’s husband Steve, a retired judge and Kerrigan’s attorney sister continued to help Fats with much of his legal work.
Mom’s Strawberry Cake
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
¾ cup – strawberry juice, or use the juice from frozen strawberries (see below)
¾ cup oil
1 small box strawberry gelatin
1. Preheat oven to 325
2. Mix the cake mix and the liquids (juice and oil) until blended. Then add vanilla, eggs and gelatin.
3. Spray Baker’s Joy in a Bundt pan, and add the cake batter.
4. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, begin checking at 45 minutes. The cake is done when it starts pulling away from the sides of the pan. Let cool on a rack. When completely cool, put icing on.
1 box powdered sugar
1 stick butter – soften
Red Food Coloring
1. Place the box of powdered sugar and the stick of butter in a mixer and mix until well blended.
2. Defrost 4 to 6 of the frozen strawberries and place them and their juices into the blender, pulsing until a puree is formed.
3. Take spoonfuls of the puree and add one at a time to the sugar/butter mixture – mixing each one before adding the next – until you get a good consistency . Make sure it’s not too liquidy or it will slide off of the cake.
4. With a butter knife spread the icing over the cake, and decorate with slices of the fresh strawberries.