Sweet Heart Cake
1 18 1/4-ounce box white cake mix (plus eggs, water, and oil, as directed on box)
1 3-ounce box strawberry-flavored Jell-O
1 16-ounce package frozen sliced strawberries, thawed and drained
1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red or pink candies
1. To begin, heat the oven and grease and flour two 8-inch baking pans, one round and one square, as directed on the cake mix box.
Add the Jell-O to the cake mix, then prepare the mix as directed on the box.
Fold half of the strawberries into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake according to the package directions.
Remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely on wire racks.
2. To make the frosting, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
Add the remaining strawberries and beat until well combined.
3. Cut the round cake in half and place the two semicircles against two sides of the square cake, as shown.
4. Spread on the frosting and decorate to your heart's content with the red or pink candies.
Grocery, kitchen-supply and party stores and good places to find starter cake-frosting kits with a disposable pastry bag, three to four tips, and a coupler for changing tips.
Even first-time frosters can buy the basics for $3 to $6.
When choosing kits, keep in mind that the most versatile ones are those for writing, and making stars and leaves.
Before decorating the cake, kids should first practice writing with the frosting on waxed paper.
Use the writing tip's plain line for letters, leaf stems, squiggles, dots and outlines.
Make stars with the star tip by holding the tip straight down near the cake and squeezing until the star forms.
For a neat finish, stop the pressure before pulling away.
The star tip also makes a pretty border around the cake.
The leaf tip makes a ribbon with a ridge down the center.
For a leaf, squeeze out the icing to form the bottom edge, then relax the pressure and pull the tip away to make a ripple.