Helana Brigman is a local writer whose blog, clearlydeliciousfoodblog.com, posts fresh, original recipes with photos every week. In Fresh Ideas, Brigman shares her recipes and ideas with readers of The Advocate.

Something about the Louisiana heat makes strawberries, sweeter, brighter, redder and yes, better. Better than the strawberries I’ve had anywhere else.

Several weeks ago, when strawberries first started rearing their heads at my local produce market, I found myself dreaming of concocting a dessert item that wasn’t just shortcake. So I decided to experiment with a fresh, strawberry cake just in time for my friend Andrew’s 24th birthday.

It’s incredibly hard to find a recipe for strawberry cake. Most home cooks rely on baking mixes with freeze-dried strawberries and artificial flavors. But, I found by using 1 to 2 quarts of pur?ed fresh strawberries I was able to make a cake that was as easy as a box mix, and as light and fresh as a summer day. I hope you’ll try it. You won’t be disappointed.