Crown Jewel Dessert

A while back, I wrote about a vintage cookbook I’d found on the library FREE shelf. (You can read all about that HERE). It was titled The General Foods Kitchens Cookbook and was published in 1959.

I’ve had some time to go through the book, and one section interests me keenly: the “How to Feed a Crowd” section. I find it both horrifying (I can’t imagine cooking for a crowd of any size) and fascinating. There are entries like “Chicken Dinner for one hundred” and “How to make 300 sandwiches – at least”. Gads!

One scenario that especially caught my notice was “Dessert Bridge for 100” – mainly because it revolved around the ever-so-beautiful “Crown Jewel Cake”


I showed the page to Pepper, and we both agreed it was lovely.

“We should make something like that for Valentine’s Day,” Pepper suggested. Only, the recipe was geared for 100 and involved 6 spring form pans and 12 packages of Ladyfingers.

Thankfully, “Crown Jewel Cake” is a classic and has lived on in a modern, more manageable form. (You can find the recipe we used HERE, though we altered it a bit, choosing to stick with red-colored Jell-O flavors for the holiday).

Was it hard? Not at all.

It did, however, require planning. I started working Friday night in order to have the final dessert ready for Sunday.

And, this dessert requires p-a-t-i-e-n-c-e. Not just in the time required for the Jell-O to set, but also in the preparation. There’s a part where you cut the Jell-O into chunks. They’re supposed to be half-inch cubes. Mine were bigger, mainly because I was in a hurry.

And then there’s the part about un-molding the Jell-O. I rushed that too and was left with this:


Poor, sagging thing.

Thankfully, I had poured a bit of the “batter” into one of my mini Bundt pans, and that un-molded fine. So, this is what I brought to the table for the family on Valentine’s Day:


The slices were wee, but nobody seemed to mind.


The rest of the dessert – the sagging bit – went into a bowl in the refrigerator and disappeared the next day. Thankfully, improper un-molding of gelatin doesn’t affect the taste.

From the dining room table, with snow on the ground and rain on the way,

Mrs. Smythe


4 Comments on “Crown Jewel Dessert

  1. I’ve always wondered about those . . . they look so festive and, quite frankly, delicious. I may have to give it a try. Maybe for the 4th of July. 🙂

    • What a great idea! This would be a fabulous dessert for the Fourth!

    • It’s one of those desserts that can really make an impression (if un-molded properly, of course). I can’t imagine making six of them at once, though, like the cookbook directed. Maybe if you had six people each make one…