Broken Glass Cake

Broken Glass Cake

I realized that we’re sort of flash backing to the 80’s a little (and also maybe the 50’s?) with this week’s recipes, but there’s comforting about classics, right? Well, I like to think so and I’m doing our best to twist up some favorites.

The first is a dessert, one that’s been part of my family’s Easter tradition for as long as I can remember. It’s origins date back to 1957, when Mom’s aunt made this for her family, and my grandparents, when they became American citizens. I never knew that before, but I thought it was a fun tidbit and sort of timely given everything that we’re listening to in the news these days.

So, what is it?  Broken glass cake; which is Jello mold-ish, where bits of Jello are folded into flavored whipped cream and encased in sponge cake and more cream.  The cake is sliced, giving one the illusion of broken glass.  Neat!

Anyway, I’m fully aware that this departs from my pretty hard line against food with fake colors and the like, but sometimes they’re necessary evils, and this is an Easter tradition that gets an exception.

It’s not a hard recipe to make, but its method is a bit laborious.  You can cheat a bit by using angel food cake or soft ladyfingers rather than homemade sponge cake, but for the love of GOD please do not use Cool Whip. Take the extra 4 minutes to whip up some real cream, and everyone will thank you for it.

Anyway, I’ll walk you through it.

First, make up three flavors of Jello:  lime, black cherry and raspberry in containers that will allow the cooled Jello to be about 1 centimeter thick and then sliced into cubes once set.  If you’re making your own sponge cake, make up two sheets jelly roll size cakes.  

Once the Jello has set and the cake has cooled, whipped cream is mixed with syrupy strawberry Jello* and the prepared Jello cubes.  The parts are ready to be assembled!  

*Boil the strawberry Jello with pineapple juice and sugar until dissolved.  Put it in the freezer, stirring occasionally until it gets to be the consistency of a thick syrup, about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it- you don’t want it to set up accidentally!

Line a bowl or a mold with the sliced sponge cake into whatever pattern you desire.

Fill the mold halfway with the prepared whipped cream.  Add another layer of sponge cake and then fill the rest with filling to the top.

Add a last layer of sponge cake to the top of the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap, and press down with a plate.  Let sit in the fridge overnight.

Once it’s set, invert it onto a plate. Cover with sweetened whipped cream.

Slice and be amazed!  Voila! 

Broken Glass Cake
Yields 1
A sponge and Jello dessert with the illusion of broken glass
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  1. 1 package raspberry Jello
  2. 1 package lime Jello
  3. 1 package strawberry Jello
  4. 1 package black cherry Jello
  5. 1/2 cup cold water
  6. 1 cup pineapple juice
  7. 1/4 cup sugar
  8. 3 cups hot water
  9. 1 1/2 cups cold water
  10. 3 cups whipping cream
  11. 1/4 cup sugar
  12. 1 recipe Jelly Roll Sponge Cake or soft lady fingers
  1. Prepare the black cherry, lime and raspberry Jellos separately using 2 cup hot water and 1/2 cup cold water for each. Pour into shallow pans and chill until firm. Cut into 1/2" cubes.
  2. Heat 1 cup pineapple juice and 1/4 cup sugar to boil. Dissolve 1 package strawberry Jello in the hot liquid. Add remaining cup of cold water. Chill until just syrupy (about 45 minutes in the freezer, stirring occasionally to avoid it from setting up completely).
  3. Whip 2 cups of whipping cream to stiff peaks. Pour in the syrupy strawberry Jello and mix well. Fold in the Jello cubes.
  4. Line a bowl with sponge cake or soft lady fingers. Add the prepared whipped cream half way. Add a layer of lady fingers and fill the bowl with the remaining whip. Cover with plastic wrap and press so that the cake is level with the opening of the bowl. Place a plate on top and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Just before serving, whip up the remaining 1 cup whipped cream with 1/4 cup sugar until stiff. Invert the cake onto a plate and remove the bowl. Frost with the whipped cream. Slice and serve!
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World

Written after some very windy tennis.

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