As I write today's column, the weather reports state that a major winter storm is making its way across the nation, bringing lots of snow with it. Here at the Christmas holidays, snow does make the holidays more festive, though getting out into it when you have to go to work or run errands is no fun! To me, as long as it doesn't interrupt my electricity, I enjoy watching it snow.
Since I'm talking about snow, let's make a holiday dessert that doesn't call for actual snow, but looks festive and reminds you of a snowball: "Snowball Cake". This is a dessert that lets you make a cake from a cake. You use an Angel Food cake, whether you buy it in the grocery store or make it yourself. You make a pineapple mixture from gelatin, water, sugar, lemon juice, and crushed pineapple. Whipped topping is folded into it and this is layered with pieces of the cake in a dish. It chills overnight and the next day, more whipped topping goes over it, followed by shredded coconut. For a festive appearance, red and/or green maraschino cherries are used for decoration to creative a light dessert. This would taste especially good here at the holidays when we have a lot of heavy meals.
The recipe calls for one large Angel Food cake. Over the years, these cakes you get in the stores have gotten smaller and smaller in size, but the prices have remained the same. To make certain that there's an even balance of cake and pineapple mixture, I recommend getting a package of Angel Food cake mix and make it by the package directions. This will give you a MUCH larger cake than what you would find pre-made in the stores, which is what I did in the photo shoot for this recipe.
The gelatin is mixed with cold water and dissolved with boiling water. This is unusual for unflavored gelatin, since you would normally melt it over direct heat. However, done by this method, it works very well. This recipe can be divided in half if you don't need such a large amount. For a holiday gathering, this would be perfect since it serves about sixteen! But, it's a beautiful dessert, as well as being light and refreshing.
About two years ago, I did an article on holiday baking using cake mixes. One of the recipes was for the "Egg Nog Cake" I ran this past weekend, as well as two others. To get those recipes, follow this link
Also, to see a video on how to make ""Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Biscotti", which also starts off with a cake mix, follow this link:
Whether or not it's snowing in your area, this dessert will certainly make you think of snow during the holidays!
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup sugar
- juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, not drained
- 1 large Angel Food cake
- 4 envelopes whipped topping mix, such as Dream Whip
- 1 small bag (about 7 oz.) frozen coconut, thawed
- red and/or green maraschino cherries for decoration
Combine gelatin with the cold water. Gradually add the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add the sugar, lemon juice and pineapple. Stir well. Refrigerate until mixture has thickened. Prepare 2 envelopes of whipped topping mix according to package directions and fold into thickened pineapple mixture. Break the cake into bite-sized pieces and layer a 9x13 inch dish with enough pieces to cover. Top with a layer of pineapple mixture. Continue layering the cake and pineapple mixture until all is layered. Cover and chill overnight. The next day, prepare the second two envelopes of whipped topping and spread over the top of the entire dish. Sprinkle with coconut and decorate with cherries. Cover and chill until serving time. Yield: about 16 servings.