Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crown Jewel Cake


Of all the nostalgic desserts to revive, I think this one is most fashionably worthy.

This cake is based on a recipe that ran on the back of Jello boxes during the late 1950's.  Long gone are the days when Crown Jewel Cake (a.k.a. Broken Glass Cake) was made with powdered, processed, and if I may say - oldfangled - dream whip.  The hydrogenated stuff has since been replaced with real cream, which makes it much tastier.


The original 50's style recipe has a graham cracker (sometimes cookie) crust, so it is really more like pie than cake.  My vision for this recipe was to truly make it cake-like by surrounding the creamy filling with a pink jaconde sponge.

Each time this cake is sliced, it's like getting a little piece of artwork.  You never know what shapes and colors you'll get next!

This cake, and these cookies - made for each other?

At the bottom of this page, you'll find a link to the original recipe.  It's a little less work than my Jaconde sponge version, and still very pretty.


Crown Jewel Cake with Jaconde Sponge
Serves 6-8                                                                                                           [click to print]


To make this cake you will need a 7" round spring-form pan, an 11x17" jelly roll pan, and a tea towel.


Gelatin cubes:
Prepare 3 oz. flavored gelatin packages (I used 3 different colors/flavors of Jello brand) as directed on the box.  When set, cut into cubes and store in refrigerator for later use.


Jaconde cake: 

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar for sprinkling tea towel


1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
3 egg whites
1/4 cup extra fine granulated sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tbsp Wilton pink/rose gel food coloring -or- Americolor deep pink gel food coloring (do not use liquid food coloring)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare tea towel with 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar. Grease jelly roll pan, line with parchment and grease paper.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond flour, 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, flour and eggs until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the 1 egg yolk and food coloring, then mix again to combine.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric hand mixer.  When foamy, gradually add in the granulated sugar until a white, thick meringue forms.  Gently fold the meringue into the almond flour mixture.  Add the melted butter and carefully fold again, as to not deflate the batter.

Pour mixture into jelly roll pan and bake for 5-8 minutes. Watch it carefully as it cooks quickly and will burn easily.

Remove cake from oven and turn out onto tea towel.  Trim edges and cut one long piece of jaconde big enough to fit around the inside of the 7" spring form pan.  You may have to piece together a bit of the crust, as shown in the first picture below.


Using your pan as a guide, cut a circle of cake from the jaconde (upper right hand picture) and press it into the bottom of the pan evenly.


Filling:
1 Tbsp powdered gelatin
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 1 1/2 cups reserved gelatin cubes  (you will have left-over cubes if making a variety of colors)

Put the pineapple juice in a small sauce pan and sprinkle powdered gelatin over; let it sit for a few minutes until dissolved.  Heat gelatin/pineapple juice mixture on the stove-top until melted.  Remove from heat and stir in the cold water.  Transfer to a small bowl and let stand on counter-top until it cools slightly.  Place in refrigerator until mixture has completely cooled (about 5 minutes) but hasn't set up - it should still be liquid.

In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.  Whisk the gelatin/pineapple juice mixture into the cream until combined.  Drop the gelatin cubes in the cream randomly.  Shake the bowl until the gelatin cubes sink into the cream (stirring them in with a spoon can damage the cubes).

Pour the mixture into the sponge-lined pan and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.

I'm such a sucker for vintage recipes, I couldn't help but include the original (I should say, original sans "dream whip").  You can find a printable version of it  [HERE].

85 comments:

Lauren @ Crave. Indulge. Satisfy. said...

What a pretty cake. I have never heard of such a thing before! Love those vibrant colors!

Morgan Trinker said...

That looks INCREDIBLE! Geez Louise!

Kimber said...

GORGEOUS as usual. <3

A.D.M. said...

Love it as usual! It really looks like stained glass. Yum to eat, cute to look at! :)

Rhea said...

That is the prettiest cake ever. I'm not sure I would want to eat it!

Stephanie said...

This is gorgeous and looks scrumptious. I have a few old jello recipe books. I have seen that recipe in them. dream whip, pft.

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

Oh my gosh! What a fun and fabulous cake. Can you be my neighbor?

Elizabeth Ann (Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box said...

Ok, I am SO impressed. . . this looks incredible. . . I remember that old recipe! :-) Nice to see a new one. . . :-)

Megan said...

So pretty! I swear, you're a dessert artist.

Beth H. said...

This looks amazing! It seems like it would be so perfect for a little get together. :)

Ryan said...

Oh my goodness, that is just beautiful! I love your take on the 50's classic!!

Maggi said...

This looks too cute and I just love vintage recipes, thanks for including both!

Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean said...

this is such an awesome looking cake! i love all the different shapes. you're very talented :)

Lili said...

Oh my word, that right there is an incredible work of art. Being a product of the 50s, I'm just going to have to surprise my Mom with one of these for spring. I sure hope it turns out just half as stunning as yours! xo ~Lili

Smita Srivastava said...

OMG .. this is truly the most beautiful n creative cake i've seen till today .
Love it .........

Steph@PlainChicken.com said...

SO cool. It is beautiful. I am going to have to try it.

Ali said...

Those colors are amazing! WOW!

Ryan @ Ryan's Baking Blog said...

such a beautiful cake!

baking.serendipity said...

So pretty! I love the presentation of this cake :)

Sue said...

This is the pumped up, 21st century version. It IS like artwork, but then again Heather, all your creations are artwork!

Sara said...

This is amazing, I love it! So so pretty. :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A real beauty! I love the looks of this cake. Wow!

Cheers,

Rosa

Kathy - Panini Happy said...

This is so retro cool! I love the colors - there are some real gems in the vintage recipes.

Annika said...

Man, now I really don't know what cake I like better anymore, rainbow cake or this!

Susan said...

You need to call this "Happy Cake". it's so bright and cheerful. Sounds light and airy too. Puts a spring in my step right to my cupboard to get out all my baking supplies.

Darla @ Bakingdom said...

Oh my! What a bright and happy cake! I've never heard of this before, but it's so much fun, how could you resist?! Love it!

Stephanie said...

What a gorgeous piece of work. This was lovely to wake up to! I love the many facets of color and the "edginess" the shards of Jell-O give this cake. Wonderful!

snippets of thyme said...

Awesome! So bright and retro looking. I'll bet cutting into it had to be done very carefully. At first, I thought it was a take on some fort of Mardi Gras styled dessert. It could be!

jillian m. said...

i'm not a big fan of jell-o, but this presentation makes it look yummy! it's almost too pretty to eat...almost.

Nina said...

Heather, wow - this is gorgeous!!! LOVE the retro desserts! Stunning!

Sarah said...

Are you kidding me?! This is unbelievable! Nice work, Heather! :)

Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes said...

Wow - this cake is a revelation.

I absolutely love how it looks and can only imagine how it tastes - drool worthy.

Thanks so much for the post and recipe!

Evan @swEEts said...

This cake looks like so much fun! I love how the shapes are just floating in the filling!

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

You are beyond fabulous! Just absoooolutely beyond. LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake. :)

Citygirl said...

I just discovered your blog while looking for recipes for St. Patrick's Day and all I can say is WOW! This is the most beautiful food blog I've ever seen. It's just stunning. Looking forward to continued reading of this inspired and lovely bright spot on the web!

Congrats!

Irvin said...

I love it! My mom use to make Crown Jewel Cake! But not as fancy, with cool whip. I was never a fan, but I'm not a huge fan of jello in general. That said, I always loved cutting into it! I LOVE retro recipes! Thanks for the nostalgic memory trip...

Paula said...

Oh my goodness, this is such a pretty cake and I love that you did it with the jaconde sponge.

Sunny S. said...

This totally makes me feel like Spring is coming (nice, after it rained ALL DAY today!) Hmm. I wonder if it would be overkill to put jello cubes inside a no-bake cheesecake filling inside the sponge.... hmmm... kinda like those retro gelatin-and-cream-cheese "saladesserts" I miss so much from my childhood!

This blog always makes me smile. :)

Kristan said...

Oh my word, Heather you blow my ever loving mind.

For reallio.

Your desserts and pictures just amaze me...I love scrolling through your site!! It's like going on a beautiful dessert vacation.

mitzi @ my nikon eats food said...

the things you make are so so gorgeous

Kudos Kitchen said...

You did a great job on this cake. A few months ago we did a jaconde sponge for our Daring Bakers challenge and it was so much fun to make.
I love the vintage stuff too. Nicely done!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

It's lovely Heather! Happiest cake I've ever seen!

Jessica said...

This is without a doubt the coolest cake I have ever seen and I have been trolling cooking websites and cake-related cook books for years. Absolutely amazing, definitely the next thing I want to try out!

Marion said...

I happened on your blog and just LOVE the photography. Went till the end in one breath to see it all. And will definitely try this cake for my friend's daughter's second birthday :)
Thank you!

Bourbonnatrix said...

How pretty! It's so girly! Must find a reason to make one of these! Thanks for the great post!

Jenn (Cookies Cupcakes Cardio) said...

I used to make the broken glass cake as a kid! What a fond memory you just conjured up from the depths of my memory! Beautiful pics.

Debbi said...

I make the 'stained glass' cake every summer, but this version with the cake looks amazing!!! TY for the idea & recipe!

Lora said...

This cake just screams "Happy". Love it.

theopinionatedbaker said...

Your cake is so perfectly beautiful that it looks like a doll house decoration. It's so gorgeous!

lyndsay said...

FANTASTIC!!!

bklynharuspex said...

It is certainly festive and gorgeous. Is it reasonably enjoyable to, you know, eat?

SprinkleBakes said...

It is enjoyable to eat as long as you're not a Jello-phobe. I've found that people have very strong feelings for gelatin desserts - either they love them or hate them.

The cream portion of this cake is almost mousse-like and is lightly sweetened with pineapple juice. The cake is an almond sponge, so the textures are nice together.

Kelli said...

This is amazing! My girls would love it! It's almost too pretty to eat.

cookies and cups said...

I don't know if it's the colors, the perfect cake slice or what, but those photos are incredibly gorgeous!!

Junglefrog said...

That looks so pretty Heather ! And I totally love that Joconde cake you added to it, I think that will increase the flavors for sure (and ofcourse the looks!)

kitchenmisfit said...

This is beautiful!

Joy said...

That is so cool.

Kelsey Siemens said...

This is so fun!

Lea said...

This looks so amazing! Perfectly evenly cut and amazing vibrant colors!

Ken│hungry rabbit said...

A beautiful creation. As much as I'm scared to eat all that cream, I will not hesitate to eat the entire cake. Brava!

Rachel at Sun Scholars said...

Oh my gosh, this is TOOOO Adorable!!! I love it!

I'd love to have you share this at my For the Kids Friday Link Party! Still time to post before the next one opens later this week. We have lots of fun ideas there... come check it out!!

http://sunscholars.blogspot.com/2011/03/for-kids-friday-3.html

Christina said...

Oh, this looks so very yummy and colorful. Thanks like Happy Food!

Teri said...

This is so pretty! I love sprinkles and color. I know this would be fun for a kids birthday, but I think this would be cheerful for my 50th rather than some serious cake that reminds me of my age!!!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the look of this cake and would love to make it for my parents and grandparents for Easter!! Can you please post how you made the detailing around the edge and what type of sprinkles you used?

Thank you!!!

@stampylisa said...

that is Gor-jusssss! and my grandma used to make it all the time, with pink for the main whipped jello part and then all the colors, nilla wafers for the crust. I haven't had it in SO long. Next time you can send to me. :)

snacktive said...

Sooo cute!! Omg, new follower right here.

www.you-made-that.com said...

that cake is so neat, love it and the colors are amazing...great job and thanks for the recipe.

Audrey's mom said...

Audrey would love this. We might just have to give it a try.

Kristen said...

Broken Glass Cake was my favorite dessert as a child. I will make this grown up prettified version of yours. Beautiful, thank you.

The Cooking Photographer said...

What a beautiful fun creation!

Laura

edpillsuk.com said...

Perfectly evenly cut and amazing vibrant colors!

kathy k. said...

My grandma came to florida every year from Colorado to spend the winter. This original cracked glass cake was one of her special dessert recipes (this was during the 60s and 70s) I can't wait to make the newer version for my mom and dad. Thanks for making me remember a wonderful time in my life with my amazing grandma!!

Amanda said...

i just discovered your blog today from the foodista cookbook i checked out from the library. such pretty cakes! now i can't stop commenting!

Amanda

Panmeiz Cuisine said...

Aww my gawd!!! stumbled upon your cake on tumblr and fall flat on my face..mouth WIDE open and salivating....am super obese post pregnancy and all the cake i have been baking and eating BUT can't help but follow you...newest and happiest follower

Vixie said...

Wow, this cake is incredible! I can't wait to give it a try myself, thanks for including the recipe and pics :) I've blogged about it too: http://www.matinlapin.com/2011/11/bejeweled-admission.html

Anonymous said...

why can't you use liquid food colouring?

Paola said...

WOW lovely cake...great job!

Anonymous said...

my grandmother used to make this cake for me as a child. To this day it is my favorite. I am a professional chef and this beats any fancy dessert. Yours is so pretty. Nice touch with the red crust

Anonymous said...

you should add a pin it button for Pinterest so that I can share this. Thanks! :)

Alison Barker said...

I made your Crown Jewel recipe almost to the letter...except for the part about the size of the spring form pan. Oops. Actually, I used an angel food pan with the cylinder. Oops x2. I made twice as much jaconde, and "made it work" by cutting strips of jaconde that looped over the top of the cake, and iced sugar letters spelling out my friend's name and "happy birthday" on the tip of each octopus-like jaconde tentacle!

Regardless, my friends didn't know all my flubs (they hadn't seen the pic on your website, obviously) and it was a big hit at the Thai restaurant where we brought it to celebrate my friend's birthday.

I loved the recipe, and look forward to making it again with the proper pan! Thanks!

Oh, and the Americolor tip was very helpful.

Rebecca said...

Recently made this cake and it turned out beautifully. I made one modification. I was making it for a friend's slightly raucous 30th birthday party so I made all the jello in the same way you'd make jello shots. It was beautiful and heavily alcoholic and I've been commissioned to make it again for a few other parties. If you have a special (adult) party coming up, I'd highly recommend giving it a try!

Dina said...

what a great cake! i like the bit of history and the pretty colors!

Adrienne said...

Ok this is bizarre! I was sitting here at my desk typing up my grandmother's recipes, in fact i am working on her "Rainbow Cake" recipe... with Dream Whip et al. I had always wondered where she got her recipe... and somehow I found your site in the process... and now I know!!! BTW, Dream Whip is still available! I just bought some last week to make her cake with. Her recipe varies from the old one you have only a wee bit. Hers doesn't call for the plain gelatin & cold water part, instead the pineapple has 1/4 cup sugar added to it and that is brought to a boil then poured over a 3 oz package of orange jello that is cooled till it starts to congeal... I make this one in a 13 x 9 pan cuz it's easier. Wow, still can't believe it... small world. Thanks for sharing your version.

Jo Jardina said...

I made this for a friend's birthday today. People love it, but I had a friend who has renamed it "Unicorn Poop Cake". I think that name is more fitting.

dynastysaga said...

this
is
GENIUS <3
thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you <3

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