Grandmother's Lemon Jello Cake!

My grandmother had 5 children and any woman cooking for 7 people on a military salary learns to cook. (My Granddad was career military!)

She gardened, cooked, refinished furniture and was her kid's mom. Sound familiar?

Handwritten recipe cards are one of the "Things I Love" and I proudly display! I always thought I was special because I had this original handwritten recipe of one of the family favorites. 

Silly me. This is how Grandmother shared her recipes. She hand wrote them on index cards and handed them out. Chances are all my uncles and cousins have many of her handwritten recipes.

Several years ago, I borrowed her recipe boxes and folders from my uncle and scanned every recipe she ever collected. Many went back decades...main dishes, casseroles, canning recipes, cookies, cakes, clipped from newspapers and magazines, many written on index cards by her own hand...hundreds. I have them all scanned and stored in my computer (and on a backup drive!). Someday I hope to put them all together in a book...someday.

For now I will share a cake that she served during EVERY family visit and gathering. This and her applesauce cake! Later I learned she would pre-bake the cakes and freeze them for when company came. Sounds like a great idea but I can honestly say no sweet would last long enough to freeze at my house! 

This is her recipe...word for word.

Lemon Jello Cake

3/4 cup cold water

1 package of Lemon Jello

Beat until Jello is dissolved! 

Add 1 package of any yellow cake mix and 4 eggs. Beat 1 minute.

Add 3/4 cup oil (like Wesson). Beat 1 minute.

Pour into greased and floured pan or line pan bottom with waxed paper.

(TIP: For you youngen's there was a time when we didn't have spray on PAM or Crisco. We had to grease and flour our pans. Since this was how my grandmother did it, it is how I do it! I wipe a thin coat of solid Crisco shortening on the pan with a paper towel and then dust it with flour! Never fails!)

2-9" layer -(or) 1 -9x15" pan -(or) 1 Angel Food pan

Cook 350 degrees  

9" aprox. 30 min

9x15" - 45 min

Tube- 50 min - 1 hour

Prick top lightly with fork-sprinkle juices 2 lemons over top then sprinkle w/ confectioner's sugar.

Me again! TIP: When using fresh lemons for the juice, microwave them for about 15 seconds, then roll them with your palm on the counter, cut in half and squeeze the juices through a small strainer. The strainer will catch all the pulp and seeds. I also use the strainer to dust the top of the cakes with confectioner's (powdered) sugar.


I sprinkle the lemon juice and dust the confectioners sugar right after the cake comes out of the oven. As it cools, the sugar will kind of "crust."

You can also make a lemon glaze. Two cups of confectioner's sugar and the juice of 1 lemon. Mix together then drizzle over the cake while it is still hot! Yummy!!! 

Both my mom and Sarah requested this for their birthday cake. In our family, this is one of those "traditional" desserts because we all remember having it every time we went to Grandmother's.

Super moist, tart and sweet!

Remember, traditions have to start somewhere with someone...start your tradition today!

This is a simple and totally yummy cake! Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

BTW, if you want to "pretty" this cake up, you can always add icing...chocolate or lemon or anything you like.  But trust me, it doesn't need it!

One Christmas, I stacked 2 9" cakes, coated it with a lemon butter cream icing and decorated it with fondant!