Glazed Tea Cakes – A Mid-Century Gelatin Test

Posted on Nov 14 2012 - 6:44am by RetroRuth

Hooray for gelatin!! Today we have another recipe that was submitted for our Gelatin Contest, but I have to admit that this is one that I was very excited to see because I have been dying to try this recipe for ages.

These adorable little things are Glazed Tea Cakes.


And yes, they ARE covered with gelatin.

This recipe was submitted by Cat from Michigan, who also sent in the recipe for Barbecue Salad, which we ended up turning into Barbecue Cheese Cracker Pie. Both of these recipes are from the vintage classic, The Joys of Jell-O.

Since Barbecue Salad was originally supposed to be served in cubes and we ultimately ended up making the pie variation, I thought it was only fair to make these cakes for Cat since they are also supposed to be served in cubes.

Of course, what fun would that be? So, I ended up making my cake into half cubes, and half into some adorable shapes using modern and vintage cutters. 


Adorable, huh?  Well, turns out it was all a huge waste of time, because when they were finished they all ended up looking the same anyway.


Besides the fact that I lost my shapes, which wasn’t a huge deal, these things were a total pain to make. First off, they were incredibly messy.  I wish I would have taken a picture of the carnage that ensued when I did this, but at the time I was too covered with gelatin to touch my camera. I thought it would just be a matter of dipping the cake into the gelatin on a fork (like you would with chocolate) and having it coat. Wrong! You had to roll the cake around with your fingers in the gelatin to get good coverage. This led to some very, very red fingers.

In addition, the coconut refused to stick to the gelatin-covered cake squares.  I had to toast the coconut to make it dry enough to stick to the gelatin.

In the end, though, they looked pretty cute. Although I don’t think Tom was too impressed.

Tom PicsIMG_9325

“Are they good?”


“Are they bad?”


“Well, then what are they?”

“Wet cake.”


The Verdict: Okay

From Tom’s Tasting Notes:

Tasted like wet yellow cake covered with toasted coconut.

From Ruth’s Tasting Notes:

Tasted a lot like Jell-O poke cake, which I am not too fond of, but if you like that sort of thing these might be for you. After about 24 hours in the fridge they became less “wet” and more “moist” which was nice. The one outstanding thing about this recipe was that the cake never really dried out, even a week later. Would be a good recipe if you are going to have a party for kids and you want to make the snacks WAY in advance.

Thanks, Cat, for sending in this recipe! I have been wanting to try it for ages!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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7 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Ruby November 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    I love your blog. I enjoy reading it and I’m glad you did it so I can find it 🙂 both you and Tom have a great attitude in trying these dishes. My family would flip if I served some of the things you guys eat. So I will continue to live though you and Tom in recipe testing 🙂 well done

  2. Erica November 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    I’m surprised that didn’t work better! They LOOK amazing, though.

  3. Sara In AZ November 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Huh, yeah I am surprised they didn’t taste better too…..seems like it really should have.

    Gosh, they look really adorable though!

  4. Sean November 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    This is totally the recipe for the outer coating of Hostess Zingers- I always wondered what the coating was and jello makes sense!

  5. Cat G. November 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Woohoo! So glad you tried it! I was planning on trying it myself if you and Tom hadn’t. I’m sad they didn’t taste as good as they sounded the would. Oh well, at least they didn’t have pimento or tons of clove or something odd in them!

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