Friday, January 7, 2011


I couldn't think of a dessert for our New Year's Eve supper. I needed something special but not too labor-intensive. "Remember that cake you used to make," Mike asked; "it had a ribbon of red all through it." Well, I couldn't think of any cake like that and I was slightly ticked about it. I figured he was thinking about someone else's cake. But half an hour after that discussion, it suddenly came to me -- "the Ruby Slipper." It was my cake after all!

I found the recipe for "The Ruby Slipper" in a magazine ad for Jello in the 1970s -- the era when bundt cakes were popular. I had realized that baking varieties of traditional holiday goodies just wasn't going to work for me, at least not while the children were little. Still, I wanted something that looked festive -- something I could stir up and bake quickly. "The Ruby Slipper" was the answer.

So, on New Year's Eve 2010, "the Ruby Slipper" once again came to my aid. Fortunately I had all the ingredients on hand -- a yellow cake mix, a box of raspberry Jell-O, and some sour cream.

"The Ruby Slipper"
1 package yellow cake mix or pudding included cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Brand Raspberry Flavor Gelatin
Combine cake mix, sour cream, water, and eggs in large bowl. Blend, then beat at medium speed 2 minutes until creamy.

Spoon 1/3 of batter into well-greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan. (I really like my silicon bundt pan for this cake.) Sprinkle with 1/2 the gelatin. (It's important that the gelatin not touch the side of the pan.)

Spoon 1/3 of batter carefully over the first gelatin layer and sprinkle remaining gelatin over batter.

Lastly, spread remaining batter over gelatin to cover.

Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool on rack. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar, if desired.

I found many recipes for "the Ruby Slipper" online, mostly the same. One cook uses 3/4 cup water instead of 1/4 cup, and she might have something there. The batter is really thick and a little hard to spread. KW


Chris said...

Looks yummy. I love using a cake mix for a quick and tasty dessert. This one looks like a winner for sure. I might even have all the ingredients in my pantry, too. Did you eat it all up?

Hallie said...

I remember this one. It IS good! I like how the jello part has a different texture.

Kathy said...

It can take the two of us four days to finish a regular family dessert. By that time, we're getting tired of it. So, I froze a quarter of it.

Yes, the red ribbon is distinctive in flavor and texture.

Leah said...

Here's a different take on Jello cake. In the 1960's my neighborhood friends in Missouri were passing around a recipe called "Jello Poke Cake." With this one, you add boiling water to the jello. AFTER the cake is baked (sans Jello), you poke holes in the top of the cake and pour the dissolved jello over the cake. The Jello runs into the holes and each slice has colorful stripes. It has to be put in the Fridge for a few hours to set the Jello. Frost with Cool Whip. It can also be made into a layer cake with different colors of Jello for each layer.

Google "Jello Poke Cake" to find the recipe and see lots of colorful photos. I made mine with lemon cake and lemon jello (only because I love lemon cake). Others would use any red jello with white cake.

Leah said...

Kathy: Forgot to say that your Ribbon Cake is elegant.

Kathy said...

Thanks for mentioning the poke cake, Leah. I occasionally bake one -- white cake and lime Jell-O. And I think I got that recipe from the same ad with "The Ruby Slipper."

Another family favorite along the lines of a poke cake: poke holes in a baked yellow cake or yellow butter cake and pour sweetened condensed milk over it. Frost with Cool Whip and sprinkle coconut over the top.