Nana Recipe Wednesday–Yellow Jell-O Cake

by Sarah on February 15, 2012

I can’t quit you Nana, nor your collection of Jell-O infused recipes.

She knows it, and she don’t care.  She knows they taste good–who cares if there’s Jell-O in there?  I am beyond caring.  I did, for a minute….Jell-O!  I can’t possibly eat all this Jell-O!  Oh, I can.  And I am.  And I will continue to.  If I can get through Red Hot Jell-O Salad then someday I will be able to make the Horseradish Jello Mold (to be eaten with prime rib or something).

And, connected to nothing at all, except the photo above—my great-aunt, Nana’s baby sister, Sister Marie had a tiny little heart surgery this week so everyone–if you could send her some healing thoughts or vibrations or if you’re of the praying variation, please do (she’d appreciate it, being a nun and all). Anyway that would be swell, thanks.  She is just about the sweetest lady around.

Ok, back to cake.

You know what this kind of cake is?  A perfect little pot-luck cake.  Something to whip together to bring to a work meeting, or to your kid’s school function, or maybe someone got straight-A’s (or check-marks or however they grade kids nowadays) and you just want a little something-something to celebrate.  It barely takes any time at all, hardly takes any planning ahead and tastes like a good, moist, homemade cake.

Even if the cake batter is day-glo orange.

You don’t even need a mixer for this one—just dump it all in a bowl and whisk it about until combined.  Pour into a greased Pyrex pan.

After you bake it, Nana says to “prick it” (ha ha) with a fork, but I found the fork left kind of giant holes in the cake.  I opted for a toothpick and just poked the thing all over.

The icing is just powdered sugar and orange or lemon juice.  I used both, since I knew the cake mix and Jell-O would be so sweet.  I used the juice of a whole Meyer lemon and then used some OJ as well.  It was perfect and gave my sweet cake a bit of tartness.

Pretty much dump all the icing on the cake.  Of course, DRIZZLE is more what I mean.  You want it to soak into all the little holes you poked and into the edges.  It makes the cake nice and moist.

Now just let it cool completely before serving!

Nana recommends dusting the cake with a smidge of powdered sugar.  I recommend it too.  It looks festive that way.

Nana's Yellow Jell-O Cake


  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 small package orange Jell-O
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange or lemon juice (or a combination)


  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Mix cake ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until combined.
  • Pour into a greased 9x13 Pyrex pan. Bake 40 minutes or until done.
  • While hot, prick with toothpick all over.
  • Mix icing ingredients.
  • Drizzle icing over warm cake, letting soak into all the holes and in the edges of cake.
  • Let cool completely.
  • Serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top.

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