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Blushing Snowball Apples: 1950s Retro Dessert

I write about my love of cooking and trying out new recipes that come to me via family or an old cookbook.

Blushing snowballs (coconut version)

Blushing snowballs (coconut version)

Conveying Love Through Cooking in the 1950s

In the postwar years, cooking had a new significance. Creating food was no longer about keeping your family fed on a low budget and minimal ingredients, it was now about conveying your love for them through well-planned-out meals. Making each and every meal enjoyable and distinctive became synonymous with being a good wife and mother.

Women left the workforce and became homemakers. Refrigerators with freezers, percolators, and stoves that ran on electricity entered the kitchens across America. There was a brand new style of cooking happening now that food could be kept for days on end. Gelatin was an “in” cooking product, Tupperware was used to store leftovers, and frozen foods were becoming part of the normal shopping item. This led to numerous ways to mix and match food to spice up the family event of eating.

This recipe is a new twist on a simple baked apple. The blushing snowball is considered by many cookbooks as, “Getting the most value for your food while providing a nutritious dessert.” Some of the recipes you can find from this era seem out of place these days such as a gelatin mold filled with fruit and evaporated milk. I find that this dessert recipe still has its place today in my cookbook.

It may not be the 1950s anymore, but this dessert brings much joy and love to my household. We go and pick the apples to be used in many of our family's favorite fall desserts, anybody can make this recipe due to its simplicity and it tastes great on a crisp fall evening. What more could you ask for from such a delightful, red apple?

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Cooling time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 blushing apples


  • 4 medium apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 12 regular marshmallows (or 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
  • Flaked coconut


  1. Pare and core the apples. Set aside on a plate.
  2. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, make a syrup of the sugar, water, marshmallows, maraschino cherry juice, and almond extract. Stir the ingredients until the marshmallows are melted and sugar has been incorporated.
  3. Place the apples in the boiling sauce and return the sauce to a boil before covering the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low once the pan is covered.
  4. Cook the apples in gently rolling boil syrup for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the apples over, avoid breaking the fruit, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Remove apples from the saucepan and cool on waxed paper for 10 minutes.
  6. Place enough coconut on a separate piece of waxed paper to completely cover apples. After the applies have cooled for 10 minutes, roll them in coconut and sprinkle a bit of coconut in the center hole. Enjoy!
Peeled and cored apples ready for boiling sauce

Peeled and cored apples ready for boiling sauce

Stirring the sauce ingredients

Stirring the sauce ingredients

Sauce boiling and ready for apples

Sauce boiling and ready for apples

Blushing Snowballs

Blushing Snowballs

Recipe Variations

Instead of the almond extract and maraschino cherry juice, use:

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup cinnamon candies

Make as above recipe.

Or try it with:

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 (4-serving) packages of strawberry gelatin mix
  • 4 cups of water

Bring the water and gelatin to a boil. add in cinnamon. Place apples in a saucepan and cook as directed above. You can serve this with a whipped topping instead of the coconut.

Children and Cooking

This recipe is child-friendly. They can help peel the apples, measure the ingredients and roll the apples in coconut. Below is some information on the benefits of children learning how to cook.

  • Experiencing scratch cooking helps children cultivate a developed palate and a taste for fresh, wholesome ingredients. The earlier children become familiar with nutritious foods, the less likely they are to acquire a taste for processed foods. Meals prepared from scratch usually contain added nutrients and fewer calories, chemicals, and sweeteners than pre-packaged foodstuffs and restaurant meals.
  • Spending time in the kitchen gives them confidence. Kids thrive on feeling a sense of accomplishment. Cooking is an ideal way to boost self-worth and teach responsibility. It also aids them in the basics of math at an early age. Try making a recipe without math!
  • Cooking with children when they are young offers an opportunity to connect with them on a regular basis. Your time talking and cooking in the kitchen together becomes even more important as they reach the adolescent and teenage years.

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© 2013 Susan McLeish