Vintage Jell-O Advertisements and Recipes Your Grandmother Made

Updated on January 24, 2020
Country Homemaker profile image

Thelma is a syndicated newspaper food columnist and a former field editor for Taste of Home magazine.

1930 Cookbook Introducing Lime, a new Flavor


An Old-Time Favorite

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, there wasn't a family reunion, church social, or backyard barbecue that didn't have a Jell-O salad or dessert on the menu. Today, the brightly colored, shimmering gelatin dishes don't seem to be as popular as they once were. However, there are many delicious recipes available in vintage cookbooks like the one shown above.

History of the Gelatin

In 1989, I wrote about the history of Jell-O in Homemaker Headlines, a recipe newsletter I published. Since that was before the internet was invented, I had to rely on other means to get the information I was seeking. I called General Foods company, and they were happy to tell me everything I wanted to know about their product.

I was surprised to learn the gelatin had been around since 1845. It was developed and patented by Peter Cooper, however, the idea never seemed to work out for him. He sold his patent in 1897 to a businessman in Le Roy, New York. The buyer began production, and his wife named the gelatin invention Jell-O. To their disappointment, no one was interested in this new product. They sold it for $450 to their neighbor, who didn't have any better luck with it. He tried to sell it for $35 but couldn't find a buyer!

In desperation, he launched an advertising campaign in the Ladies Home Journal magazine proclaiming it to be "America's Most Famous Dessert." The dessert mix in a little box started to take off, and by 1906, sales approached the million-dollar mark, quite a lot of money for that time period.

Early 1900s Magazine Advertisement: Anyone Can Make It


Four Vintage Recipes

After publishing the article about the beginnings of this delicious gelatin, I started receiving hundreds of recipes from my readers. I selected 4 of the most popular to feature here. Although it has been almost 30 years since I first shared them, these recipes are timeless. Your family will enjoy them, and we may even develop a new generation of Jell-O fans.

Lemon Jell-O Cake

Shared by Evelyn Fehrmann of Hemet, California.

Please Rate this Recipe

5 stars from 1 rating of Lemon Jell-O Cake
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Several slices depending on how large you cut them
  • 2 3 oz. packages lemon Jell-O
  • 1 cup, hot water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  1. Add Jell-O to hot water in a bowl. Stir until well diluted. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add together oil, eggs (one at a time) and cake mix. Mix well after each egg addition.
  3. Add in lemon extract and the diluted Jell-O. Mix very well.
  4. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. While the cake is baking, mix together lemon juice and powdered sugar.
  6. When the cake is done, remove from oven and while still hot, poke several holes in it with a toothpick. Spoon the powdered sugar and lemon juice mixture over the hot cake. The more holes the better it will taste because the lemon sugar mixture will seep into the cake through the holes.
  7. Let sit until ready to serve.

Peachy Yogurt Salad

Shared by Katy Gardei of Colliers, West Virginia


  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 3 oz. packages peach Jell-O
  • 1 16 oz. can crushed pineapple (in its own juice)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cartons peach yogurt


  1. Add 2 cups hot water to the Jell-O and stir well to dissolve.
  2. Stir in pineapple including the juice.
  3. Add 1 cup cold water.
  4. Fold in yogurt. Stir well to blend all ingredients.
  5. Chill overnight.

Frosted Lime Salad

Shared by Jackie Craig of Miami, Oklahoma


  • 1 3 oz. package lime Jell-O
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 1/2 cups crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup cottage cheese, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 3 oz. jar diced pimientos, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 3 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Dissolve Jell-O in hot water. Chill, stirring frequently, until consistency of unbeaten egg whites.
  2. Add pineapple, cottage cheese, celery, pimientos, and pecans.
  3. Pour into 8x8x2 inch dish.
  4. Chill until firm.
  5. To make the topping, mash cream cheese. Add mayonnaise and lemon juice.
  6. Spread on top of the Jell-O salad when it is completely chilled and you are ready to serve.

Cranberry Raspberry Salad

Shared by Opal Schubert of Princeton, Illinois

Note: This is a layered salad

Ingredients for bottom layer:

  • 1 6 oz. package raspberry Jell-O
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 10 oz. packages frozen raspberries with juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Ingredients for center layer:

  • 1 pint sour cream

Ingredients for the top layer:

  • 1 6 oz. package cherry Jell-O
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 13 1/2 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce


  1. Dissolve raspberry Jell-O in 1 1/2 cups boiling water.
  2. Add frozen raspberries, lemon juice and pecans.
  3. Stir well until berries are thawed.
  4. Pour into a lightly greased gelatin mold or a 9x13 inch dish. Refrigerate.
  5. When the raspberry layer is chilled firm, cover it with the pint of sour cream. This is the middle layer. Return the dish to the refrigerator.
  6. Dissolve cherry Jell-O in 1 cup boiling water.
  7. Add pineapple.
  8. Stir cranberry sauce until softened; add to Jell-O.
  9. Refrigerate the cherry Jell-O until it is slightly thick. Then, pour on top of the sour cream to create the top layer.
  10. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.
  11. If desired, garnish with whipped topping and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

1920 Advertisement: Budget Friendly Product


Early 1900s Advertisement: Homemaker Calling in Grocery Order


Please Answer this Fun Poll

Which of the Advertisements Shown Here is Your Favorite?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Thelma Raker Coffone


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)