St. Basil’s feast day is on January 2, but it has become a Catholic tradition to make a “St. Basil’s Cake” on New Year’s to celebrate one of his miracles! St. Basil was a Bishop, and a friend of the poor. He wanted to help the poor people pay their taxes, so he went around town collecting jewelry from each person. He took it all to the governor, but the governor took pity on the people and told them to keep their jewelry. There was just one problem- St. Basil didn’t know which piece of jewelry belonged to who! So he baked cakes with the jewels and gold inside, and distributed them to the people. That’s when the miracle happened- each person got exactly the piece of jewelry back that they had given!
So this year, we made a St. Basil cake to celebrate this miracle with “jewels” inside!
To make this cake, here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 packages of jell-o (3 oz each) in different colors
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 envelopes of unflavored (Knox) gelatin
To make the whipped frosting, here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon unflavored (Knox) gelatin
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
With each package of jell-o, mix with 1 cup of hot water, stir until it dissolves, and put it in the fridge. You’ll need 4 separate containers for the 4 different colors. Let this chill until it turns to gelatin.
To make your white filling, add both of your Knox gelatin packets to 2 cups of hot water and stir until it dissolves. Stir in your can of sweetened condensed milk, and then let this sit and come to room temperature. While you’re waiting, prepare your jell-o “jewels”!
Now take all of your jell-o, cut it into squares, and pour the squares into your pan. I used a springform pan, but you could use any jell-o mold you wanted or just a glass dish.
My kids really had a blast cutting it all into squares and filling the pan! Jell-o is sooooo pretty! 🙂 Once you have all of your jewels in place, pour the white filling over them.
Place your dish in the fridge, and allow this to set up. It will take at least 3 hours. When it’s ready, loosen the edges by running a butter knife around, and place it on your serving dish.
Now it’s time to make your whipped topping! You could just use cool whip, but I wanted my whipped frosting to be a little more stable to hold up longer. Here’s how you do that: Put 1/2 tsp of Knox gelatin in a coffee mug with 1 tablespoon of cold water and let it soften for several minutes. Heat up 2 cups of hot water in a small sauce pan, and then hold the bottom of the mug in the hot water to dissolve the gelatin. Once dissolved, allow to cool to room temperature. While it’s cooling, whip your heavy cream into whipped cream. Add the gelatin mixture at the same time as your powdered sugar, and vanilla. Frost your cake immediately, and then chill.
I knew that I would never achieve a perfectly smooth cake, so I just went for a “stucco” look with the whipped cream, which was super easy to do!
When you’re all finished, your cake will be hiding the jewels inside!
Just slice and then wait for the “oohs” and “aahs”!
Even though making St. Basil’s Cake is a Greek tradition, I didn’t go with the traditional cake. If you’d like to make a more traditional St. Basil’s New Year’s cake, check out this recipe. Otherwise, enjoy your beautiful Jell-o jewel cake!