Jelly Cakes!

If you visit food blogs much you will probably have picked up on 2 themes over the last week or so…. Superbowl and Valentine’s Day. Being that I live in Australia and also that I don’t follow sport (except for the Olympics… can’t wait for that!), I didn’t get involved in all the superbowl cooking (except to drool over all the amazing looking con queso dips). Valentine’s Day on the other hand, now that I can get excited about.

We’ve never really done much for Valentine’s Day, we prefer to focus on our anniversary, but when you remove the commercialisation of the day and just embrace it as an excuse/reminder/opportunity to show that special someone just how awesome you think they are, then that’s pretty cool. And well, I think there’s no better way to do that than with food, and in particular…. Jelly Cakes! 

I hear you mumbling, “but what the hell is a jelly cake!”. Well, it’s kinda like a lamington. The concept is the same…. take a yummy soft sponge cake, fill it (with cream and/or jam, if you feel like it) and roll it in icing and coconut. The difference here is that instead of chocolate icing, you roll the cake in partially set jelly. Yeah. That sounds amazing doesn’t it? It’s a melting pot of flavours and textures with the super soft cake, the creamy filling, the silky, sweet jelly coating and the dusting of coconut. Drool….

Traditionally these were made in a baking dish called a gem iron. These cast iron pans were similar to cupcake tins except the indentations were shallower and had less severe edges, so they were more of a scoop. They were heated before being used and produced adorable little circular cakes. However, I don’t own any :(  and I figured most of you probably don’t either, so instead of giving you a recipe that you can only make if you track down and buy a piece of vintage cookware, I modified the recipe slightly, and you can make them in cupcake tins instead! Just means that instead of a bite sized treat, you get to indulge a little more. What. A. Pity!


The first thing you need to do for this recipe is to make the cakes and it really couldn’t be any easier. Make sure your butter is nice and soft, throw it into the bowl first and give it a quick beat, just to make sure it’s going to combine properly, then throw in all the other cake ingredients and beat for 4 minutes.


It should come out light and fluffy and beautifully pink!


Drop dessertspoonfuls of mixture into patty pans and then bake in a fairly hot oven (200 degrees C) for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.



Turn out of the tin and take the patty pans off. Allow to cool.


Cut small holes in the top of the cakes, fill the centre with the cream (or mock cream) and pop the lid back on. Roll in the partly set jelly and then immediately cover in coconut. Stick them in the fridge until the jelly sets properly. Apparently I got so caught up in the actual making of these, I forgot to take photos of the rolling process. It’s pretty straight forward though, the only tricky bit is working out when the jelly is actually ready. You need it to be set enough that it doesn’t soak into the cake but rather sticks to the outside, but not so set that you can’t roll in it. We put ours in the fridge for probably 25 minutes and it was wobbly when I took it out but once given a stir, was able to be rolled in.



Jelly Cakes

Serves 15
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Soft sponge filled with cream and coated in silky, sweet jelly and coconut


  • 2 packets Red Jelly Crystals
  • 500ml Boiling Water
  • Dessicated Coconut
  • Cream (whipped)


  • 120g Butter (softened)
  • 210g Self Raising Flour
  • 30g Cornflour
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 2 Eggs (60 gram size)
  • 210g Castor Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • A few drops Pink/red food colouring


Original jelly rather than diet jelly is recommended to achieve the correct taste and colour.


Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
Beat butter until soft. Add all other cake ingredients and beat well for 4 minutes. Spoon dessertspoonfuls of mixture into patty pans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove patty pans and allow to cool.
Prepare jelly by placing packets of crystals into a bowl and adding boiling water. Stir until dissolved and place in the fridge for about 25 minutes or until partially set.
Cut circles into tops of cakes and remove centres. Fill with whipped cream and place top back on. Roll in jelly and then in coconut. Refrigerate until jelly is set.



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