Christmas Dessert Recipe: Broken Window Glass Cake

I know, I know – Christmas already?! Two things: 1) this dessert has been sitting in my Drafts folder since last January and I want to make sure that I don’t forget about this season! and 2) Christmas isn’t as far away as you might think! 

As with many of my favourite recipes that I post here, this Christmas dessert recipe for Broken Window Glass Cake comes from my mom’s recipe box. It has been a feature on our Christmas table for as long as I can remember – but it has been several years now since we’ve all eaten Christmas dinner together. This year when our family got together the Saturday before Christmas, I decided to give this incredibly easy and tasty Christmas dessert recipe a try myself. 

Broken Window Glass Cake: Jello & Whipped Cream Christmas Dessert

It’s not hard to imagine how the name for this dessert was coined – the brightly coloured squares of Jell-O resemble the colours in stained glass pictures often found in church windows. 

It’s fun for the kids to eat (hello – what kid doesn’t love Jell-O?) and light enough for the adults still to appreciate after the big meal. Plus: with a name like Broken Window Glass Cake, who wouldn’t want a bite? 

This Broken Window Glass Cake looks like it came straight out of a 70′s cookbook, and I’m guessing that it did. There’s really no way to make it look fancy – but it feeds a lot of people and  it’s cheap and easy to make (I feel like that defined much of the 70′s cuisine we see now and again?), which makes it a great potluck dessert! 

Broken Window Glass Cake: Christmas Dessert Recipes

Broken Window Glass Cake
Serves 16
A Traditional Christmas Dessert Recipe born in the 1950's, the Broken Window Glass Cake (also called Stained Window Cake) does look like it came right off the page of a 70's cookbook. However, it's light, tasty, and not too sweet (not to mention very festive!) - the perfect follow-up to a big Christmas dinner!
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  1. 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  2. 2/3 cup melted butter
  1. 1 box lime Jell-O
  2. 1 box strawberry Jell-O
  3. 1 box orange Jell-O
  4. 3 cups boiling water
  5. 1 1/2 cups ice-cold water
  6. 1 1/4 Tbsp gelatin powder
  7. 1 cup pineapple juice
  8. 1/4 ice-cold water
  9. 2 cups whipped cream (or 1 pkg DreamWhip, prepared)
  10. 1/2 tsp vanilla
Make the Base
  1. Preheat the oven to 320F.
  2. Combine melted butter and graham crumbs.
  3. Press mixture into a 9x13 pan and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on the counter.
Prepare the Jell-O
  1. Prep 3 8x8-ish sized pans by rinsing & greasing lightly (so the Jell-O will be easier to remove)
  2. Mix together 1 Jell-O flavour with 1 cup boiling water, stir until Jell-O has dissolved. Add in 1/2 cup ice-cold water, stir well, and pour into one of the prepared pans. Chill in fridge (or outside, if you're in Canada in the dead of winter!)
  3. Repeat with the remaining packages of Jell-O.
For the Filling
  1. When the Jell-O has set, dissolve the gelatin powder in the pineapple juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat. When all the gelatin has been dissolved, remove from heat, add 1/4 cup ice-cold water, and chill in fridge (or outside) until the mixture turns thick & syrupy but not gelled.*
  2. Cut Jell-O into 1" squares and lift into a bowl with a spatula.
  3. In a large bowl, gently combine the pineapple jelly with the whipped cream. Add in the Jell-O squares and pour onto the prepared crust.
  4. Chill for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  1. *There's about 1-2 minutes between syrup and gel - if the mixture is too runny, it'll deflate the whipped cream. If it's too gelled, it won't mix into the whipped cream well. If your mixture gets too gelled, reheat, stir, and chill again.
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Broken Window Glass Cake - The BEST Christmas Potluck Dessert!

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Jenn vanOosten

I live in Hamilton, Ontario, and love my city. I'm a Netflixer, choral music geek, bookworm, inventor of recipes (I take Artistic Licence on EVERYTHING that I make), wife of one, mother of two, and owner of a neurotic Schnauzer. I respect people who respect others. I love good food that's well done, but my favourite lunch is KD & hotdogs. With ketchup. I'm addicted to Clearance Shopping. I will ALWAYS get the product that I want at the price that I want, eventually.


  1. Very festive looking & looks like a light dessert option as well.

  2. Can you use nutrewhip instead as I have a dairy allergy?

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