3 Layer Jello

In the Kitchen with Sheryl

Having a tried and true recipe handed down from one generation to the next is a priceless gift worth holding onto.

When my Grandma Coe had become so ill, and could no longer remain in her home, the house and belongings went up for auction to aid in her financial care. My aunts, uncles, and cousins got to choose items that meant the most to them, ones that reminded them of their memories of Grandma and Grandpa. It was during the auction later that day that I purchased a couple of boxes, just to get in on the bidding war. I had already obtained a few of Grandma’s doilies that she had crocheted and tatted earlier.

To my surprise, later I would find a treasure beyond my imagination. After carefully opening this one box, down underneath the everyday recipe books, I found my grandmother’s hand written recipes, some on index cards, others on scrap pieces of paper. I cherish them today, along with my mother’s recipes. Seeing their handwriting and smudges of ink, showing the years of use, remind me of the times we once gathered together celebrating life as a family.

Hand written recipe

The recipe for this week’s “In the Kitchen” has been enjoyed by my family over the past years by five generations. Every birthday party, Christmas gathering, family picnic, White family reunion, or Coe cousin reunion has seen this dish grace its table.

I have put a twist to it, but only by changing the jello flavors, to go along with a particular holiday. For example: cherry, and blueberry for the, 4th of July or Memorial Day. Cherry or strawberry, along with lime for Christmas. For our birthday gatherings, I give the choice of flavors to the one celebrating their birthday.

This recipe is one I truly cherish. My Grandma Coe, Aunt Edna Milanich and Aunt Sue Coe, along with my mom, Dorothy Coe Sweet, made this time after time. Today, with my Coe cousins, we are keeping their memory alive by making this recipe along with many others for our families. Each one comes from the heart.

Original Recipe for 3 Layer Jello

13×9 pan

Layer #1:

2 pkgs of orange jello – put in pan to cool


1 lemon (pkg) + 1 cup hot water, cool
8 oz pkg. cream cheese + ¾ c sugar + 2 t vanilla (beat till creamy)
1 Dream Whip- beat as on box and add to cool lemon jello

  • Then add cream cheese mixture
  • Beat all and put on set orange jello (at least 1 hour)


Mix 2 pkg. red jello; cool and ladle over set cheese layer.

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The grocery list is as follows:

2 small boxes of orange jello (make according to directions)
1 small box of lemon jello
2 small boxes of red jello (make according to directions)
1 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia cream cheese
1 envelope of Dream Whip (make according to directions)

*tip #1: When it comes to the middle layer, I allow my lemon jello to cool nearby as I mix up the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. I then mix, according to directions, the Dream Whip. Make sure your biggest bowl is used for the lemon jello because the other two bowls with the cream cheese mixture and Dream Whip will be added to that.

*tip #2: Use a measuring cup for adding the third layer of jello while it is inside the fridge. It is extremely difficult to move the heavy dish back into the refrigerator, with the jello moving around.

I guarantee this dish will soon be a favorite at your family’s next gathering. Just be ready to hand out the recipe.

Enjoy! From me to you, “In the Kitchen”

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News