My grandmother, born in 1916, loved all things Jell-O®! While going through her recipes, I adapted one of her favorites for my daughter's 33rd birthday party! I remember we loved this as children and it served a lot of people. Gramma's version featured only bananas for fruit. She also used Dream Whip® to top it. I added the extra fruit and used real whipped cream because let's face it; Dream Whip® just doesn't hold the appeal it did in the late 60's!


Recipe Summary

35 mins
28 mins
2 hrs 45 mins
3 hrs 48 mins
16 servings


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

  • Combine cake mix, 1 cup water, eggs, and oil in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until blended. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 23 to 28 minutes. Cool on a rack, about 15 minutes.

  • Mix 2 cups boiling water and gelatin mix together in a bowl until dissolved. Stir in 2 cups cold water.

  • Transfer cake to a flat work surface. Cut out and discard the hard edges; crumble the rest of the cake onto the bottom of the baking pan. Spoon gelatin over cake; cover with bananas. Refrigerate until set, 2 to 4 hours.

  • Combine milk and pudding mix in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour over the bananas. Layer strawberries on top. Chill trifle until set, 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Beat cream in a chilled glass or metal bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Spread over the trifle. Place cherries on top. Add pecans.

Cook's Notes:

Make sure to lay the strawberries flat on the pudding or they will poke through the whip cream layer!

Beat the whipping cream with sugar and vanilla extract if desired.

Editor's Note:

The directions for making cake is based on the particular brand mentioned. Follow instructions on box if using a different brand.

Nutrition Facts

348 calories; protein 5.7g; carbohydrates 46.2g; fat 16.4g; cholesterol 59.5mg; sodium 331mg. Full Nutrition