Lemon Ball Cake Recipe

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This no-bake lemon ball cake was found tucked in our Metal Ohio Art Flower Box, handwritten on a small piece of memo paper.

The handwriting was a bit difficult to read at first and the directions were not 100% clear, but thankfully it was easy enough to cross check the directions on this recipe by checking out the directions for Knox gelatin and the directions for making Dream Whip.

Here is the front of the recipe:

And here is the back of the recipe:

Lemon Ball Cake Back
Lemon Ball Cake Back

I love how it was written on a sheet of paper from those little pocket spiral bound memo notebooks. Those were so common in the 1980’s – everybody had one and I was always asking my mom if I could have hers. They are just so cute!

We found another copy of this recipe called Snowball cake in the Map Recipe Box.

The snowball cake directions were MUCH easier to read as it was on a larger size of yellow memo pad sheet of paper.

The reason it’s called “snowball” cake is because it looks like a snowball when it is finished, thanks to the whipped topping covered in coconut that is used as icing.

Knox gelatin has been around since the company was first founded in 1889 by Charles Knox. After his death in 1908, it was his wife, Rose Knox, who truly made history as an early business women.

She focused her attention on marketing the product to housewives and developed a number of recipes that were frequently found on the box. She expanded the business and ran as president of the company until she was nearly 90 years old before her son took over in 1947.

Dream Whip is another “oldie but goodie” ingredient in this recipe. According to Wikipedia, it was developed in-house at General Foods and released in 1957. This was about 10 years before the more commonly known “Cool Whip” was invented. Today both Cool Whip and Dream Whip are a part of Kraft.

Given this information, we can guess this recipe originated at some point between the 1960’s and the 1980’s {which is a rough estimate of when the recipe box was created and most used}.

In cross checking and referencing for similar recipes, the closest thing we could find was this recipe for Snowball cake, which includes similar ingredients {it uses Cool Whip as an alternative for Dream Whip}.

This is truly an interesting cake recipe and I’m so glad we stumbled across it in our recipe box!

Lemon Ball Cake Recipe

Lemon Ball Cake Recipe

This vintage no-bake lemon ball cake recipe combines pineapple, lemon, and dream whip with angel food cake. It looks like a large ball when finished.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Course Cake Recipes, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 167 kcal


Gelatin Mixture

  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 envelopes Dream Whip
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 angel food cake broken into pieces

Frosting Topping

  • 2 envelopes Dream Whip
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 cup shredded coconut


  • Dissolve gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water and let stand for 1 minute. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir until all granules are completely dissolved.
  • Mix in 1 can crushed pineapple {with syrup from can}, sugar, salt, and lemon juice.
  • Prepare dream whip by mixing 2 packets with 1 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat until stiff and add into gelatin mixture while gelatin is partially set.
  • Line 4 quart mixing bowl with waxed paper and alternate layers of cake and gelatin mixture.
  • Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  • When ready to frost, make the frosting by mixing Dream Whip with 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract. Beat until stiff.
  • Turn over cake mixture from bowl on cake plate and frost. Top with shredded coconut.


Yes, Cool Whip can be substituted for Dream Whip! You will need about 4 cups of Cool Whip. {2 containers should be sufficient!}


Serving: 1gCalories: 167kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 252mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29g
Keyword ball cake, lemon
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If you make this recipe or have any memories of making a similar recipe to this lemon ball cake or snowball cake, I would love to hear your experiences! Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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