What began as a simple yet exotic dessert featuring three ingredients – fresh grated coconut flesh, sugar and oranges in the 19th Century was transmogrified into the epitome of processed  food by the mid 20th Century with variations that included flavored gelatin, marshmallows, marshmallow whip, sour cream, canned fruits, evaporated milk and mayonnaise. In the South, it connotes Christmas and seems to divide people into those who adore it and those who shudder at the thought of it.

This month’s revolting recipe was chosen because ‘tis the season…it is Ambrosia Salad (and we have two versions for you to try). Our recipe for Ambrosia Loaf  which comes from the book The Joys of Jell-O, is not the most revolting version we could find but it is a classic and features gelatin. The Frozen Ambrosia is another story, the revolting ingredient being mayonnaise! Enjoy these dessert salads and the traumatic childhood memories it may conjure. Happy Holidays!

Ambrosia Loaf

1 can (1lb. 4½ oz.) sliced pineapple

1 cup Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut

2 cups orange sections*

1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Orange or Orange-Pineapple Gelatin

1 cup boiling water

*Or use 2 cans (11 oz. each) mandarin orange sections, drained


Drain pineapple, measuring syrup. Add water to make 1 cup. Place 4 pineapple slices in a 9x5x3xinch loaf pan. Sprinkle with coconut. Add 4 more pineapple slices; top with orange sections. Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin in boiling water. Add fruit syrup. Pour over fruits in pan. Chill until firm. Unmold. Garnish with remaining pineapple and with maraschino cherries, if desired. Make about 5½ cups, 0r 8 to 10 cups.

Frozen Ambrosia

1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Orange or Orange-Pineapple Gelatin

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup boiling water

2 oranges, peeled and sectioned

1 cup whipped cream and prepared Dream Whip Whipped Topping

1⅓ cups (about) Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin, salt and sugar in boiling water. Drain orange sections, measuring juice and adding cold water to make 1 cup. Add to gelatin. Chill until very thick. Fold in whipped cream, coconut, orange sections, orange rind and mayonnaise. Pour into freezer tray or shallow pan. Freeze until firm.Makes about 4 cups, or 6 to 8 servings