When it comes to making and baking homemade dessert cakes I like to use recipes that are easy to prepare, bake up quickly and taste delicious. When you use gelatin in your cake batter recipes it adds a nice flavor and coloring to your dessert cakes. It will make a boxed mix taste like a homemade gourmet cake.

Each of these recipes start out with a boxed mix that you spruce up with a few additional ingredients. When the recipe calls for a box of gelatin it is for the standard (not family-sized) box. You can top these desserts with a glaze, frosting or icing of your choice or see the recipe for suggestions.

Lemon Lime Gelatin Cake

1 box lemon flavored cake mix

1 box lemon gelatin mix

1 box of lime gelatin mix

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

1 cup confectioners sugar

Add gelatin mix to the dry cake mix. Proceed to making the cake following directions on the package. Pour the batter into a prepared baking pan that has been greased and lighly floured. Bake according to box instructions. Mix lemon juice and confectioners sugar together. When it has finished baking, prick with fork all over while it is still hot and pour lemon/sugar mixture evenly over the top. This will make a nice glaze when cooled. Store in an airtight container until serving time.

Dreamy Gelatin Cake

1 box white cake mix

1 box lime gelatin mix

1 container dream whip

Follow directions on the back of the box to mix and bake the cake. Make gelatin according to directions on the box. After cake is baked, poke holes all over it with a large fork, then pour the gelatin over the cake and into all the poked holes, using all of it. Put dream whip on as the icing. Refrigerate cake two hours and store it in the refrigerator.

Creamsicle cake

1 orange cake mix

1 box of orange gelatin

Bake the cake as directed on the box. Let it cool for 1 hour before proceeding. Mix and dissolve gelatin in 1 cup of hot water, then add 1/2 cup of cold water. Poke holes in top of cooled cake with a fork and pour onto cake making sure that it runs into the poked holes. Put in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Then mix:

1 box of vanilla instant pudding

1 cup cold milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounce package Cool Whip

In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat together the vanilla instant pudding, cold milk and vanilla extract. Fold in the package of Cool Whip. Frost the top with the frosting you just prepared after the cake has been completely cooled.

Shelly Hill is a mother and grandmother living in Pennsylvania who enjoys cooking, baking and canning. Shelly is the owner of the popular foodie blog called Shakin ‘N Bakin in the Kitchen at http://wahmshelly.blogspot.com where you can find free menu ideas, cooking articles, tips and free recipes.