Neapolitan Layered Gelatin with Pistachio and Coconut
This trio of amazing flavors is bound together with one common ingredient and that is gelatin. The cake layer and coconut topping layer feature pudding and the middle layer contains gelatin, so it really is the star of the show in this delicious Neapolitan layered gelatin dessert recipe. You can use one large package of gelatin rather than two smaller ones if you prefer, or contrast a small package of strawberry gelatin with a small package of wild cherry or raspberry gelatin, or another flavor.
If you are using a cake mix which already contains pudding, reduce the amount of water you add to one cup. If you are baking the cake at a high altitude, increase the water to one and a half cups and add quarter of a cup of flour to the cake mix. This ensures the cake will come out perfectly.
Since this dessert is made in layers you will need to use the correct baking dish for it. We suggest a 13 x 9 rectangular dish with high sides. If you do not have such a dish, you can use a round or square one, but the high sides are important because the cake will rise and then you will also need another couple of inches for the fruity gelatin and creamy coconut layers.
- 1 package yellow cake mix (2 layer size)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 4 eggs
- 1 package pistachio instant pudding
- 7 drops green food coloring
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
- 2 small packages (or 1 large one) strawberry gelatin
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup cold water
- 8 oz softened cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4 cups cold milk
- ½ cup toasted flaked coconut
- 3 packages instant coconut cream pudding mix (3.5 oz each)
- 12 oz thawed whipping topping
- Beat all the cake ingredients together, except the cooking spray, using a mixer.
- Put one double layer of aluminum foil in a 13 x 9 x 5 inch baking pan, leaving it hanging over both ends, and spray with cooking spray.
- This will help you to lift the cake out when it is done.
- Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for about 40 minutes.
- The cake is ready to take out of the oven when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan and leave it in there.
- Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, stirring all the time, and then stir in the cold water.
- Leave this mixture to thicken at room temperature.
- You can do this while the cake is baking.
- When the gelatin is very thick, pour it over the cake in the pan, and spread it evenly with a palette knife or spatula.
- Refrigerate the cake until the gelatin is completely set.
- Beat the powdered sugar and cream cheese, and then fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping.
- Spread this over the gelatin layer.
- Whisk the pudding mixes and milk for a couple of minutes, then let the mixture stand for 2 minutes.
- Spread this over the cream cheese layer and top with the rest of the whipped topping.
- Sprinkle the coconut flakes on top and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours before serving.
- To serve, lift the whole cake out of the baking dish, gripping the aluminum foil on either side as you lift it out.
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