Deutsch: Kathedralenkuchen / Español: Pastel de catedral / Português: Bolo Catedral / Français: Gâteau Cathédrale / Italiano: Torta Cattedrale

Cathedral Cake, in the food context, refers to a visually striking dessert known for its stained glass window effect, reminiscent of a cathedral's intricate glasswork. This effect is typically achieved through the use of colorful gelatin pieces or brightly colored fruit embedded in a white or light-colored setting, such as marshmallow, whipped cream, or a light mousse. The cake not only offers a delightful array of flavors but also serves as a decorative centerpiece for celebrations and festive occasions.


The allure of the Cathedral Cake lies in its unique appearance and texture. It is often made by suspending pieces of brightly colored gelatin, which can be flavored with various fruits, in a creamy mixture that sets to form the cake's body. This body can be made from ingredients like condensed milk, cream cheese, and whipped cream, or a combination thereof, which provides a rich, smooth contrast to the chewy, fruity gelatin pieces. The cake is usually chilled until firm and then sliced to reveal the colorful pattern inside, similar to the light filtering through a cathedral's stained glass windows.

Application Areas

Cathedral Cake is a versatile dessert that can be adapted for various occasions:

  • Celebratory Events: Its impressive appearance makes it a popular choice for birthdays, weddings, and holiday celebrations.
  • Culinary Arts: Bakers and dessert makers may experiment with different flavors and colors to create unique variations of the Cathedral Cake.
  • Home Baking: With its simple ingredients and no-bake preparation, it's an accessible recipe for home bakers looking to make a statement dessert.

Well-Known Examples

While the classic Cathedral Cake is recognized for its stained glass effect, there are numerous variations, including:

  • Fruit Cathedral Cake: Incorporating fresh or canned fruit pieces alongside or instead of gelatin for a more natural flavor and texture.
  • Chocolate Cathedral Cake: Adding chocolate elements, such as a chocolate biscuit base or chocolate chips, for a richer taste.
  • Layered Cathedral Cake: Creating layers of different colored gelatin or adding layers of biscuit or sponge cake for added texture and complexity.


A basic recipe for Cathedral Cake involves:

  1. Ingredients:

    • Brightly colored gelatin, prepared and set in shallow pans, then cut into cubes
    • Condensed milk
    • Cream cheese or mascarpone
    • Whipped cream
    • Unflavored gelatin (for the setting mixture)
  2. Preparation:

    • Blend the condensed milk and cream cheese (or mascarpone) until smooth.
    • Fold in the whipped cream and prepared unflavored gelatin (dissolved as per package instructions) to create the creamy setting mixture.
    • Gently fold in the colored gelatin cubes.
    • Pour the mixture into a mold and refrigerate until set.
    • Unmold and slice to serve, revealing the colorful pattern.

Treatment and Risks

As a rich and sweet dessert, Cathedral Cake is best enjoyed in moderation, particularly by individuals monitoring their sugar or calorie intake. The use of fresh fruit can introduce a healthier element, but the overall dessert remains indulgent.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Stained Glass Cake
  • Broken Glass Cake
  • Mosaic Cake


Cathedral Cake is a festive, visually appealing dessert characterized by its stained glass effect, achieved through the incorporation of colorful gelatin pieces within a creamy base. Ideal for special occasions, this dessert not only captivates with its appearance but also offers a delightful taste experience, combining the richness of cream with the fruity chewiness of gelatin. It represents a creative culinary endeavor that merges art and flavor in one memorable dish.


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