My fondest memories of my late grandma, Shirley Ihara, are of watching her cook and bake in the kitchen. During the holidays, she would make her Butter Crunch Jello Cream Cake and it was one of my favorites. She actually taught me this recipe when I was a child, but I really didn’t make it on my own; for some reason, hers always tasted much better.

My grandma was a great cook and baker; she has so many recipes that we all have enjoyed and loved. If you have ever come to one of my Uncle Les’s fundraisers, joined us in a family dinner or visited her at her home, she always had great food and awesome desserts to share with others.

As she was getting older, she stopped cooking as much. In recent years, I was going through her recipes and decided to cook them for her. I cooked everything from BBQ hot dogs, lasagna, banana muffins, stew, Chicken Divan and more. She would compliment me on how good it was and I responded to her with “Well, it’s your recipe.” She would laugh and keep enjoying her meal.

Bottom Crust: (Butter Crunch)
1 stick oleo (margarine or butter)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 3 oz box jello (lemon)
1 cup hot water
3/4 cup sugar
1 8 oz Cool Whip (or 1 bottle Avoset)
1 8 oz cream cheese
1 6 oz box jello (flavor of your choice,
strawberry is the best)
3 cups hot water

Bottom crust: Cream sugar and butter, add flour and nuts. Press and spread into 9”x13” cake pan. Cook at 375 degrees for 10 minutes

Filling: Dissolve jello in hot water and cool. Add cream cheese mixed with the sugar. Fold in Cool Whip (or whipped Avoset). Pour into cooled crust.

Topping: Dissolve jello in hot water. Cool and chill.

When about set, pour on cake.

Makes: Approx. 30 2”x2” sq. | Total time: 45 min.

Do you have a favorite recipe and story to share? For consideration in the next issue of Generations Magazine, mail your story and recipe to Generations Food & Story, PO Box 4213, Honolulu, HI 96812, or email them to