Old-fashioned Pineapple Bavarian Cream

Molded Pineapply Bavarian Cream on Plate

During these hot August days, I love light, refreshing desserts. And, I found a wonderful hundred-year-old recipe that fits the bill. Pineapple Bavarian Cream is delicious, and has just the right balance of sweetness and tartness,

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Pineapple Bavarian Cream
Source: School and Home Cooking (1920) by Carlotta C. Greer

When I made the recipe, I used a little less water than called for in the original recipe because, when I make molded gelatin-based desserts, I tend to have problems with the mixture not getting firm enough.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Pineapple Bavarian Cream

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Note: This recipe makes about 3 cups. I doubled this recipe when I made it because I wanted to use a 6-cup mold.

1 packet (0.25 ounce) of unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1 small can (8 ounce) can of crushed pineapple


1/2 cup sugar

dash salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup whipping cream

Place the cold water in a small bowl; then sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let the gelatin absorb the water and soften for a few minutes.

In the meantime, drain the juice from the pineapple. Place the juice in a measuring cup, and add enough water to make it 1 cup. Place the pineapple juice and water mixture in a saucepan, and heat to boiling using medium high heat. Reduce heat to low. Add the softened gelatin, and stir until dissolved. Add the sugar and salt and continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, then stir in the lemon juice.  Chill until the mixture just begins to thicken.

In the meantime, put the whipping cream in a bowl, and beat until soft peaks form.

Once the gelatin mixture has begun to thicken, stir in the crushed pineapple and then fold the whipped cream into the mixture.

Spoon into a 3-4 cup mold (or spoon into individual serving dishes or cups), and chill until firm (at least 4 hours).

To serve (if molded): Quickly dip the mold in hot water, then unmold onto serving plate.


38 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Pineapple Bavarian Cream

    1. It originated during the 15th century when French king Charles VI was married to Isabeau of Bavaria. The dessert became popular in Bavaria and Germany, although it was French in origin. A variety of different fruits can be used.

      1. Wow, Bavarian Cream sure has a long and interesting history. I bet that this was a much more complex dessert to make in the days before processed gelatin and refrigeration.

          1. Yes, that might be part of the difference, thought I was thinking about how complicated it was to make gelatin in the 15th century. Here is what it says in Wikipedia:

            “The first use of gelatin in foods is documented in the 15th century in medieval Britain, where cattle hooves were boiled for extended periods of time to produce a gel. This process was laborious and time-consuming, confined mainly to wealthier households. . . . From the mid 1800s, Charles and Rose Knox of New York manufactured and marketed gelatin powder, diversifying the appeal and applications of gelatin.”

  1. Perfect for the Summer, Sheryl. I used to often use the packets of gelatin and keep them in stock. I will add to my shopping list. Thanks for the reminder on some good recipes.

  2. You did a beautiful job in displaying it! I found the sirup interesting.. so I check to see how you rewrote it… juice sounded better. Sounds good!

    1. When the old recipe referred to “sirup”, it made me wonder if canned pineapple was packed in a sugar syrup a hundred years ago. The can of pineapple that I used said that the pineapple was packed in 100% juice.

  3. We’ve seen desserts similar to yours when traveling in Germany and Austria. Europe as a whole still seems to prepare more foods using gelatin…even in Michelin starred restaurants. Whereas in our country, lots of people think of them as old fashioned. They don’t know what they are missing and your Bavarian cream had to be delicious.

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