Hellmann’s Cranberry “Candles”

Retro Staff Comments

Okay, so I’m game for trying just about anything. Except for things that kinda disgust me. And mayonnaise is just one of those things.

That’s why this early ’60s ad for cranberry “candles” had my stomach churning, and my brain asking, “Um, why?”.

Hellmann's Cranberry Candles Ad

Hellmann’s wants us to start a new tradition and serve up cranberry candles at our next holiday feast. (1960s)

Of course, the ad copy is quite brilliant:

Who’d dream a salad so impressive could be so easy to make! The delicate creaminess and fresh flavor of Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise make it possible.

And if you dare to make it, here’s the recipe as noted in the ad:

  • 1 1-lb. can Ocean Spray Whole Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 3-oz. pkg. red, yellow or orange fruit-flavored gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup HELLMAN’S Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 apple or orange, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: Heat cranberry sauce, strain, set berries aside. Dissolve gelatin in hot juice and water. Add salt and lemon juice. Chill until thickened enough to mound slightly when dropped from a spoon. Beat in real mayonnaise with rotary beater till light and fluffy. Fold in cranberries, fruit and nuts. Divide mixture evenly into eight 6-oz. fruit juice cans. Chill 4 hours or longer. Unmold. Garnish with real mayonnaise to taste. To flame: Cut thin birthday candles in half to shorten. Insert into tops of cranberry candles. Light.

 And, in case you’re wondering, yes, they ran at least one other ad with the same recipe:


hellman's cranberry candles


I’m wondering just how many people made these “candles” and if so, did they really spark a tradition? If you plan to try the recipe, I would love to know how they turned out for you. I promise to keep all other mayo-hating comments to myself…

Last updated: Jul 24, 2012
Filed under: Retro Food and Recipes Tagged with: advertising, recipes