Layered Jell-O is a fun treat that’s perfect for holidays because you can customize your colors. (Another fun one is our Glass Block Holiday Jello.) It’s fun to make in a rainbow of colors, or just a few, depending on your preference. Today we’re going with red, white, and blue for the 4th of July.
- Jell-O – You’ll need four 3-ounce packages of Jell-O (your colors) as well as 4 packets of unflavored gelatin (I use Knox packets, each of which have exactly 2 1/2 teaspoons in them). Unflavored gelatin is usually on the top shelf above the flavored varieties.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – This creates your creamy white layers!
How To Make Layered Jell-O
This may see confusing at first, but after you get the idea, you literally just repeat the same steps with every layer. You’ll want to plan to make this 1 day ahead of time to allow time for all the layers to cool. The steps are very simple, but it does take some time.
Colored Layers: Your color labels are small boxes of Jello with additional unflavored gelatin mixed in. This keeps the layers firm for layering, but not too firm to enjoy!
Creamy Layer: This layer is made by combining sweetened condensed milk, water, and unflavored gelatin. It’s a sweet, creamy jello- which might sound strange, but it is actually such a great compliment to the fruity layers.
Here’s what the process looks like:
- In a small mixing bowl you’ll mix one 3-ounce package of Jell-O with 1 1/4 teaspoons (1/2 a packet) of unflavored gelatin and dissolve it in 1 cup of boiling water. Pour this mixture into your 9×13 pan and place that pan on a level shelf in the refrigerator. Because the jello layers are so thin, each one should be set rather quickly, in about 10-15 minutes.
- While your first layer of Jell-O is setting, you’ll make your sweetened condensed milk layer. This single batch will be the full amount and you’ll simply use one cup of it at a time between your colored layers.
- Each time you finish a layer and put it back into the fridge, you’ll start mixing your next layer. Letting it sit on the counter while your previous layer chills gives it a chance to cool off.
- When all 7 layers are complete (4 colored layers and 3 white layers) and have set up, carefully cut them into squares and serve!
Looking for other fun, patriotic treats? Check out these other Our Best Bites favorites!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this ahead of time? You bet! Prepare the Jell-O in the pan and then store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It’s good for a couple days at least! Cut as desired and enjoy!
Did You Make This?
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Mix and match colors you love for with layered Jell-O! Pretty to look at and fun to eat.
- 4 3-ounce packages of Jell-O
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 packets unflavored gelatin
- Boiling water – I like to keep a tea kettle warm
Optional for topping: sweetened whipped cream or cool whip
- Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray and wipe out the excess with a paper towel. Set the pan aside.
- Mix 1 package of Jell-O with 1 1/4 teaspoons (1/2 packet) of unflavored gelatin. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir to combine completely. Pour the first layer into the prepared pan and refrigerate in a completely level shelf of the fridge for 20 minutes.
- While the first layer is setting, mix 1 cup boiling water with the can of sweetened condensed milk in a smallish-medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle 2 packets of gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Allow it to stand for 2-3 minutes or until the gelatin has absorbed the water and it becomes grainy. When it is ready, add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the dissolved gelatin mixture to the sweetened condensed milk mixture and stir completely. Leave at room temperature.
- When the first layer of Jell-O has set, carefully pour just 1 cup of the sweetened condensed milk mixture over the Jell-O layer and return the pan to the refrigerator. Chill for 15 minutes or until set.
- After you return the pan to the refrigerator, repeat the Jell-O step (1 package Jell-O + 1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin + 1 cup boiling water). If you do it immediately after you put the pan back in the fridge, it should be room temperature by the time the sweetened condensed milk layer has set up. Pour it over the milk layer, chill, repeat with milk, then Jell-O, then milk, then Jell-O. You should begin and end with Jell-O layers and have 4 layers of Jell-O with 3 layers of milk in between. As you go, if the milk begins to set up, microwave it for 5-10 seconds to soften.
- When the last layer has set up, carefully cut into cubes. If you run your knife under hot water for a few seconds and then dry it, it will help make nice clean cuts. You can optionally top squares with some sweetened whipped cream or cool whip!
Keywords: layered jello