Rainbow Jello Recipe

When I was young, rainbow Jello would always be one of the offerings on the dessert table. I used to peel the layers of Jello apart and eat them one by one, my favourite being cherry. I have a lot of fond memories of rainbow Jello, but like most things from my childhood, rainbow Jello slowly disappeared without much fanfare.

I don’t eat Jello much, but when I do, I prefer eating rainbows. I also have a thing for quirky, retro desserts, so when we planned a father’s day barbecue on Sunday, I made a small container of rainbow Jello.

It’s funny because people are still impressed by rainbow Jello! At least 3 different people came up to me to ask me about it. I guess colourful layers of jiggly jello still has appeal: everyone had a piece except my dad, of course. He did, on the other hand, have two slices of ice cream cake.

Rainbow Jello Recipe adapted from The Food Librarian

5 small packages of Jello (I used cherry, grape, blueberry, lime and lemon)
4 1/2 tablespoons of unflavoured gelatin
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix the cherry Jello with 1/2 tablespoon of gelatin. Add a cup of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and pour into whichever container you want your rainbow Jello in. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the can of sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup of boiling water. In a bowl, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water and let bloom for a couple of minutes then add 1/2 cup of boiling water to dissolve. Stir well, add to the milk mixture and mix thoroughly. Cool to room temperature before pouring over the first layer of Jello. Refrigerate until firm.

Repeat the first step with the remaining jello while alternating with the milk mixture. Let the Jello firm up completely, then slice and serve!

89 Comments add yours

  1. I have made this jello since 1980. I use plain yogurt instead of the evaporated milk.

    Connie Gronstal on February 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm
  2. How do you get the jello out of the mold? I have tried this several times, yet i can never get it out without it breaking

    Have you tried placing the mold in warm water before inverting it? I’ve never tried it with this particular recipe, but doing so has always helped me with other jello desserts.

    Holly on March 23rd, 2012 at 1:28 pm
  3. I’ve just read in another blog the coat the container with cooking spray before pouring the gelatin layers in; the blogger says hers slip out quite easily.

  4. this recepie irritates me its a long process

    Good food takes time to make! :-)

    John on May 12th, 2012 at 11:28 pm
  5. Hey! to those who are making it. It helps to use a funnel to have a cleaner finish. @shaniqua yeah.. it’s a long process! haha well i guess its worth it! :)

  6. Just out of curiosity. How do you finish your jello so cleanly ? my white layers sometimes seep to the other colors so it becomes a white with a violet or red tint -__-

    You need to make sure that the layer are kinda “firm” before you pour the next layer down.. feel the layer, when it feel like QQ, that’s the best time to pour down.. if you wait till it’s all firm, the layer will break when you take them out.. That’s my experience when making these rainbow jelly.. loved this jelly!

    XN on April 26th, 2012 at 6:06 am
  7. Your rainbow jello is amazing! I simply must make this for my Grandkids! I’m so glad I happened upon your blog! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thank you for sharing!

    What kind of edible print you would use on the top of the rinbow jello. I need to prepare one in a couple of weeks but they want it personalize…


  9. I like the separate containers, it is very pretty. However, I’ve made another version of this finger jello… by pouring into a 9×12 glass pan with 7 layers (4 color/3 white). Cut into triangles and set on its side on a platter. Since this is a finger jello, it is easy to pick up and eat. Great for a party.

  10. This is amazing! I love it and so will my kids! I was just wondering is there anything else you can replace geletine with? My child can’t stand geletine! what ever its in he always seems to hsve a reaction like food poisining! plz help

    If geletine is an issue then you could try using coloured flavoured water and freezing into ice block moulds.

    Have you ever tried a Halal or vegetarian gelatin? Maybe that would make a difference for your child

    Hannah on September 10th, 2012 at 4:22 pm
    Jackie on August 12th, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Try and find agar agar powder. It has the same effect as Gelatine but isn’t the same thing.

    C on November 28th, 2012 at 9:34 am
  11. I’m planning a rainbow themed party for my son’s 1st birthday and I’ll definitely make this one. Many thanks for sharing the recipe.

  12. hello just wondering do you have to have the milk layers or would it work without it?

  13. Any tips on how to make the seperation of the colors as distinct as possible? Sometimes my white jellos turn purplish or depending on the colors beside them :(

  14. How long ahead of time an you make this. And how would you store it.

  15. A few years ago I made this recipe for my son’s Eagle Scout Ceremony reception. I made it red/white/blue. It was very time consuming. I did it in a USA mold and I also did it in little tiny cups to go around the big mold. I did a practice run at my sister’s with all the colors as above and it took forever. I thought I would never finish. Beautiful but allow a lot of time to make it.

    M.E. Castles on August 31, 2013 at 12:03 pm
  16. When making layers of liquids, I use a device made for bartenders to speed the process called a Cocktail Master. http://store.molecularrecipes.com/cocktailmaster/ It would work especially well if you make each level slightly less dense, using slightly less gel for each level. You can also flavor or just color the evaporated milk mixture to change it from white.

    Coach Dan Cox, PhD on March 22, 2014 at 1:13 am
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