LAYERED RAINBOW JELLO

Jiggly, colorful, and bursting with flavor – What’s not to love?! This finger jello is perfect for parties and is always a hit – loved by kids and adults alike!

My kids go crazy over this jello dessert! They literally consumed an entire 9×13-in pan of this finger jello in a matter of two days. I did get a couple of pieces for myself, and I can’t say I blame them! It is amazing!

When you look at this recipe, you’ll notice extra gelatin added to the jello layers. This is finger jello and is intended to be picked up. Jello made per the directions on the box are too soft to pick up easily. Adding the unflavored gelatin creates firmer jello, making it easier to serve and eat with your fingers.

Is Making Layered Jello Hard?

The instructions may appear daunting, but it is not really all that difficult. However, it is time-consuming. Most of it is not active time but chilling time, as each layer (9 in all) needs to set before adding the next. Plan on the process taking at least 6 hours before you’re done. Again most of that is chilling time. If you can, I recommend making this the day before and allowing it to set up firmly overnight. The longer you chill it, the firmer your finger jello will be.

Making Layered Jello:

  • Start by preparing your 9×13-inch pan. Spray the pan very lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Then take a napkin or paper towel and evenly spread it around. This step helps your jello release more cleanly.
  • First, prepare the white layer: I make this before the jello layer so it can begin to cool. In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, add 3 packets of the Knox unflavored gelatin. Add a ¼ cup of cool water, stirring to moisten the gelatin, then allow the gelatin to soak for 5 minutes. Soaking the gelatin first helps to soften it, so it dissolves better when you add hot water. Skipping this step often leads to clumpy gelatin. After 5 minutes, add 1¼ cup boiling water, stirring with a whisk until completely dissolved. Next, stir in the two cans of sweetened condensed milk. Add more hot water, if needed, to make a total of 4 cups. Set aside to cool.
  • Prepare the first jello layer while the milk mixture is cooling. This is the blue layer. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, add 1 packet of Knox unflavored gelatin. Add 2 tablespoons of cool water, stirring to moisten the gelatin, then allow the gelatin to soak for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add 1½ cups of boiling water, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Then pour in the box of blue jello, stirring until dissolved. Let cool for 20 minutes, then pour it into the prepared 9 x 13-inch pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator, making sure it is sitting level and flat, and allow it to set up for 30 minutes or until firm.

**If you can, I would recommend pouring the layers with the pan in the refrigerator. As you add more layers and the pan gets fuller, it becomes increasingly difficult to carry it back and forth to the refrigerator without spilling. For the first layer, it doesn’t really matter.

  • Add the white layer: When the first jello layer is set firm, measure out 1 cup of the sweetened condensed milk mixture. Pour it slowly and carefully over the first jello layer, ensuring the entire blue layer is covered. Allow it to set up for 20 to 30 minutes or until firm.
  • While the white layer is chilling, begin working on the next jello layer, the green layer. This will give the jello enough time to cool, and it will be ready when the white layer has set firm in about 30 minutes. Be sure to follow the same steps you did for the blue layer.
  • Continue to make layers, alternating jello layers with the white layers, letting each layer set up firm before adding the next one until all of the jello has been used up. If you find the white layer is setting up on the counter in between waiting for the colored layers to cool, place it in the microwave for 15 seconds and stir. (Be careful not to make it hot). You want to keep it smooth and runny enough to pour nicely over the jello layers.
  • After adding your final layer of jello, allow it to set up for at least 2 hours or, for best results, overnight.
  • Then slice into 1 inch to 1 1/2-in pieces and remove using a small spatula. The first few pieces are the most challenging to get out of the pan, but you should have no problems after that.

Jello Variations:

One of the great things about this dessert is its versatility! You can use any flavor of jello you prefer or whatever jello color suits the occasion. You can also do fewer layers or make the layers thicker. Let your imagination go wild! Here are some other ideas for customizing these rainbow jello cubes for other events and holidays.

  • Fourth of July – Red (raspberry or strawberry jello), white (sweetened condensed milk layer), and blue (berry blue jello) – See my version here.
  • Valentines Day – Red (raspberry or strawberry jello), white (sweetened condensed milk layer), and pink (watermelon jello)
  • Christmas – Red (raspberry or strawberry jello), white (sweetened condensed milk layer), green (lime jello)
  • Baby shower or gender reveal party – pink (watermelon jello), white (sweetened condensed milk layer), and blue (berry blue jello)

Layered Rainbow Jello

Jiggly, colorful, and bursting with flavor – What's not to love?! This finger jello is perfect for parties and is always a hit – loved by kids and adults alike!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Chill Time 6 hrs
Course Dessert

Equipment

  • 9 x 13 inch pan

Ingredients
 

  • 8 individual packets Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 2 (14-ounce cans) sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 (3-ounce) packets of different Jello flavors (Berry Blue, Lime, Lemon, Orange, and Raspberry or Strawberry for red)

Instructions
 

  • Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, add 3 packets of the Knox unflavored gelatin. Add a ¼ cup of cool water, stirring to moisten the gelatin, then allow the gelatin to soak for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add 1¼ cup boiling water, stirring with a whisk until completely dissolved. Next, stir in the two cans of sweetened condensed milk. Add more hot water, if needed, to make a total of 4 cups. Set aside to cool.
  • In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, add 1 packet of Knox unflavored gelatin. Add 2 tablespoons of cool water, stirring to moisten the gelatin, then allow the gelatin to soak for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add 1½ cups of boiling, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Then pour in the box of blue jello, stirring until dissolved. Let cool for 20 minutes, then pour into the prepared 9 x 13-inch pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator, make sure it is sitting level and flat, and allow the jello to set up for 30 minutes.
  • When the first jello layer is set firm, leave the pan in the refrigerator if possible, and measure 1 cup of the sweetened condensed milk mixture. Pour slowly and carefully over the first jello layer, making sure the entire blue layer is covered. Allow to set up for 20 to 30 minutes or until firm.
  • While the sweetened condensed layer is setting up, prepare the green layer of jello, repeating the instructions in step 3.
    **Before adding the green layer, make sure the sweetened condensed milk layer is set firm.
  • For the remaining layers, alternate the milk mixture with a jello layer (alternating steps 3 and 4). For the remaining jello layers, the order is yellow, orange, and red.
    Remember to allow the jello to cool for 20 minutes before adding it to the pan.
    Allow each layer to set for at least 30 minutes before adding the next layer.
    **If possible, leave the pan in the refrigerator while pouring the layers. As the pan gets fuller, it gets challenging to carry it back and forth to the refrigerator without spilling.
  • Once all of the layers have been added, allow the finished jello to set up for at least 2 hours or, even better, overnight before attempting to cut and remove.
  • Once completely set, cut into 1-inch to 1½-inch squares.

Notes

It is important to make sure your pan is sitting level in the refrigerator. Otherwise, you’ll have uneven layers. 
If, during the process, your sweetened condensed milk mixture starts to thicken, place it in the microwave for 15 seconds and stir well until smooth and thinned out. **Do not make it hot! If you do, allow it cool before using it.
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