Fun With Jello & Unflavored Gelatin: 25+ Creative Recipes
For something so inexpensive and simple to make, Jello sure can be a crowd pleaser (for both kids and adults). It’s so versatile you can make festive salads, creamy desserts, baked goodies and even candies with it. With so many different flavors (and colors) to choose from, it’s easy to find a favorite or two.
Here’s a collection of just over two dozen recipes that I’ve handpicked from around the ‘net, you’ll find cakes, candies, cookies, assorted sweet treats (including homemade gummy bears). They’re a welcome addition to BBQs, picnics, parties, potlucks or even as a simple dessert after a weekday meal.
At the bottom of the page you’ll find a bunch of vintage tips for making gelatin salads and working with molds, they were previously published here on Tipnut and moved to this page so everything’s handy for you in one place.
If you’re a fan of gelatin treats, you may want to bookmark this page for future reference…I’ll be adding more goodies here as I find them. Have fun!
Homemade Gummy Bears: Use whatever molds you like for this fun candy (bears, stars, letters, etc.).
Gumdrops: Made with unflavored gelatin, sugar, flavored extract, food coloring, water and includes goody bag toppers to print.
Marshmallow Pinwheels: A mixture of marshmallows melted in flavored gelatin is chilled in a pan then rolled up and sliced into pinwheels.
Spiked Rainbow Ribbon Salad: This one’s for the grownups since it contains rum (or vodka), can use a bundt pan for a mold.
Fluffy Lime Salad: Made with chopped walnuts, miniature marshmallows, softened cream cheese, lime gelatin, crushed pineapple and heavy whipping cream.
Cherry Lollipops: Yields 15 to 20 lollipops, ingredients include sugar, butter, light corn syrup, cherry gelatin dessert and nonstick cooking spray.
Raspberry Balls: Mixed with flaked coconut, sweetened condensed milk, almond extract and balls coated with flavored gelatin.
Strawberry Pie: Can be made with different flavored jello and fruits (such as peaches, etc.), has a graham cracker crust.
Eggs: You’ll need an egg jigglers mold to make these.
Petite Watermelon Slices: Cute! The rinds are lime wedges (with the fruit removed) and the seeds are mini chocolate chips.
Pastel Cookies: Pretty treats in pink, green, yellow or any other color you wish.
Sparkling Jewel Mold: Made in an 8 to 10 cup mold, filled with nectarines, grapes, blueberries and raspberries.
Flowery Centerpieces: Not a treat to eat but too pretty not to include in this collection!
Tips For Making Pretty Molded Salads
*First published March 5, 2009 and moved to this page for better organization
This is an article from a vintage tip sheet titled “The Art Of Salad Making” that was written by Mary Hale Martin, Libby’s Home Economist. She was a fictional persona created by Libby’s with the same purpose as Betty Crocker (another fictional character)–to provide helpful cookery hints and tips that would also promote the brand they represented. There’s no date on this sheet, but I believe she was around from the 1920’s through the 1950’s so it would be within that time.
Gelatin salads aren’t as popular now as they once were and I can’t remember the last time I had one, but I know lots of people still enjoy them. Since they are relatively inexpensive to make, many homemakers took care and pride in these salads and made them as colorful and interesting as they could to brighten up the dinner table–it was one way to be creative on a budget. Looking through old cookbooks you’ll see some real doozies!
This sheet was carefully filed in the vintage household binder I have that is over 70 years old and stuffed a few inches thick with recipes, clippings and advice, I love it! Here are the tips:
Gelatin molds aren’t tricky to prepare, but a few “do’s” and “don’ts” may be helpful.
- Use the syrup from canned fruits as part of the liquid in gelatin salads for added flavor.
- For large molds cut the liquid to 1 3/4 cups for 1 package fruit-flavored gelatin, or 1 envelope unflavored.
- Chill until slightly thickened (unbeaten egg white consistency) before adding the solid ingredients. Carefully fold the well-drained fruits and vegetables into the thickened gelatin, distributing them evenly.
- A salad may be molded in several ways: in a large ring or fancy mold, in individual molds, or in a shallow pan.
- To mold fruits or vegetables in a definite pattern, arrange in a thin layer of slightly thickened gelatin. Chill until firm, then add the balance of the gelatin.
- To make molded layered salads, be sure each layer is firm before adding the next layer.
- Prepare large molds a day ahead of serving, so they will be thoroughly set before unmolding.
- Fill molds as full as possible for easy unmolding.
- To unmold, loosen edge of mold with spatula or a small knife which has been dipped in warm water. Then quickly immerse the mold just to the top in lukewarm water–hot water will melt the mold. Shake mold to loosen gelatin. Place serving dish over top of mold, invert, and lift mold of carefully.
- For large molds moisten the surface of the gelatin and the serving plate and unmold as directed above. When the two surfaces are wet, it’s easy to center the mold. Remove excess moisture with a towel.
- Surround large molds with salad greens after unmolding; they may break if unmolded on crisp greens. Individual molds may be turned out directly on greens.
Here are a few more I’ve collected:
- More festive in appearance, salads should be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated. Never freeze.
- Ingredients should be chopped or sliced into small, uniform pieces.
- In some salads, the gelatin mixture requires partial setting and in others it is chilled only until it is the consistency of an unbeaten egg white before other ingredients are added. This helps to keep the ingredients evenly distributed throughout the mold.
- To fill mold: Rinse mold with cold water or brush with salad oil to make unmolding easier. Fill to the top. Allow at least 6 to 12 hours for salads to set. Time will depend on size.
- To unmold: Run a knife around edge to a depth of about 1/2″ only in order to loosen the bottom edge. Dip mold quickly into a pan of warm water, then place the serving plate over the mold and invert. Remove with care. If it does not loosen after first dipping, repeat procedure. Do not leave the mold in the warm water too long as the gelatin will melt.
Source: A Guide To Good Cooking, Five Roses