Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gelatin Overload

What could be better after a meal of boiled crawfish than a bowl full of light, refreshing gelatin to cleanse your palate? How about some fancy Jell-O? 'Cause why do something "regular" when you can do it "fancy?" And did I mention how much I love rainbows? Rainbows are, by nature, fancy. Some might say "tacky," but that's fine by me. This dessert walks that fine line.

Fancy Rainbow Jello Adapted from The Food Librarian
  • 5 (3 oz.) boxes gelatin in assorted colors
  • 5 cups boiling water, divided

The night before: Dissolve each box of gelatin separately in 1 cup of boiling water. Stir well to dissolve completely, about 2 minutes. Pour each flavor into its own container and refrigerate until firm. It is helpful to have some plastic resealable tubs for this, so you can stack them in your fridge.

Ingredients for the next day:

  • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (like Knox®)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups boiling water
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 14 oz. can coconut milk (regular or lite)

Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over 1 cup of cold water in a medium-large bowl. (I used the metal bowl of my stand mixer for this) Let sit for a few minutes to allow the gelatin to absorb water and bloom. Add sugar and the 2-1/2 cups boiling water to the bloomed gelatin and stir to dissolve, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk. Try not to lick the spoon. Set aside to cool while you:

Spray a 9x13" dish (a clear glass one gives you and your guests a sneak preview) with non-stick spray. Wipe down with a paper towel to distribute and absorb some of the spray. You don't want greasy jello!

Remove flavored gelatins from refrigerator and cube into smallish pieces, about 1/2". Layer into prepared baking dish. You can mix them if you'd like, but I didn't want to risk breaking any pieces and having mini rainbow shrapnel all over. Your choice. Make sure your gelatin-condensed milk-coconut milk mixture is close to room temperature, then pour over rainbow cubes in the 9x13" dish. (If the mixture is still hot or warm, wait a bit so you don't melt the already firmed gelatin cubes.) Stash the whole thing in the fridge and chill until firm. Cut into 1" pieces, smile, and enjoy!


1. Sure, it's pretty. But what does it taste like? Won't it taste bad with all those different flavors mixed?

Good question. It pretty much tastes like DELICIOUSNESS. And no, all those flavors don't taste bad together. Ever heard of fruit punch???

2. zOMG!?!?! Do you know bad for you this is? I know there are food purists out there who might be freaking out about the whole mess of artificial colors and flavors I've jammed into this one dessert. So before you shout, "I would never serve my child that much artificially colored/flavored food," I have three words for you: DON'T. MAKE. IT. No one's forcing you. And relax a bit, will ya? It's not like the rest of us plan to eat this every day.

3. But I hate coconut! Can I still make this?

Yes! Just use something else such as: milk, soy milk, evaporated milk (but it will be more off-white), half-and-half. Whatever floats your boat. Water would work too, but for the overall look of the dessert I would choose something opaque and whitish.

4. Hey wait a minute!?! You said you liked rainbows! Where's indigo and violet?

Oh...busted. Violet or "grape" jello will definitely make an appearance next time I make this. Maybe not indigo though. Sorry.

5. This takes too long! Who has the time to plan ahead and then cut up all that jello? Don't you have a life?

No. But thanks for reminding me :'(


  1. So cool! I've seen these on a few blogs. They look so fun!

  2. Your jello blocks turned out wonderful. They make such a great presentation.

  3. I know this is super late but those are awesome! i am going to try making them for my kids classroom! I am not a fan of coconut I am going to try it anyways!

  4. I loved it!! Made them this morning and just absolutely loved them!! Thanks so much!

  5. Hi, i have tried the recipe last night but it seems that I have failed. The original recipe from librarian only use 0.5oz gelatin mix with 1/2 cupof cold water, followed by 1 1/2 cup hot water and 1 can of condensed milk, right? But you have modified by double the quantity. My gelatin mixture was a bit thick and the gelatin did not mixed well. That could be due to usage of cold milk or not enough liquid.

    1. Hi Azie! Sorry the recipe did not work out for you. Yes you're right, I modified the recipe by more than double, to account for the addition of coconut milk to the mixture.