A colourful dessert made with a variety of Jell-O flavours
This, dear friends, is a dessert you can be proud of, and we think that it is the perfect recipe to help kick off Pride Month. What better way to celebrate diversity in harmony than with this multi-coloured, multi-layered, multi-flavoured dessert? The fact that this rainbow Jell-O mould dessert is shiny and flashy is a bonus.
The first time that we made this dessert was for a Father’s Day family gathering years ago, and Pride was the furthest thing from our minds. Our main motivation for putting this together was because our dad is a huge Jell-O fan, and we wanted to Wow him. It was only later, when we revealed our Jell-O mould (or mold to our American friends) by placing it next to the baklava and bougatsa that the link was made. As it was June, the youngest grandchild, 10 or 11 at the time, beamed with pride believing that we purposefully chose to show support for the LGBTQ+ community while also celebrating Papou. She was quite impressed, but we had to come clean and admit that this was simply a coincidence. Every June since then however we laugh at that story, usually while making our rainbow Jell-O mould to mark Pride Month.
Do I need a special Jell-O mould to make this dessert?
Actually, no. Although you can certainly use a Jell-O mould if you have one, you will probably have to adjust the recipe. The way that this recipe is created gives the proper amount to fill a standard bundt pan – typically 10 inches across and with a capacity of 10 – 12 cups.
Can I make this Jell-O mould the day I plan to serve it?
Nope, you’ll have to plan ahead for this one. First, you need to set aside about 3 hours to assemble your rainbow Jell-O mould dessert. Don’t worry, it’s not 3 hours of active time. You will have to tend to it every 10 to 15 minutes however. So, think about stuff you can do in between. You can maybe organize your pantry, scroll through our Recipe List, or fold some spanakopitakia or laundry. Once you have assembled your rainbow Jell-O mould it will have to set overnight in the refrigerator. You can even make it a few days before serving; just be sure to keep it in your bundt pan in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap.
How can I be sure that the Jell-O layers will stick to one another?
The truth is, if you don’t pay attention to the following advice you may end up with layers that mix into one another, or layers that don’t adhere to one another. In both instances – a mess.
You will have to use a timer to ensure that you chill each layer for 10 to 15 minutes (see next question). Even at that, before pouring the next layer on top of the chilled first one, you should test it to make sure that it is set enough to take the next layer. The easiest way to do this is to touch the chilled Jell-O lightly with your fingertip and lift up immediately. The Jell-O should be sticky on your finger (that is, its not liquid) and when you lift your finger there should be a slight fingerprint impression left behind. This means that it is ready for the next step.
Is there a trick to pouring one layer of Jell-O over the set layer?
There is! Even though you will check your set layer as described above before adding the next layer, you can still use a method which will maximize your chance of success. Pour your layers slowly, or better yet, spoon them onto the set layer carefully and gently. Start in the middle, so that even if there is a mishap and you realize that the bottom layer has not set perfectly, you will have ruined the center of your mould…and that won’t show in the finished product! Sneaky right?
Why does the chilling time between layers vary between 10 – 15 minutes?
As you will see in the recipe, you will mix all of the Jell-O (keeping the colours separate of course) with hot water and leave then on the counter until you are ready to use them. So, the colours which you use last will have been cooling on the counter and will therefore require less of a chilling time (they don’t start off as warm as your first layer of colour will). Also, as you build up your layers, the mould becomes larger in width; this means that each individual layer of Jell-O will be thinner, again contributing to a shorter required chilling time. The best way to know if your layer is ready is to use the fingerprint test described above.
What can I do to make preparing this rainbow Jell-O mould dessert as easy as possible.
In French kitchens they talk about mis en place, or putting in place, and that principle is so helpful here. Before you even begin, find the following:
- 5 heat-proof containers that have a capacity of about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 heat-proof container that has a capacity for at least 2 1/2 cups (slightly larger is better)
- a measuring cup (if you have both 1 cup and 2 cup measuring cups that is ideal, but not necessary)
- a timer
- a spoon
- your bundt pan mould
- You should also make space in your refrigerator to place your bundt pan, and one of the heat-proof containers.
Looking for other fun desserts to make in your bundt pan? How about these ideas:
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Rainbow Jell-O mould dessert
- 6 x 1 1/2 cup capacity heat proof containers
- 1 x 2 1/2 cup capacity heat proof containers
- Measuring cup
- 2 (3 ounce) packages of red gelatin we use Jell-O brand
- 1 (3 ounce) package of orange gelatin
- 1 (3 ounce) package of yellow gelatin
- 1 (3 ounce) package of green gelatin
- 1 (3 ounce) package of blue gelatin
- 1 (3 ounce) package of purple gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups vanilla yogourt (375 grams) we use regular yogourt; do not use Greek yogourt
- 8 3/4 cups boiling water (2,175 mL)
- cooking spray to coat your bundt pan
- Although this recipe is quite straightforward, there are many steps. We strongly encourage you to read through the Helpful hints in the recipe post, and to read through the recipe at least once before starting.
- Line up all of your heat-proof containers and place the gelatin mixtures into each of them (1 colour / container). Be sure to use the larger container for the red gelatin since you will have 2 packs of that.
- Line them up in the following order: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.
- Pour 1 1/4 cup (310 mL) boiling water into each of the containers except for the one which holds the red gelatin. To the container holding the red gelatin add 2 1/2 (625 mL) cups boiling water.
- Using a clean spoon for each colour (or rinsing off between colours) mix your gelatin until it is fully dissolved.
- Spray your bundt pan with cooking spray.
- Pour 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the purple gelatin into the bottom of your bundt pan and place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Immediately mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of yogourt into the remaining purple gelatin and stir until the yogourt is completely dissolved (no clumps of yogourt present). Then, place this in the refrigerator as well.
- After 15 minutes check to see that your first layer of gelatin has set. Gently touch the surface with your finger; the gelatin is set if it sticks slightly to your finger and leaves a faint fingerprint when you lift your finger.
- Using a spoon, very carefully pour the purple gelatin and yogourt mixture over the set purple layer. Begin in the center of the mould (that is, not on the outer edge) slowly, to be sure that your bottom layer has set appropriately. Also, keep your spoon low and close to the set purple layer. Once you have added your purple gelatin and yogourt layer, return the bundt pan to the refrigerator for an additional 15 minutes.
- You will repeat this process with the remaining colours, in the order in which they are lined up (blue, green, yellow and orange). Note that as you progress, your layers will likely not need the full 15 minutes to set; the best way to know if they are ready is to use the fingerprint test. Once you get to the green gelatin, start checking the layers at 10 - 12 minutes.
- The final colour that you will add is the red gelatin. Pour in 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of red gelatin and place the mould in the refrigerator. To the remaining red gelatin add 5 tablespoons of yogourt.
- Your 12th and final layer will be the red gelatin and yogourt. When this is done, cover your mould with plastic wrap (try not to touch the surface of the Jell-O) and allow your dessert to set completely in the refrigerator overnight.
- When you are ready to release the mould, fill your sink with warm water (not hot) and submerge your bundt pan into the water, being very careful not to bring the water too close to the top of your pan (you don't want any water accidentally entering into your Jell-O mould).
- Remove the pan from the water after about 10 to 15 seconds. You will notice that the edges of your Jell-O become a little liquidy and shiny. This is a good sign as it means the Jell-O has released from the sides of the mould.
- You will need a flat serving dish onto which you will invert your Jell-O mould; it should be a few inches larger than the mould itself.
- Sprinkle a bit of water onto the dish; this will help the Jell-O mould adjust itself as it gets transferred onto the serving dish.
- Place the dish on top of the bundt pan and holding both the pan and the dish very carefully, invert the Jell-O mould. Lift the pan very carefully; your Jell-O mould should be released quite easily.
- If water has accumulated onto your serving dish soak it up with paper towels.
- We like to invert our Jell-O mould as close to serving it as possible. Any leftovers should be kept in the refrigerator.