Rainbow Jell-O

Four layers of Jell-O alternate with three layers of creamy gelatin provide for a colorful dessert. The work involved only takes about one half hour; however, each of the seven layers takes a while to cool, so it is best to allocate one or two days to complete.


  • Jell-O (color) layers (4)
    • 4 packages Jell-O — choose appropriate colors[1]
  • cream mixture (white) layers (3)


  1. Slightly oil bottom of glass[2] dish
  2. Create a single color Jell-O layer (create as needed)
    1. Dissolve 1 pack of Jell-O in 1 cup boiling water
    2. Add 1/2 cup cold water
    3. Let stand until room temperature
    4. Pour into tray
    5. Refrigerate until firm[3] (approximately 45 minutes)
  3. Prepare cream mixture (enough for all 3 layers)
    1. Soften unflavored gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water for 5 minutes
    2. Heat milk and sugar to almost boiling
    3. Remove from heat and add softened gelatin
    4. Combine sour cream, vanilla, and salt
    5. Stir into and blend with gelatin mixture
    6. Cool to room temperature
    7. Divide into 3 equal parts (about 11/2 cups (1.5 cups) each)
    8. (Depending on the time between layers, one or two of the cream portions can be refrigerated until needed)
  4. Add other layers
    1. Carefully[4] pour one part of the cream mixture onto the previously hardened Jell-O layer
    2. Refrigerate until firm
    3. To improve appearance, remove thin layer of cream[5] by running a warm wet paper towel around the inner edge of the dish
    4. Alternate adding Jell-O and cream layers, pouring carefully[4]
      • if cream becomes too thick to pour, gently heat until thin enough
      • after each cream layer has hardened, create next Jell-O layer
  5. Keep refrigerated


  1. Some ideas for Jell-O colors to use:
    • red and blue (works great with the white layers) (Independence Day, USA)
    • orange and green (Halloween)
    • red, orange, yellow, green or red, yellow, green, blue (general rainbow)
    • orange, yellow, red (Thanksgiving/fall)
  2. Use a glass (or other transparent) tray, so the layering can be seen.
  3. If a layer is not given adequate time to cool, it will partially blend with the next layer, which does not look as nice. (Further, if one is so inclined to eat individual layers, it becomes more difficult.)
  4. Pour the new layer onto a spoon held just over the surface of the previous layer to reduce the deformation caused from the falling liquid.
  5. The edge may also be cleaned after each Jell-O layer. However, the Jell-O is less noticeable, and does not stick to the dish as much.


  • With a little practice, it is possible to eat one layer at a time. One method involves using one's tongue to separate the top layer from the rest, then "slurping" that layer off. Warning: some boring people consider this to be boorish.
  • One variation I am trying is using cookie cutters to restrict where a layer goes, which allows patterns to appear in the finished product. I am still experimenting with this, so send me a /msg for further information.
  • More recipes can be found at cookery, chilled dessert recipes, and recipes from P to T.
  • updated 2005-07-13(3) (Wednesday, July 13, 2005)