The jiggliest, most colorful and whimsical treat of all, this Layered Rainbow Jello is the perfect finger food for parties. This finger jello a total crowd-pleaser and it's fun and easy to make.
We make this every year around St. Patrick's Day, even though it's not Irish in any way. Some of our other favorite fun St. Patrick's Day recipes are Lucky Charms Snack Mix and these Fudgy Frosted Chocolate Mint Brownies!
Every time I make rainbow jello and take it somewhere, kids and adults alike go crazy for it. It's basically impossible to resist these sweet, fruity, jiggly little cubes of color.
I was thinking that these would be fun for St. Patrick's Day, even though I've made them more often for school parties or birthday parties with a rainbow party theme and that sort of occasion. They set up like Jello Jigglers (remember those?!) so they are the perfect finger jello to pick up and pop in your mouth.
Is making layered Jello hard?
It's not difficult to make rainbow jello, but it is a little bit time consuming. Each layer needs to set before adding the next, and you need to let the jello cool so hot jello isn't poured on top of the previous layer, which will cause it to melt and make the layers cloudy. If you look closely in these pictures, you might notice that I rushed the blue and green layers just a little bit too much this time around. They aren't terrible, but not totally perfect. Either way the jello tastes awesome though.
How to Make Layered Rainbow Jello
When making rainbow jello, remember ROY-G-BIV for the order of rainbow colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Except we are skipping indigo since the only good blue option I know of for jello is the "berry blue" flavor. Also, be sure to watch the video in the recipe card where I walk you through how to make the recipe!
- Start with a colored bottom layer by stirring a 3-ounce package of flavored jello (I started with the purple grape flavor) with 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin into 1 cup of boiling water until completely dissolved. This is the only layer that you can go ahead and pour right into a 9x13-inch pan while it is still hot. Transfer to the fridge, making sure that the dish is sitting completely flat, and chill until completely set, about 30 minutes.
- Make the next layer (the white layer) as soon as you put the first layer in the fridge. This will give it time to cool to room temperature so you aren't pour hot liquid over the first set layer.
- To make the white layer, dissolve 2 teaspoons (1 envelope) of Knox unflavored gelatin in 1 cup of boiling water. Add ½ can of sweetened condensed milk and stir to combine.
- When the first colored layer has set, pour ¾ cup of the white jello mixture (½ of the white gelatin mix, which will need to be made a couple of times to complete the jello) over the previous layer. Return the jello to the fridge so the white layer can set. I find the white layer sets really quickly - in about 20 minutes. So go ahead and make the next colored layer at this point as well to give it time to cool.
- Continue to make layers, alternating flavored colorful layers with the creamy white layers, letting the jello set between each addition 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 colored layers to cool, you can set it into a bowl of hot water and stir it a few times and it will liquify again as it warms and can then be used like normal. Because this layer is used 5 times, you will need to make 2 ½ batches of the white layer to finish the jello.
- Once the jello is completely set, slice into 1-inch squares and serve. Be sure to use a paring knife, rather than a serrated knife, if you want to have clean cuts and edges on your jello cubes.
- Use a small spatula to remove the jello from the pan. The first couple of cubes are always the hardest to get out cleanly, but after that it's smooth sailing.
Customize these rainbow jello jiggler cubes with any flavors or colors you like for other holidays.
- Valentine's Day - alternate layers of watermelon (pink) and cherry, raspberry, or strawberry jello.
- Fourth of July - alternate layers of berry blue and cherry, raspberry, or strawberry jello.
- Halloween - alternate layers of orange jello with grape or black cherry jello mixed with black food coloring (affiliate link).
- Christmas - alternate layers of lime jello with cherry, raspberry, or strawberry jello, and maybe even a layer of pink watermelon jello.
Love Jello like I do? Here are some more of my favorite jello recipes!
- Lemon Pineapple Jello
- Orange Jello Salad
- Cranberry Jello Salad
- Cottage Cheese Jello Salad
- Coca-Cola Jello Salad
- Orange Jello Salad with Pudding Whipped Cream
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Layered Rainbow Jello
- 6 different Jello flavors (Berry Blue, Lime, Lemon, Orange, Grape, and Raspberry, Cherry or Strawberry for red) 3 ounce packages
- 5 packages unflavored gelatin
- 1 ½ 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
- 8 ½ cups water
- Bottom (purple) layer: Dissolve a 3-ounce package of grape flavored jello with 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin (½ envelope of Knox unflavored gelatin) in 1 cup of boiling water by stirring until completely dissolved. Pour into a 9x13-inch pan and transfer to the refrigerator. Make sure the pan is sitting completely flat. Chill until completely set, about 30 minutes.
- Second (white) layer: Make this layer at the same time as the bottom layer. Stir 2 teaspoons (1 envelope) of Knox unflavored gelatin in 1 cup of boiling water until dissolved. Add ½ can of sweetened condensed milk and stir until combined. Let this sit out on the counter until cooled to room temperature, but not yet set while the previous layer sets up in the fridge.
- Once the first colored layer has set, make the next colored layer (berry blue) following the directions in Step 1 so it can start to cool. Then pour ¾ cup of the white jello mixture over the colored layer and gently tilt the pan side to side for even distribution. Return jello to the refrigerator to set up, which takes about 20 minutes.
- Continue to make layers following steps 1 & 2, alternating flavored colorful layers (the next colors in rainbow order are green, yellow, orange, and red) with the creamy white layers, letting the jello set between each addition until all of the jello has been used up. You will need to make the white layer a couple of times because even without refrigeration it will set up on the counter if you make it all at once.
- Once the jello is completely set, slice into 1-inch squares using a paring knife (not a serrated blade which leaves marks in the jello) and serve. A small spatula will help you get the jello cubes out of the pan.
Reader questions and reviews
That is the coolest dessert and just what I’ve been looking for for my daughters upcoming birthday!
I'm armed to make this! How far in advance can you make this without freezing it? Would consider freezing as well. Making this for a party on Sat.
I have honestly never attempted freezing a jello so I really can't say! But you could easily make this a few days in advance and keep it covered with plastic wrap in the fridge.
I made this Layered Jello and got the best compliment a grandma can get. The next Thanksgiving when I showed up with this jello, my grandson yelled out for everyone on both sides of the family to hear. MY GRANDMA MAKES THE BEST JELLO EVER!!!😍😍😍 Now that is good Jello!!!
Awww, I LOVE that! This jello is for sure a labor of love, but so worth it with reactions like that!
Does each layer have to be completely set to add the next layer or just enough for the top of the jello to be firm?
It's pretty important for the layers to be solid enough that they won't break up when adding the next layer of jello.
when i typically make jello i do one cup of boiling water, stirred until dissolved and then and one cup of cold water. for this do you not include the cold cup of water after the powder has dissolved in the boiling cup when making the jello layers?
can’t wait to try out this recipe!
No, you don't add the additional water because this is a finger jello that is firmer than regular jello. It's still plenty jiggly, but in order to get the layers like this, the gelatin needs to be more concentrated.
A comment was made that the white layer is kind of bland - any suggestion to liven the flavor of the white layer without overpowering the other layers
Hmm, with all the other flavors going on, I don't notice this as being an issue, but you could try adding 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite extract - maybe almond extract? - and seeing what that does for you.
I used melted vanilla bean ice cream instead, it worked out great!
I LOVE this! I want to try this for my foster daughter's "gotcha day" party that's tie dye themed. One question: have you ever tried making it without the white layers in between? I wonder how it would look or work out if they were eliminated? Thanks so much!!
I haven't tried without the white layers myself, but I think having the white really helps the other colors to pop. And how fun that you are celebrating gotcha day!
My children didn't like the white layer either. So I just did the jello only and it comes out looking very dark. Being a church going person I put the spin that we all have the colors of the rainbow within us and we need to hold ourselves up to the light for people to see the colors within.. So they hold the cubes up to the light then they can see the colors clearly. They also like to peel each layer apart separately to eat.
It does work without the white! The layers aren't as defined, but it would definitely work for a tie dye theme! Use a smaller pan though as this size pan would make them too flat.
I'm confused about the part with the sweet and condensed milk where it says "stir in 2 teaspoons (1 envelope) into boiling water and then add only half the can of sweet and condensed milk. The recipe calls for 5 packets of unflavored gelatin bit IDK why I would need only 2 teaspoons for one layer. Am I using one whole envelope with half a can of sweet condensed milk?
You will repeat making the white layer a couple of times to make this jello. I don't make it all at once or it sets up and doesn't pour well.
This seemed more daunting than in turned out to be, plus my whole family was excited to try it! I was able to speed it up a bit by using refrigerated condensed milk. The white layers solidified in about 10 minutes when I mixed the cold milk into the plain gelatin mixture.
I dissolved the unflavoured and flavoured gelatin in 2oz of cold water first and then made up to 1 cup with boiling water. Alleviated any lumps .
A great fun food , made for my daughter in law baby shower , alternating watermelon pink and berry blue with the white layers.
I love your recipes for all of the holidays Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day & all of the other's. Thank you for taking the time to post & share your fabulous ideas.
Aww, thank you, Carrie, for such a kind comment! This made my day!
Hi Wondering if you know hoe to make Rainbow speckled jelly. I have oticed at the back of my jelly packs they talk about making jellies in different colours then cutting and adding them into a cup to make the speckled effect. I am wanting to make a speckled rainbow jelly in swirls of color. Is thet possible at all?
I will have to play around with that idea and see what I can come up with. I've heard of a stained glass approach where you make the colored layers separately, then cut them into shapes or chunks and add them to a white base. Something like that?
Sorry if this has been addressed already, i didnt see it anywhere. The sweetened condensed milk amount is unclear to me. In the recipe you state 1 1/2 cans (14 oz). Is 14 oz the total amount i need or do I actually need a total of 21oz for the entire recipe?
Sorry for the confusion! You need 2 cans, where each can is 14-ounces. You will only end up using half of the second can though (so yes, 21 ounces, total). I always use up the other half of the can making a batch of Brazilian lemonade (also on my site!).
This was a big hit at our family Christmas party last year (2019). Even the teenagers were impressed. No party this year but my kids have asked for it again so we will try to make in a smaller pan with fewer thicker layers. Fingers crossed! Thanks for doing all the research and work to figure this out.
The Rainbow Pudding Jelly
My jello packets say .3 ounces? Are we talking about the same packets?
I'm guessing you have sugar-free jello? If so, then yes, it is .30-ounces. A regular, small box of Jello is 3-ounces (as opposed to the larger boxes which are 6-ounces).
I substituted melted vanilla bean ice cream (I made sure it was one that actually had vanilla bean flecks in it) for the condensed milk to add some flavor depth and it worked really well!
Hi! Can you do this over the course of 2 days of you don’t have time to dedicate to it in one day?
Absolutely! I often do a few layers at night and then finish it off the next morning.
Hi! You have no idea how ecstatic I am to find this recipe!! YEARS ago, (when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth😂), my coworkers and I would eat our dinner at a small, local diner/pharmacy. ...Mutual Pharmacy & Cafeteria. They made THE BEST, (I think they called it 7-Layer Jello), and I got it every time they had it. The days they didn’t, I just cried! LOL
So thank you from the bottom of my heart! I cannot wait to make it!!
You are welcome! This is such a fun one and I'm glad you share my love of jello!
How far in advance can I make this? How long will it stay hood in the fridge?
You could make this a few days in advance! It should be good for 3-4 days in the fridge.
We made these this past weekend for an outside neighbor Jello contest, and WON! I have to say they were not only so visually amazing but they also tasted spectacular. They held up perfectly despite the 95 degree and sunny temps. I can't thank you enough for the great recipe and video instructions. I'd love to show you a photo of what we did, feel free to send me an e-mail if you're interested. We carved out letters for the name of our street and surrounded it with cubes.
This makes me SO HAPPY!! I'm so glad it was such a hit and that you won and that you guys had a neighbor Jello contest in the first place! I want to live in your neighborhood! LOL.
Can I substitute something non dairy for the sweetened condensed milk? I have someone with an allergy. Coconut milk?
That's a great question. I don't think coconut milk would be sweet enough on its own, but maybe if you dissolved some sugar with it. Another idea though would be to use cream of coconut (not coconut cream). It's found in the liquor aisle and is used for making pina coladas. It's essentially sweetened condensed coconut milk, I think so it might be just right!
Do you pour the jello straight onto the glass pan or line with something. Does it come out in the end or does it stick?
Thank you so much
I pour it straight into the pan without lining or spraying it. It comes out just fine with a thin metal spatula after cutting into cubes. But you could definitely line the pan or spray and then flip the whole thing out if you wanted.
Thank you so much!
Can you use a plastic container or should it be a glass baking dish?
A plastic container will work just fine!
Hey, I've made this many times before for my daughter's parties. Always a hit, but so time consuming haha. Just curious, could I skip the white layer? 🤔
I am making this now w my granddaughter. So much fun!!!!
My son had a question, can we add instant van pudding w the condensed milk mixture for added flavor? Hes a pudding fanatic!
Such an interesting idea to add pudding! I have never tried it but I feel like it would mess with the texture quite a bit.
Can this recipe be used with sugar free jello?
Can't wait to make this. It looks so pretty and goes well with my niece's rainbow party 😍
I'm confused. I just made this. My white layers never really set. Even with extra time in the fridge. I used two teaspoons of the Knox gelatin. Your recipe says one package of Knox but my packets had about 3 ish teaspoons inside. Which is it? A package or 2 teaspoons? If two teaspoons then I'm not sure why mine wouldn't set
That is strange that the white layers wouldn't set. I can only guess that there was too much water added, because the amounts definitely should set up with a full package of Knox gelatin, 1 cup water, and 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk for the white. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you!
Can't wait to try this, thank you. I want to make stoplight jello jigglers for a birthday party. I'm going to make some in plastic wine glasses (for the real jello lovers) and the rest in cubes for the pick up and eat on the run hyper active ones. Thanks again!!!
This was great! But, my bottom layer peeled away from the cube as I cut them up. I tried it again and lightly greased the pan and their bottom layer still separated from the jello. Any tips appreciated!
Shoot! That happens sometimes for some of the cubes for me too, but it shouldn't happen to all of them, especially not when just cutting them. I would recommend only using a very sharp paring knife to cut the slices and then a very thin metal spatula to remove them from the pan to try to minimize that happening.
This has been a hit at all our Christmas parties for the last few years thanks to you. We use red, green and white and all ages enjoy it.
I made this last Christmas and everyone loved it. It's now our Christmas jello. Thank you
So glad it's become a tradition for you!
I have a question…. Why is the additional teaspoon of unflavored gelatin necessary? I bought it so I could follow the recipe exactly but I’m just curious. Thank you so much for your recipe.
Hi! I mix the unflavored gelatin with the sweetened condensed milk and boiling water for the white layers of the jello. You will need to have a couple of packages of gelatin ready to make several white layers. Does that answer your question?
my kids love making rainbow jell'o and tis was the perfect recipe for us. and it was easy and simple. thank you!!