Jello is one of those things that most people can make pretty easily, but there is an art to following Jello directions. You need to follow the directions closely or you will not get a good result. If you don’t pay attention, you could end up with a product that doesn’t work or doesn’t taste great. The worst part is when you don’t follow instructions and it falls apart when you go to take it out of the mold.

If you are looking for a quick and easy dessert, Jello is the way to go. You can use powdered Jello from a box or you can make your own. We have recipes for both- recipes that are foolproof and will make great Jello every time. Don’t be afraid to experiment once you get this basic recipe down!

How To Make Jello Step By Step: From A Box

The easiest way to make Jello is simply to buy a job from the shelf at your local grocery store and make it. Often, you won’t need anything other than the Jello and water. If you want to add something (like fresh fruit or marshmallows), we included steps for that in the recipe as well.


  • 1 3-ounce packet of Jello (any flavor)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh fruit or marshmallows (optional)


  1. Whisk together the packet inside the Jello box (powder) and the hot water in a large bowl. Keep whisking quickly until you cannot see any granules of Jello. It should take you 2-3 minutes to get a completely clear liquid. If it looks cloudy, keep whisking.
  2. Add the cold water into the mixture. From here, you will need to work quickly to get your Jello into the final containers. It will start to set as soon as the temperature drops.
    1. Tip: If you want the Jello to set faster, add ice cubes
  3. Quickly pour the mixture into your desired bowls or molds. If you aren’t adding the fruit, you are done. Place into the refrigerator and wait until the Jello sets. This generally takes 2-3 hours but it can take overnight. It is best to allow it to sit a while- especially if you put it into a mold with a lot of detail.

If Adding Fruit/Marshmallows to the Jello

  1. Add the fruit to the Jello, place it on top of the liquid. If you want the fruit to be dispersed within the Jello, give it a stir with a spoon.
  2. Place into the refrigerator and wait until the Jello sets. This generally takes 2-3 hours but it can take overnight. It is best to allow it to sit a while- especially if you put it into a mold with a lot of detail.

To check if your Jello has set completely, you can press your finger against the top in the middle. If the Jello sticks to your finger, it isn’t ready yet. When you are ready to de-mold your Jello, you want to dip the mold up to its rim in warm (not hot) water. Wait about 10 seconds and then flip the Jello out. You can put the plate over the mold and then flip quickly. If it doesn’t come out, you may need to redip it in the warm water.

How To Make Jello Step By Step: From Scratch

Making Jello from scratch can be a good way to eliminate the preservatives, coloring, and other ingredients that maybe you don’t want or cannot have. It isn’t difficult to make and doesn’t take all that long either.


  • 5 cups fruit juice of choice
  • 25 cup cool water
  • 25 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh fruit (optional)
  • Sugar or sweetener of choice, to taste


  1. Start by sprinkling the gelatin over the cold water and stir briskly until it thickens. This can take some time, depending on the temperature and the type of gelatin. If you are using a vegan gelatin, you want to add Agar powder (about 2 teaspoons) so that the Jello is firmer.
  2. Stir in the hot water. The water shouldn’t be boiling, but it should be extremely hot. It may look like the gelatin is softer now, but that is part of the process. It will thicken up.
  3. Add the fruit juice of your choice. You can add just one type of fruit juice or mix them together to get your own flavor. If you use pineapple juice, be aware that it may not set properly.
  4. Now is the time to taste your Jello. Make sure that it is sweet enough for you. If it isn’t, add the sweetener of your choice.
  5. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add fruit int he same way mentioned above, if you so choose. You may need to stir a bit more when you add the fruit.
  6. Cover the Jello and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours. Homemade Jello tends to need more time to set than store-bought Jello.
  7. When you are ready to serve, test again by pressing your finger gently against the top middle of the Jello. If it sticks, it isn’t ready to eat yet.

Jello is one of those foods that you can do so many great things withmake Jello shots, use a melon baller and get Jello balls, put them into molds, break it up and put them onto other desserts, or cut them up to make Jello cubes. Whatever you do, this jiggly food will always be a great treat.

If you want to use two different Jellos to make a pattern, you will need to give yourself more time. You need to allow the first color (that will be on the bottom) to solidify before you pour the next level on it. This is a process that can take quite a bit of time, so you want to plan well in advance. The same if you want to use Jello with other recipes – you need to give the Jello time to set.

Storing Jello isn’t easy. Once you’ve made it, it is best to eat Jello within a few days or it will get a hard crust on the top of it. You also want to keep them cool. If they get too warm, you can simply pop them in the refrigerator again. Even better, keep them on ice.

Jello is just one of those foods that you can use to have fun. You can use them at parties, potlucks, picnics, school events, and more. Most people aren’t allergic to gelatin, so they are always a crowd-pleaser.


Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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