Fun and Easy Rainbow Gelatin Dessert

Rainbow Gelatin Dessert has been a part of nearly every celebration menu at our place since our oldest son was a wee little boy. He is almost thirty years old now... so yes, this is indeed a long time family favorite! {smile}

Though it looks rather fancy, it is quite easy to make. And pretty fun to eat, we think. It is rather time consuming to put together, however. I like to do two or three layers in one day, and then finish it up the next day.

And here is something we recently realized...

Do you see that little shift in the piece of rainbow gelatin in the photo, between the clear yellow layer and the creamy layer above it? Have a look at the left edge and you should see that the creamy layer slid just a tiny bit when I set it on the plate.

That sometimes happens between the layers that are finished on different days, we think. It isn't a big deal, our children often peel off the layers and eat them one by one anyway.

But if you *don't* want to risk your rainbow gelatin dessert layers sliding apart when you serve it, I recommend doing all of the layers in one day. {smile}

Here is the recipe for you.

Fun and Easy Rainbow Gelatin Dessert


1 (3 ounce) package green gelatin dessert mix
1 (3 ounce) package yellow gelatin dessert mix
1 (3 ounce) package orange gelatin dessert mix
1 (3 ounce) package red gelatin dessert mix
2 cups (1 pint) sour cream
4 cups water total (1 cup per color)


a small bowl to dissolve the gelatin (wash between colors)
a second small bowl to mix the gelatin and the sour cream (wash between colors)
a wire whisk
a measuring cup
a 9 x 9 inch square glass baking dish


Decide which color you want on the bottom and start with that color. This is how I made the rainbow gelatin in the photo... green, yellow, orange, then red (on top)

In one of the small bowls, carefully pour 1 cup of boiling water over the green gelatin mix and stir with a wire whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Put 1/2 cup of sour cream into the other small bowl. Carefully measure 1/4 cup of the liquefied green gelatin and pour it into the bowl with the sour cream. Stir with the wire whisk until the mixture is creamy and completely smooth.

Set the remaining liquefied green gelatin aside at room temperature for now.

Pour the creamy gelatin mixture into the 9 x 9 inch square glass baking dish. The creamy layer should completely cover the bottom of the dish. Put the baking dish into the refrigerator and chill until the creamy layer is firm and set, which usually takes about an hour or so in my refrigerator.

Once the creamy layer is firm, pour the remaining clear green gelatin on top of the creamy layer. (If the liquefied gelatin has begun to set up, simply warm it gently and give it a stir before pouring it on the creamy layer.) Put the dish in the refrigerator once again and chill until firm.

Repeat the process with the remaining colors of gelatin dessert mix, each with a creamy layer and then a clear layer.

pouring the clear orange layer over the creamy orange layer
That is all there is to it! Easy-peasy, it just takes a bit of time for all of the layers to set up. Store the finished rainbow gelatin covered, in the refrigerator. Cut into squares to serve.

These days, there are so many flavors and colors of gelatin dessert mix that we have come up with some twists on our standard rainbow gelatin dessert for different holidays and occasions...

Birthdays: the birthday child gets creative and chooses whatever colors they fancy

Valentine's Day: four boxes of red makes layers of red and pink

St. Patrick's Day: four boxes of green makes layers of green and light green

Easter: four boxes of pastel colors

Independence Day: two boxes of red and two boxes of blue

Autumn: two boxes of orange and two boxes of purple

Thanksgiving: always our traditional rainbow colors

Christmas: two boxes of green and two boxes of red

Rainbow Gelatin Dessert is a fun and easy tradition at our place. It's one of those little things that just makes me smile. I do hope you like it, too.


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