We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

7 Unique Jell-O Recipes for Delicious Summer Flavor

Three images of recipes from the article below: The left image features Jell-O cookies from Eating on a Dime, the middle image features jell-O salad from Butter with a side of Bread, and the right image is of orange mandarin mousse by Amanda's Cooking.
Eating on a Dime/ Butter with a side of Bread/ Amanda’s Cooking

We all have a bit of nostalgia when it comes to that mysterious gelatin snack we call Jell-O. So, let’s bring those outrageously sweet packets of sugar back this summer with any of these fun dessert treats!

Jell-O is one of those strange treats that’s hard not to like. The jiggly consistency coupled with the candy-like sweetness gives your tastebuds something fun and exciting to try. Luckily, there is a lot of fun desserts you can make with a packet of Jell-O mix.

5 Jell-O Fun Facts

Ever wonder what Jell-O is made of? No? Well, you’re about to find out regardless—plus learn a few other interesting facts about that wiggly sweet stuff.

  • Jell-O is an animal product. Although many think this sugary treat is a combo of sugar and a chemical reaction, Jell-O is actually made of gelatin—which is collagen extracted from animal bones and skin. Today, however, there are vegan gelatins like Agar Agar which are made from algae. So here’s a vegan Jell-O recipe to try!
  • Alone, cooked gelatin is a flavorless (and colorless) bouncy solid. Add in an absurd amount of sweet stuff, and coloring and that’s Jell-O, in the layman’s terms. Seriously, though, it’s almost 90% sugar.
  • If you love this snack, you can celebrate it on National Jell-O Week (which takes place the second full week of February every year).
  • If a week of Jell-O festivities seems a bit over the top, you can add July 12 to your calendar instead to celebrate National Eat Your Jell-O Day.
  • The original Jell-O flavors, introduced in 1897, were strawberry, raspberry, orange, lemon, and lime. re’s more to Jell-O than strawberry, orange, and lemon. But today there are over 20 flavors.
  • Speaking of flavors, there are more discontinued flavors in the Jell-O lineup than current flavors. While that means some fun flavors, like blackberry are gone, don’t stress too much about missing out. A lot of the discontinued flavors are… dubious at best. No longer with us? Chocolate, coffee, and tomato Jell-O. Chocolate pudding is one thing, but semi-translucent chocolate gelatin? We’re good.

7 Tasty Ways to Enjoy Jell-O

If you were raised in an American home, there’s a solid chance your mom packed Jell-O in your school lunch, or your grandmother made a fancy dessert mold with it. If it’s been just too long since your last bite, try making any of these recipes as a throwback.

Whipped Jell-O Mandarin Mousse

Two images of mandarin orange mousse topped with whipped cream and mandarin slices.
Amanda’s Cooking

Jell-O Mousse is always a crowd pleaser! The light and fluffy texture, coupled with the sweet and tangy mandarin notes, makes for a lovely summertime treat.

Mandarin juice and water combined with sugar-free orange-flavored Jell-O make up the brunt of the flavor. However, the whipped cream and juicy mandarin orange slices offer a creamy and juicy burst that is just perfect for this dessert.

Get the Recipe: Amanda’s Cooking

3-Ingredient Jell-O Cake

Two strawberry Jell-O dishes on a clean white backdrop, presented on cake stands.
Mom’s Dish

Three ingredient recipes usually make me a bit weary. It seems a bit unfathomable that you can create an entire cake with literally three things; cool whip, Jell-O mix, and strawberries. Spoiler alert: it’s possible. Follow the easy instructions and tutorial images, and you’ll have a beautifully bright cake in the end.

Get the Recipe: Mom’s Dish

Berry Jell-O Pretzel Salad

A square of berry jell-O pretzel salad topped with fresh berries and a side of strawberries.
Butter with a Side of Bread

We aren’t sure how this delicious layered dessert got the name “salad,” but it’s a treat worth trying, especially if you love Jell-O.

The crust is comprised of crushed pretzels, butter, and sugar, followed by a layer of strawberries, whipped cream and yogurt and a top layer of Jell-o dotted with juicy berries. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate the fresh flavors of summer while feeding a crowd.

Get the Recipe: Butter with a side of Bread

Jell-O Sugar Cookies

Eating on a Dime

Enjoy any color of the rainbow in cookie form with these fun and tasty Jell-O cookies. These sugary treats take on the flavor of any type of Jell-O and yes, they are very sweet. They are fun to make too so get the kids involved!

Get the Recipe: Eating on a Dime

Jell-O Poke Cake

Two images of strawberry Jell-O Poke cake.
Lil Luna

Here’s another fun and simple cake that kids and grownups alike seem to love. First, make a standard white cake (box or scratch), and once it’s cooled, you poke it with a fork. From there, pour the liquid Jell-O over the cake and let it chill.

The result is a lovely marbled cake, with pretty pink and white hues of fluffy deliciousness. Top it all off with a light whipped cream topping, and serve it cold on a hot summer day!

Get the Recipe: Lil Luna

Easy Lemon Trifle

Two individual lemon trifles, topped with whipped cream and a lovely lemon twist garnish, with a larger trifle in the back.
Tastes of Lizzy T

Citrusy cake, layered with a lemon-flavored Jell-O and garnished with gorgeous yellow twists, makes a trifle you can’t resist. It’s the perfect dessert to bring to a summer party, and the best part is you can adapt it to a different flavor of your choice.

This trifle tastes even better when made the day before you need it, with intermingled flavors, so feel free to save on time by whipping it up in advance. You can even add some lemon curd into the layers for added rich flavor.

Get the Recipe: Tastes of Lizzy T

Blueberry Jell-O Pie

Two images of blueberry Jell-O pie. The left image is of once slice of the blueberry pie, and the right image is of a full pie.
Tornadough Alli

Have a taste of blueberry pie like you’ve never tasted with this giggly wiggly blue rendition. Water, cornstarch, and fresh blueberries work together in creating a thick base, and the Berry blue Jell-O adds loads of sweet flavor to this pie.

The whole recipe takes time with all the heating and cooling of ingredients, but the unique results are totally worth waiting for.

Get the Recipe: Tornadough Alli

Jell-O is one of those hard-not-to-like snacks, and there is plenty of yummy desserts you can make with a packet and a few other ingredients. It’s no wonder it’s been an American staple for decades!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on a single goal: helping you make the most informed purchases possible. Want to know more?