Old Fashioned Jello Dessert Recipes

Grandma's old fashioned jello dessert recipes are perfect for making those colorful desserts you enjoyed as a child. Rich fruity flavors, jiggly jelly, and fluffy whipped cream.

Folks, we're talking about real, genuine comfort food. The kind that's always fun to eat and looks every bit as good as it tastes. Treat yourself to something that's fun to eat.

Mom's Old Fashioned Jello Dessert Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (1920s)

Jello DessertEasy to Make Strawberry Jello Dessert with Whipped Topping
(Source: ©gdolgikh/Depositphotos.com)

Strawberry Jello Dessert

Dissolve strawberry jello (or your favorite jello flavor) in boiling water following package instructions. Chill until partially set, then fold in strawberries, or other fruit. Top with fresh whipped cream and garnish. (See top photo.)

Jello Candy Stick Special

Jello DessertEnjoy a Fun Jello Candy Stick Special Dessert
(Source: Adapted from 1949 Jell-O® Ad)

Prepare 2 or more of your favorite jello flavors as directed on the packages. Turn into separate bowls and chill. Once the jello is firm, break it up into small bits with a fork, keeping the flavors separated.

Arrange jello bits of 2 flavors in sherbet glasses. Insert 3 striped candy sticks in each glass for serving. Perfect for a children's party treat.

Flavors that go together well are orange and strawberry, raspberry and lemon, or lime and orange.

Chocolate Lime Swirl

Here's a deliciously vintage comfort food recipe. Enjoy!

Evaporated Milk

To substitute 1 cup evaporated milk, use 1 cup heavy cream, or gently simmer 2-1/4 cups whole milk in a saucepan until reduced to 1 cup.


25 to 30 chocolate cookies
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 package lime Jello powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tin Evaporated milk, chilled
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 drops green food coloring
Whipped cream for topping

Butter 10-inch pie pan, line sides with 10 or 12 cookies. Crush remaining cookies, mix with melted butter, and press in bottom of pan for the crust.

Dissolve lime Jello powder in boiling water and set aside. Add lemon juice to sugar — let stand while whipping Evaporated milk to a stiff froth.

Add Jello mixture to whipped milk and continue whipping until stiff peaks are formed. Mix in lemon rind, coloring, pour over cookie crumb crust.

Chill in refrigerator, then top with whipped cream before serving. Sprinkle nuts or m&m's® or Smarties® candies on top, if desired. Any filling left over can be refrigerated for serving later.

Grandma's Old Fashioned Jello Dessert Recipe

Submitted by Victoria

Triple Layer Jello

Here is the Triple Layer Jello Dessert recipe I have that was my grandmother's.

We use it for Christmas, but you could change the color and flavor of the Jello for a different look. —Victoria

Here's how to make it:

1st Layer:

13-1/4 ounce can pineapple chunks
3 ounce package lime Jello
1 cup boiling water

Drain and reserve 1/2 cup juice of pineapple. Dissolve Jello in boiling water. Stir in reserved juice. Chill until partly set. Fold in pineapple and chill until set.

2nd Layer:

3 ounce package lemon jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup whipped cream or Cool Whip® topping
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Dissolve jello in boiling water. Cool and gradually add whipped cream and mayo. Chill until partially thickened. Pour over lime layer. Chill until set.

3rd Layer:

11 ounce can mandarin oranges
3 ounce package raspberry jello
1 cup boiling water

Drain oranges reserving 1/2 cup syrup. Dissolve jello in boiling water. Stir in syrup. Chill until partially set.

Fold in oranges. Pour over lemon layer. Chill until set. Garnish with extra oranges and mint if desired.

This old fashioned jello dessert recipe is perfect for the Christmas holidays. Enjoy!

Bonnie's Old Fashioned Jello Dessert Recipe

Submitted by Bonnie

Self Layering Jello

I really love this fancy Jello dessert. It is delicious! And it looks amazing! It was given to me by a friend a while back. Enjoy! —Bonnie


3/4 cup boiling water
1 (3 ounce) box gelatin powder, any flavor
1/2 cup cold water
Ice cubes
1/2 cup non-dairy whipped topping


Pour boiling water into blender. Add gelatin. Cover and blend at low speed until gelatin is completely dissolved; about 30 seconds.

Combine cold water and ice cubes to make 1-1/4 cups. Add to gelatin and stir until ice is partially melted. Then add whipped topping. Blend at high speed for 30 seconds.

Pour into dessert glasses. Chill about 30 minutes. Dessert layers as it chills. Garnish with additional whipped topping, fresh fruit, and mint leaves if desired.

For an added affect, tilt glasses slightly while chilling for angled layers.

Old Fashioned Jello Dessert Recipe

Submitted by a Visitor

Triple Layer Jello

My Mother-in-law made this triple layer jello dessert every year, and it's a big tradition in our family. We call it Christmas Jello. —Anon Visitor.

Here's the jello recipe we use:

Layer 1:

Make 1 large package of lime jello as directed and allow it to set.

Layer 2:

Mix the following ingredients and spoon over the set lime jello:

1 envelop of Dream Whip® topping
8 ounces cream cheese
1 can drained crushed pineapple

Allow to set.

Layer 3:

Make strawberry jello (I use raspberry jello) as directed on the package and carefully spoon over top of set white layer.

Allow to set. Enjoy!

Yvonne's Old Fashioned Jello Dessert Recipe

Submitted by Yvonne

New Zealand Flummery

My Mum use to make this delicious flummery dessert when I was a child in New Zealand.

She always made it at Christmas for me as I did not like trifle and that was what everyone else ate, along with Pavlova, of course. —Yvonne


Flummery is also called Jelly Whip by some. There are lots of other versions that call for fruit, gelatin, eggs and cream, but this one is simple. —Diane

I hope this works well for you! Flummery Recipe by Moerangi from New Zealand:

85 gram (3 ounce) packet jelly crystals
1 cup water
375 ml (12 fluid ounces) can of Evaporated milk, chilled


  1. Dissolve jelly crystals in boiling water and let cool, but not set.
  2. Beat evaporated milk until thick.
  3. Add jelly mixture to milk.
  4. Continue beating until thick and well combined.
  5. Pour into serving dish and chill until firm.

Serve cold.

I DID IT — I made Mango Flummery!

I made the jelly according to package instructions. I let it cool a bit before I poured it into the Carnation® evaporated milk that I had chilled in the freezer, then whipped with the mixer.

Then, I whipped it a bit further and then poured it into a glass dish.

Do not add fruits as it will make the flummery runny. Place the fruits in each bowl when serving. —A.

Jamie's Old Fashioned Jello Dessert Recipe

Submitted by Jamie

Broken Glass TorteBroken Glass Torte Jello Dessert
(Source: Don Bell)

Broken Glass Torte

Our family has a recipe quite similar to what's known as the Crown Jewel of Desserts. We call it Broken Glass Torte! —Jamie

Grandma's Tip

Use a sharp knife warmed in warm water to avoid tearing the jello while cutting it into small cubes.


1 6-ounce box each of red, yellow and green jello
(or choose whatever colors you want)
1 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon gelatin (Knox®, for example)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 pint whipped topping

Crust Ingredients:

28 graham crackers, crushed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Directions for Filling:

Heat 1 cup pineapple juice, add 1 teaspoon gelatin, 1/4 water, and 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir until dissolved. Cool and then add 1 pint of whipped topping. Stir together.

Directions for Jello:

Prepare jello colors individually, by dissolving each in 1-1/2 cups of hot water. Refrigerate until set.

(An 8 x 8-inch baking dish is best for making jello to ensure the jello is tall enough to cut into 1-inch cubes.)

Directions for Crumb Crust:

Mix crushed crackers, sugar & butter together and press into 13 X 9-inch pan. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Cool.

After jello is set, cut into 1-inch cubes and gently add these to the filling. Spoon into cooled crust. Refrigerate for several hours and serve.

Although the original old fashioned jello dessert recipe doesn't call for it, we prefer to top with more crushed graham crackers before serving.

Colorful Jell-O IllustrationColorful Jell-O Illustration circa 1920s
(Source: Don Bell)
Antique Jelly Molds IllustrationAntique Jelly Molds circa 1800s
(Source: Don Bell)

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