Stained Glass Jello – Red, White & Blue for the 4th of July


Are you still looking for that perfect something to bring to the 4th of July cookout on Saturday? Well, look no further. This Jello is fun, festive, easy to transport and eat, a sure-fire kid pleaser, and will make the adults wax nostalgic about the good ol’ days of Jello Jigglers. This impressive-looking Jello dessert couldn’t be easier to make and is a simple variation of the classic “rainbow Jello” layered dessert. You know, the one with all the colors of the rainbow with layers of white in between? I knew you’d remember 🙂


I was so entranced when I first saw the picture of stained glass Jello on The Food Librarian. She had done hers up in purple and yellow to cheer on the Lakers, and it looked awesome. Of course the Pittsburgh Penguins were still battling for the Cup at the time so my first instinct was to make this and do it Pens-style. The only problem, naturally, is that Pittsburgh colors are black and gold. I’ve never seen black Jello, have you? I thought perhaps they would sell blackberry, but I couldn’t find any. So, I went back to making more batches of the decorated sugar cookies and put the stained glass Jello on the back burner.


Well, it didn’t stay there for long. I had an “aha” moment and realized that with strawberry and berry blue flavors I could make a pretty cool red, white & blue dessert for the 4th of July. And to be even more festive, I used a cookie cutter to cut the Jello into the shape of stars. This was fun to make and I think it’s a great presentation for a holiday picnic. While not in the upper echelon of gourmet desserts, I think this is a great one to keep in your back pocket. You could switch up colors to reflect school graduation, various sports teams, company logos – anything at all! And if you have some fun cookie cutters in your stash, the possibilities are truly endless.

More great picnic food:
Cheddar Ale Spread
Pepperoni Bread
Strawberry Pretzel Squares (you could also make a blueberry version!)
Loaded Baked Potato Salad
Italian Antipasto Salad
Sweet Dinner Rolls (perfect for soaking up baked beans)
Panzanella Salad (bright, crisp and light – perfect for summer)

1 Year Ago: Fresh Blueberry Pie (also great for a 4th of July picnic!)

Stained Glass Jello (also known as Broken Glass Jello)

Yield: One 9x13-inch pan

Prep Time: 20 minutes (active) 6 hours (inactive)

Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes


4 boxes (3-ounces each) Jello (or store brand gelatin dessert) in different colors
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (Knox)


1. For each flavor, dissolve one box of Jello in 1 cup of boiling water. Pour into a square container that is about 6 to 8" square and chill at least 3 hours, or overnight. (Try to use the same size for all four so that the blocks will come out the same. In this case the smaller the better - I used 8" pans and felt my "blocks" were a little too flat.)

2. After chilling the flavors, cut them into small blocks.

3. Carefully mix the blocks in a 9x13-inch pan.

4. In a separate bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin into ½ cup cold water. After the gelatin blooms, add 1½ cups boiling water and dissolve. Add the can of condensed milk. Stir and let cool. Pour cooled milk mixture over Jello blocks in 9x13 pan. Skim off any small bubbles that are created when you pour the condensed milk on the Jello pieces. Chill overnight or at least 3 hours until firm.

5. Cut into blocks or shapes and serve.

(Recipe adapted from The Food Librarian)


139 Responses to “Stained Glass Jello – Red, White & Blue for the 4th of July”

  1. food librarian on July 2, 2009 at 11:01 am

    This turned out great!!! Love the stars. How festive is that?! Have a great 4th of July!


  2. Molly Jean on July 2, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Oooh how pretty! The possibilities are endless…


  3. Liz Brooks on July 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

    These are so CUTE!!


  4. J9gini on July 2, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I am unbelievably impressed, these are the neatest things i have seen in a LONG time!


  5. Pam Striker on July 2, 2009 at 11:34 am

    OMG, how cute and so festive!



  6. Jade on July 2, 2009 at 11:52 am

    These are so pretty and it looks like so much fun!!!


  7. shelly on July 2, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Awesome idea!! Really cute and I bet delicious too!


  8. s. stockwell on July 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    These are fabulous! We will make these with the children!!! fun. happy 4th! best, s


  9. Sunshine Mom on July 2, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    How beautiful!! I just made the ubiquitous flag cake. 🙂 These are much more clever!!


  10. Michelle on July 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Sunshine Mom – I think my mom made the flag cake for almost every 4th of July picnic we had growing up! Great memories!


  11. Mara on July 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I have to say these look so nice. I am not a Jello eater. But I can say that they would make great decor around a table also. Love them!!


  12. Annie on July 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Love these! I have been wanting to try stained glass Jello as well. It’s so pretty!


  13. Katie on July 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    OMGOSH I LOVE IT! Haha. What a great idea, Chelle! These are too cute and I want 5 now. 🙂


  14. Katrina on July 2, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    So fun and festive! Great job. I’ve made the multi-layered Jello, but not the stained glass, which is on my to-do list!


  15. Jen @ MaplenCornbread on July 2, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    WOW those are just…WOW!!!! Beautiful pictures and amazing creation! So fun!


  16. Cathy on July 3, 2009 at 12:19 am

    wow, looks cool, and it’s so simple too! There is a black jelly in the Chinese market that is mixed with sweeteners before eating (otherwise there’s no taste). Grass Jelly…


  17. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on July 3, 2009 at 2:55 am

    This looks soo good! And the cut-outs just make them look so much better!!!


  18. Mathilde's Cuisine on July 3, 2009 at 4:13 am

    Absolutely Fantastic, I really love your idea, it is very creative


  19. LunaCafe on July 4, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Very fun! Tweeted this post on Twitter. Hope everyone makes these for 4th of July festivities today. 🙂 …Susan


  20. Donna Diegel on July 4, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Wicked cute jello! I LOVE them!


  21. hungrynez on July 6, 2009 at 8:45 am

    these are so lovely! such a wonderful idea for all occasions. can’t wait to make one.


  22. Lizz Slabaugh on July 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Im going to have to find an excuse to make these!


  23. laura on July 7, 2009 at 4:37 am

    this looks so great. will have to try it!


  24. MIRANDA on July 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I just finished making this. I used kiwi and peach flavored jello. I can’t wait to see how it turns out……I will let you know…I will take pics and post it back to you.


  25. amateureater on July 10, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Hello! That’s an absolutely wonderful cake you’ve made there. I hope it’s alright that I borrow a picture (linked and credited, of course) for a post about 4th of July desserts on my blog. If you’d rather I remove it, please let me know.

    Here’s the entry if you want to take a look:


  26. Amber on July 12, 2009 at 9:27 am

    How festive and colorful. Great job Chelle.


  27. Renea (MrsSchoon) on July 25, 2009 at 9:01 am

    I don’t eat jello but these are super cute!


  28. Constance on August 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I have one holiday left this summer to try this out. The pics are beautiful and I am sure will be a big hit for Labor Day BBQ. Thanks for sharing.


  29. jenna on March 9, 2010 at 12:21 am

    So gorgeous.
    May I suggest starting with a dark Jell-O like Black Cherry or Grape and a couple drops black food coloring?
    That’s what I do for Hallowe’en.


  30. Pingback: 36 Fabulous Recipes for Summer | Brown Eyed Baker

  31. Melissa on June 15, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    These are so cute! I was wondering which jello colors you used since the recipe calls for four – red, white, blue & ___ ? Thanks! I love your blog!!!!


    • Michelle on June 15th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Melissa, Thanks! You actually need four boxes, not necessarily four colors. So for these, I used two boxes of strawberry (red) and two boxes of blue raspberry (blue). The white comes from the sweetened condensed milk.


  32. Pingback: Oldie but Goodie for 4th of July: Stained Glass Jello Stars | Brown Eyed Baker

  33. Jenny Flake on June 28, 2010 at 9:53 am

    This is the cutest idea ever for 4th of July! Love it!


  34. Maria on June 28, 2010 at 10:22 am

    How fun! Perfect for the holiday!


  35. bonne on June 28, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I love your jell-o stars. It is a blast back to the past with a modern twist!


  36. Maggy@ThreeManyCooks on June 28, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Ha! These are so cute! Perfect for the 4th of July, but a good idea for any festive occasion!


  37. Tracy on June 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    How fun! Perfect for the 4th of July. 🙂


  38. Jen @ How To: Simplify on June 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    This is such a festive and fun recipe! They would be a huge hit at a Fourth of July party!


  39. Cookin' Canuck on June 29, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Very cute idea. Perfect for Fourth of July celebrations!


  40. Jennifer on July 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    For black coloring, I wonder if activated charcoal would work…? It’s what they use to color black licorice. It’s tasteless and will turn water JET BLACK. It’s also good for you because it adsorbs toxins in your body. Completely safe. Try it! I buy mine from and use it for tummy aches, nausea, etc. and it works.


  41. Pingback: 4th of July Dessert Recipes | Brown Eyed Baker

  42. Pingback: 4th of July « This is StyckyWycket

  43. glena on July 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    When you cut the jello into cubes and put it into the bigger pan do you stack them on top of each other? Touching each other? I guess I’m spoiled with The Pioneer Woman and all her photos!

    Thanks for the help!


  44. Jennifer on July 2, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Just dump them on top of each other. The cream you pour ontop will seep in between the jello and float them up a bit.


  45. Pingback: Stained Glass Jello (HAPPY 4th of JULY!) « LOVES TO EAT

  46. Chay on July 4, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I tried making these for our 4th of July party yesterday and they did not turn out well. Everything went great until I poured the condensed milk on. The end result was not very visually appealing, and the flavor did not blend well with the Jello. Your pictures look very festive, but I think I will try another recipe for our company luncheon next week.


  47. Jackie on July 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Love this!! Being from Pittsburgh myself I was thinking…could you have used a black gel color to color a purple/grape jello? I may try that myself when football season starts.


  48. Southern Fried Gal on July 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    We tried these this week. We had fun with green and blue jello and plane, train and rocket shapes. I linked this post to my blog. Thanks for the inspiration!


  49. Sharon on August 2, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Can you make these with clear “pour over” instead of turning it white with the milk?
    I’m trying to find a jello recipe like this that is dairy free. Could I use water instead of the milk?


    • Michelle on August 4th, 2010 at 11:05 am

      Hi Sharon,

      The only way I have ever made the “white” layer of a Jello dessert is with sweetened condensed milk, so I couldn’t say for sure what your results would be like using water. It’s sure worth a try though if you need to create a dairy-free dish! Let me know how it turns out!


      • Layla on July 3rd, 2014 at 8:35 pm

        I know this is four years late, but I would try a lemon-lime soda, like Sprite with the Knox gelatin. It will be more clear then white but could produce a similar effect.


  50. ASHLEY ANNIE on August 16, 2010 at 10:03 am

    This is too cute. Reminds me of melt and pour soapmaking!


  51. Pingback: 40 Healthy Recipes for 2011 | Brown Eyed Baker

  52. Amanda on February 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    If you think about what color black is, it’s all of em. Try mixing together two to three colors from different parts of the color wheel (I’d suggest blue to start with a dark value, and orange as its complement) and you should get a pretty dark color. It might not be totally black (perhaps brown- or blue-ish). However, eating this will probably be like eating dark frosting, so maybe use less of it in proportion to the other colors or you might get stained teeth.


  53. Pingback: World’s Strangest | The Art of Jello

  54. Pingback: Inspiration~Gymnastics Party | Modern Hostess

  55. Kandi on May 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Mine are chilling in the fridge now. I’m making them as one of the many red white and blue themed foods for my boyfriends Going away to Iraq potluck/party. Im excited and they look great so far. There may not be any left for the party though! i made more of a double batch of it so i put 2 cherry, a watermelon, and a strawberry banana flavored for the reds… and its like a burst of summer flavor in your mouth and still came out a pretty red.


    • Michelle on May 25th, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      Kandi – Thoughts with you and your boyfriend for a safe deployment. I hope you all enjoy the Jello! What a great idea for the party!


  56. Pingback: 100 Red, White and Blue Recipes |

  57. Pingback: Red, White, + Blue: Food, Entertaining, + Celebrating

  58. Alison on May 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I LOVE this idea! I featured you today in a roundup of yummy red, white, and blue recipes! Here is the link:

    Have a great day!


  59. Pingback: Patriotic Foods | Oopsey Daisy

  60. Cheryl on June 23, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Oh wow, these are too fun. Did it take a few tries to get them to come out so well? Thanks for the inspiration!


    • Michelle on June 23rd, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Thanks Cheryl! No practice required! The best part of these is that you just combine everything in the pan and then use a cookie cutter if you want shapes, or just cut into squares. They are always a hit at summer parties!


  61. Laura on June 23, 2011 at 1:32 am

    These are so pretty. I featured them on my blog today.


  62. Pingback: The 4th of Jell-O « Happy Home Fairy

  63. Pingback: stained glass jello | gimme some oven

  64. Pingback: A Recipe for Chaos: Holding the Fort with 4th of July Recipes | RecipeLionBlog

  65. Anna ~ Random Handprints on June 28, 2011 at 11:22 am

    these are too awesome. definitely making for the fourth, and yet another person linking to them from my blog to share with my readers!


  66. Amy on June 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I can’t wait to try this – I’m already thinking of so many ways to use this idea. Thanks for sharing!!


  67. Pingback: Independence Day Essentials: Crafts, Recipes, and Decorations | Mixbook - Mixbookers

  68. Pingback: Friday Inspiration | Sweet Betweens

  69. Tamara on July 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I made these last year for our 4th of July celebration and my 5 year old son asked for them again this year! It’s such a fun dessert to make.


  70. Pingback: -

  71. Amber P. on July 3, 2011 at 11:06 am

    These are great! I am making them right now and cannot wait to see how they turn out! Taking them to a 4th of July party today, I know everyone will love them! Thanks for some great ideas!


  72. Greta on July 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Hey Michelle! I love your blog and I’m making these today. They are so cute. I just realized I made the jello according to the package, and not your instructions. Uh-oh. I guess we’ll see what happens!


  73. Pingback: Creating in the kitchen « Baby Makes Three

  74. Amy on July 7, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Hi! I made these for our 4th of July cookout and they were GREAT! I blogged about them today with a link back to you! 🙂 If you want to check it out, here’s the link:

    Have a great weekend!


  75. melissa on July 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    i made this for the 4th of july and it was a total FAIL! i went to cut into it and it completely fell apart. i must have used too much water or something– i let it set overnight and everything. it just never firmed up the way i assume it should have. bummer. it still tasted good, so i scooped a few helpings out for the kids. but eventually had to throw the rest of it out. 🙁


  76. Jasmine on November 13, 2011 at 3:20 am

    I made the stained glass jello last night and let is set overnight, but it seemed softer than it should have been. Do you think I can use three Knox envelopes for a firmer jello? Also, what do you use to keep the jello from sticking to the glass pan? Thanks!


    • Michelle on November 14th, 2011 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Jasmine, I’m not sure about using extra Knox, as that would just affect the white part of the Jello. I haven’t had a problem with it firming up, did you follow the recipe here or on the Jello box? Also, you could try spraying the pan with a non-stick cooking spray, although I’ve never had an issue with sticking.


  77. Pingback: Star Spangled Jello – The Way to His Heart

  78. Chrissy on May 14, 2013 at 4:04 am

    I noticed thee comment about not knowing how to do black jello. 2 packs purple 1 pack green. And to make brown 2 packs purple and 1 pack yellow. Hope that helps! Thanks for sharing how to do the stained glass effect.


  79. Pingback: 20 Memorial Day Recipes & Crafts - Formula Mom | Texas Blogger

  80. Tami on May 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    What does it mean “after the gelatin blooms?”


    • Michelle on May 22nd, 2013 at 12:27 am

      Hi Tami, The gelatin will noticeably soften and plump up a bit as it is dissolved.


  81. Pingback: Apartments near Kirkwood Community College - Kirkwood Community College Apartments near Kirkwood Community College and Kirkwood Community College housing

  82. Pingback: Des Moines Apartments Grimes Apartments in Ankeny Johnston Iowa Apartments in Pleasant Hill area Apartments | Haverkamp Properties

  83. Pingback: More of my Favorite Fourth of July Recipes

  84. Pingback: Fourth of July Recipes: Family-Friendly Fourth of July Treats!

  85. Pingback: GREAT 4TH OF JULY DESSERTS | Best Friends For Frosting

  86. Pingback: Fun patriotic foods for the Fourth! - Right Start Blog

  87. Julie on June 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    My daughter was born on the 4th of July 2012 and we’ll be celebrating her 1st birthday on June 29th. I’ll be making these for her party. Thank you for the great idea!


  88. Mercy on June 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I was wanting to use the recipe for the white jello to make some white Jell-O shots. Do you have any idea how I’d do it? Generally it’s 1 box of jello, the required amount of cold water being alcohol not water and the required amount of hot wayer


    • Michelle on June 24th, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      I think I’ve only made Jello shots once in my life, but I guess follow that formula but use the sweetened condensed milk and unflavored gelatin instead?


  89. Pingback: The Star of Your 4th of July Party! | blovelyevents

  90. Pingback: 13 Simple July 4th Desserts | Mommy May We?Mommy May We?

  91. Pingback: 15 Fun and Easy 4th of July Recipes | Style Motivation

  92. Pingback: 35 Fun 4th of July Recipes | Six Sisters' Stuff

  93. Pingback: 5 Easy Treats to Make for the Fourth of July

  94. Pingback: Stained Glass Jello | Greater Working Women Ministries

  95. Pingback: The 4th annual Fourth of July bake-off

  96. Pingback: 10 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts « DIY Cozy Home

  97. Pingback: 20 Delicious 4th of July Recipes! - Life In The Lofthouse

  98. Chloe on October 25, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Never thought of using sweetened condensed milk for jello.


  99. Pingback: Happy Independence Day – Let’s Eat! | Ask, Listen, Learn

  100. Pingback: 4th of July Sweet Treats - The Crafted Sparrow

  101. Pingback: 15 Red, white & Blue Patriotic Kids Treats {The Weekly Round Up} | Titicrafty by CamilaTiticrafty by Camila

  102. Pingback: 8 Cool Desserts to Help Kick Off Summer | BCNN1 WP

  103. Pingback: 8 Cool Desserts to Help Kick Off Summer | BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

  104. Pingback: 20 Delicious Fourth of July Dessert Recipes |

  105. Pingback: 4th of July Food & Craft Ideas - Spoonful of Chocolate Sistah

  106. Pingback: 4th of July Desserts - Red, White & Blue Treats

  107. Kristi@MyWeeklyHabit on June 16, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    I wanted to let you know I am featuring your Stained Glass Jello Stars for the 4th of July in my Easy 4th of July Recipes post on 6/20/14! I thank you for sharing your recipe and am exited to include it alongside other great 4th of July recipe ideas!


  108. Pingback: Easy 4th of July Recipes - My Weekly Habit

  109. Pingback: 30 Fabulous 4th of July Desserts

  110. Pingback: 25 Ways To Have The Most Patriotic 4th Of July Party DIY Ready | DIY Projects | Crafts - DIY Ready | DIY Projects | Crafts

  111. Kristen on June 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I am going to make these for 4th of July this year. They look so fun! I am going to buy 2 strawberry and 2 blueberry, I understand you need 4 boxes. What I have a question about is whether I can cook and combine the 2 reds together or do you need to cook and keep all 4 jello seperate the whole time? Also how about combining the same colors when you put them in square containers, or should they keep seperate? Thanks! I can’t wait to make these, I just want to screw them up!


    • Michelle on June 30th, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Kristen, Yes, you can combine the reds and the blues together, and put the same color in one container. Enjoy!


  112. Pingback: Stars, Flags, and Firecrackers! It’s a 4th of July Dessert Round Up | Shane's Killer Cupcakes

  113. Pingback: 101 4th of July Activities, Recipes & Crafts | The FamilyNow Sun

  114. Pingback: Red White and Blue party inspiration - Belle Bébés

  115. Pingback: Parenting News Recap Roundup #29 - 4th of July Edition! | Parenthood Today TV

  116. Pingback: From Lovers with Love » You Must Check These Dessert Recipes for 4th of July That Are Perfect For Tomorrow

  117. Pingback: Pioneer Settler | Homesteading | Self Reliance | Recipes | 25 Ways To Have The Most Patriotic 4th Of July Party

  118. Aimee on July 4, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I was so excited to find this recipe but I failed at making it. I now have jello slop but I put it in a clear bowl with some flag toothpicks and will pretend that’s what I meant to do all along! 🙂


  119. Pingback: Stained glass Jello for 4th of July – Great idea! ……… or is it? | Aimee Knows

  120. Pingback: Happy 4th of July America! - Gourmet Getaways

  121. Pingback: Blue Eyed Bakers | We Get Healthy

  122. Pingback: 30 delicious 4th of July recipes | Chickabug

  123. Pingback: Elegant Cakes – 120 Fourth of July Recipes

  124. Pingback: Elegant Cakes – Red, White & Blue Layered Finger Jello

  125. Pingback: Elegant Cakes – No-Bake S’mores Dip

  126. jaz @ fourth of july images on May 28, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    These looks yummy and beautiful. Everyone should try these on 4th of july. Thank you for sharing.


  127. Pingback: Red, White & Blue Sweets and Treats - My Bored Toddler

  128. Pingback: 17+ DELIGHTFUL PATRIOTIC RECIPES - Butter with a Side of Bread

  129. Adam Jones on July 14, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Hey, That’s very interesting.
    The recipe is look very easy, I definitely try it.



Leave a Comment

(Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for your patience! If it is your first time commenting you may want to review the Comment Guidelines.)