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)


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

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  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.


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  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.


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  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!


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