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How to Make 7-Layer Jello

seven layer jello

This is neither a frugal recipe nor a healthy one. BUT, when I posted a picture of this jello (which Lisey requested for her birthday meal this year) a number of you were really intrigued and asked for the recipe.

And since I aim to please, I’m sharing the recipe today. I’m not sure where the recipe originally came from, but when I was a kid, it was an oft-served dish when company came to visit.

If I’m going to eat a very-bad-for-me jello salad, I’m sort of partial to the Mandarin Orange Jello Salad, but I will admit that this pan of jello has much more show-stopping looks.

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It’s not very complicated, but it does require a big ol’ stack of jello boxes. You probably won’t be able to find store-brand boxes for the lemon or peach flavors, but it’s easy to find orange, strawberry, and lime in private label varieties.

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Interestingly enough, when I bought these seven boxes, I was also buying ingredients to make a quadruple recipe of the mandarin orange jello salad for a family birthday gathering, so my cart was chock full of boxed jello and pudding. It was kind of ridiculous. And very out of the ordinary!

Anyway. Every other layer of this jello has evaporated milk mixed in with the water, so layers 2, 4, and 6 have an opaque look to them.

You can mix up all seven layers at once, or you can mix them up one at a time, which might be a good option if you don’t have tons of smallish bowls!

The first layer is just a box of jello, 3/4 cup of boiling water, and then 3/4 cup of cold water. Pour the jello mixture into a 9×13 inch pan (I spray mine with nonstick spray first), and put the pan in the fridge.

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Your fridge is probably not perfectly level, so you might need to shim your pan a little to make a level first layer (I use a grippy pad under one end, the sort you use to open a stubborn jar lid.).

Leave the pan in the fridge, and when it’s set (about 30 minutes later), you can pour the opaque lime layer over the black cherry layer.

To make the opaque layers, pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over the jello, mix to combine,

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and then stir in 1/2 cup of cold water and 1/2 cup of evaporated milk.

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This is NOT sweetened, condensed milk, just so ya know. That would be…weird. You need evaporated milk, which is a much thinner milk product.

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Each layer takes about 30 minutes to firm up in the fridge, so I just set a timer and add another layer every half hour.

The jello isn’t SUPER firm after 30 minutes, so it helps to pour the new layer of jello into a spoon and then onto the jello…that way the liquid jello won’t make a hole in the existing layer.

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You probably could use any combination of jello flavors you want, as long as you keep the clear-opaque-clear pattern going.

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In fact, I inadvertently did this pan differently than I did my last one. Here’s the original one I posted:

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Anyway, it’s quite customizable, and no matter what flavors you choose, your jello will probably still look all fancy-like. 😉

Seven Layer Jello

Printable Seven Layer Jello Recipe

Empty each of the following 3 oz. Jello packages into separate bowls:
black cherry, lime, raspberry, orange, peach, lemon, strawberry

Mix in the order given above.

For the 4 clear layers, mix ¾ cups hot water, stir, then add ¾ cups cold water.

For the 3 creamy layers, mix 1/2 cup hot water, stir, then add 1/2 cup cold water, and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. This will use up one can of evaporated milk.

The 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th layers are clear.
The 2nd, 4th, and 6th layers are creamy.

Mix all and then pour the 1st layer into a greased 9x 13 pan. Set the timer for 30 min. Then add the next layer and repeat the process until all layers are finished. Make sure pan is level.

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Joanne

Friday 19th of March 2021

This is a childhood favorite of mine, over 30yrs ago! I like your recipe, and how there is a creamy layer in between, we used a condensed milk layer in between clear flavors, but I'm gonna try to make it keto with the sugar free flavors and using heavy cream or sour cream.

Betty

Monday 18th of May 2020

You have to have two 3 oz. packets of each flavor, correct? One is for the clear layer and one for the creamy layer.

Kristen

Monday 18th of May 2020

Nope, you just need 7 packets total. The 2nd, 4th, and 6th layers are creamy, but they're separate flavors than the other four layers.

So, you are making four bowls of clear jello and three bowls of creamy jello, and each of those 7 bowls is a separate flavor. :)

Cara

Monday 9th of October 2017

It was a yummy surprise addition to our thanksgiving dinner tonight, thanks for sharing

Florrey Shulman

Saturday 27th of May 2017

Am making this now - someone gave me recipe # 1, 3, 5 7: mix jello with 1 and 1/2 cups of boiling water. Put in glass trifle dish. Do this every other layer,waiting about 30 minutes inbetween. My first layer, after 1 hr. in refrig. is still not formed. Layers #2, 4, 6: mix jello with 3/4 cup boiling water & 3/4 cup of Carnation evaporated milk

Now that I see your recipe, it's different and I'm bringing it to a Memorial Day party tomorrow and I can't find the person who gave me this recipe, but it's different from yours. I'm very worried. Do I have to throw out the few layers I've already done and start all over again. I feel like she gave it to me wrong. Someone please answer - I'm a wreck over this. Thank you. Florrey, St. Louis, MO or please email me now : florrey314@aol.com.

Kristen

Saturday 27th of May 2017

Aww, I'm sorry you're having troubles. Is your first layer still not set? If it's not setting, I think it would be smart to start over.

Jenna

Thursday 31st of March 2016

I'm out of evaporated milk. how do you mix the condensed milk version? just condensed milk and water?

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