Patriotic red, white and blue colors in this delicious cathedral window Jell-O dessert make for a cool treat on warm summer days. Set it on the table and don’t worry about anything melting. It’s a great display with a shine that becomes more pronounced as the chill wears off. It’s a really fun dessert that jiggles at the slightest movement.
The effect of the colorful Jell-O against the creamy pineapple gelatin is reminiscent of light shining through church or cathedral windows. A dessert so easy to make, all it requires is stirring. It’s a perfect alternative to baking when it’s warm outside and you don’t exactly want to deal with a hot oven.
Have fun slicing cathedral window Jell-O whichever way you want to reveal different patterns within. The pineapple milk gelatin is what binds everything together. It’s so creamy the texture is almost custard-like. With each bite you’ll get bursts of flavor in your mouth from the Jell-O mingling with the delicious creaminess of the pineapple milk gelatin that’s sweet and tangy at the same time—a really delicious and cool treat.
Light shining through just like it would on cathedral windows.
No two slices are alike.
Even the colors change depending on how thinly or thickly you slice it.
This recipe is enough to fill one large bundt pan. You can use as many as five boxes total of red and blue Jell-O if you want more color. As for Knox unflavored gelatin, I find five envelopes enough to make it sturdy while still have it very jiggly, which is what you want.
Here’s an outline of the simple steps to making this patriotic cathedral window Jell-O dessert. You can find the full recipe at the end of this post.
- Start out by dissolving red and blue 3-ounce boxes of Jell-O in boiling water. Allot one cup water per box. Let the Jell-O set then slice them in chunks.
- Mix unflavored gelatin thoroughly with cold water then set it aside to bloom.
- Heat water and sugar in a sauce pan until the sugar is completely dissolved and the water is clear. Stir in the pineapple juice. Let it heat for a couple of minutes, then add the evaporated milk. Stir well, then mix in the condensed milk. Add the heavy cream last. Heat the mixture just until it starts to simmer. Stir every now and then.
- While waiting for the pineapple mixture to simmer, microwave the unflavored gelatin for one minute to turn it into liquid. Stir thoroughly to eliminate any lumps. If there are small granules of undissolved gelatin, microwave it for 30 more seconds then stir it well again.
- Mix the unflavored gelatin with the pineapple mixture. Stir to blend for a couple of minutes then turn off the heat.
- Strain the pineapple gelatin to a bowl and let it cool completely at room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Scatter some of the Jell-O in your pan or bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking or baking spray. Use a ladle to gently pour enough pineapple milk gelatin to cover the Jell-O. Chill both the pan and the remaining pineapple milk gelatin for 3 – 5 minutes.
- When the remaining pineapple milk gelatin has thickened, fold in the rest of the Jell-O, then gently pour everything into the pan. You want the pineapple milk gelatin to be thick to evenly distribute the Jell-O all throughout. Chill it overnight so it completely sets.
- To unmold the gelatin, pull the edges away from the sides of the pan with your fingers. It will separate easily. Do this all the way around. If using a bundt pan, pull the gelatin away from the center core as well.
- Shake the pan a bit from side to side. Place a plate on top of the pan then flip it over to release the gelatin onto the plate.
Any container will work to mold the gelatin. You can use just a regular cake pan, bundt pan, even a mixing bowl—anything that can hold liquid.
Spraying the pan with non-stick spray will make unmolding this dessert a breeze. Just pull the edges of the gelatin away from all around the sides of the pan with your fingers. It will separate very easily in one piece. Then when you flip it over onto your plate, you will feel the gelatin slide down which is always a moment of suspense since how it finally looks is always a surprise.
Keep cool and give this red, white and blue patriotic cathedral window Jell-O a try this summer. It’s just as much fun making as it is eating it.
- 2 boxes red Jell-O (3 oz / 85 g per box) in 2 cups boiling water (464 g)
- 2 boxes blue Jell-O (3 oz / 85 g per box) in 2 cups boiling water (464 g)
- 5 envelopes unflavored gelatin (7 g per envelope, or one 1-ounce / 28 g box Knox gelatin + 1 extra envelope)
- 1 cup cold water (232 g)
- ½ cup water (116 g)
- ¾ cup sugar (155 g)
- 2 cups pineapple juice (488 g)
- 1 can evaporated milk (12 oz / 340 g)
- 2 cans condensed milk (14 oz per can / 396 g per can)
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream (290 g)
- In two separate bowls, mix red and blue Jell-O with boiling water, stirring until Jell-O is completely dissolved. Let cool, cover and chill until completely set, about 4 hours or preferably overnight. When set, slice the Jell-O into chunks and keep chilled.
- Thoroughly mix unflavored gelatin with cold water in a bowl. Stir and set aside to let the gelatin bloom.
- In a saucepan, stir the sugar and water over medium heat just until the sugar is completely dissolved and the water is clear.
- Pour in the pineapple juice. Heat for about 2 – 3 minutes, stirring.
- Add the evaporated milk and stir to blend. Add the condensed milk, stirring further. Continue to heat and stir for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Pour in the heavy cream. Stir well. Heat the mixture just until it starts to simmer.
- While waiting for the pineapple mixture to simmer, microwave the unflavored gelatin that has now set for 1 minute until it turns liquid. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. If there are a few granules of gelatin remaining, microwave again for about 30 seconds and stir well.
- When the pineapple mixture starts to simmer, stir in the unflavored gelatin and mix for 1 – 2 minutes then turn off the heat.
- Pour the pineapple milk gelatin mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl to make sure it is free of lumps. Let cool completely until it reaches room temperature.
- Spray a pan, gelatin mold, bowl or any container with non-stick cooking spray. If using a bundt pan, use a pastry brush after spraying to ensure crevices are evenly coated.
- Arrange some of the Jell-O on the bottom of the prepared gelatin mold or pan. Use a ladle to gently pour enough pineapple milk gelatin to cover the Jell-O.
- Chill the gelatin pan. Chill the rest of the pineapple milk gelatin as well until it has slightly thickened but not set, about 3 – 5 minutes.
- Once the pineapple milk gelatin is thick, fold in the rest of the Jell-O then pour it into the gelatin pan. Chill the assembled gelatin overnight to completely set.
- To unmold the gelatin, with your fingers gently pull the edges away from all around the sides of the pan. If using a bundt pan, pull the gelatin away from the center core as well.
- Place a serving plate on top of the pan then flip the gelatin onto the plate. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
Patriotic Cathedral Window Jell-O