Multi-colored fruit jelly

Jelly, also known by the brand name Jell-O, is an easy dessert that's good on its own or in a fruit salad, cake, or pudding. The fun part: you can create different shapes and colors to match any celebration theme. It's super simple to prepare but requires plenty of time to set. However, there are some techniques to setting jelly faster, especially if you're in a hurry or running short on fridge space.

Chill the mold

Place a metal mold in the freezer for 10 minutes. Jelly sets faster in metal containers than in glass or other material.

Dissolve the jelly powder

Dissolve the jelly crystals or powder thoroughly in boiling water. (Follow the instructions on the package for the suggested amount of water.) Use a metal spoon to stir until the crystals or powder are fully dissolved.

Add ice

Adding ice cubes instead of cold water to the mixture helps the jelly set faster. Use the same proportion of ice cubes as cold water called for in the recipe. Stir vigorously until the liquid thickens. Scoop out the ice cubes that have not dissolved and discard.


Pour the thickened jelly liquid into the chilled mold. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for a soft jelly, or 1 hour for a firm mold.


When preparing a layered jelly mold, chill each layer until it is slightly set but not firm, before adding the next layer of jelly. This prevents the layers from slipping.


If you want to set fruits in the jelly, add cooked or canned fruits to the liquid once the ice cubes have dissolved. Do not use fresh fruits, as the enzymes prevent the gelatin from setting.