Rainbow Jell-O Shot Cups
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Recipe courtesy of Heather Baird

Rainbow Jell-O Shot Cups

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 5 hr 15 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
These eye-popping, multilayered rainbow treats are spiked with a little vodka but you could substitute water to make them alcohol-free. ROY G. BIV Jell-O colors are layered diagonally with creamy panna cotta to give this dessert a gravity-defying appearance. (The technique may look complicated, but it’s easy using an empty egg carton!) Once assembled, these cups keep well in the refrigerator, so they can be made ahead for convenience.


Panna Cotta:

Gelatin Layers:


Special equipment:
an 18-count egg carton, eight 5-ounce dessert glasses
  1. For the panna cotta: In a medium saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Let stand until absorbed, about 3 minutes. Place the saucepan over low heat until the gelatin dissolves, about 1 minute. When the gelatin is liquid, whisk in the half-and-half and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and the mixture is hot and just steaming, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract and remove from the heat to cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
  2. Place each color of gelatin in its own medium microwave-safe bowl or 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Add 1 teaspoon of the unflavored gelatin to each; whisk until combined. Pour 1 cup of the boiling water into each container and stir well to dissolve the gelatin. Add 1/4 cup of the vodka to each container. Stir to combine.
  3. Set an empty 18-count egg carton on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place eight 5-ounce dessert glasses at an angle in the cavities, spacing them apart. Make room in the refrigerator to accommodate the baking sheet.
  4. Pour 1 tablespoon of the liquid panna cotta in each glass. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Next, pour in about a 1/4-inch layer of the grape gelatin. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Repeat pouring and chilling 1/4-inch layers of the panna cotta, blue raspberry gelatin, more panna cotta, lime gelatin, then panna cotta again, refrigerating each layer for 15 minutes before adding the next. If the colored gelatins begin to set before pouring, microwave each container for 30 seconds and stir well to bring it back to a liquid state.
  5. Place the dessert glasses upright directly on the baking sheet. The chilled diagonal layers will stay in place. Pour and chill 1/4-inch layers of the lemon, orange, and strawberry gelatin, alternating each color with the panna cotta and finishing with the strawberry gelatin on top. Refrigerate until well set, about 2 hours. Serve well chilled.

Cook’s Note

For a non-alcoholic treat, the vodka in this recipe may be replaced with cold water. You may have a little leftover gelatin in each color. Refrigerate each color to set, then cube and layer the gelatin in glasses with canned whipped cream. This will make one or two small parfaits.