How To Fix Jello That Did Not Set Properly?

How To Fix Jello That Did Not Set Properly?

If you ever make Jello and it does not set properly, do not worry! There are several ways to fix the Jello so that it is edible again. In this blog post, we will show you how to fix Jello that did not set properly using different methods. Let’s get started!

How To Fix Jello That Did Not Set Properly

What Is Jello?

Jello is a sweet gelatin dessert that was originally made as a low-fat alternative to Jell-O. The first version of the product used carageenan as a gelling agent instead of gelatin, but these days jello usually contains gelatin.

Why Is It Called “Jello”?

The name originated with the creator of the first commercially successful jello product, a fellow by the name of Pearle B. Wait, who first manufactured and sold it in 1897 under the brand name ‘jelly’. In 1919, Mr. Wait changed his company’s name from The Jell-O Company to The Genesee Pure Food Company, and introduced their trademarked new spelling: “Jell-O”.

How To Fix Jello That Did Not Set Properly?

Jello that did not set properly is a very frustrating problem, but we should help you resolve the issue.

The first thing to do when jello fails to set up is to prepare a second batch of unflavored gelatin in hot water. Once the new package has softened for several minutes, add it to your original mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Then pour it into an ungreased metal pan so that the liquid can chill quickly. It may take several hours for the gelatine to set, so be patient. Alternatively, you could put all of your ingredients in a saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until everything dissolves; then allow it to boil until it reaches 220 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. You still need to pour it into a metal pan and allow it to chill for several hours.

If you follow these steps, your gelatin should set up perfectly, but if it does not, use the following troubleshooting guide:

Problem: Jello fails to set up even after adding more unflavored gelatin.

Solution: The mixture is too acidic and needs an alkaline (such as sodium bicarbonate) or calcium ingredient like powdered milk to neutralize the acidity. This can happen if there are too many citrus fruits in your recipe or you used artificial sweeteners that contain citric acid such as aspartame or splenda. 

Problem: Mold forms on top of jello before it has firmed up.

Solution: This can be caused by bacterial growth if you used boiling water to mix up your jello. Be sure to only boil the water for one minute before removing it from the stove, wait five minutes before mixing in your other ingredients, and then pour the mixture into a metal pan while still hot so that it will cool quickly. Jello should begin firming within an hour but may take several hours to set completely. 

Problem: Jello tastes rubbery after it has set up.

Solution: You probably did not cook your jell-o long enough after adding the softened gelatin or did not add enough sugar or flavoring extracts when you added all of your ingredients. It is best to cook any fruit juice containing gelatin until it reaches 220 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer before adding your other ingredients. 

Problem: Jello has a slimy texture.

Solution: This can be caused by the addition of fresh pineapple or kiwi to a gelatin mixture that is not yet firm enough to contain them. The enzymes in these citrus fruits interfere with the setting process and cause a slippery consistency, so wait several hours after you have set up your jello before adding fruit to the top. In general, it is best to use canned pineapple chunks because they have been heat treated for safety reasons. 

Problem: Jello is too runny or has separated into layers of clear jello and white clumps of sugar crystals.

Solution: This is probably the most frustrating of all jello problems because it means that you have not used enough unflavored gelatin in your jello mixture. Rather than allowing the sugar to dissolve properly, it will only partially dissolve in canyons of pure sugar crystals. There are two solutions for this problem: either add more unflavored gelatin when you prepare your next batch, or sprinkle another package of powdered gelatin on top when you pour your hot jello into a metal pan so that the extra powder dissolves when it cools. 

Problem: Jello has a slightly tacky texture after setting up.

Solution: The quality of your fruit juice may be responsible for this issue. If you were using canned fruit juice that contains additives like preservatives or other ingredients that you cannot identify, the jello may have a slightly tacky texture. Using 100% pure fruit juice and adding enough sugar to sweeten it will prevent this problem from occurring in your future recipes.

What Is Jello Made Of?

Jell-O is typically made of gelatin (which is derived from collagen, a protein produced by the bones and connective tissues of animals), sugar, artificial flavorings or natural fruit flavorings, water, and sometimes contains food coloring. There are several types of commercially available jello that contain no gelatin whatsoever: these include the following: Shirataki Jello (or Shiratama Dango) – which contains glucomannan starch and glucose; jelly powder – which uses pectin instead of gelatin for gelling; agar Agar Jelly – which uses agar as a gelling agent; and fruit juice based jelly powders.

Jello Uses:

The same gelatin that makes jello so delicious also happens to be an amazing multi-purpose material!

Jello can be used as packing peanuts to protect breakable objects during shipping, replacing the need for styrofoam peanuts.

To clean cloudy plastic shower curtains, fill the tub with cold water and 2 cups of un-sugared jello mix. Soak overnight. Rinse off in the morning!

Clear up a cluttered work space by pouring one cup of boiling water over four tablespoons of jello mix spread throughout the room. The hot water dissolves the sugar allowing it to cling to dust particles on tables, shelves, etc… 4. For tough stains on clothing, first pour boiling water over the stain. Then add a package of jello mix for every cup of water used and let it set overnight. Wash as normal!

To make a quick slime, make your favorite jello recipe but leave out the sugar or substitute with a sugar-free formula like grape juice. Let cool to a thickness that you can pick up before kneading in 1/4 cup of glue until smooth and not sticky. Add food coloring if desired. 

Jell-o offers an easy way to get kids interested in chemistry at home! In a large container, dissolve one envelope of unflavored gelatin into two cups cool water (Bring 3/4 cup water to boil and pour over 1 envelope gelatin). Once dissolved, add 5 cups boiling water and mix in four envelopes of unflavored gelatin. Refrigerate until cool and slightly syrupy (~ 3 hours). Add a few drops food coloring, 1 tablespoon vinegar for every two tablespoons jello, and 2 cups hot water. Stir well. The chemical reaction between the acid from the vinegar and the base from the jell-o creates gas bubbles that cause your gak to expand!

In a bowl add enough boiling water to dissolve one envelope Jell-o in cold water. Stir until completely dissolved – this is approximately half of a cup (no need to be exact since you’ll be adding more ingredients). Once dissolved, add one can of shaving cream (generic works too!) and stir vigorously with a spoon. Once the shaving cream has been incorporated into the jell-o, add one cup of hot water and continue to mix. Add food coloring or powdered drink mix for desired color (optional). The more you stir, the firmer it will become! 

To make red blood cells, dissolve 1 package of unflavored gelatin in 2/3 cup cold water (bring 1/2 cup water to boil and pour over 1 envelope gelatin). Once dissolved, add 3 envelopes of Knox unflavored gelatin while stirring on low heat until completely dissolved. Mix in enough red food coloring to turn mixture pink then fill container with cold water. Let set at least 30 minutes before kneading like bread dough until smooth (like playdough). 

To make fake snot, dissolve one package of Jello in 1 cup of hot water (bring 1/2 cup to boil and pour over 1 envelope unflavored gelatin). Once dissolved, add 2 cups boiling water and mix well. Add green food coloring until desired color is achieved then let set 5 minutes. Once cooled, place in a squeeze bottle for easy application! 10. Unflavored Gelatin can be used as an egg replacement in vegan recipes when mixed with water or fruit juice at a ratio of about 3 tablespoons per egg.

For stained glass windows simply melt jell-o packets in any microwave safe container (no need to use the stove top) on high for 30 seconds stirring every 10 seconds until completely dissolved. Pour into a glass pane at about 1/4″ thickness and let set for several hours, then flip the pan to remove your stained glass!

Use jell-o mix to make Jello salads with fresh fruit without washing any dishes! Mix desired fruits in bowl of jell-o mix (strawberries, grapes, bananas, peaches, etc…) and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator until firm (~ 30 minutes). This is perfect for hot summer days when you don’t feel like using the oven or stove top!

To dress up plain cupcakes add a few drops food coloring and some sprinkles to your favorite flavor of Jello mix before cooking let cool. Once cooled, frost your cupcakes and place a piece of Jello on top. Your kids will love helping you make these!

Use a few drops of food coloring to make jello treats for your pets! Make sure to use unflavored gelatin as some flavors contain sugar that may upset their stomachs. Dogs seem to love the red Kool-Aid flavor best!

Use regular unflavored gelatin in baking recipes as a substitute for eggs where each Tablespoon of dry unflavored gelatins is equal to one egg. This is an easy way to get more protein into vegan baked goods – just be sure to pick up some extra plant based protein powder for additional flavor and sweetness! 

Gelatin can even replace fats in vegan baking, where 3 Tablespoons of dry unflavored gelatin is equal to 1/4 cup oil. Dissolve it in warm water before mixing with other ingredients and baking at a temperature 25 degrees Farenheit less than the recipe calls for – this substitution will result in a moister cake! 

To make homemade marshmallows substitute two envelopes unflavored gelatins for one package of Jello (mix together with the sugar before adding to the boiling mixture). Pour mixture into pan and let cool overnight.

Add jell-o mix to hot chocolate or coffee instead of sugar for more flavor! Some flavors even go great with pumpkin spice latte’s around Halloween time or egg nog during winter holidays! You can even play around with the flavors to make your own custom hot chocolates and coffees.

If you’re feeling creative then use jell-o mix as a substitute for frosting! Combine 1 cup of Crisco, two cups powdered sugar and two tablespoons water with 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin and mix well. Add more water if too thick and add more powdered sugar if too thin until desired consistency is reached.

To make gummy worms dissolve one box of jello in 3/4 cup boiling water stirring every 5 minutes until completely dissolved (should take about 15 minutes). Once dissolved pour into molds or over wax paper that has been laid on counter top. Let set overnight before removing from molds or cutting out shapes in pieces.

Make hard jello for use in molds! Prepare the jell-o as usual but don’t add any water. Pour into desired mold and place in the refrigerator until set. Remove from mold when ready to use or serve by itself on a plate!

Use unflavored gelatin to thicken soups, stews, gravy, etc… Simply mix one tablespoon of dry unflavored gelatins with 1/4 cup cold water then pour into soup slowly stirring continuously until it thickens to your taste. You can also pre-mix two tablespoons of unflavored gelatins with one cup of cold water before adding to avoid lumps later on! 23. Jell-o works just like store bought pectin to make jams and jellies if you’re feeling adventurous! Just be sure to use one tablespoon of dry unflavored gelatins for every cup of liquid fruit.

To make healthy gummy snacks dissolve 1/2 package sugar free jello (any flavor) in boiling water (about three cups). Next add enough flavored sparkling water or Kombucha until the mixture becomes thin enough for your molds. Pour mixture into molds or even silicone ice cube trays, place in fridge and let set overnight! Once ready to eat simply pop out of molds and store at room temperature for up to three days or place in freezer indefinitely. These are a yummy way to sneak some probiotics into your meals while satisfying your sweet tooth!

Make quick, easy and healthy jello pudding cups by pouring 1/4 cup boiling water over 1/3 cup dry unflavored gelatins stirring every 5 minutes until completely dissolved (should take about 15 minutes). Combine this mixture with your choice of flavored yogurt (Greek or regular) in a blender to thicken it before serving. You can even add other ingredients like coconut cream, fruit or natural peanut butter for additional flavor and nutrients! This is an excellent way to get more protein into vegan puddings – just be sure to choose your source of protein carefully as many plant based proteins are incomplete. 

If you’re trying to avoid eggs then mix together equal parts egg replacement powder with unflavored gelatins. Mix 1 tablespoon of powder to 1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin and pour over any baked goods before baking for a thicker consistency and structure!

Use powdered dry unflavored gelatin as a substitute for eggs in vegan recipes by combining one teaspoon of dry unflavored gelatins with two tablespoons water until thickened (about 2-3 minutes). You can also substitute half the amount by weight or volume required normally, which is roughly one tablespoon per egg. This substitution works best when making items like puddings, custards, cakes, brownies and crepes! 

To make vegan cream cheese use 1/2 cup Tofutti cream cheese with 3 tablespoons plain soy milk mixed well with 2 teaspoons dry unflavored gelatins. This mixture should be allowed to stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened before serving! 

For a healthier way to make Jello shots, use one package of sugar free jello dissolved in one cup boiling water. Add 1/2 cup hot water, 2 tablespoons dry unflavored gelatins and 1 tablespoon agar agar flakes (can be found online or at Asian grocery stores). Mix well then pour into your choice of molds or ice cube trays that have been soaked in cold water for about 5 minutes before pouring the mixture in. Place in fridge and let set overnight! Once ready simply pop out of mold and eat as is or sprinkle some fruit juice over top just before serving to add some delicious fruity flavors! 

For a healthier alternative to Jello pudding cups simply mix together equal parts vanilla yogurt with unflavored gelatins in any flavor you choose (be creative!). Stir well and serve immediately or place in fridge for an hour or two before serving for thickening. You can also add toppings like fruit, nuts, coconut cream, cocoa powder, peanut butter or whatever else your heart desires! 

If you’re tired of making traditional beef jerky because it’s a pain to make and quite expensive at health food stores – why not try making your own instead? Gelatin is known for its incredible ability to retain moisture while adding both structure and fl avor !

To make vegan jelly beans combine 2 tablespoons dry unflavored gelatin with 2 cups corn syrup. Heat until boiling then pour into your choice of molds or ice cube trays that have been soaked in cold water for about 5 minutes before pouring the mixture in. Place molds or tray in fridge and let set overnight! Once ready pop out of molds and store at room temperature for up to three days or place them in freezer indefinitely. 

For vegan marshmallows just mix 1/2 cup soy milk powder with 1 teaspoon dry unflavored gelatins . Whip this mixture together with 3/4 cup water, vanilla extract, stevia (or preferred sweetener) and salt until very thick – approximately 10-15 minutes on high speed using a whisk attachment. Pour into your choice of molds or ice cube trays that have been soaked in cold water for about 5 minutes before pouring the mixture in. Place molds or tray in fridge and let set overnight! Once ready simply pop out of mold and enjoy! You can also add fruit flavors by adding some dried fruits like strawberries, raspberries, cranberries etc.

Step-By-Step Guide: How To Make Jello?

Making jello is simple, just add your favorite flavor of jello mix to boiling water and stir until the crystals dissolve. Then add cold water or some type of alcohol (if you want a boozy version of jello) chill in the fridge until set.

What You’ll Need To Make Jell-O Shots?

  • Gelatin One 10 oz box/pkg of any flavor gelatine powder 3 Tablespoons COLD Water
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water 2 Cups Vodka (or flavored booze if desired)
  • Sugar Free Jell-O Mixer
  • Feel free to use any type of liquor that you like – Experiment with different variations! 

Note: Use more/less water depending on how dense or thin you want your jello shots to be.

Step-By-Step Guide: How To Make Jell-O Shots?

Step 1:   Prepare the Jell-O.

Simply follow your favorite recipe for jello – most require you to pour boiling water over the mix and stir until dissolved, then add it to cold water, alcohol or whatever other ingredients that are required. Note: If you’re using a large batch of jello (and not just making one flavor), prepare all of the different flavors by adding them into separate containers. Then place each container into the fridge separately so that they can set up individually without mixing together too early! 

Step 2: Add ation To Your Shots

Once all of your jellos have set, cut off little chunks with a butter knife and roll them into balls. Repeat this process with all different flavors of jello shot mix and place them all into a larger container (with room at the top to mix them together). 

Step 3: Place in fridge and chill.

Place your jello shots into the fridge for 10-20 minutes or until set . Take out of the fridge, mix together gently with a spoon, then enjoy! 

*Note: while most flavors of jell-O don’t contain gelatin (and can therefore be eaten on their own) – some do; these flavorings should NOT be eaten unless you’re sure that they don’t contain any gelatin.

Tips & Tricks For Making Jell-O Shots

If following an alcohol free recipe (such as red/green kool-aid), add one teaspoon at a time until desired color is achieved.

If you want to add an alcoholic kick to your shots, add 1/4 cup of vodka or flavored liqueur for every batch of gelatin mix. Make sure to add the alcohol after boiling water has been added and stirred until completely dissolved. You can also use a simple flavoring syrup if desired! Just remember that jello with fruit additives will not have a long shelf life in the fridge.

Add different flavors into each shot/cup individually – then combine into a larger container later on once set up. This way you can create fun layered effects when pouring out the shots later on!

*Note: Most traditional jell-o recipes call for “cold water” – but you’re looking for boozy jello shots here so feel free to use whatever type of liquid you like. I prefer to use cold vodka for my jellos as it results in a shorter/firmer texture!

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Make Vodka Jello Shots?

Vodka jello shots are a classic for a reason: they’re delicious and fun! While vodka is already flavorless, the jello adds sweetness and can have great color. These recipes also tend to be relatively easy to make, which makes them perfect for entertaining around the holidays. The good news is that there are tons of different vodkas available on the market, so everyone can find their own favorite pick from these Vodka Jello Shot Recipes.


– 1/4 cup of boiling water

– 1 package of flavored gelatin (the original vodka jello shot recipes used cranberry, but feel free to use lemonade or another flavor! Strawberry is also a delicious choice)


Step 1: Add 1/4 cup of boiling water to a small bowl and stir in the flavored gelatin until it is fully dissolved.

Step 2: Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and pour some cold water over them. Place the small, gelatin-water mixture into the larger bowl, along with 2 cups of your favorite vodka.

Note: You can also make these jello shots using different liquors such as rum or even tequila! If you use tequila, lemonade flavored jello will go great together as well as lime juice. Just remember that you’ll need to taste test as you go since everyone has different preferences about their alcohol flavors!

Step 3: Stir occasionally for 30 minutes, every few minutes so that all of the ice cubes melt and the mixture becomes cold.

Step 4: When the jello mix is chilled, pour it into your silicone mold or a plastic container to make shapes. We found that using basic shot glasses was also a great way to create individual servings.

Step 5: Refrigerate until fully set (at least 2 hours) and enjoy!



How do I make Jello?

Mix the desired amount of jello mix according to package directions [instructions should include boiling time], add the desired amount of water [according to package directions], add the other desired ingredients, stir well, pour into molds, refrigerate at least four hours [overnight is preferable]. 

How many grams of jell-o powder should I use for 1 liter of fruit juice? 

About 5 1/3 envelopes or 7 tablespoons. What brand makes no sugar added?

A&W, Capella, Hilton and Sweet Leaf make no sugar added jell-o.

How much fruit juice should I use to replace the water in a recipe?

The general rule: 2:1:1: one cup of un-drained/undiluted juice for every two cups of liquid, or one envelope of jello powder.

What is Jell-o Gelatin Dessert mix? 

It’s composed mainly of sugar and gelatin with little to no other ingredients added. It sets at room temperature without refrigeration so it can be used as a desert or appetizer to take places where refrigerators are not readily available or cold packs will not keep it enough. 

What are the health benefits of eating Jello?

It has no fat or dietary fiber, is low in sodium and high in phosphorus, provides small amounts of calcium and iron. It contains the naturally occurring amino acids glycine and proline for which it is named after. 

Is homemade jell-o gelatin safe to eat?

Making your own jello from scratch at home means you know exactly what’s going into it [and you have a greater control over the taste] but be aware that commercial/store bought packages are significantly more reliable because they must be made under strict sanitary conditions that aren’t always available to a non-commercial kitchen [they’re made under FDA regulations for food manufacturing]. Do not use ginger or kiwi [or any other items] in strawberry jello. It will turn the mix into a weird color and won’t taste right. 

What is Jello in a box? 

Jello in a box is a mixture of sugar, gelatin and “filler ingredients,” it is what’s being used in the standard recipes.

Can I use half x and half instead of milk to make creamy jello?

When making jello with milk, add two cups boiling water to one envelope or tablespoon then add one cup cold milk. This will help prevent curdling. Do not substitute half & half for the hot water because it has a higher fat content which makes your jello set incorrectly since the ratio must be 1:1:1. If you want a creamier texture consider using evaporated milk, condensed milk or half-and-half. 

What is Jell-o Party Gel?

Party Gel is a premade mixture without the filler ingredients used in standard jello packages, meant to be drunk for pleasure not food.

Can I substitute or omit alcohol from jello?

Yes, consider using flavored extracts instead of alcohol based extracts where possible. If you are substituting an extract for an alcohol base product use 1/2 as much because they are significantly stronger. 

Is it okay to use my own sugar free mix with store bought regular jello/gelatin?

No! Sugar free mixes do not contain gelatin so you’ll need to add your own [which means you’d already have all these ingredients at home].

How much jello powder should I put in to make it firm jello? 

It depends on the size of your mold and how much liquid you’re using. If you’re making one big bowl that needs to be divided into several small cups then use about 2-3 tablespoons but if it’s already divided up then follow the recipe given on the package. 

Can I substitute Jello for real fruit? 

Yes, some people do this but there are risks involved with doing so. It is not recommended. Some recipes recommend adding 2-3 tablespoons of fruit juice for every envelope of gelatin mix because it helps give extra flavor/taste without causing curdling or changing how well it sets [as regular fruit would]. 

Can I use a different flavor to replace strawberry?

Yes, raspberry is the most common. If you want to taste generic fruit flavors try grape or cherry. 

What happens if my Jello doesn’t gel properly? 

Overwhipping your mixture can cause it not to set correctly because there’s too much air whipped into it [which means you’re defeating the purpose of using gelatin as a thickening agent]. In order to avoid this problem do not whip/mix your ingredients excessively and make sure to pour them immediately into a mold without disturbing them. You can also try adding more powdered mix or letting it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before putting it in the refrigerator.How long can jello be left out at room temperature?

About 3-4 hours. It will eventually become a sticky/gooey mess as it sits because of the sugar content. For storage purposes, jello should be kept in the refrigerator and cuts easily with a knife if set correctly. Jello can also be frozen but should only be left out to thaw for an hour before serving because it becomes watery when refrozen or partially defrosted. 

Is there alcohol in jello shots? 

Yes, they usually contain 1/2 cup vodka/rum/etc for every 2 packages of mix [this gives about 5 shots]. You can omit this or substitute plain jello mixed with flavored water instead. 

How do I store homemade jello? 

Jello needs to be kept in the refrigerator for freshness and safety. You can store it in a freezer safe container for 3-4 months if you want to save some for later but it will get watery after being frozen. I don’t recommend making jello ahead of time because it does not have preservatives so there are no guarantees that it won’t go bad [and jello tastes different when left out at room temperature].

What is Jell-o salad made out of? 

Cottage cheese, pineapple, pecans and whipped cream [sometimes with maraschino cherries]. Other variations include orange and cream cheese or lemon and marshmallows mixed together. Another popular variation is lime jello with lemon jello and pistachios.

What is the best way to eat Jello? 

Serve it cold, either as a snack or dessert. You can also chop it into squares and mold it into shapes like Easter eggs, flowers or pumpkins for added presentation value. 

What is the difference between gelatin and jello? 

Jell-o is flavored gelatin, meaning that you make regular unflavored gelatin but add flavorings (such as fruit juice) and sweeteners (sugar/honey). Most flavored gelatins contain more sugar than regular unflavored gelatin making them much softer because they are meant to be eaten for pleasure not food [unlike their plain counterparts which are considered “fun” food]. 

Is Jello and jell-o the same? 

They are both jellied desserts because they’re made with gelatin [but not all gelatins are the same because different products have different flavorings and consistencies]. Jello is a brand name that’s often used in reference to flavored dessert gels but it also refers to a specific product from Kraft [which has been around since 1913], although other brands make similar items [such as Dippin’ Dots]. 

What is the difference between gelatin and agar? 

Gelatin contains animal by-products whereas agar contains seaweed. Gelatin also needs to be refrigerated for storage while agar can be frozen or boiled then set aside at room temperature for several hours. Agar is more expensive than gelatin but it’s also more useful because you can use it to make fruit jellies, puddings and custards. Agar-agar is a popular substitute for gelatin in the U.S.; however, unlike gelatin it does not come out firm and requires refrigeration to be edible.

How do I unmold Jello? 

Soak the bottom of the mold/container with hot water for several minutes then run a knife around its edge to loosen any stuck bits. Shake or tap the mold so that the Jello will drop out cleanly, turning it upside down onto a plate if necessary [if making 2D shapes]. You can also store it according to manufacturer instructions which may require or baking before cutting into shapes.



We hope that this article has helped you to understand the causes of a jello failure and how to correct it. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.


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