What Are the Different Types of JELL-O® Desserts?

J.M. Densing

There are countless different types of JELL-O® desserts, since the products can serve as standalone desserts or they can be used in myriads of other sweet creations. The three main categories of JELL-O® brand dessert products are gelatin, pudding, and no-bake dessert treats. Each of these products can be prepared and served on its own, but can also be used as ingredients in other recipes. For example, the pudding can also be used as pie filling, and the gelatin can be utilized in a variety of ways.

Gelatin is JELL-O's most popular dessert.
Gelatin is JELL-O's most popular dessert.

When discussing JELL-O® desserts, the most popular is gelatin. In fact, although there are other manufacturers of gelatin, the word "Jello" has actually become synonymous with the dish due to the longstanding popularity of the brand. JELL-O® dessert gelatin is a sweetened, flavored product that comes in powdered form, packaged in a small, brightly-colored box with the brand name prominently displayed. It is incredibly easy to prepare, simply requiring the powdered gelatin to be mixed with hot water, mixed thoroughly, and then chilled. The resulting dessert is a bright, flavorful, wiggly dessert that is often served with whipped topping.

Jello comes in a variety of colors and flavors.
Jello comes in a variety of colors and flavors.

Another of the JELL-O® desserts that is quite well-known is pudding. There are two types of JELL-O® pudding mix available: instant and traditional cook-and-serve. The instant type is the simplest to prepare by mixing cold milk with the powdered mix and chilling, while the cook-and-serve version is made on the stove. By using less liquid in preparation, one can also make a firmer pudding that is ideal as a pie filling; the directions for this are printed right on the box. It's also possible to purchase ready-made JELL-O® pudding packaged in individual serving-sized cups.

The third category of JELL-O® desserts includes the "no-bake" line of products. These products include a variety of creations that can all be made without the use of an oven. A few examples include cheesecake, Oreo™ cookies, and cream pie and peanut butter cup dessert bars. These boxed desserts usually come with complete instructions and most of the ingredients in the box and only require a few additional items such as milk.

There are also numerous other JELL-O® desserts that can be created using these products, particularly the gelatin and pudding. Examples include layered parfait-style desserts, gelatin molds with fruit and other ingredients, and all kinds of pies and cakes. Many families have special seasonal favorites. Recipes for these desserts can be found on the product boxes in many cases. Other good places to look for recipes include cookbooks, magazines, and the Internet, particularly the JELL-O® brand's website or others that specialize in easy recipes.

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Discussion Comments


JELL-O used to have a lot more gelatin flavors, too. Some of them were a little too weird, like tomato, but I miss a lot of the fruit flavors that have since been phased out or combined with others.


I remember JELL-O used to sell a unique dessert that separated into three separate layers when it set. I think it was called JELL-O 1-2-3, or something like that. The bottom layer was similar to traditional JELL-O, but the middle layer was more like a mousse and the top layer was a light meringue. I don't think it was a commercial success, since I haven't seen it on the shelves in years.

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