Jello Fruit Cake Dessert is vibrant, refreshing and effortless, it is a blast from the past! Bring it to your next potluck and “WOW” your guests with this classic dessert.
For a whole year, my sister would bring this dessert to EVERY family party. At first, I didn’t give in to the hype, because after all, it’s just made of jello and fruit! But, then I started to notice that her jello fruit cake would be devoured before all the other desserts on the table. I finally decided to try it and I have been hooked ever since.
What Kind of Fruit Can you Put in Jello?
The key to making a stunning jello fruit cake is a good color contrast between the jello and the fruits. While you can use virtually any fruit, it is pretty to pick the ones that will pop against the jello. For example, purple grapes and strawberries look awesome in mango flavored jello. You get the idea…
Here are a couple of great suggestions:
- Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.
- Honeydew and Cantaloupe chunks
- Mandarin Oranges
How Long Does Fruit Need to Set Before Adding Jello?
You need to fill the entire bundt pan up to the top with fruit. This will ensure that your fruit doesn’t sink and set only at the very top of your cake. You will chop up all your fruits, layer them into the pan, pour jello batter over the top and allow the mold to set for 2 hours in the fridge. Once you remove it from the pan, you will have beautiful layers of fruit throughout your cake. Impressive!
What Mold Should you Use for Jello Fruit Cake?
A metal mold works the best. There are some rubbery molds out there, but I find the stability of metal molds works best for this cake.
How to Remove Jello Fruit Cake from the Mold?
To loosen your cake from the tray, pour hot water into a large bowl and set the mold inside of it. Make sure the metal bottom of the pan is inserted into the water bowl and no water gets on top of the jello itself. As soon as you see a bit of melting from the sides of the jello cake, cover the mold with a serving plate and invert the mold on top of it. If necessary, wipe the sides of the cake delicately to remove excess liquid.
Tips for Jello Fruit Cake
- Hispanic brand jellos are the best to use for this recipe. D’Gari is my favorite brand because it’s super flavorful and colorful. Find it in the hispanic aisle of the grocery store or on Amazon.
- Don’t rush pouring the jello mixture over the fruit until it completely cools. It will cook the fruit and make the pieces soggy, making your cake less stable.
- Going heavy on the fruit is much better than skimping. Depending on the size of your mold, you may need more or less than the recipe calls for. The most important thing to remember is to FILL the mold COMPLETELY. Otherwise, your cake won’t be stable and the fruit will sink to the bottom of the mold, which will end up being the top of your cake.
- Don’t use banana unless you plan on eating the cake in one day. Banana turns brown and slimy overnight.
- Check that the jello is fully set with a knife before attempting to remove it from the pan. You only get one shot at flipping, so make sure the cake is ready!
Other Jello Cakes to Try:
- 8 oz Raspberries
- 1 lb Strawberries
- 1 Mango
- 1 Orange optional
- 1 lb Green Grapes
- 1 lb Purple Grapes
- 14 oz D’Gari Gelatin Dessert pineapple or mango
- Prepare fruits for the cake. Clean and cut them into equal pieces. I wouldn't recommend cutting raspberries. Note: Jello is best in mango or pineapple flavor. I found that a combination of the two works amazing together.
- Place raspberries, followed by strawberries. This is how the dessert will look like on the outside.
- Add mango, orange (I skipped on the orange) and green grapes.
- Finish off by laying out purple grapes. Dissolve jello in hot water, following instructions on the box. Let the jello mixture cool competently.
- Slowly pour in the mixture over the fruits. Shake the tray a little, so it goes through all the sides. Cover the fruit competently with the jello.
- Leave it refrigerated until completely set, for about 2 hours. In order to remove it from the tray, pour hot water into a large bowl, and place the dish into it. As soon as you see a little bit of melting on the sides, cover the jello with a serving plate and turn it over. If necessary, wipe off the sides around the jello.
- Return to the refrigerator to keep it cold, until ready to serve. I would only remove the cake from tray a few hours before serving.
How many cups of mango flavored liquid did you have in that bowl?
Hi Svetlana, thank you for reaching out. There is 14 oz, or 1.75 cups.
I am ready to make this Divine hello dessert 🍮 I’ll let you know how it comes out and how people like it ❤️😋🍒🍇🍓
Hi Lori, your comment made me smile. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your review!
There seems to be some confusion in the comments here regarding the "14 oz" of gelatin in the recipe. The term "ounce" (which is abbreviated as "oz") can be ambiguous and misleading. An "ounce" can refer to a unit of weight that is 1/16 of a pound (in other words, 1 pound = 16 ounces). But "ounce" can also refer to a fluid ounce, which is a unit of volume that is 1/8 of a cup (in other words, 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces). These two types of "ounces" are NOT interchangeable. For example, 1/8 cup of flour = 1 fluid ounce of flour (volume). This same amount of flour weighs about 0.52 ounces (weight). For other substances (water, sugar, butter, etc.), the conversions will be different, as the relationship between ounces (weight) and fluid ounces (volume) depends on the density of the substance being measured.
On a food package, if the number that's listed refers to a volume, then it will typically say "FL OZ." If the package just says "OZ," then that is a weight. One way to verify this is that there is usually a metric equivalent given. If the metric equivalent is in grams ("g"), then the "OZ" refers to a weight. If the metric equivalent is in milliliters (mL) or liters (L), then it refers to a volume. But again, for a volume, "FL OZ" (not just "OZ") will always be used on product packages.
Flavored gelatin powder is sold by weight. For example, when the box says "3 oz," that means that the dry powder inside *weighs* 3 ounces. That number is NOT a volume, which would be listed as fluid ounces (fl oz).
You mention in the comments that the recipe needs "14 oz of prepared Jello liquid." If water has been added to the gelatin powder, then presumably this mixture would be measured as a volume (fluid ounces). However, a single 5-oz package of D'Gari gelatin is prepared with 4 cups of water (32 fluid ounces). Jell-O brand is sold in 3-oz and 6-oz boxes, which use 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) and 4 cups (32 fluid ounces) of water. All of these volumes are larger than 14 fl oz, and yet if we are referring to a weight, then 14 oz seems like too much (and not an easy multiple of any of the package sizes). So, it's not clear where the "14 oz" comes from, and it's not clear whether that's 14 oz (weight) or 14 fl oz (volume).
If you are intentionally making the gelatin-water mixture more concentrated by adding less water than the package says to add, the recipe would need to specify both the weight of dry flavored gelatin powder (in "oz") and the volume of water to be added (in "fl oz"). Nothing can be assumed here, since the amount of flavored gelatin powder per package varies by brand, and even within the same brand — for example, D'Gari has 4.2-oz and 5-oz sizes.
NOTE: Sugar-free Jell-O brand powder weighs much less than regular Jell-O powder. This is because sugar makes up most of the weight in the regular version, and the artificial sweetener that's used in the sugar-free version weighs very little in comparison. The 0.3-oz box of sugar-free Jell-O is equivalent to the 3-oz box of the regular version with sugar.
Hi Blair- thank you for taking the time to leave such detailed feedback! This is an old recipe that needs some updates. We will do our best to update it with as many details as possible in the near future.
I was surprised to see that your recipe includes fresh mango fruit, and I wonder if that's part of the reason why some of the commenters said their gelatin didn't set properly.
There are certain fruits that will prevent gelatin from setting due to enzymes that they contain. These include FRESH or FROZEN versions of the following: pineapple, mango, kiwi, papaya, guava, ginger root, and figs. If the fruit is canned or cooked, this supposedly deactivates the enzymes and makes it ok to use with gelatin.
Hi Blair- this is true! I used relatively less mango compared to the other fruits so mine didn't have problems setting. We will make sure to leave a note in the recipe to beware of this though. Thank you!
Hello Natalya, so I would need about 4 of those packages of jello?
Hi Lana, depending on the package size. You will need 14oz of prepared jello liquid. I think 4 should be enough but sometimes they change their sizes.
14 oz of gelatin? Or do you mean one 4 oz pack of gelatin?
Hey Jennifer, I would follow the liquid instructions on the package. You will need 14 oz of prepared "jello" liquid.
How can you make this diabetes friendly?
Hi Lori - Thanks for the note. I've never made this cake diabetes-friendly before, so I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps a sugar-free sweetener? Hope this helps!
I couldn’t find the suggested brand jello at my local grocery store so I used jello brand pineapple flavor. I made 3 boxes per the jello package instructions and chilled it in the fridge 1 hour before pouring it over the fruit in my mold. It set perfectly and turned out great.
I'm so glad it worked out well, Kim, thank you for sharing your feedback!
Hi, this looks great! we are always looking for great new recipes for our restaurant, was thinking of doing individual portions, how long do you think they would last in the fridge?
May I ask, as I love your website. Which of your other deserts are favorites with good non perish ability?
Thank you very much in advance!
Hey Gabrielle, I think about 5 days would be best for freshness. Macarons would be a good one, they stay fresh for so long.
I was only able to find 2 packets, each 4.2 oz or 120 gl. How much water should be added? I found different replies in similar circumstances. Please advise. Thanks.
Hey Carme, I would follow the liquid instructions on the package. You would need 14 oz of prepared "jello" liquid. Hope this helps
Hi, I followed all the steps, used the same brand as you suggested, (only one pack of mango). It filled up the pan to the top. Problem is, it's been over 4 hours in the fridge and it's still not set. The regular jello doesn't take that long for me. What went wrong?
Enzymes in fruits sometimes inhibits the gelatin or you did not put enough gelatin in proportion or the gelatin was not bloomed in cold liquid first.
Hey, which fruits did you add?
Absolutely love how gorgeous this jello comes and and super delicious!
Quick question- on the ingredient list it states 14oz jello. One packet is 5 oz. did you use 3 packets? That’s 12 comes of water for 3 packets
Hi Laura, We use one packet of jello and mix it with 14 oz of water.Hope this helps
Your ingredients list says 14 oz jello, but one packet of jello is 5oz. So did you only use one packet of 5oz and 4 cups of water for entire jello cake?
Hey Alla, I would follow the liquid instructions on the package. You would need 14 oz of prepared "jello" liquid. Hope this helps
So so good!! I just made this using the d gari berry flavored jello & strawberries, kiwi & purple grapes. So refreshing for this heat wave in CA & guilt free to go back for seconds!
Diana, this is awesome! So glad you got to make this recipe. Thank you for sharing!
This dessert comes together so quickly and it’s so delicious. I love that it’s a light dessert. Only problem is you keep on wanting more! Thank you for the recipe Natalya!
Julie, thank you so much for sharing this. I am so happy to hear that.
Can I use the Jell-O brand?
I haven't tried using a Jell-O brand. I don't think the turnout would be the same.
Mine came apart the moment I tried putting it on a tray and it was in fridge for a day.
Hey Gina, which brand of jello did you use?
Ur recipe states follow instructions on the box for jello which states use 4 cups of water per pack but the jello only works if you use about 2 cups of water per pack or 4 to 4.5 cups of water total depending on the mold size. I heard from few friends who said jello didn’t turn out and that was the reason why since the jello didn’t get hard enough due to excess water if you would add that into ur recipe that would be great
Hey Oksana, in this case, we are using D’Gari jello and it does work if you follow the packaging instructions. I haven't used regular jello brands, I think this will help others for sure.
Package instructions say 4 cups of water (32 oz)
Your instructions say 14oz
Which is it?
Hey Tina, it's 14oz of powder but 32oz of water.
I'm interested in making this! Could I use frozen fruit or would that affect how it sets?
I wouldn't recommend frozen fruit because they tend to be watery.
I added raspberry, strawberry, mango, pineapple, grape and blueberry. Did not set at all. End up putting everything into a bowl as a fruit salad. Momsdish Have you try adding pineapples to your jello?
You cannot use fresh because they have enzymes that can break down and not allow the jello to set. You can how ever use canned, because they are cooked in the canning process and those enzymes are cooked off. There are a few other fruits that so the same also. A quick google search should help.
I think I tried kiwi before but not pineapple. Wa a huge amount of pineapple? I know its acidic and can affect it. Also, which brand of jello mix did you use?
I used about a a cup of fresh pineapples. And the jello brand was the one in your recipe.
That's interesting. I will remove pineapple as an option. I know some pineapples can be more acidic.
You can use canned pineapple but not fresh. During the heating in the canning process the enzymes (that keep the Jell-O from setting) are killed off. That's rule number one when making Jell-O. It's the only time I prefer canned over fresh.
Oh wow, thank you for sharing! 🙂
I made it! So easy!
Awesome, that was the goal 😉
How would you store this cake for two hours at a birthday party? How cold does it need to stay?
it really depends where the Birthday party is at. If it's 60-70F it should be ok at room temperature. Otherwise, keep the cake in a cooler with ice packs on the bottom. But it is best when it's cold so I would try and find a way to refrigerate it.
I followed directions exactly and the jello never set up. It was refrigerated for 8hrs and was our liquid. The recipe is off, it should allow for the water in the fruit and cut back on the water in the hello directions. Quite disappointed as I was having a dinner party and desert was a flop...
Did you use the same brand of gelatine? I know hundreds of people have made this recipe and this is my first feedback that it didn't set up. Also, can you tell me which fruits you used?
Would strawberry and mango taste good?
Yes, that would be a great combo. Maybe add another fruit for a tart flavor.
This looks amazing! How would it taste with peaches and/or blueberries in it instead of raspberries and/or mangos?
Hi Lori, I think that would be a great combo, especially if you love the fruit. The cake is very forgiving and you cna adjust the fruits as you wish. Only one I would worry about is banana because it would brown a bit.
Natalya you’re a gelatin genius! I used your recipe for inspiration and made my own version for Thanksgiving. I was unable to find the Spanish version in my neighborhood, so I used regular jello. It was gorgeous. Everyone LOVED it. NONE left!! Thanks again.
Did Lynne ever post HOW the regular jello brand worked best as far as proper proportions of liquid to jello to get dessert to be stable ? THanks!!
No, I know a few others that tried it and it didnt hold up. I would say get it on amazon if you can find the correct one locally.
Oh wow, thanks for sharing. Tell me potions you used and did it keep shape? I get this question a lot and I think it would be useful to others.
Thanks for sharing!
Where can I find this jello?
I think most grocery stores carry it in hispanic section. Any local Hispanic store would have it. Or you van buy it on amazon. Here is a link: https://amzn.to/2qVsdvZ
Thank you so much I really appreciate it
No Problem 🙂 Enjoy this treat!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe I made this for my father for fathers day. He loved it! Including the rest of my family & close friends
Amanda, thank you for sharing your feedback. I am so glad your family loved this dessert!
Natasha, i tried this recipe several times using summer seasonal fruit . Turned out super!
I want to make it for Christmas party. What fruit and jello flavor would you recommend so it looks nice and festive?
Kiwi and strawberry would be perfect combo. It would be great flavor combo and colorful.
I don't think you can put kiwi into a jello? Can you?
Yes you can. I made this Jello cake with kiwi many times.
I know this was posted 2 years ago and you probably will no longer see any comments, but even so i wanted to thank you. It was my mom's birthday recently and she is not a big fan of cake, she does however like fruit jello dessert cake things. She'll even buy them at the store. So for her birthday my sister and I decided to cook her a complete dinner including dessert. I found this recipe and i thought it would be great for her! so we did it, all the while praying that it would turn out good, and it did! My mom LOVED it. She actually gasped when she saw it lol and asked us (still in disbelief) if we had made this, i said yes. She was so happy, so thank you again. Here is a pic of how mine turned out (i actually made two)
I do check all comments. I so appreciate your sweet comment and photo. Happy Birthday to your mom!!!! So glad you enjoyed this recipe.
Hey natalya. I love the jello cake ,but I didn't made it yet.
I want to ask you how many literes of water do you use, pls give me an answer
You are best off with following package instructions this way you are safe. In my recipe I used 6 cups of water.
Hi! Love your blog thanks 🙂
Question about the jello: does it have to be that exact brand? Or can I just use the regular jello brand?
Sorry, for some reason reply to your comment didn't post. I only tried with this exact brand and it works best. I had a few people tell me that regular jello doesn't work that great.