jello mold
"Photo credit: Emily Marshall-Garrett (@jelloandcasseroles). Recipe courtesy Emily Marshall-Garrett

Crown Jewel Mold

This Jell-o brand dessert is legendary among gelatin enthusiasts! It is also known as broken glass mold, stained glass mold, and cathedral mold.


for the gelatin salad ring

for the garnish


1. Prepare the multicolored gelatin cubes. Make lime, orange, and one package strawberry gelatin separately as directed on package, using 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup cold water for each. Pour each flavor gelatin into separate 8-inch square pan (or similar size rimmed dish) sprayed with cooking spray or finely coated in oil. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.
2. Prepare the strawberry gelatin. Add remaining boiling water to remaining dry strawberry gelatin mix in a large bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in remaining cold water. Refrigerate 45 minutes or until slightly thickened.
3. Prepare your presentation mold. Spray a fine mist of neutral oil onto the interior surface of the mold. If you don't have spray oil, pour a tablespoon of oil in and coat the surface of the mold with a cloth, paper towel, or your finger. Pour off any excess oil. If you are using a ring mold, be sure to coat the central tube as well.
4. Combine the salad ingredients. Cut gelatin in each square pan into 1/2-inch cubes. Add 1-1/2 cups of each flavor gelatin to thickened strawberry gelatin in the bowl along with half the whip; stir until blended.
5. Carefully pour the salad liquid into the mold. Pour into the prepared mold or scoop it in with a cup measurer or a ladle. Tap the pan or use a spoon to level off the liquid and smooth any chunks. Meanwhile, refrigerate remaining gelatin cubes and whip until ready to use.
6. Place in the refrigerator to chill. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Giving this salad a full night in the fridge is best.
7. Demold your salad ring. Run a sharp knife tip around the edges of your mold to break the tiny lip of gelatin sealed to the side. You will only have an outer edge if you did not use a ring mold or bundt pan. Gently pull at the edges of the mold with your fingertips to see if the mold is firm, and you missed any spots with the knife. Sprinkle a few drops of water on your serving plate, and then place over the top of your mold. Firmly holding them together, quickly invert. It is possible, but not entirely likely that your salad will drop right out of the mold. If it doesn't, flip it back over, prepare a hot-warm water bath in a pan or bowl big enough to dip your mold in. Firmly holding the rim of the mold, quickly dip the mold into the water, being careful not to splash any onto the surface of the gelatin salad. Remove from water, and begin again with a moist plate placed on top and invert. If it still doesn't come out, repeat a third time. The warm/hot water is melting the surface of the gelatin through the metal mold, and the slightly melted surface breaks the vacuum seal and releases it from the mold. Once your salad releases, the moisture on the plate should allow you to nudge it into the center of the platter gently. If you forgot to moisten the plate, you could reverse your steps. DO NOT try to scoot the salad across a dry dish. It will break the salad.

Garnishing the salad ring

1. Clean up your platter. You will very likely have some liquid salad residue from the de-molding. Carefully mop as much of this up as you like using the edge of a paper towel or lint-free absorbent cloth.
2. If you used a ring mold, fill the center in with the excess whip. If you did not, you can pile some up on top of your mold, or skip this step.
3. Top it with a cherry or excess gelatin cubes. You can also use your mini marshmallows or regular sized marshmallows. Get creative, but this mold is so incredible on its own you don't need much.


The most critical factor in the success of all gelatin molds is a triangulation of gelatin strength to liquid ratio and temperature. That sounds like rocket science, but mostly it means that the more liquid/solids to gelatin the softer set your mold will be, and the hotter your gelatin is, the longer it will take to set from liquid to solid. Adding whip to the strawberry gelatin will soften it, but giving the mold a long firm time in the refrigerator will assist in the dessert coming together.