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Spiked Rainbow Ribbon Salad

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  • Prep 60 min
  • Total 5 hr 0 min
  • Servings 16
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A classic layered gelatin dessert becomes the life of the party with the addition of your favorite flavored rum or vodka!
by: Michelle Palm
Updated Mar 7, 2017
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  • 4 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 6 packages (3 oz) flavored gelatin dessert mix
  • 3 envelopes plain gelatin (6 tsp gelatin powder, divided)
  • 3 cups flavored rum or vodka, divided
  • 1 1/8 cups vanilla yogurt, divided


  • 1
    Place the bottle of liquor in the freezer for several hours before beginning recipe.
  • 2
    Lightly spray bundt pan or gelatin mold with non stick cooking spray (I used a 10 cup bundt pan). Wipe off the excess spray with a paper towel. A slight residue should remain, just enough to help unmold your gelatin, without affecting the taste or appearance.
  • 3
    Pour 3/4 cup water into a saucepan and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the plain gelatin. Allow gelatin to soak for a minute or two. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved (about 5 minutes). Whisk in the first package of flavored gelatin. Whisk for at least 2 minutes, or until completely dissolved (I find the sugar free mix dissolves much faster than the regular).
  • 4
    Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup of the cold liquor, and stir to combine.
  • 5
    Pour 3/4 cup of the gelatin mixture into the prepared mold, and place in refrigerator. Allow to set for 20 to 30 minutes, until the gelatin is a little firm, but still sticks when touched. Very important – if the layers set up too much, the next layer won’t bond appropriately.
  • 6
    Refrigerate the remaining gelatin mixture in bowl about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites). Gradually stir in 3 tablespoons of yogurt and stir until well blended. This cooling step is also important – the gelatin must be cooled to room temperature before adding on top of other layers, or the layers will not be well defined!
  • 7
    Gently spoon the gelatin/yogurt mixture over set gelatin and return to the refrigerator. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until gelatin is set but not firm (again, it should stick to finger when touched). As the layers progress, the setting time will become shorter as the pan and gelatin becomes colder, and the layers become thinner as more layers are added to the mold.
  • 8
    Repeat steps with remaining gelatin flavors, for a total of 12 alternating clear and creamy gelatin layers.
  • 9
    After completing all the layers, refrigerate the gelatin overnight. To unmold, fill a larger container or clean sink with warm water (not too hot!). With clean fingers, loosen the gelatin around the edges of the mold cavities. Next, dip the mold almost to the edge into the warm water for just a few seconds (10 seconds worked for me). Dry the bottom of the mold with a towel and check the edges to see if they are loose. If not, repeat the dip for just a few seconds. Place your serving plate on top of the mold and invert.

Nutrition Information

133.6 Calories, 0.2g Total Fat, 6.1g Protein, 2.4g Total Carbohydrate, 2.4g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Total Carbohydrate
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin C
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • I did some (unsuccessful) research to identify the author of the original recipe for Rainbow Ribbon Salad, which has been the holy grail of American gelatin desserts for as long as I can remember. Not surprising, really – this layered concoction is the J-Lo of jiggly desserts - down to earth and completely approachable, yet strikingly lovely. It is also certainly as enthusiastically received as any celebrity/pop star/actress/TV personality! Given its iconic status, the Rainbow Ribbon Salad was due for a little spin, JSTK style. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you the Spiked Rainbow Ribbon Salad recipe. A star has been born. I added vodka to each layer – blueberry flavored vodka, to be specific, which was wonderful! But any flavored vodka or rum would work well. I also added a little unflavored gelatin, to provide ballast while sitting on a buffet table. The result is a “cocktail” version of the classic, with all the sweet, creamy, layered rainbow goodness of the original. Spiked Rainbow Ribbon Salad makes a beautiful addition to any party. While the preparation is super easy, with 12 layers, it’s a bit of a project due to the timing and setting of each layer. While preparing this dessert is not for the faint of heart, it is simply spectacular and worth the effort for any special event – I will be making this several times this spring and summer! Hope you enjoy!
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