Whip up these Candy Corn Jello Shots for a fun October treat. This kid-friendly version has fruity, tropical flavor that can be made grown-up with your favorite spirit.
October is just days away, and I’m a little too excited about all the sweet and spooky things this month brings. I’ve been working on some fun Halloween sweets and the truth is, I have too many ideas and not enough time to make them all. But I’m going to try!
First, I decided to make some cute candy corn Jello shots – or parfaits, if you’re serving them to kids. I’ve seen plenty of versions of this treat around the web, but I wanted to put my own spin on them. As written, my version is non-alcoholic, tropical-fruity, and darn cute, too! However, if you’re looking for a grown-up party treat then these are super simple to alter with your favorite spirit. I’ve included those instructions in the recipe.
Jello shots are set firmer than the standard Jell-O recipe on the box, yet not as firm as say, a Jell-O Jiggler (shoutout to any 90’s kids in the room!). This version is dessert-like, so serve each glass with a little spoon.
Cook up a pot of opaque white ‘jello’ using powdered gelatin, sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk. Make these grown-up by swapping the coconut milk for whipped cream flavored vodka or another favorite liqueur. It’s best to limit this addition to spirits that are clear or milky white. Godiva white chocolate liqueur comes to mind.
Divide this mixture between two measuring cups. Tint one cup with yellow food color and add lemon extract. Flavor the other cup with coconut extract. Cover the white coconut-flavored cup and set aside. Fill tall shot glasses 1/3 of the way up with the yellow gelatin and chill.
The second layer comes together with a small box of orange Jell-O, powdered gelatin, and orange juice. Again – swap the orange juice for something more spirited if you’d like. Pour the mixture on top of the set yellow layer and chill until firm.
The final layer is the creamy coconutty mixture that’s been hanging around since we started this whole process. At room temperature it shouldn’t congeal, but it could. Give the mixture a stir and if you find any jelled gelatin, then microwave the mixture for 30 seconds to melt it. Cool the mixture before adding it to the glasses.
Top it off!
A swirl of whipped cream on each shot gives these a touch more creaminess, which I’m all for. Yum! These can be made a couple of days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.
Add candy corn on top of each shot and these are dressed and ready for Halloween festivities. I can’t wait!
Candy Corn Jello Shots
- 2 cups water
- 3 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin .25 oz. each
- 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk 1/2 of a 14 oz. can
- 2/3 cup coconut milk cold
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- Yellow food color
- 3 oz. box orange Jell-O gelatin dessert
- 1/3 cup orange juice cold
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream chilled
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 14 candy corn pieces
Pour 1 cup of the water into a small saucepan. Whisk in the contents of two packets of the unflavored gelatin. Cook over low heat while slowly stirring, until the gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
When the gelatin is dissolved, stir in the sweetened condensed milk. Add 2/3 cup coconut milk. Stir to combine. Divide the white opaque mixture between two glass measuring cups with pour spouts. Stir the coconut extract into one cup. Cover it and set aside; keep at room temperature. In the second cup, add the lemon extract and a few drops of yellow food color. Mix well to combine.
Set 14 tall shot glasses (2.4 oz. each) on a sturdy tray that will fit inside your refrigerator or freezer. Pour the yellow gelatin mixture 1/3 of the way up into each shot glass. Refrigerate until the gelatin is semi-set, about 20 minutes or 10 minutes in the freezer (I used the freezer method). You can tell the gelatin is correctly set and ready for the next layer if you tip a shot glass from side-to-side and the surface tension holds any unset liquid under the surface in place.
Meanwhile, make the orange Jello layer. Pour the remaining 1 cup of water into a saucepan and whisk in 1 packet of gelatin. Cook while stirring until the gelatin melts, about 5 minutes. Stir in the orange Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Add 1/3 cup orange juice and stir. Let cool 5 minutes. Evenly distribute the orange gelatin over the yellow layer, approximately 1/3 of the way up each shot glass. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes or 10 minutes in the freezer.
Stir the reserved white coconut gelatin. If the mixture has partially set, microwave it for 30 seconds and stir until gelatin is melted. (I didn’t have this problem at 70 degree room temperature). When the orange layer is set, top each shot glass off with the white gelatin. Refrigerate until the entire dessert is set, about 30-45 minutes (more or less depending on your fridge temp).
To make the whipped topping, beat the heavy cream in a medium bowl while gradually adding 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat until billowy and stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag with a closed star tip, and pipe a swirl of whipped cream on top of each shot glass. Garnish each with a candy corn piece.
Variations. The flavors of the opaque gelatin layers can be changed up by swapping in cream soda or almond milk for the coconut milk. Add clear vanilla extract to the mixture instead of the coconut and lemon extracts. You can change the flavor of the orange layer by adding pineapple juice instead of orange juice.
Make-ahead! The layered shots can be made a couple of days ahead of serving, but wait to garnish them with the whipped cream and candy until party time. After the layered shots are assembled, place a small piece of plastic wrap over each glass so the gelatin’s surface doesn’t dry out.