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Nothing shines on a holiday table like a stunning raspberry cranberry jello salad! This vintage inspired recipe is made with just a few simple ingredients. You will need cranberry jello, raspberry jello, whole berry cranberry sauce, vanilla ice cream, pink lemonade concentrate, and frozen raspberries. There is not a touch of pineapple or mayonnaise in sight!
This heavenly holiday side dish takes minutes to make! It takes the shape of any decorative mold so the sky is the limit! People will think you worked for hours to create something so fancy! Use a newer style silicon bundt pan or individual antique jello molds.
Longtime readers know I'm a cranberry fiend. It all started with my make ahead cranberry sauce. In my cranberry recipe archives, you can find recipes for using leftover cranberry sauce as well as other recipes that have the red berry as the star of the show. From rosemary cranberry Moscow mules to pull apart cranberry orange bread to spicy cranberry pork tenderloin sandwiches, we have you covered!
Other recipes have ingredients like cream cheese, sour cream, or crushed pineapple. Or heaven forbid mayonnaise! These are all ingredients my children will not touch.
The irony that this is called a "salad" is not lost on me. Despite containing fruit, we consider it more of a dessert than a side dish.
🥣 What types of molds can I use?
One of the best things about a jello salad is how it takes the shape of the container you use. Although most are presented in a circular shape, you can use a plain rectangular dish if that is all you have on hand. I like to use bundt pans with all their curves and edges.
I've used silicone and metal and both worked great. A silicone mold seems to be more forgiving and easier to release. Both types require being sprayed liberally with cooking spray. If you use a silicone bundt pan be sure to place it on a plate to make moving it into and out of the refrigerator much easier!
You can also use vintage jello tins like the ones pictured below.
📋 Steps to prepare a jello salad
In order to make this dish, you will need cranberry and raspberry gelatin (jello), pink lemonade concentrate, softened vanilla ice cream, a can of whole berry cranberry sauce, and frozen raspberries .
Sounds easy enough doesn't it? Let's get started!
You can find the complete recipe by scrolling to the bottom.
- Gather all your ingredients ahead of time - You don't want to be rooting in your freezer for raspberries or the back of a cabinet for cranberry sauce after your jello has been bloomed.
- Bloom your jello / gelatin - This is a fancy way of saying that you are rehydrating the gelatin. Although some people just use hot water, it's best to use boiling water. Stir at least two minutes to ensure a smooth texture once the jello sets. Use a large bowl for this recipe as it does make a large amount.
- It's not uncommon for bubbles to develop - feel free to remove with a large spoon and discard. They can affect other jello mold recipes but they have no effect on this one.
- Add in the lemonade concentrate and ice cream - pour in the thawed lemonade concentrate. Next, add the softened ice cream.
- Adding in homemade or canned whole berry cranberry sauce - Break up the cranberry sauce well to make sure it is evenly distributed. The gel eventually breaks down and is absorbed while whole cranberries remain.
- Finish by combining the raspberries - the warm jello mixture helps to take off any remaining frost and helps thaw them. By being cold, they help speed up the setting process.
- Spray your mold with nonstick baking spray - and then spray again. You don't want to miss a spot and have a spot of jello stick. It doesn't transfer any flavor to the jello and it gives it a nice shine when it's removed.
- Transfer the jello mixture into the mold - Using a mixing bowl with a pour spout makes this much easier. Or you can use a ladle or a measuring cup to transfer into the sprayed mold.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to set - Be sure to use cling wrap to cover so that you don't allow odors from other items in your refrigerator to be absorbed. Refrigerate until set. You will need at least an hour for the jello to set.
- Check if is set - test the top with your finger and see if there is any looseness. Jello does wiggle but there should be a jiggle and not any swooshing. Also, if your finger sticks to it, it's not set! Once it is set the fun begins. I've given tips below on how to remove from a mold.
TOP TIP- Thawing the ice cream and lemonade in the refrigerator for one-half hour to an hour before making the recipe makes stirring it in much easier.
👩🏻🍳 Tips for removing jello salads from molds
- Warm water baths help to loosen anything sticking. Fill a large bowl that is wider than your mold with warm but not hot water. You should only place the mold in the water for up to 10 seconds at a time. If you warm up the mold too much your risk melting your salad as well! Also, be sure to hold your mold above the waterline, you don't want water to seep in and ruin all your work!
- If you're using a plastic mold, you can manipulate it a bit yourself. Go around the ring and pull gently to release the suction. This helps loosen any remaining jello that may be sticking to it.
- Metal and vintage tins are a bit tricker. After the water bath, turn the mold upside down against the dish you are serving it on and shake vigorously. You may need to do this several times alternating a water bath and shaking. As a last ditch effort you can also use a spatula or knife to loosen the edges of the jello from the side of the mold, then flip it over again and shake vigorously.
- Releasing jello salads from molds can be extremely intimidating but also rewarding. The sound of the suction on the mold being released is fabulous!
⏲️ How many days in advance can I make this?
Jello stays in the fridge for multiple days but it does start breaking down after being prepared. If preparing for a dinner party, it is best to make it the day before. That frees up your day for other recipes and makes sure it is fully set before removing it from the mold.
💭 Other FAQ's
Although jello can last a while in the refrigerator I don't like to go more than 5-7 days.
Yes! Many traditional recipes call for them. You could mix them in with the other ingredients. I would suggest using either chopped walnuts or pecans. A half-cup to one cup will work with this recipe.
If you'd like the nuts to add to the presentation, place your mold in the refrigerator, and once it is only partially set add them. This will have them on the bottom of the mold. It also makes it easier to pick them out if you have picky eaters.
Another option is to sprinkle chopped nuts on whipped cream dollops on top of the jello ring. It makes for a stunning addition to your Thanksgiving dinner, especially if you shape the whipped cream like this recipe for sturdy whipped cream frosting allows you to.
Yes! If it is a bit runny, straining it a bit will help to not introduce too much liquid into the mixture.
Yes! If you are not a fan of seeds in raspberries, try strawberries instead. Feel free to substitute with your favorite fruits. Any flavor salad could be made by switching jello flavors and using a different drained canned fruit along with different frozen fruits.
I used my 6 cup silicone bundt pan. It's a staple around here! I also used it for last month's chocolate pumpkin bundt cake!
Holiday dinners are about family, friends, and food. This jello salad is the perfect nod to the traditional recipes of the past. Your grandma would be proud! Please leave me a comment and tell me your family's favorite jello recipes!
Old Fashioned Raspberry Cranberry Jello Salad Recipe
- 6 oz raspberry jello
- 6 oz cranberry jello sometimes finding 2 (3 oz) boxes is easier for this flavor
- 2 cups water boiling
- 6 oz pink lemonade frozen concentrate, thawed **You will only use half of the can
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream softened
- 14 oz whole berry cranberry sauce canned or homemade
- 14 oz raspberries frozen
- whipped cream optional for decorating
- nuts optional
To make the jello mixture:
- Empty the jello packets into a large mixing bowl. Pour over 2 cups of boiling water. Stir with a whisk for two minutes until completely dissolved.
- Stir in *HALF* of the pink lemonade can (if using a 12 oz size) and the softened vanilla ice cream. The ice cream will melt and distribute evenly.
- Next stir in the cranberry sauce. It will also break apart and un-gel in the warm jello mixture.
- Follow this by folding in the raspberries. You may need to change from a whisk to a large spoon at this point.
Making the jello ring mold:
- Spray the bundt pan or chosen dish well with nonstick cooking spray. We found a six cup capacity pan worked the best, with a little extra jello mixture left over. You can place any extra in smaller bowls also sprayed with nonstick spray.
- If using a flexible mold you should place it on a plate. Since it's not rigid it moves around a lot when trying to move from counter to the fridge!
- Pour or scoop in the jello mixture into the containers.
- Cover with cling film to avoid the jello absorbing any odors from your refrigerator. Sometimes Saran Wrap doesn't stick well and you may have to place aluminum foil on top of it to get a nice seal.
- Allow to set in the refrigerator for at least an hour. I like to go for 2 to 3. Overnight is great too!
- Once the jello is set, place in a warm water bath for 10 seconds to help loosen the edges. Invert on a plate. If it doesn't slide out, maintain a firm grip on both the plate and the back of the bundt pan and shake vigorously. You may have to repeat the water bath. See notes in the post for more information on this.
- Once on the platter, garnish as you desire. Use nuts, whipped cream, berries and fresh herbs like mint.