Unflavored Gelatin: How to Use

Are you tired of the clumps and lumps when you make your own flavored Jello? Yes? No? What?! You don’t make your own flavored Jello? You should! It is healthier than the already flavored ones sold at the store and you can decide what ingredients go in it! It is tastier, exactly for the same reason, since you can choose your flavors, you can choose your own favorite ones.

Many cooks complain about the clumping when mixing unflavored gelatin with any liquid in order to be able to use it. Yet there is a fast and simple technique that provides a smooth and seamlessly effective gelatin base that will add volume and will help solidify any liquid that you may want to turn into Jello.

Note: You can find unflavored gelatin as easily as finding flour or sugar. It will be located in the baking section of your grocery store and is usually sold as a dry powder in packets or in a dry leaf form. I use the dry powder, which is most common. Make sure to buy “unflavored” gelatin.

unflavored gelatin

Powdered gelatin looks like small granules, almost crystal looking, see photo above. The first thing you want to do is hydrate the gelatin by combining it with lukewarm water in a bowl – use the amounts specified in the recipe you are preparing like this one for Tres Leches and Strawberry Jello. Stir, and you will see the gelatin granules puff up…

water and unflavored gelatin powder mixture

Stir it a couple times more, and after 3 to 5 minutes, you will see the granules absorb the water almost entirely.

puffed up water and unflavored gelatin mixture

It is all absorbed, but now you need to completely dilute those puffed up gelatin granules, so that you don’t feel them when you eat your Jello and so that this gelatin base will act throughout the entire dessert.

To do this, your second step is to heat up water (up to halfway in depth) in a small sauce pan and bring it to a medium simmer. Place your bowl with the puffed up gelatin on top (make sure that the bowl is larger than the head of the saucepan for sure), making a double boiler or water bath, and let it heat up for about 5 minutes, stirring here and there.

gelatin dissolving over heat in double boiler

Remove from heat when the gelatin has completely dissolved into a barely amber and almost clear liquid.

completely dissolved gelatin ready to add to your liquid flavor mixture

It’s ready to add to your fruit puree or any flavor mixture you’ve dreamed up.


11comments inUnflavored Gelatin: How to Use

  1. grace basra

    Feb 05

    Please include recipe for makung gello out of your gelatin. I have no clue on how to cook it to make jello.
    Please again and thank you.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 23

      Here is one of my favorite Jell-O recipes Grace, hope you like it!

  2. Ruth Turner

    Mar 09

    How do you make a citrus gelatin; for example: orange or lime? Do you use Agar-Agar?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 12

      Hi there Ruth! I don’t use Agar… I just use this recipe for unflavored Gelatin and add any fruit puree or juice I want to flavor it with. Take a look at this recipe for some guidance. If I was going to make a lime jellow I would use probably a base of apple juice, lime juice and unflavored gelatin. Good Luck!

  3. Jay Jay

    Aug 09

    Thank you for this tip!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 12


  4. Laura Guynup

    Nov 22

    I am just starting out. Fairly clueless at this point. 🙂 lol How do I add flavoring to clear gelatin with out adding color. I am getting ready to give Gelatin cake flowers a try 🙂

    Thank you for this informative tutorial 🙂


    1. Pati

      Nov 23

      Adding the fruit or puree will add the color along with the flavor =)

  5. Laura Guynup

    Nov 22


  6. Teresa F.

    Apr 29

    Good tips! I recently discovered making jello with coconut milk. Instead of melting the gelatine in a double boiler, the bloomed gelatine (soaked up some water) is mixed with some of the hot coconut milk/water/sugar mixture and them stirred in the rest of the pot to melt. The coconut cream separates from the liquid as it cools resulting in a two layer jello (opaque white top half and translucent bottom half). I love it!

    1. Pati

      Jun 11

      That sounds good!

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