donut pan idea no. 30: jell-o rings

The 30th Summer Olympics begins today! What better way to celebrate than to dive in and make some donut-shaped Jell-O rings, arrange them on a plate like the Olympic symbol, surround them with a laurel basil wreath, and take home the gold? Did I really just write that?

Jesse Owens, quadruple gold-medalist at the 1936 Summer Olympics once described his experience as "a lifetime of training for just ten seconds". This reminds me of the effort I put into these Jell-O donuts, only to have them poked and picked at as soon as I put my camera down. I hope you don't think I've lost my donut-loving mind with this one. It is a little crazy. Jell-O donuts don't have to be just for the Olympic symbol, of course. I think hospitals should start serving these instead of Jell-O in a cup. It would be good for morale.

Speaking of morale, Jell-O making in and of itself is actually a pretty quick endeavor, thankfully! Boil, pour, and stir. And I had two very eager assistants on the job. Here's what you need.

One box each, the smaller the better:
•Blueberry Jell-O
•Black Cherry Jell-O
•Cherry or Raspberry Jell-O
•Lemon Jell-O
•Lime Jell-O
(I just like typing "Jell-O")
Black food coloring
(for greasing the pans)
Boiling water
Oliver branches or other greens
(I used basil stems I had already in the refrigerator)

This gets the kids really excited. The specter of all this powder is almost too much.

That black cherry Jell-O isn't black at all, thus, this.

Listen to me. DO THIS to your refrigerator beforehand, or just forget the whole thing.

Using a clean dishcloth or towel, thinly but thoroughly coat the pans with mayonnaise.
I tried olive oil, but mayonnaise worked better. 

Taste testers.

Look, my fleet has doubled recently! The mayonnaise-coated pans
are in the rear. Those are the ones you want to go with.

Attention! Here is some very important information at this juncture. Make the "jigglers" recipe on the side of the box. This uses much less water (only boiling, not cold), therefore you'll have a firmer donut. This is really important. We had 6 oz. boxes of Jell-O, so each box got 2 1/2 cups of water. That's it! 

Make the jiggler recipe or go home. Add the black food coloring to the black cherry
flavored Jell-O. It took about twelve drops to turn our 6 oz. box fairly black.

My turkey baster worked well for filling the pans.

You're practically done, now. Carefully stack your pans if needed in the refrigerator and let sit for four hours. When ready to release the rings from the pans, dip the bottoms of the pans in warm water for 15 seconds. I then loosened the inner and outer edges of the donut from the pan by pressing gently. You can tell when one is ready to slide out, it starts rotating a bit in the pan. I released them into my hand, one at a time, and placed directly on my serving plate. They are firm enough to move a few times, but Jell-O is volatile stuff, you've gotta be careful!

Tip: If for some reason you get in a really big jam and they are not coming out of the pans (I had this problem on my olive oil coated pans), you can put the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes or so. THEN press down around the edges of the donut before trying to twist and release. These will be a little wet. If you can first set them on a clean kitchen towel to thaw just one minute before moving them to your serving plate you will end up with less water to wipe off of the plate.

Arrange the donuts to match the Olympic symbol colors on a plate or platter, and surround with greenery.

Now for the eye candy. Also, U.S.A! U.S.A.! U.S.A!


  1. Looks awesome! Hooray for Olympic-themed food! =)

    1. I'm so glad you saw it! Isn't it ridiculous? You're post is right on, though! Hooray, indeed!


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