Trying new things rarely ends successfully the first time out. I certainly like to try new things, but mostly, I’m finding ways how not to do something. There’s an Edison quote in there somewhere about 99 ways how not to make a light bulb, but I digress. It’s definitely in our failures that we learn the most and when I try new recipes, crafts, or just about anything, I’ll admit: I fail a lot! But I keep plugging along especially if the process is fun and the outcome is enjoyable.
For a recent party, with a gardenING theme, I decided to make jello cups that looked like the sky with clouds. I thought it would be a fun dessert that went along with the theme. I did the standard worm and dirt cupcakes of course so the cloud jello cups went along with that just fine. While I didn’t get a chance to do them over due to time-constraints, the first attempt with the cloud jello cups came out well enough. I thought I’d share my learning’s so you could learn from my mistakes. Save you some time as it were.
The original idea came from Pinterest (of course) and a recipe search netting hundreds, if not thousands of hits. While some had a variety of steps including making your own whipped cream, which I’m sure is better, I was looking for quick and simple. I stuck with just making plain blue jello and whipped topping in a container. I didn’t think the canned whipped cream would work well, so I stayed away from that.
The basic plan really is simple:
- make the jello according to the package directions and wait the allotted time to set properly
- spoon jello into the cups
- spoon whipped cream into the cups and attempt to make it look like sky and clouds by smashing the whipped cream against the sides.
Simple right? While the cups came out okay, there are some changes I would make next time.
1. Get smaller cups
I found 16oz clear cups that I thought were the perfect size. In looking at the 8oz cups, I didn’t think they’d be big enough. Next time, I’d get the 8oz cups. The 16oz cups were just too tall and required too much jello and whipped cream to fill them properly. While I made 12-13 cups, all about 3/4 full, none of them really looked like sky and clouds. If they had been completely full, I would have need twice as much jello as I had and I needed at least 12 cups for this party. Still smaller cups would be easier.
2. Don’t freeze the whipped cream
One recipe suggested freezing the whipped cream which I did at the beginning. While the frozen whipped cream was easier to spoon into the cups, it didn’t smash to the side of the cup very well and really looked like a big glop, not a cloud. Thankfully, we only froze one container of whipped cream.
3. You don’t need as much as you think
I bought 2 boxes of jello and 3 small containers, 8oz each, of whipped cream. The jello made 12-13 cups at about 3/4 full in a 16 oz cup. I only went through 1 and a half containers of whipped cream. I think with smaller cups, 1 box of jello and 1 container of whipped cream would make about a dozen nicely filled cups.
4. Layer the jello and whipped cream
I didn’t layer the jello and whipped cream into the cups. This sounds like a no-brainer, but with the idea of smashing the whipped cream against the sides of the cup, having it just on one side seemed better. It’s not. Making layers of jello and whipped cream and then just lightly smashing the whipped cream against the sides of the cup before adding another layer of jello is key, and much easier.
I’m sure I will be trying this again. It was a fun recipe to do with the kids and could easily be made just a few at a time for a dessert if not for a party. Sure, you’d have to have jello made and on hand, but who doesn’t have that already?