Above all the things that jello desserts are — easy, tasty, and cool — they are without a doubt the most fun that any dessert can have. Case in point? This fish bowl jello mold. Made from lemon-lime-flavored soda and studded with candy fish and Nerds gravel, it's probably the most outrageous jello dessert that you can serve up this summer. It's perfect for pool hangs and fin-filled birthday parties. If you've got a kid really into mermaids, they'll love this! Best of all, it's easy enough for the kids to help make.
Jello and Gummy Fishbowl: Watch the Video
Successfully Layering a Gelatin Mold
The key to success in making a gelatin fish bowl is twofold. First, you want to seal the multi-colored rock candy off with a thin layer of clear gelatin to prevent the colors from bleeding into the blue gelatin later. Simply measure off a cup of the lemon-lime gelatin mixture before adding the food coloring, and gently pour this over the candy — but do not stir.
The second step for success is to make sure the blue gelatin mixture is quite thick before pouring it into the bowl. This will also prevent the colors bleeding and help suspend the candy fish.
Serving a Fish Bowl
You'll likely want to set your fish bowl masterpiece out as a centerpiece for every guest to "ooh" and "aah" over, and you should! Make sure the fish bowl is at room temperature and out of direct sunlight or it will melt. Use a long serving spoon to scoop the gelatin into bowls — do your best to get some nerds and at least one gummy fish in each serving. Serve with unsweetened whipped cream if desired.
Jello and Gummy Candy Fishbowl
Serves 10 to 12
flat lemon-lime soda (about 4 1/4 cups), such as Sprite, divided
(1/4-ounce) envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
multi-color Nerds candy
1 to 2 drops
blue food coloring
mini fish gummy candies
Place 1 cup of the soda in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the gelatin and set aside to hydrate for 5 minutes.
Heat 2 cups of the soda in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin mixture until fully dissolved. Transfer to a large bowl, add the remaining 1 1/4 cups soda, and stir to combine.
Place the gelatin mixture bowl over an ice bath until just beginning to thicken. Measure off 1 cup of the clear gelatin mixture into a small bowl. Add 1 drop of blue food coloring to the large bowl of gelatin and stir to combine. Leave the blue gelatin over the ice bath while you prepare the fish bowl.
Pour the Nerds candy into the fish bowl and spread into an even layer. Very carefully pour the clear gelatin over the Nerds to create a thin layer of gelatin over the candy. DO NOT STIR. This clean layer seals the nerds and keeps them from bleeding into the terrarium. Refrigerate this layer for 20 to 30 minutes while you continue to cool the blue mixture on the ice bath.
Stir the blue gelatin over the ice bath until it is quite thick, and then spoon into the prepared fish bowl. Insert the gummy fish at various heights throughout the gelatin. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
To serve: Use a long serving spoon to scoop down into the bottom of the bowl, grabbing some of the crunchy nerds, gelatin, and a fish along the way.
Flatten the soda: Open the liter of lemon-lime soda and leave it at room temperature to remove the carbonation.
Make ahead: The candy fish will soften considerably as they sit in the gelatin. If you plan to make this in advance, leave out the fish and the gently add them to the set gelatin the next day.