How to Make Black JELL-O for Halloween

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Garnish the black Jell-O with gummy worms for a classic spooky treat.
Image Credit: hemeroskopion/iStock/Getty Images

What's spookier than black Jell-O? Well, lots of things – but it's still a wonderfully festive addition to a Halloween snack table. The Jell-O gelatin packets you buy in the store don't come in any dark shades, so you'll have to do a little mixing and experimenting (Dr. Frankenstein style) to create the black Jell-O you're picturing.


Video of the Day

Making Black Jell-O

You have two basic options for making black Jell-O. The first is to mix two packets of grape and one packet of lime gelatin. The purple and green shades combine to create a deep purple that looks nearly black. If you don't have grape and lime Jell-O, or just don't love those flavors, try substituting black cherry Jell-O and a green apple gelatin powder from another manufacturer. (Jell-O brand doesn't make this flavor.) After combining the two colored powders, follow package directions to make the Jell-O mixture.


The other option is to use just grape Jell-O and black food coloring. After mixing the powder with water, add the food coloring a few drops at a time. Stir the mixture after each addition and keep adding more coloring until you're satisfied with the hue you've created.

Spooky Ideas for Black Jell-O

Now you know how to mix up a batch of black Jell-O, but what can you do with it to create creepy-but-delicious treats befitting a Halloween party? Plenty of things. To make Jell-O spiders, pour the mixture into ice-cube trays that you've sprayed with cooking oil. When the gelatin is set and you've removed the cubes from the trays, cut black licorice ropes into short pieces and press three pieces into either side of each Jell-O cube to look like spider legs. Take it a step further by sliding a wooden skewer into each cube and attaching a blackberry or black gumdrop to serve as the spider's head.


Or, make black Jell-O worms. Stand up empty straws in a jar or other container. Pour the Jell-O mixture into the straws and chill them until the gelatin is set. Run the straws under warm water for a few seconds to loosen the Jell-O, then press your fingers down the straw and the "worms" should come free. Chill them again, then use them to decorate cupcakes or submerge them in cups of clear punch.

Finally, layering black and orange Jell-O is an easy (although time-consuming) way to make a festive Halloween snack. Do this in a large glass casserole and cut the finished Jell-O into shapes using Halloween cookie cutters. Make just two layers, or alternate multiple layers of black and orange Jell-O. Completely chill the dish after the addition of each new layer.


Making Black Jell-O Shots

For an adults-only party, black Jell-O shots are a crowd pleaser. Choosing the best alcohol to put in Jell-O shots is really a matter of personal preference. Vodka is the standard choice because it's clear and has a mild enough taste to let the flavor of the gelatin stand out. Light rum and gin are other popular liquors for Jell-O shots because they're clear. Tequila would work well if you're using lime gelatin in your recipe. Because you're making Jell-O shots in a dark color, you can probably even mix in a brown liquor without it ruining the look.


Bottom line? There's really no one best alcohol to put in Jell-O shots made with black Jell-O. Use whatever you have on hand that you think your guests will enjoy. Or, poll your friends to get their opinions on the best alcohol to put in Jell-O shots. You definitely don't want to be stuck with a fridge full of black Jell-O shots on November 1st, so tailor your recipe to the preferences of your guests.