candy cane jello shot, a delicious jello shot for the festive season
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Candy Cane Jello Shots

These Candy Cane Jello Shots make the perfect Christmas jello shots, made with both peppermint and marshmallow vodka for a flavor that mimics that popular holiday treat.

a peppermint jello shot decorated with candy cane

Need more festive ideas? Check out these 9 EASY Christmas jello shots!

The Best Candy Cane Jello Shot Recipe

These Candy Cane Jello Shots are the perfect adult treat for your next Christmas party! Layered jello shots like these tend to look fancy, but in reality, they’re quite easy to make.

These ones feature layers of red jello mixed with marshmallow vodka and unflavored gelatin, sweetened condensed milk, and peppermint vodka. The addition of sweetened condensed milk creates the white color while also sweetening the shot.

One thing to note is that I recommend making these as larger jello shots. While I’m a big fan of 2-oz jello shots for most recipes, the layers in this one mean bigger cups are better. It also means you’ll get fewer jello shots from each batch, so feel free to double or triple the recipe as needed!

ingredients to make candy cane jello shots

Recipe Ingredients

These Christmas jello shots require just a handful of ingredients – two types of jello, two types of vodka, sweetened condensed milk, and toppings.

  • Unflavored gelatin – Unflavored gelatin, like Knox, is used for the white layers to create the peppermint flavor.
  • Red jello – For the red layers, any flavor of red jello will work, like cherry or strawberry.
  • Vodka – I used peppermint vodka for the candy cane flavor along with marshmallow vodka in these candy cane jello shots. The peppermint vodka is key for the minty flavor.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – Sweetened condensed milk creates the white layer of the red candy cane.
  • Toppings – I like to add mini candy canes and whipped cream just before serving.
  • Shot glasses – While I normally use 2-ounce cups for jello shots but for these, I recommend larger shot glasses, like 4 ounce or 5 ounce cups, for the layered effect.

What Alcohol Should I Use?

While in most jello shot recipes, it doesn’t really matter whether you use vodka, rum, or whiskey, for these layered jello shots, I will say that it’s important to at least use one peppermint flavored liquor. Vodka is most commonly found, though you could use Peppermint Schnapps as well. Without the peppermint liquor, you won’t really have the candy cane flavor in these shots

Jello Shot Essentials

We make a LOT of jello shots around here. It’s our favorite thing to make for any party or gathering. After much trial and error, here are our must-have tools for making jello shots.

  • Condiment cups – Unless you have a large stash of shot glasses, you’ll want to make your jello shots in condiment cups. Most jello shots are made in 2 ounce condiment cups but if you want the shots to go further, you can use 1 ounce condiment cups instead.
  • Sauce pan – You’ll want to use a decent, non-stick saucepan for preparing your jello shots. We like this one.
  • Baster – A baster is my secret to easily filling the jello shot cups, without making a mess!
  • Measuring cups – To ensure you’re adding the right amount of water and liquor, you’ll want a decent measuring cup as well.
jello shot glasses with red jello mixture on a wooden cutting board

How to Make Candy Cane Jello Shots

While these candy cane jello shots may look fancy, they’re just as easy to make as any other jello shot. The only difference is that they need a bit more chill time, as you need to chill between layers.

  • Make the red layer. Combine a packet of red jello with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Stir in a packet of unflavored gelatin and allow to sit for 30-60 seconds. Whisk. Stir in 1/2 cup of cold marshmallow vodka.
  • Chill. Pour an equal amount into each jello shot cup. Refrigerate until completely firm – usually about 2 hours.
  • Make the white layer. Whisk 1/2 cup of the sweetened condensed milk with a packet for gelatin. Let “bloom” for 30 to 60 seconds. Whisk again. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the peppermint vodka.
  • Chill. Divide the peppermint layer among the cups on top of the red jello. Chill under the jello is set, about 2 hours.
  • Repeat. Repeat the first step to make another red layer and the second step for the next white layer.
  • Chill. Chill until the jello shot is completely set.
  • Serve. Top with whipped cream and a peppermint before serving.

Tips for Making Layered Jello Shots

If this is your first time making layered jello shots, here are a few helpful tips.

  • Make sure each layer sets before adding the next. This is KEY to making jello shots with clean layers. Each layer needs to be completely set before adding the next one, or they will bleed into each other. The taste is still amazing, the presentation just isn’t quite the same.
  • Use a baster to fill the jello cups. The easiest way I’ve found to make jello shots is to use a baster to suck up the mixture and transfer it to the cups. A ladle with a pourable edge also works well.
  • Make these a day in advance. Since these candy cane jello shots need to chill between each layer, I highly recommend making them a day in advance.
  • Double the recipe. The great thing about this jello shot recipe is that you can easily double it to make even more shots for a crowd.
three candy cane jello shots garnished with whipped cream and a candy cane on a glass cake stand

Serving Suggestions

Keep your candy cane jello shots refrigerated until just before serving. Then add a bit of whipped cream and mini candy cane or crushed peppermint over the top.

How Long Will These Peppermint Jello Shots Last?

Jello shots will last in the fridge for about 5 days. After they set, I recommend adding the plastic lids to the cups so you can stack them and store them easier.

Note that the whipped cream topping will not last in the fridge so wait to add that until serving.

More Christmas Jello Shots:

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candy cane jello shot, a delicious jello shot for the festive season

Candy Cane Jello Shots

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These Candy Cane Jello Shots make the perfect Christmas jello shots, made with both peppermint and marshmallow vodka for a flavor that mimics that popular holiday treat.

  • Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 jello shots 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 40.25-ounce packets of unflavored gelatin
  • 2 3.4-ounce boxes of red jello (we used cherry)
  • 1 cup boiling water, divided
  • 1 cup peppermint vodka, divided
  • 1 cup marshmallow vodka, divided
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Mini candy canes
  • Whipped Cream
  • 84-ounce glasses

Instructions

    1. In a medium size bowl or measuring cup, add 1/2 cup of boiling water. Add 1 packet of red jello OR 2-3 dops of red food coloring.
    2. Add one packet of the unflavored gelatin and let sit for 30-60 seconds and allow to “bloom”. Whisk until gelatin dissolves.
    3. Whisk in ½ cup of the marshmallow vodka.
    4. Carefully add 2 ounces to each cup. Place in the fridge until jello is completely firm.
    5. Once the first layer of jello is *totally firm, add ½ cup of the sweetened condensed milk to a medium size bowl or measuring cup. Add one packet of the unflavored gelatin and let sit for 30-60 seconds and allow to “bloom”. Whisk until gelatin dissolves.
    6. Whisk in ½ cup of the peppermint vodka. Carefully add 2 ounces to each cup. Place in the fridge until jello is completely firm.
    7. Repeat Steps 1-4 for the third layer and then repeat Steps 5-6 for the final layer.
    8. Top with whipped cream and s mini candy cane before serving. If desired, crush a few candy canes and sprinkle on the whipped topping.
  • Author: Easy Party Cocktails
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Additional Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Jello Shots
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 190
  • Sugar: 26
  • Sodium: 64
  • Fat: 4
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 28
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 6
  • Cholesterol: 14

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