PinterMess: Nasty Jello Cookies

Jello CookiesToday’s recipe is not one I recommend. Not at all, actually. These Jello Cookies were downright nasty. Seriously, that doesn’t even sound good. I don’t know what I was thinking. Jello cookies? Blech.

So why post it? Because I keep seeing people repinning this recipe on Pinterest! At least three or four times a week, I see someone repin this recipe. It’s like a zombie. I think it’s dead, but then it rises again. This pin needs an ax to the face!

The picture it pretty. The cookies are pretty. Well, mine are okay. But on the original pin, the cookies are really pretty. That’s why people are pinning and repinning like crazy. This is not a knock on the blogger who posted this recipe originally. I’m sure she really does think these cookies are great. Someone must, right? I assume that it’s like how every mom thinks their child looks beautiful when they see him or her for the first time.

News flash, new moms: newborn babies look like aliens. They have weird cone-shaped heads and unnatural purpley-red wrinkly skin. And most of the time, they’re covered in child-birth-y-goop. That’s totally a technical term. But the point is, newborn babies are not cute except to their own mothers. And that’s how this recipe is too.

You need the following ingredients, and let me tell you…I should have known when looking at this stuff that it wasn’t going to work out. It starts out innocently enough with stuff like flour, eggs, butter, and the like. But then…jello. Dramatic movie music: dun dun DUN!

I gave this recipe a fighting chance by trying a few different kinds of jello: peach, berry (sugar free), tropical melon, and a fruit punch mix, which was sugar free fruit punch and the left overs of the other flavors. I tried, dear readers.

Because this recipe is such a Pinter-Mess, I’m not going to go into great detail with the ingredients and directions. It’s easy enough to follow along with the instructions to make the dough. Here’s what it should look like when you’re done:

Honestly, if you stopped right there (maybe threw in a little more sugar), the cookies wouldn’t be bad. When they were done, the consistency was okay, so this is a decent sugar cookie recipe (though you can probably find a better one out there). The problem is this next step.

Add the jello. I’m using peach in this case. You split the dough you’ve made into four balls (so you can do different flavors) and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of jello into each ball. The rest of the jello goes into a bowl.

At this point, you may notice that I’m mixing white-colored jello into off-white-colored dough, so how do you get the bright colors for your jello cookies? Lots of food coloring. And while I’m not opposed to some food coloring in my baked goods (red velvet is awesome), in this case it seems…unnatural. The peach-flavored cookies don’t look peach, so I have to paint them. Weird. It’s the the cookies are a lie.

At this point, the person who originally blogged this recipe allowed her kid to play with the dough like it was playdough. That’s…gross. I’m sorry, but I’ve worked in a daycare. Children are walking germs. Even if you wash his/her hands, dough is liable to end up on the floor and/or covered with spit and boogers. That’s what happens during playtime. If it’s just you and the kid eating them afterward, no big deal I guess. But if you share them with others? Ew. Sorry, but even if it was my kid, I would not eat something he had been using as playdough. Plus, there’s a raw egg in it. Yuck.

After you mix your jello and food coloring into the dough (and after your kid plays with it if you’re going to allow that), you form it into small balls and roll in the left-over jello. Then flatten on a cookie sheet like so:

Yes, I swear I added several drops of red food color and they’re still just a little pink. The original pinner must have added a ton of food coloring to achieve the brilliant hues you see in her picture. She writes, “You may want to add a few drops of food coloring to make the dough more vibrant.” but come on. There’s no “may” about it. If you don’t add food coloring, your cookies will be…cookie-colored. Beige.

At this point, I decided to try another flavor, so I went with sugar-free berry. And when I opened the packet and dumped the contents into a bowl, I realized something was very wrong.

That’s all that was in the packet. I looked at the box and realized that yes, sugar-free sugar includes less jello mix even though it makes the same amount of jello in the end. I knew I couldn’t add a full 2 tablespoons to the dough and have enough left over for rolling as well, but I assumed that the jello was probably going to be stronger anyway, so adding less would be fine.

I added a lot more food coloring this time to make a purple-ish dough and baked along with the peach cookies. Here’s how they looked coming out of the oven:

The peach cookies seemed okay, but the berry were really crumbly. So if you must try this recipe, don’t use sugar free jello. It doesn’t work out. I also tested out melon and fruit punch, and the same thing happened – the green cookies with regular jello were fine, but the other red-purple cookies with the sugar free cookies were a bit crumbly.

I snapped this picture for you fine folks and then got down to taste-testing.

I tried the peach first, and immediately didn’t like it. It wasn’t the most horrible thing I ever ate, but I definitely didn’t need another one. The other three cookies? Completely inedible. The two purple ones with the sugar free jello were so overpowering with jello flavor that I almost gagged. The green one didn’t have a strong flavor, but was equally gross.

So many people had been pinning that I though, “Maybe it’s just me.” But it wasn’t…because I made my roommate and my boyfriend both try these cookies as well. They both agreed that the peach ones were gross but could be eaten if you were starving, but the other flavors were really nasty. Naaaaasty.

I don’t like wasting a single bite of food, but check out this container of cookies. I threw them all away. Every single one of them.

I’m probably not doing the disgusting taste of these cookie justice, so if you really do want to try these yourself, here’s the recipe. I take no responsibility if anyone in your family vomits.

3.0 from 1 reviews
Nasty Jello Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ cups salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 packets of jello (any flavor, but not sugar free)
  • food coloring
  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Gradually add in the dry ingredients until a soft dough forms.
  4. Separate the ball of dough into four sections.
  5. Add 2 Tablespoons of jello mix into one of the four sections, along with food coloring to achieve the desired color. Form into small balls and roll in remaining jello mixture. Press flat onto a cookie sheet.
  6. Repeat this process with the other four sections using different flavors of jello and colors as desired.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 min at 350 degrees. Allow to cool for two minutes before removing to a cooling rack.


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Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at

7 thoughts on “PinterMess: Nasty Jello Cookies

  1. Well, I am going to give these a try because I’ve actually read more positive comments to them than negative and it seems to all depend on the flavor. I’m wondering if adding more sugar and a bit less flour would improve the taste?

    I do like your site though…fun!

    Just a quick side note…This is not “the original bloggers recipe”. She took it from the Kraft website and it actually is quite an old recipe from generations ago… Just thought I’d let you know so credit is given to the correct place.

    I won’t rate it yet because I haven’t tried it yet but am soon! I’m going with Berry Blue, Lemon, Lime & Cranberry. Let’s see how those work.

    • I agree with the OP – these cookies are BAD. But my husband loves them. Every year he gets them from his mom, for Christmas, and her cookies are not only flavorless no matter how much jello is added, no matter what type, also they are overbaked, and rock hard with too much flour. Multiple problems! And seriously, he says they are good. I’m always astounded. His own mother won’t eat the cookies that she makes, because she says she doesn’t like them.
      But she will always make them for him. And he always seems to enjoy these rocks. I mean cookies. Strange.

  2. The reason YOUR cookies don’t taste good is because your using vanilla extract. DO NOT USE VANILLA (EW!). Instead, use a flavor extract similar to your Jell-O flavor.

  3. I have been mulling this recipe over in my mind since yesterday when I found your site via – I like your site btw and have bookmarked it. The recipe is nagging at me because it seems like there HAS to be a way to make them less gritty (at least thats how they look) and more flavor acceptable. One thought, is adding the jello mix when the other sugar and butter is creamed so it is better incorporated- although this would preclude using different flavors for one batch ( a small sarafice if it worked) The other thought I had is to make the dough as recipe reads, but to add a bit of hot water to dissolve the jello’s before adding it to the dough portions so it again it blends well into dough. If it is too sticky I would think adding in a bit more flour-OR- chill dough so jello can set in dough more. Just some thoughts. I may try it-or not- but thought I would put it out there to rest my mind and to share if anyone wanted to see if these ideas would produce a better cookie. 🙂

  4. The surgar free Jello was a horrible idea. These are cookies! You are supposed to have sugar! I personally love them, but will only make specific flavors. Not all of them make the best cookies. (Grape was a horrible selection!) I personally prefer Black Cherry, Cherry, Strawberry, Lemon and Lime.
    I do agree that is is an aquired taste. There is no middle ground. Either you love them or you hate them.

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