Everyone loves no bake recipes, but what about no baking, no melting, and just one mixing bowl? Patriotic Jello Balls are one of the easiest 4th of July treats you’ll make this summer! And, not only that, they taste great too! Can you believe these are made with only three ingredients!?
These are super easy – easy in the way that these are the easiest confection you’ll make for your 4th of July party! My mom used to make these jello balls regularly, but they were always present at Christmastime. I thought by changing out the green jello for blue jello, I could make the Christmas red and green and perfect red, white, and blue! These Patriotic Jello Balls are certainly super festive and delicious too!
Every year, I try to share at least one or two recipes that are either red and white for Canada Day, or red, white, and blue for the 4th of July. Today, I’m sharing these red, white, and blue jello balls, which were specifically prepared for my American friends as well as my Canadian friends who are currently living in the US.
The great thing about recipes like this is that not only are they easy, delicious, and festive, but they can be prepared to fit just about any celebration. If you want to make these for your national holiday, and you don’t live in Canada or the US, simply change the colour and flavour of the jello. For example, you might consider blue and yellow jello for Sweden, Ukraine or Bosnia.
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INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Thick Cream – This is a special type of thick cream, so please read the section below carefully.
- Jello – You will need one package of red jello, which is usually strawberry, cherry, or watermelon. You will also need one package of blue jello, which is most commonly blue raspberry.
- Coconut – Please read the section below for more information on the best coconut to use for this recipe!
THICK CREAM IS NOT WHIPPING CREAM!
Please, Dear Reader, do not confuse thick cream with whipping cream. Whipping cream is usually 35% milk solids, but I think the canned thick cream has a higher percentage than that.
I grew up with the Fussell’s brand. Oh my God, that stuff is so good! I can still see my dad shaking the can vigorously to ensure that the milk solids in the can were well mixed with the water that had separated from the cream. When he would finally peel back the lid, the cream was one pure cohesive unit. It was a thing of beauty!
Canned Fussell’s cream was popular in most Newfoundland homes. In our home, it was common to have dessert on Sunday’s which consisted of dollops of the canned cream right onto the top of canned peaches or pears in syrup.
SO, WHAT IS CANNED THICK CREAM?
Canned thick cream is a heat-sterilized cream with a slight caramelized flavour that’s also known as spooning cream. The thick, smooth consistency is delicious as a topping on fresh berries, fruit or your favourite dessert and can also be used as a replacement for cream when cooking.
It’s really that simple! If you’re a fellow Newfoundlander, you’ll no doubt already have a can on hand. But, if not, Dear Reader, you can find it wherever Carnation products are sold. If you can get your hands on a can of Fussell’s though, get it! I cannot find an online source for it.
Since publishing this recipe, I have received so many questions about the cream. Please note that thick cream IS NOT THE SAME AS CONDENSED MILK! To make things a little easier, here are what those two cans of cream look like:
CAN’T FIND EITHER OF THE CANNED CREAMS ABOVE?
If you cannot find Fussel’s Thick Cream, use Carnation Thick Cream. If you cannot find Carnation Thick Cream, you can make your own. Fussel’s is basically a traditional English clotted cream, but just not as thick. Fussel’s has the texture of full fat sour cream, where clotted cream looks more like whipped butter.
Here’s a picture of canned thick cream with the lid removed:
Alternatively, you can use either clotted cream or double cream from the Devon Cream Company. Both of these can be found in most major grocery stores. Unlike Fussel’s or Carnation, which is canned and stored on a shelf, Devon creams are jarred and usually found in the diary or deli sections.
THE TYPE OF COCONUT IS IMPORTANT
When it comes to coconut to bake with, there are two kinds – sweetened and unsweetened. Those two types can be found in different levels of fineness and coarseness. It’s important to use unsweetened coconut for this recipe. Otherwise, these Patriotic Jello Balls may be too sweet to eat!
Depending on the brand, some coconut is shredded, grated, or desiccated. Shredded usually refers to larger pieces, while grated tends to be smaller. Desiccated has nothing to do with the size of the pieces, but means the coconut is dried or that the moisture has been removed. In most cases, you will find a fine or medium grade. A medium grated coconut is what I used here.
HOW TO MAKE PATRIOTIC JELLO BALLS
So, here’s the deal – to get each colour, you will need to make the recipe three times. The first time, using the red jello, the second time, using the blue jello, and the third time, using a lighter coloured jello, like pineapple or lemon. They will have a slight yellow tinge, but still light enough to be pass for a white colour.
Add the thick cream to a mixing bowl, along with the red jello powder. Stir well to combine. Add 1 1/2 cups of the desiccated coconut to the mixture and stir to combine. Roll the mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized balls. Roll the balls into the remaining coconut to coat. Place balls onto baking sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours. Repeat this using the blue jello and the “white” jello powder.
A CANADIAN WITH AMERICAN RECIPES?
Now, believe it or not, almost every time I share a recipe that celebrates another culture or country, someone will take the time to send me an email telling me I shouldn’t do it. So, yes, I’m not American. I’m Canadian. But, that doesn’t matter when it comes to food and food-related celebrations. Food is like music. It’s transcends boundaries, language, and borders. And, why shouldn’t I – the Canadian – partake in these colourful and expressive balls? After all, I was raised to be kind, courteous, and respectful to my neighbours.
And, let me tell you, between John.e, McKenna, and myself, we were able to eat lots of them. I did package up a bundle for my good friend, Janet, but we ate the rest and they were delicious! If there are two things in life that one should never live without, it has to be cookies and acceptance. (Maybe not in that order!) Besides, any excuse I can find to make these jello balls, I’m going to find it!
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
Patriotic Jello Balls will stay fresh for about 3-5 days in a covered container and in a cool place. But, if you plan to freeze these, use a food-safe container that can be frozen. You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that cookie freshness locked in!
You can freeze these for up to three months. They will come out of the freezer looking just like they did when you put them in there. Once you thaw them, they will taste just as fresh, and be just as soft, as the day you first made them.
When all is said and done, whether we have just waged a war between Fussell’s and Carnation or not, who knows!? But, really, we’re going to be too busy popping Patriotic Jello Balls in out mouths to care!
Do You Like This Recipe?
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Patriotic Jello Balls
- 3/4 cup thick cream, Fussell's or Carnation brand (170 mL)
- 3 ounce package Jello
- 2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut, very finely grated – not shredded!
- Add the thick cream to a mixing bowl, along with the Jello powder. Stir well to combine.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the desiccated coconut to the mixture and stir to combine.
- Roll the mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized balls. Roll the balls into the remaining coconut to coat.
- Place balls onto baking sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours.
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