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30 Retro Desserts that Start with a Box of Jell-O

Break out that box of Jell-O and put it to use making retro dessert recipes. Make a classic Jell-O mold, fluff salad or even a cake with your favorite flavor.

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Molded Strawberry Salad

This refreshing salad has two layers – a pretty pink bottom that includes sour cream, and a ruby red top with strawberries and pineapple. For years, Mom has included this salad in meals she prepares for our family. -Gloria Grant, Sterling, Illinois

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7 Layer Gelatin Salad Exps Cplbz20 13090 E10 11 3b 3

7-Layer Gelatin Salad

Here's an eye-catching salad that my mother makes for Christmas dinner each year. You can choose different flavors to make other color combinations for specific holidays or other gatherings. —Jan Hemness, Stockton, Missouri
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Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Exps Cpbz19 4444 E11 02 3b 4

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead strawberry pretzel salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan
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Peach Bavarian Exps Gbdbz20 523 B01 08 6b 8

Peach Bavarian

Fruit molds are my specialty. This one, with its refreshing peach taste, makes a colorful salad or dessert. —Adeline Piscitelli, Sayreville, New Jersey
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Berry Dream Cake Exps Scmbz19 179116 C01 24 4b 8

Berry Dream Cake

I use cherry gelatin to give a boxed cake mix an eye-appealing marbled effect. It's so festive-looking. Top it with whatever fruit you like! —Margaret McNeil, Germantown, Tennessee
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Orange Cream Pops Exps Qebz20 20715 B01 29 2b

Orange Cream Pops

For a lower-fat alternative to ice cream-filled pops, try slurping this citrus novelty. The tangy orange flavor will make your taste buds tingle—while the silky smooth texture offers cool comfort, no matter how high the temperatures soar. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Bing Cherry Amaretti Fool Exps Fttmz20 97027 E03 04 6b 1

Bing Cherry-Amaretti Fool

When Bing cherries are in season, I make this fruity custard-style fool. The sweet cherries and whipped cream balance perfectly with the sour cream. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
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Pina Colada Molded Salad Exps32663 Nbc143387b01 17 4bc Rms 3

Pina Colada Molded Salad

My gelatin ring gets a tropical twist from coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts. It's a wonderful anytime treat. Now that I'm retired from teaching, I have more time for kitchen experiments. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie Exps Tmbbp19 34179 B06 20 3b 8

Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie

For my mother's birthday, I made this strawberry pie recipe instead of a cake. Since it was mid-May in Oklahoma, the berries were absolutely perfect. It was a memorable occasion for the whole family. —Josh Carter, Birmingham, Alabama
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Rainbow Gelatin Cubes

These layered jello cubes are fun to serve and to eat! I vary the colors to match the occasion. Kids of all ages snatch them up. —Deanna Pietrowicz, Bridgeport, Connecticut
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Creamy Chocolate-Banana Pie

You can make almost any dessert more awesome with chocolate. In this cream pie, fresh banana and chocolate make a truly irresistible combo. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
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Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake Exps Toham20 8274 B06 07 7b 8

Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

I prepare this colorful dessert quite often in the late spring or summer when fresh rhubarb is abundant. I make this rhubarb cake with cake mix and take it to church potlucks. People actually line up for a piece. —Bonnie Krogman, Thompson Falls, Montana
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Peach Panna Cotta  Exps Thjj19 233481  E02 19 6b 28

Peach Panna Cotta

This no-bake dessert is guaranteed to cool you off in the summer heat. I really enjoy the texture—rich and creamy Panna Cotta balanced by the sweet and pulpy texture of the peach puree. —Andrea Campbell, Los Angeles, California
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Berry Pistachio Pie Exps Hca18 36708 C05 19 5b

Berry Pistachio Pie

My grandmother used to make this pie when I was a small child. A Brooklyn woman gave her the recipe, but my grandmother could never remember the woman’s name or the name of the pie, comically dubbing it Lady from Brooklyn’s Pie. Feel free to use any flavored gelatin, or try walnuts or pecans instead of pistachios. I use a store-bought graham cracker crust, but you can also use a chocolate graham cracker crust. —Judy DeGrottole, New York, New York
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Apricot Fluff Exps Sdjj19 70415 B02 12 12b 2

Apricot Fluff

When we were young mothers, I asked my best friend if she had a recipe for an easy ambrosia salad that I could take to a cookout later that evening. She shared this recipe with me and it's become a must-have at every barbecue I attend. It's sublime with peaches and peach gelatin, too. —Melissa Meinke, Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania
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Strawberry-Lime Bars

Our family loves fresh strawberries, so I look for different ways to use them. This tempting, yummy dessert has sweet strawberries, tart lime and salty pretzels. —Alexandra Barnett, Forest, Virginia
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Fluffy Key Lime Pie Exps Dsbz17 36450 D01 13 6b 7

Fluffy Key Lime Pie

For a taste of paradise, try this no-bake Key lime pie recipe. It's low in fat, sugar and fuss. It truly is the best Key lime pie recipe ever! —Frances VanFossan, Warren, Michigan
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Exps10461 5sd153598a11 12 3b

Strawberry Banana Trifle

No matter where I take this dessert, the bowl is emptied in minutes. It's fun to make because everyone oohs and ahhs over how pretty it is. —Kim Waterhouse, Randolph, Maine
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Exps34107 Uh153291a04 30 3b

Stained Glass Gelatin

Kids love this sweet, wiggly gelatin and whipped topping dessert. Use different flavors of gelatin to make color versions that are as wild as your imagination. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Refrigerator Lime Cheesecake Exps Bdsmz17 48876 B03 02 3b

Refrigerator Lime Cheesecake

I made this for a Father's Day party, and it was a hit! I guarantee compliments when you serve this fantastic dessert. —Cher Anjema, Kleinburg, Ontario
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Red, White 'n' Blue Salad

Our striking "flag" salad drew plenty of attention at our Independence Day party. The shimmering stripes are formed with distinctive gelatin layers. It makes you want to salute before spooning some up! —Laurie Neverman, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Rhubarb Icebox Dessert

A light and fluffy marshmallow layer tops the tart rhubarb filling in this delicious make-ahead recipe. —Renee Schwebach, Dumont, Minnesota
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Easy Pink Lemonade Pie

I love bringing something sweet to a potluck, but I don’t like spending all day in the kitchen. Saltine crust is amazing with a no-bake, tart-sweet strawberry lemonade filling. — Gina Nistico, Taste of Home Food Editor
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Lemon Snowball Exps Thca17 2224 C11 01 5b

Lemon Snowball

For a special occasion like a church supper, I make this beautiful dessert. The lemon and coconut flavors go so wonderfully together. Everyone will be asking for the recipe.—Lucy Rickers, Bonsall, California
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Cranberry-Lime Semifreddo with Pound Cake

Everyone has a favorite way to serve pound cake, but no one will expect this! It's my go-to trick for using up leftover cranberry sauce. —Christine Wendland, Browns Mills, New Jersey
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Exps36669 Nbc143387b01 17 3bc Rms 3

Simple Lime Gelatin Salad

Looking for a festive dish to light up the buffet? This pretty green gelatin salad is eye-catching and has a delightful, tangy flavor. —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Mamaw Emily S Strawberry Cake Exps Frbz19 82745 C01 31 4b 9

Mamaw Emily's Strawberry Cake

My husband loved his mamaw's strawberry cake recipe. He thought no one could duplicate it. I made it, and it’s just as scrumptious as he remembers. —Jennifer Bruce, Manitou, Kentucky
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Lemon Chiffon Blueberry Dessert

This cool and creamy no-bake dessert is perfect for hot summer days. I sometimes replace raspberries for half of the blueberries to make it look more patriotic. —Jodie Cederquist, Muskegon, Michigan
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Creamy Coconut Peppermint Pie Exps Tohca19 83641 B03 19 5b Rms

Creamy Coconut Peppermint Pie

Garnished with toasted coconut and more peppermint candy, this creamy dessert welcomes the holidays! Look for premade shortbread crusts in the baking aisle of the grocery store. —Cheryl Perry, Hertford, North Carolina
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Creme de Menthe Squares

This layered bar hits all the sweet spots: It’s airy, creamy, crunchy and the perfect mix of cool mint and rich chocolate. It has a vintage dessert appeal that no one in our family can resist. —Marilyn Blankschien, Clintonville, Wisconsin

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.
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