Jello Custard Pudding Cups: the No-Bake Recipe for a Creamy Dessert You Have to Try Right Now!

Total time: 10 min prep/ cool
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Calling all dessert lovers and nostalgia seekers! This dessert will take you on a trip down memory lane with a childhood favorite: Jello Custard Pudding Cups. But this recipe takes it to a new level with a two-layered masterpiece that's both fun and easy to make, perfect for satisfying sweet tooths or whipping up a crowd-pleasing dessert. The main ingredients are Jello powder, for the vibrant base, and milk, sugar, cornstarch, butter, and vanilla extract for the luscious egg-free custard. It’s easy to make too! Dissolve the jello in boiling water, and leave it to set while you prepare the custard. As easy as that! So why not ditch the store-bought pudding and get ready to create a homemade dessert that's both delicious and visually stunning!

What are Jello Custard Pudding Cups?

Jello Custard Pudding Cups are a tasty twist on the classic Jello dessert. It combines two favorite desserts, Jello and custard, into a single layered treat. The bottom layer is a colorful Jello base made with your favorite Jello flavor and hot water. The top layer is a creamy and silky homemade egg-free custard. This recipe requires no baking and uses simple ingredients, making it perfect for cooks of all skill levels.

Jello, with its wiggly texture and endless flavor options, can trace its roots back to 19th-century America.  It's a descendant of a dish called calves' foot jelly, made with boiled animal parts. Thankfully, modern Jello uses simpler ingredients like gelatin, a protein derived from collagen. And here’s a fun fact: The very first Jello flavor was strawberry, introduced in 1897 by Pearle Wait and his wife May.


  • Use the exact amount of water recommended in the recipe. Too little water will result in a firm, rubbery Jello layer, while too much will make it weak and runny.
  • Once you add the Jello powder to hot water, whisk constantly until completely dissolved. Any undissolved granules can result in a lumpy texture.
  • Cornstarch is the thickening agent in your custard. Make sure it's well incorporated with the milk to avoid lumps. You can whisk it into a slurry with a little milk before adding it to the pot.
  • The custard can burn easily. Once the mixture starts to thicken, whisk constantly over medium heat until it reaches the right consistency – it will coat the back of a spoon and leave a clean trail when your finger is drawn through it.
  • Don't let the custard boil. Once it thickens, remove it from the heat immediately. Boiling can make the custard become tough.
  • Let the custard cool slightly before pouring it over the Jello layer. Hot custard can melt the Jello and ruin the beautiful two-tone effect.

How Can I Customize Jello Custard Pudding Cups?

Choose different Jello flavors and adjust the custard for a variety of tastes. Adding a splash of extract like almond or coconut to the custard offers another layer of flavor.

My Jello Layer Is Too Firm/Runny, How Can I Fix It?

Ensure you're using the exact amount of water recommended in the recipe. Too little water makes a firm Jello, while too much makes it runny.

Do I Need To Bloom The Jello Powder?

Blooming is not necessary, but it helps prevent lumps. Sprinkle the Jello powder over a small amount of cold water and let it sit for 5 minutes before whisking it into hot water.

My Custard Is Lumpy, What Went Wrong?

Ensure the cornstarch is well incorporated with the milk before heating. You can whisk it into a slurry with a little milk before adding it to the pot.

Can I Use Pre-Made Pudding Instead Of Making My Own?

Absolutely! Using store-bought vanilla pudding saves time, but homemade custard offers a richer and fresher flavor.

How to Store Jello Custard Pudding Cups

Store the cups in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


500ml (2 1/4 cups)
dry jelly
1 package (85g)
500ml (2 cups)
100g (1/3 cup)
3 tbsp
1/4 tsp
Vanilla Extract
1/3 tsp
1 tbsp

How To Make Jello Custard Pudding Cups

Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stovetop. Add the dry jelly and stir to dissolve.

Place a folded paper towel in a muffin tin, and add the glasses, placing them sideways.

Divide the dissolved jelly mixture evenly among individual serving cups. Carefully transfer them to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours, or until the jelly is completely set.

Now prepare the custard: In a separate saucepan, whisk together the milk, sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Make sure the mixture is whisked well to avoid lumps in your custard.

Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking continuously, until it thickens. This will take a few minutes. The custard is ready when it reaches a thick and creamy consistency, and coats the back of a spoon. Once the custard is thickened, remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.

Take the chilled jelly cups out of the refrigerator. Gently pour the custard over the set jelly layer in each cup. Place the cups back in the refrigerator and let them chill for another hour, or until the custard layer is completely set.

Just before serving, top each cup of Jello Custard Pudding with your favorite fresh fruits. Berries, sliced bananas, or chopped mango are all delicious options.

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