Cathedral-window jelly, also known as broken-glass jelly, is a classic dessert in the Philippines that's traditionally enjoyed on Christmas. When this treat is cut into, the colorful gelatin chunks suspended in a creamy, sweetened pineapple-infused jelly resemble broken stained-glass windows — hence the name!
As a Filipino-American, I grew up making this jelly dessert during the holiday season. I also have fond memories of picking the flavors that went into each year's version, which might have been my favorite part. The combo changed from year to year, but it almost always included red and green (because Christmas). It wasn't until adulthood that I appreciated how easy it is to make this dish.
That said, kids will adore cathedral-window jelly. They can help mix the ingredients, but be sure to supervise them when it's time to handle hot liquids. You can use any type of mold, but it's usually made in a bundt pan. This way, when you slice the jelly, you get that shattered-cathedral-window illusion.
The following recipe makes enough to fill a six-cup bundt pan, plus a small plastic takeout container. Alternatively, you can set the entire recipe in a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan. Just keep in mind that this will yield a slightly thinner and wider jelly. Either way, this dessert is sure to brighten up your holiday spread.
Use your favorite gelatin flavors or colors. If you're making this for Christmas, red and green are classic choices, but feel free to mix and match. If you're using three colors, you'll need about 1 1/2 cups of each one. If you'd like to use four colors, you'll need about 1 cup each. Also, avoid following the directions on the gelatin's packaging. The flavored gelatin needs to be firmer than usual so it doesn't break apart in the cream mixture. Not a fan of coconut? Simply replace the coconut water with plain water and use lemon extract instead of coconut extract. You can also use pineapple extract if you can find it.
- 3-ounce box strawberry or cherry gelatin powder
3-ounce box lime gelatin powder
3-ounce box orange gelatin powder
1 cup boiling water per box
1/3 cup cold water per box
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups boiling water (separate from above)
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin powder
3 to 6 tablespoons white sugar
Canola oil or baking spray, for greasing containers
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup boiling water and a box of flavored gelatin. Whisk well for two minutes, or until the gelatin dissolves.
- Add 1/3 cup of cold water. Whisk well.
- Pour into a container greased with canola oil or cooking spray.
- Repeat with the remaining gelatin flavors.
- Chill the flavored gelatins in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours, or until firm.
- Once the gelatins have set, cut into 1-inch cubes or chunks. If you're using three flavors, you'll need about 1 1/2 cups of each.
- Grease a bundt pan, then add the cubed gelatin, making sure to evenly disperse the colors. If you're using a 6-cup bundt pan, set aside 1/2 cup of each color to be used in a separate smaller container.
- In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups boiling water and the unflavored gelatin powder. Whisk well for two minutes to dissolve.
- Add the sugar, coconut water, pineapple juice, and 20-25 drops of coconut extract. Whisk well.
- Gradually add the condensed milk and heavy whipping cream. Slowly mix until combined.
- Let the mixture sit until slightly thickened, about 8-12 minutes.
- Pour into the bundt pan over the flavored gelatin. If you're using a 6-cup bundt pan, you'll have some cream leftover. Add this to a smaller greased container with the leftover gelatin cubes.
- Chill the jelly for four hours or overnight.
- Once firm, run a knife along the sides of the jelly to loosen. You can also let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Carefully turn it over on a large plate. Slice and enjoy!
- Other Asian
- 8 servings
- Prep Time
- 8 hours 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 10 minutes
- Total Time
- 8 hours, 19 minutes, 59 seconds