Adding Sugar To Jello – How To Moderate Sweetness


If you love experimenting in the kitchen or have been tagged as a food connoisseur by your friends and relatives, chances are that you don’t like to follow the instruction manuals to the T when it comes to food. Or your sweet tooth cravings have made you rustle up unusual dishes by tweaking the ingredients. But what happens when things don’t work out the way you planned or expected, and you’re left staring at a culinary disaster and have no idea what or where you went wrong? 

If Jello features high on your list of most loved snacks, you may have wondered if adding other ingredients to it might up the quotient when it comes to creating a sweeter variation. Although Jello may satisfy your sweet tooth, does adding sugar result in enhancing its flavor and satiating your sweet craving?

 What is Jello?

Are Jello and gelatin the same? Jello is a culinary product made by boiling gelatin. It is also known as jelly and contains a considerable amount of sugar, artificial flavors, sweeteners, and food coloring. Gelatin is prepared by first being dissolved in hot water, then being refrigerated, and finally being allowed to set. The next step is to add the remaining components, which may include sugar and flavorings. After that, it is kept in the refrigerator until it is served.

Difference between Jello & Gelatin

Gelatin, a superfood made from collagen, has no taste, color, or transparency, whereas Jello is a gelatin-based food made by boiling the ingredient.

While gelatin does not contain additives, Jello includes artificial food coloring, flavors, sweeteners, and sugar. Although gelatin has no taste, Jello’s additional flavors make it delicious. While gelatin is colorless, Jello may be produced with any color.

Why Add Sugar To Jello?

Sugar’s most unimportant function is its taste. Adding sugar to a solution may significantly affect how well gelatin binds to water and how dense the solution is overall. While decreasing the quantity of sugar in a recipe might hasten the gelling process, doing so may result in a softer set since sugar, in moderation, can increase gelatin’s hardness. Cutting down on sugar may produce a gooey outcome because gelatin generates softness in desserts like Jello by forming shortened protein chains.

Adjusting the salt content of a recipe is the foremost and best step to take if you find it too sweet. Alternatively, slightly roasted sugar rather than plain sugar might help moderate sweetness.

How much sugar should you add to Jello?

This is a dilemma faced by even the best home chefs amongst us. Just what is the right amount of sugar that can give you the perfect Jello? You could adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste. And if you’re looking for a delicious Finger Jello recipe, you could try the one below.


  • Gelatin – 3 tbsp
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Lemon Juice – 4 tbsp
  • Any Essence – few drops; you could use lemon essence
  • Food Coloring 
  • Oil – ½ tsp for greasing molds or plates


  • Take a bowl, add gelatin and 1 cup of cold water; let it soak for 5 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of water to a saucepan and pour in the sugar; heat it up and keep stirring till the sugar melts.
  • Next, add the soaked gelatin to the hot sugar water and keep mixing till the gelatin is completely melted.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture into two bowls; add your favorite food coloring and essence, and mix well.
  • Take a little oil, grease a mold or high-sided plate, and pour the syrupy mixture; set it in the fridge for 2-3 hours or until the Jello sets. Remove it from the refrigerator, cut the frozen Jello into squares, and serve chilled.

Cooking Tips:

  • You can substitute water with freshly squeezed fruit juice for variations in taste and flavor. 
  • If you want to reduce calories and prefer a healthier version, you can opt for unsweetened fruit juice or minimize the amount of sugar accordingly. 
  • China grass could be used as a healthier replacement for gelatin.

Final Thoughts

When working with Jello, do not lose your verve for trying out new things, particularly when treating your taste buds to a pleasant experience and learning new recipes with a flavorful twist. Feel free to go into unfamiliar territory, but keep your fingers crossed that it will have a “sweet” ending in every sense of the word.