Christmas Jelly Cake | No-Bake

A delicious, fun and colourful Christmas Jelly Cake that makes the perfect no-bake dessert for the festive holidays.

A colourful Pinterest image of a  jelly cake with a Christmas theme of white, red and green layers, decorated with sprinkles and chocolate decorations.

Here in Australia, Christmas falls in the middle of summer… which means that it’s usually hot, hot, HOT!!!

And as much as I love a traditional Christmas dessert, if the forecast for Christmas Day is a warm one, I’m all for chilled desserts that will cool you down… like ice-cream cakes, no-bake cheesecakes… and of course, this chilled no-bake jelly cake.

A round Jelly Cake made with green, white and red layers, and sprinkles on top, surrounded with Christmas decorations and chocolates

No-Bake Christmas Desserts

Forget about turning the oven on! There are SO many delicious Christmas desserts that require absolutely no baking at all.

And this Christmas Jelly Cake is exactly that – a simple, no fuss dessert that LOOKS AND TASTES AMAZING.

It’s a fun variation on everyone’s favourite classic jelly slice – but with a festive twist!

While this recipe involves no baking, it does need a bit of chilling time – so make sure you give yourself time for each layer to set (see below for details).

A close up of red, white and green layered Jelly Cake with sprinkles on top, and Christmas chocolates around the cake base

Make The Day Before

This Christmas Jelly Cake needs to be made the day before you need it as it requires quite a bit of chilling time for each layer.

There are 5 layers to this dessert and each needs to set before adding the next layer.

I absolutely LOVE making this jelly cake the day before Christmas because I can make one layer, go off and wrap presents, make another layer, tidy the house, make another layer, finish prepping for the big day, make another layer… you get the idea!

It’s certainly not a recipe that you need to stand in the kitchen waiting for – just pop in every couple of hours and pour the next layer over the top and place back into the fridge to chill. EASY!!

A close up serve of red, white and green layered Jelly Cake, topped with sprinkles, on a plate, with remainder of cake in background

Ingredients Information

This simple no-bake Christmas dessert needs just a few basic ingredients (and is so budget-friendly):

Note: please scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for ingredient quantities and the full detailed method

  • crushed biscuits – you can use absolutely any brand of plain sweet biscuit (known as cookies in the US). I like to use Arnott’s Marie or Scotch Finger biscuits.
  • butter – either salted or unsalted butter is fine to use.
  • sweetened condensed milk – use full fat sweetened condensed milk as it sets firmer than skim condensed milk
  • gelatine powder – to set the condensed milk layer
  • lemon juice – fresh or store-bought lemon juice can be used
  • red and green packets of jelly crystals – such as Aeroplane jelly or a similar brand
A serve of red, white and green layered Jelly Cake with sprinkles on top, on a black and gold plate

Making The Jelly Cake Layers

While this 5 layer Christmas Jelly Cake may look complicated, it couldn’t be easier. The hardest part is waiting for each layer to set!

The Biscuit Base

This is the first layer and requires no setting time (yay!) The crushed biscuits crumbs and melted butter are mixed together and then pressed into a round springform tin.

It’s important to use a springform tin to allow for easy removal of the jelly cake.

Note: ensure you smooth down the biscuit layer evenly with the back of a spoon. This helps the top layers to be evenly distributed.

The Condensed Milk Layers

The sweetened condensed milk layers go on top of the biscuit base and between the two different coloured jelly layers.

The sweetened condensed milk is mixed with dissolved gelatine powder and lemon juice.

The Jelly Layers

Prepare the two jelly packets (red and green) according to the instructions on the packet.

Set aside on the bench (at room temperature) while you prepare the other layers.

A close up a red, white and green Jelly Cake with sprinkles on top, and chocolate Santa\'s and balls on the plate

Recipe Notes & Tips

What baking tin should I use?

A round springform tin is needed for this recipe. This allows for easy removal of the jelly cake once set. Grease and line it with baking paper before using.

Can I make this on the day of serving?

No, this recipe needs to be made at least the day before as each layer requires chilling time before the next layer can be added.

How far ahead of time can I make the Christmas jelly cake?

This can be stored in the fridge and consumed within 3 days. This is not freezer friendly.

What equipment do I need?

You’ll need a food processor, a Thermomix or a rolling pin to crush the biscuits. And of course, a fridge!

More Christmas Recipes

If you’re still after some festive dessert inspiration, then please have a browse through my collection of the most popular Christmas desserts… with everything from a traditional fruit cake to kids recipes, cheesecakes, ice-cream cakes and more!

A collection of Christmas dessert recipes.

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A half-eaten piece of layered jelly cake.

Christmas Jelly Cake

A delicious, fun and colourful Christmas Jelly Cake that makes the perfect no-bake dessert for the festive holidays.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: desserts
Cuisine: Christmas
Keyword: Christmas Jelly Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 16 serves
Calories: 345kcal

Ingredients

Layer 1 (Base)

  • 250 g plain sweet biscuits (like Arnotts Marie)
  • 180 g butter, melted

Layer 2

  • 2 tsp gelatine powder (dissolved in 1/4 cup water)
  • 400 g sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

Layer 3

  • 85 g packet green jelly crystals

Layer 4

  • 2 tsp gelatine powder (dissolved in 1/4 cup of water)
  • 400 g sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

Layer 5

  • 85 g packet red jelly crystals

Instructions

Conventional Method

  • Grease and line a 23cm round springform tin with baking paper and set aside. 
  • Make the green jelly according to the packet instructions and set aside on the bench to cool – do not place it in the fridge as you don’t want it to set just yet. 
  • Crush the biscuits in a food processor and place into a separate bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined.
  • Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared tin and then place it into the fridge.
  • Dissolve gelatine powder (see notes). 
  • Place the condensed milk and lemon juice into a separate bowl. Add the dissolved gelatine mixture and mix until completely combined.
  • Pour the mixture over the prepared base and place into the fridge until set.
  • Gently pour the cooled green jelly over the top of the slice and place into the fridge until set.
  • Make the red jelly according to the packet instructions and set aside on the bench to cool – do not place it in the fridge as you don’t want it to set just yet. 
  • Dissolve gelatine powder in the cold water (see notes).
  • Place the condensed milk and lemon juice into a separate bowl. Add the dissolved gelatine mixture and mix until completely combined.
  • Carefully pour the mixture over the set green jelly and place back into the fridge until set.
  • Gently pour the cooled red jelly over the top of the slice and place into the fridge until set.

Thermomix Method

  • Grease and line a 23cm round springform tin with baking paper and set aside. 
  • Make the green jelly according to the packet instructions and set aside on the bench to cool – do not place it in the fridge as you don't want it to set just yet. 
  • Place the butter into the Thermomix bowl and melt for 2 minutes, 80 degrees, Speed 2. Add the biscuits and press Turbo until crushed and combined (you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl partway through).
  • Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared tin and then place it into the fridge.
  • Dissolve gelatine powder (see notes section). 
  • Place the condensed milk and lemon juice into a clean Thermomix bowl. Add the dissolved gelatine mixture and mix for 15 seconds, Speed 4.
  • Pour the mixture over the prepared base and place into the fridge until set.
  • Gently pour the cooled green jelly over the top of the slice and place into the fridge until set.
  • Make the red jelly according to the packet instructions and set aside on the bench to cool – do not place it in the fridge as you don't want it to set just yet. 
  • Dissolve gelatine powder in the cold water (see notes section). Place the condensed milk and lemon juice into a clean Thermomix bowl. Add the dissolved gelatine mixture and mix for 15 seconds, Speed 4.
  • Carefully pour the mixture over the set green jelly and place back into the fridge until set.
  • Gently pour the cooled red jelly over the top of the slice and place into the fridge until set.

Notes

RECIPE NOTES & TIPS
Baking tin – A round springform tin is needed for this recipe. This allows for easy removal of the jelly cake once set. Grease and line it with baking paper before using.
Make ahead of time – This recipe needs to be made at least 1 day before serving (as each layer needs to set before adding the next). Store in the fridge and consume within 3 days. This is not freezer friendly.
Equipment – You’ll need a food processor, a Thermomix or a rolling pin to crush the biscuits. And of course, a fridge!
Dissolving gelatine – Place 2 tsp of gelatine powder into a small bowl filled with 1/3 cup lukewarm water. Place that small bowl into a large bowl and fill the larger bowl with boiling water (do not allow the boiling water to enter the smaller bowl). Allow the boiling water to slowly heat the smaller bowl and dissolve the gelatine (this will take a couple of minutes).
Decorating – if you would like to decorate your jelly cake with sprinkles (I used red and green Christmas sprinkles) than do so just before serving (as the fridge can make the sprinkles lose their colour).

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 430IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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41 Comments
  1. Melissa Harris says:

    Im in the process of making this and it seems the white layer has not set. Maybe I poured the green jelly on too quickly as its a bit mixed but then I noticed in your usual jelly slice theres 3 tsp of geletin in the white layer and this one theres 2. Just wanted to query the difference?

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Melissa, 2 tsp is enough to set the white layer in this cake. The white layer does need to be set really firm before pouring on the jelly though, xx

  2. Ruby Thompson says:

    5 stars
    Definitely the Christmas day treat for the littlies (and perhaps some biggies also)

    1. Carolyn says:

      Recipe says to dissolve gelatine in 1/4 cup water but in ‘ special notes’ says 1/3 cup

      1. Lucy says:

        Hi Carolyn, either is fine 🙂

  3. Shani says:

    Hi, can you tell me if the condensed milk should be used thick straight from the tin without mixing with water?

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Shani, you mix the condensed milk (straight from the tin) with the dissolved gelatine powder and the lemon juice (please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for details). xx

  4. Erin says:

    Hi. Do you think this recipe would work with coconut condensed milk? And what could I use instead of butter to make it dairy free? I’m guessing it wouldn’t set hard using Nuttelex. Thanks.

    1. Lucy says:

      Hmm I have never made this using coconut condensed milk! Nuttelex ‘should’ be fine though!

  5. Christine says:

    Do you need 1 tin of condensed milk or 2?
    Each white layer says to empty a tin of condensed milk.

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Christine – you need a total of 2 tins (1 for each white layer) 🙂

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