Birthday Cake Jello Shots

About a month ago, my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Shot Glasses were featured on, spiking the number of visits to my blog that day, and also gaining some very interesting comments. This one particularly stood out: “I love how this blog is mostly gorgeous baked goods – but every now and then she makes variations of shots – I’m picturing a young Martha Stewart who is periodically DRUNK OUT OF HER SKULL with fruit on her face”. I’m here today to tell you that my skull is fully intact and while I do enjoy the indulgence of alcohol every now and then, I at least have the decency to clean my face :) But seriously, I do like to have fun incorporating alcohol into my desserts for special occasions with friends, especially for a birthday party! This time around it was my friend Alyssa’s 24th and I didn’t want to let her down after last year’s Caramel Frappacino Cupcakes

These adorable concoctions are jello shot “cupcakes” with bases made out of cake-flavored vodka, cream soda, gelatin, and cranberry juice topped with fresh whipped cream and pretty sprinkles. And yes, cake-flavored vodka does exist (Pinnacle makes it) and although it’s a little sweet for my taste in a drink, it was the perfect choice for these treats. The great thing about this recipe is you can really play around with the kind of juices, sodas, or liquors used depending on the birthday girl or boy’s tastes. (I’m thinking a combination involving chocolate milk and Kahlua would be divine the next time around.) Purple is Alyssa’s favorite color so I even added a few drops of food coloring to really make them pop. They were a huge hit with my friends, and the perfect start to her birthday celebration!

This recipe really couldn’t be easier – you mix together the ingredients, heat them up over the stove, and them pour the mixture into a silicone mold like this one. After a few hours in the fridge, they’re ready to be topped with whipped cream and enjoyed! Here’s a photo of Alyssa and I from her party – we’re constantly mistaken for each other in school (especially with masks on) but here’s proof that we are in fact 2 separate people. Happy Birthday Alyssa!!

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Birthday Cake Jello Shots

Recipe adapted from Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

Yield: 30 small jello shots


2/3 cup cream soda
2/3 cup cranberry juice cocktail
1 tbsp heavy cream
2 envelopes plain gelatin*
2/3 cup cake-flavored vodka
Few drops food coloring, if desired
Whipped cream – fresh or store-bought
Sprinkles for garnish


Lightly spray the mold with non-stick spray and wipe excess off with a paper towel. Don’t overdo it or the residue will affect the taste of the jello.

Pour the soda, juice, and cream into a medium saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow the gelatin to soak for 2-3 minutes, then begin to heat on low, stirring constantly until gelatin is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes).

Remove saucepan from heat and add vodka and food coloring.

Pour into molds and chill for several hours, or until set.

Remove from mold, top with whipped cream, and enjoy responsibly!

*The original recipe suggests 2-3 envelopes, depending on how long your jello shots will be left out (more gelatin for more time). I opted for 3 because we were traveling an hour to get to the party, but I found them to be a little too firm , so I suggest you stick with 2 and plan accordingly for the best results!


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126 Responses to “Birthday Cake Jello Shots”

  1. #
    Anonymous — October 7, 2011 @ 5:30 am

    Oh my goodness! Cake flavored vodka?!?!? I’ve only had jello-shots one time before, and these sounds delicious!
    Haley @ The Girly Girl Cooks

  2. #
    Angela — October 7, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    What a great idea! These are so cute!

  3. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — October 7, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

    Ahhh! I saw cake flavored vodka but hadn’t thought up a way to use it yet, this is amazing!

  4. #
    Sara — October 7, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    These are amazing!!! Love the idea of doing jello shots in the shape of little cupcakes…such a great idea! :)

  5. #
    Erinsgobragh — October 7, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

    That is too cute and cool!

  6. #
    Kallie — October 8, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

    Loved your post on mouthing off! People tend to confuse me and my sister with masks and gowns on, too :) See you at Annual Session this year?

  7. #
    NerdyBaker — October 10, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    These look so awesome! Next all grown up birthday party I attend (with three kids it may be awhile) I am SO making these.

  8. #
    Julia — October 10, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    Oy vey. People and their comments, good and bad. We’re crazy us commentors ;) I LOVE these and am printing the recipe for my husband to ‘surprise’ me with these for my birthday. I’m such a nerd.

  9. #
    Erica — October 11, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    Kallie – Yes, I’ll be at Annual Session, can’t wait to meet you in person finally! :)

  10. #
    Sara — October 13, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

    How did you transport these to the party?

  11. #
    Erica — October 14, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

    Sara – I transported the jello bases in sandwich tupperware and then brought the whipped cream with me in a pastry bag and piped it quickly when I got there. I don’t think they would have traveled well pre-frosted.

  12. #
    Anonymous — October 14, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    Can I just say wow! I just so happened to come across your blog and you completely blew me away! You have so many amazing and creative ideas! I am definitely making these tonight for my best friends birthday. Thanks for the great idea!

  13. #
    Anonymous — October 28, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

    I will be making these soon. They look awesome! If you were going to make these with Kahlua and chocolate milk, how would you do it? Omit the juice, soda, and vodka and add Kahlua and chocolate milk? I think that combination would be fantastic…

  14. #
    Amy — November 16, 2011 @ 3:44 am

    These are super cute! Sweet Genius!

  15. #
    cwyser — November 16, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    Cake flavored vodka…gotta find some recipes for that!

  16. #
    Nik — November 21, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

    Using vodka infused whip cream would be my only edit! ;) WHIPPED is a great brand that even comes in different flavors!

  17. #
    Anonymous — November 29, 2011 @ 4:38 am

    How far in advance can I /should I make these?

  18. #
    Erica — November 29, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

    Anonymous, the jello should be allowed to set for a few hours, but I like to let them set in the fridge overnight if possible.

  19. #
    Grace — November 30, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

    What tin did you use?

  20. #
    Lindsay85m — December 11, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

    I just made these and they were SO easy and delicious!! thanks for the idea!!

  21. #
    Lindsey — December 16, 2011 @ 4:32 am

    I went to the store to buy plain gelatin but I was only able to find the ‘unflavored make your own gelatin by adding juice or soda'(0.25 oz). Is two of the .25 oz packages going to be enough for this recipe?

  22. #
    Erica — December 16, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

    Yes, 2 of the 0.25 oz packages should be perfect, good luck!

  23. #
    Anonymous — December 31, 2011 @ 4:01 am

    can i use flavored jello?

  24. #
    Erica — December 31, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    Yes, you could use flavored jello. Enjoy!

  25. #
    Anonymous — December 31, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

    what color would you recommend for the food coloring??

  26. #
    Erica — December 31, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    I used purple because that was my friend’s favorite color, but use whatever you want!

  27. #
    Anonymous — December 31, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

    is two packs of 1oz to much gelatin??

  28. #
    Erica — December 31, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

    You want 0.5oz of gelatin total, so 2 packs of 1oz would be too much but if you’re using flavored gelatin maybe the packs also have flavoring in them and that accounts for some of the extra ounces. If you’re using flavored gelatin I would follow the recipe on the package instead and substitute the water for a mixture of alcohol and juice. Good luck!

  29. #
    Savannah Boyd — January 3, 2012 @ 5:17 am

    These are just way cute! Wish I had the molds for my friend’s birthday tomorrow. Maybe next year! Thanks for the great recipe and idea.

  30. #
    Francesca — January 6, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

    check out a Jellinator for making these and anymore jello shots :)

  31. #
    Anonymous — January 10, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

    Do you have to use a silicone mold? What about regular mini muffin pan? Or are they to wiggly to remove from the pan?

  32. #
    Erica — January 10, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

    I used a silicone mold because I was concerned about getting the jello out, and I know a flexible mold would help me push them out more gently. You could probably get away with using a greased mini-muffin pan but I’m not sure if they would release perfectly in one piece. Let me know if it works out!

  33. #
    Czaja — January 13, 2012 @ 1:34 am

    They don’t release well. If you use a mini muffin tin, spray it with cooking spray before pouring in the jello, then after they’ve set, put the pan in hot water to loosen everything and they should come out without ruining the shape.

  34. #
    Cigall — January 24, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

    Great post! So creative and fun! Thanks for sharing.

  35. #
    Kelsey — January 25, 2012 @ 3:28 am

    What flavor are the jello shots if you use just the plain gelatin like the recipe calls for? Cranberry?

  36. #
    Erica — January 25, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    Kelsey, it’s not a very specific flavor – since the cranberry mixes with the cake vodka flavor and the cream soda, but I guess you could call them cranberry if you wanted! If you want a different flavor, just use a different kind of juice or soda – it’s a really flexible recipe :)

  37. #
    Natalie — January 25, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

    Hi Erica,
    I want to make these however, I am not sure what “mold” it is that I am supposed to spray with non-stick spray. I hope you see this soon as I would like to make them for a special friend this Saturday. PS Purple is my absolute favorite color!

  38. #
    Erica — January 26, 2012 @ 3:08 am

    Natalie, the mold I’m referring to is something like this to help give the jello shots their “cupcake” shape:

    Good luck!

  39. #
    PurpleLady — January 26, 2012 @ 3:18 am

    Thank you, Erica. I can get that from the candy making store. I am excited.

  40. #
    Anonymous — January 28, 2012 @ 5:00 am

    I used a mini muffin pan with foil muffin liners and sprayed it just a tad. They peeled right off and gave it the “cupcake look”.

  41. #
    Anonymous — January 29, 2012 @ 3:06 am

    If I don’t want them to be alcoholic, should I just replace the vodka with water? My daughter’s birthday is cupcake themed and I think these would be too cute to serve with the desserts.

    • Erica — January 29th, 2012 @ 3:24 am

      Yes, replacing the vodka with water or any kind of juice would be fine. Happy birthday to your daughter, enjoy the jello cupcakes!

  42. #
    Erica — January 29, 2012 @ 3:24 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. #
    Fat Al — January 31, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

    I am confused about the ingredient measurements here – this really makes 30? It seems like not a lot of liquid is being added….

    • Erica — January 31st, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

      If you use the specific mold I used, it will yield 30 little cupcakes, but if you use a mini-muffin tin I assume it will make less.

  44. #
    Anonymous — February 7, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

    Using vodka whipcream for the toping would be amazing! And adds a little more of a punch! ;)

  45. #
    Anonymous — February 8, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

    Another us for the cake vodka is pineapple upside down shots. Use tall shot glasses, put maraschino cherry in bottom (with a tad of juice) pour half full with cake vodka then fill with pineapple juice……delicious!!!

  46. #
    Anonymous — February 9, 2012 @ 3:02 am

    What brand of cream soda did you use. There are several kinds out there.

  47. #
    Anonymous — February 9, 2012 @ 3:06 am

    Pudding shots with cake vodka would be good. Chocolate with whipping cream an 3/4 cup cake vodka added would be a chocolate cake. They will be a little soft you do need to freeze them. You could add real whipped cream to the mix an that works well.

  48. #
    Anonymous — February 12, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    really nice to try on my 18th birthday next 2 months. thanks

  49. #
    miss jenn — March 8, 2012 @ 1:48 am

    these are adorable i wanna make so much of the things you have on your make me wanna blog to have someone to relate to in the cake/baking world…lol thanks Erika

  50. #
    Anonymous — March 8, 2012 @ 6:05 am

    These are sooo cute! I want to make them for my friend’s birthday this weekend, but will they have cranberry flavor if I use cranberry juice? Or is there a different juice that would make them taste more like cake?

    • Erica — March 8th, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

      Maybe using 1-1/3 cups of cream soda instead of 2/3 might give you a better cake-like flavor. Good luck!

  51. #
    Anonymous — March 9, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

    These were so good and easy to make, I substituted condensed milk instead of cream and they turned out super yummy! Thanks so much for sharing!

  52. #
    Lainerz — March 26, 2012 @ 12:51 am

    These were really good, but I had a really hard time getting these out of the mold even after using non-stick cooking spray and trying to use a warm towel to loosen them. They also came out with with this weird opaque film on top. Any suggestions?

  53. #
    mrb — April 17, 2012 @ 1:03 am

    can these be stored in the fridge for a few days?

    • Erica — April 17th, 2012 @ 12:11 pm


  54. #
    Anonymous — April 20, 2012 @ 2:00 am

    i made these in a non-stick pan that’s meant to make mini muffins and it worked just as well! i’m taking them to a party tomorrow so i made them earlier today, and used a toothpick to take them out (they came right out) and am storing them in a tupperware overnight. thanks for the recipe!

  55. #
    Anonymous — May 5, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    I went to the store to get everything to make these and realized now that I didn’t get heavy cream. I have whole milk will that work? Thanks!

    • Erica — May 5th, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

      Whole milk will work just fine! Enjoy :)

  56. #
    oakley sunglasses — May 11, 2012 @ 6:04 am

    Thanks for everything you do on this blog.

  57. #
    Anonymous — June 9, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

    Made these last night but substituted pineapple juice for the cranberry and used yellow coloring and square molds for “pineapple upside down cake.” Loved it! Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Anonymous — June 9th, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

      O and also UV makes a really great cake vodka. :)

  58. #
    Anonymous — June 26, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

    How long can you store jello shots??

    • Erica — June 27th, 2012 @ 2:12 am

      I would say 2-3 days in the fridge :)

  59. #
    Alisha Krcek — July 3, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

    Three Olives Vodka also has a Cake flavor, which I think is hands down the best! Can’t wait to try out this recipe!

  60. #
    Anonymous — July 7, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

    Making this for the adults to enjoy at our daughters first birthday party. Yes, we need to celebrate the fact we survived unscathed and most of our friends are childless so they’ll appreciate our humor.

  61. #
    Anonymous — July 28, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    Tried to make these and they didn’t gel – the recipe says to heat on low, but I’m wondering if we needed to boil for the gelatin to dissolve?? I followed the recipe exactly and not sure of the problem. Please help!

  62. #
    Erica — July 30, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    You shouldn’t need to boil the gelatin, but maybe you didn’t use enough gelatin? Did you leave them in the fridge for multiple hours before sitting? I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you!

  63. #
    Brittany — November 15, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    What kind of cream soda did you use?

    • Erica — November 19th, 2012 @ 1:39 am

      I think I just used the store brand cream soda, but I bet any brand would work!

  64. #
    Angela — December 4, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

    Hi Erica,

    I am completely in love with this idea. But question, if you were going to do the chocolate and Kahlua route, how would you adjust the recipe?

  65. #
    Cheryl in Wisconsin — December 11, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

    Being drunk out of my skull with fruit on my face is my favorite hobby.
    Thanks for this! I already have the silicone muffin thingy, cake flavored vodka and cream!

  66. #
    loraine — January 5, 2013 @ 3:43 am

    Hi im making these for a birthday party tomorrow and I bought club soda instead of cream soda but I blended some cranberries with the club soda will that work?

    • Erica — January 5th, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

      Yes that will work – the cream soda gives them a nice taste that you won’t get with the club soda, but I still think they’ll be yummy!

  67. #
    Anonymous — January 10, 2013 @ 3:20 am

    I only have one mold and I wanted to make a bunch so I have to make the little batch by little batch at a time. How many days would these last?

    • Erica — January 10th, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

      I would say 2-3. Good luck!

  68. #
    Nikki — February 18, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

    I want to make these for my friend’s birthday party this weekend. Is there something strawberry or watermelon flavor that I could substitute for the cranberry juice cocktail?

    • Erica — February 19th, 2013 @ 3:12 am

      Maybe some strawberry or watermelon Kool Aid? Good luck!

  69. #
    Lisa — March 6, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

    i want to make these for a birthday party thsi weekend, but also need to travel 2.5 hours! im thinking it probably wouldnt be a goodidea! How did you store them?!


  70. #
    Lisa — March 6, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

    Oops just saw how you transported them in the previous comments. I just commited a major pet peeve of my own -_-

  71. #
    Stacey — April 30, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

    These are so cute! I was thinking about doing blue raspberry jello (for the color). What flavors do you think would go good with that?

    • Erica — April 30th, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

      I think the cranberry would still work! Good luck :)

  72. #
    Salena — July 2, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    Where did you get the pearlized rainbow sprinkles? I covet those!

  73. #
    Christina — July 8, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

    Do you have to use silicone molds or could you use foil or normal cupcake holders? I’m assuming they would be easier with the molds but I don’t have the time to go find any or order them online!

    • Erica — July 8th, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

      Yea I think foil might work – definitely better than paper. I can’t guarantee because I’ve never tried it, but I think there’s a very good chance they’ll work just fine! Let me know how they turn out :) Good luck!!

  74. #
    Christina — July 9, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

    I used the foil and the stick a little on the sides but not the bottoms…I might just use a cookie cutter to cut them out so they look nicer lol. Another question but how long will these stay good in the fridge? I made them last night and just realized that the partys not until 4 days so I hope they stay alright!

    • Erica — July 11th, 2013 @ 1:46 am

      Hmm good to know, thanks for reporting back! Good idea about the cookie cutter :) I think they should stay good for 4 days. But did you put the whipped cream on top yet? That probably won’t last very long, so wait until right before you serve them for that!

  75. #
    ele — August 29, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

    My friend’s birthday is in four hours. Is that enough time for them to set or will they still be watery? Please help me, I made them in a tin mold so I don’t want to attempt to take them out if they aren’t ready. :(

    • Erica — August 29th, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

      That should be enough time! Good luck :)

  76. #
    Dominique — September 29, 2013 @ 2:23 am

    so if I use a flavored gelatin Do I skip the cranberry juice and just add water? and what flavor gelatin would be best because I cant seem to find regular gelatin

    • Erica — September 30th, 2013 @ 2:08 am

      Yea I would skip the cranberry juice. Any flavor will work, but probably something red or pink for a pretty color :)

  77. #
    Dominique — September 30, 2013 @ 2:28 am

    o ok!! do I still add soda?

    • Erica — September 30th, 2013 @ 2:35 am

      I would recommend not really following my recipe, but look at the recipe on the jello box. If it calls for 1 cup of water, do 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup cake vodka so that you have the right amount of liquid overall. Hope this helps!

  78. #
    alex — October 18, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

    Made them for my sisters and cousins 50th birthday party, didn’t add the food coloring, looked a bit weird color wise but they smelled and tasted great!

  79. #
    Keisha — November 25, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

    Where can I get the molds from?

  80. #
    Keisha — November 25, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

    Having a birthday party for my cousin this weekend and would love to make these shots. Can you please tell me where can I get the molds you used to make the shots.

  81. #
    Michelle — January 5, 2014 @ 11:53 pm

    Question – how did you transport these successfully to the party? I am making these next month and I plan on making several batches. Any tips?

    • Erica — January 6th, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

      I actually brought them to the party unfrosted in tupperware, stacked with layers of wax paper in between. Then I laid them out and quickly piped on the whipped cream right before serving them. I brought the whipped cream in a piping bag with a tip already to go. I stored everything in a little cooler that I brought and it went very well! If you want to transport them pre-frosted, I would recommend putting each one in a mini cupcake liner or something so they stay separated from each other. Good luck!

  82. #
    Dominique — April 16, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

    Hi Erica,

    do these taste like cake even with the cranberry juice? for some reason I cant imagine the cranberry juice helping to make a cake like flavor. just curious what they taste like, if not I may replace the cranberry juice with the 1 1/3 cream soda like you suggested above but if you tell me they taste like cake as is, I will just follow your recipe, thank you and your blog is SO adorable and creative!

    • Erica — April 17th, 2014 @ 2:23 am

      The cranberry juice isn’t really there for the cake flavor, more just for some color and fruitiness. If you wanted to do cream soda I think that would add more vanilla flavor and the cake vodka will take care of the truly “cake” flavor. I’ve found the butter emulsion (it comes in a bottle like vanilla extract) helps add cake batter flavor if you want to add a tsp of that. Hope this helps!!

  83. #
    Angelina — October 24, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

    What kind of cream soda did you use for these? Excited to try these cute little treats out :)

    • Erica — October 24th, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

      Any brand will work, I probably used the generic store brand :)

  84. #
    Michele — March 10, 2015 @ 1:49 pm

    Most your other recipes include tasty frosting instead of just whip cream. Do you have a frosting recipe to use for these?

  85. #
    Vanessa — March 10, 2015 @ 9:19 pm

    I really want to make these but I have the plastic jello shot cups. Will these work???? Do I spray them???

    • Erica — March 11th, 2015 @ 9:17 pm

      Yes it will still work! Are you okay with serving them inside the plastic cups? Like a regular jello shot? If so, you don’t need to spray them. If you want to remove each one before serving, I’d spray lightly with nonstick spray. Enjoy!

  86. #
    agron omics — October 27, 2019 @ 11:29 pm

    Looks so good, i can’t wait to try!!

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    Anne Floyd — May 19, 2021 @ 2:14 pm

    Help. I live in Harrisburg, PA and I am not able to find the cake vodka


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