Dive into the tropical, boozy delight of Pineapple Upside Down Cake Jello Shots, a playful take on the classic pineapple upside down cake.
Perfect for your next party or summer gathering, this vibrant concoction made with Amaretto, Vanilla Vodka, and Coconut Rum is guaranteed to impress!
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While you may prefer to skip to the recipe card, we suggest reading the entire blog post to avoid missing valuable tips and substitution suggestions and to ensure you have the necessary ingredients, equipment, and understanding of the steps and timings.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Jello Shots
Our Pineapple Upside Down Cake Jello Shots recipe takes inspiration from the popular dessert that is made with pineapple rings, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and maraschino cherries on top of soft sponge cake.
In these fun jello shots, luscious pineapple and cherry flavors are combined with Vanilla Vodka, Amaretto, and Coconut Rum in two distinct layers.
Each layer of the pineapple upside down cake shot is carefully crafted to capture that classic cake flavor.
The bottom layer is made with red, cherry jello, Vanilla Vodka, and Amaretto. The pièce de résistance—a maraschino cherry—in the middle of the cups offers a surprise to each bite!
The top layer of the sweet shots is where the tropical magic unfolds.
A combination of Malibu Coconut Rum, pineapple juice, and a splash of lime juice goes into the pineapple jello mix.
The result is a burst of citrus, pineapple, and coconut flavor that dance on your palate!
If these jello cake shots sound like heaven, you might also want to try our Pineapple Upside Down Cake Fudge recipe. Make both of these sweet treats and use up that jar of maraschino cherries—and while you’re doing that, why not shake up the Best Malibu Rum Pina Colada Recipe!
For those looking to bring some fun to their summer parties, poolside gatherings, or even a girls’ night in, pineapple upside-down cake jello shots are a must-try!
What Can I Serve With Pineapple Upside Down Jello Shots?
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Jello Shot Ingredients
- Cherry Jello
- Pineapple Jello
- Vanilla Vodka – Cake Vodka would also work great!
- Amaretto – An almond-flavored liqueur
- Malibu Coconut Rum – We used this particular brand of rum, but any brand of coconut rum is fine.
- Canned Pineapple Juice – It’s important to use canned pineapple juice as fresh juice contains an enzyme that prevents jello from being set properly. The heating process in canned juice removes this.
- Fresh Lime Juice
The complete list of ingredients with measurements is on the recipe card at the end of this post.
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Equipment Needed For This Recipe
- You will need something to boil water. In the UK, it is always a kettle! But I know they’re not so common in the US, so a medium saucepan is ideal.
- The spout of a Glass Measuring Cup/Jug makes pouring the jello into jello shot cups easier. But use a medium mixing bowl if you prefer.
- Use a Whisk to mix the jello and hot water together. A spatula or wooden spoon works, too.
- Jello Shot Cups (2 oz) – This recipe makes 24 (1-oz) shots or 12 (2-oz) shots. These plastic cups are sometimes called condiment cups and have a lid.
- A Baking Sheet/Cookie Sheet or a tray to place the jello shot cups on for easy transport to and from the fridge. For added stabilization, place the cups into the cavities of a muffin tin or cupcake tin.
The Purple Pumpkin Blog uses both cups and weighted measurements in its recipes, making American cups and kitchen food scales valuable tools for trying all the recipes. I provide US customary, imperial, and metric measurements. Still, it’s important to note that while you can combine cup measurements with weighted measures, never mix US customary/imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.) with metric (kilograms, grams, liters, etc.).
Reasons You’ll Love Pineapple Cake Jello Shots
- They are a creative, boozy twist on a classic dessert.
- The vibrant two-tone color is visually appealing.
- They are a great addition to parties, potlucks, and festive occasions.
- The tropical flavors are refreshing and delicious.
- They are easy to make in large quantities for gatherings.
Dinner Party Menu Suggestions
Want to create a dinner party around the jello shots?
Here are our recipes to create a menu for a dinner party or special meal:
- Appetizer: Mango Shrimp Cups
- Soup: Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup
- Salad: Mixed Berry Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Main Dish: Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pulled Pork
- Side Dish: Tropical Island Rice
- Cocktail: Blue Hawaiian
- Dessert: Banana Cream Pie
How Do I Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake Jello Shots?
The printable recipe card with the ingredients list and instructions can be found at the end of this post.
Number of Servings: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Setting Time: 4 hours 30 minutes | Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Step 1 – Make Cherry Layer: Place the hot boiled water into a large measuring cup/jug and add the cherry jello. Whisk well to dissolve.
Add the chilled Vanilla Vodka and Amaretto, and whisk well to combine.
Step 2 – Chill Cherry Layer: Place 12 (2-oz) jello shot cups onto a tray and pour the jello into each cup to about halfway full.
Place the tray of jello cups into the refrigerator to partially set for 30 minutes.
Step 3 – Add Cherry: Remove the cups from the refrigerator and add a maraschino cherry to each cup.
Return the cups to the refrigerator to set for 2 hours.
Step 4 – Make Pineapple Layer: Place the hot boiled water into a large measuring cup/jug and add the pineapple jello. Whisk well to dissolve.
Add the Malibu Coconut Rum, canned pineapple juice, and fresh lime juice, and whisk well to combine.
TIP! Place the alcohol and juices in the refrigerator to chill before using. Or ensure the pineapple jello mixture has cooled to room temperature before pouring it on top of the cherry jello layer.
Step 5 – Chill Pineapple Layer: Remove the cups from the refrigerator and pour pineapple jello on top of the cherry jello layer, filling to the top of each cup.
Return the filled cups to the refrigerator to set for 2 hours (or overnight). Serve and enjoy!
Optional Extra: Once the jello shots have been set completely, you can add pineapple slices to the top for another touch.
- Ensure your liquors are chilled before mixing for the best result.
- Let each layer set completely before adding the next to prevent mixing.
- Using a turkey baster can help with the precise filling of cups.
- Experiment with the alcohol content to suit your preference.
- Because of the alcohol content, these jello shots should only be served to responsible adults of legal drinking age.
Storing Leftovers & Freezing
- Storing Leftovers:
- Leftover shots can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezing Instructions:
- Jello shots are not suitable for freezing.
- With all leftovers, ensure the food looks and smells okay before consuming.
- You can always consult the Food Standards Agency in your country for the most up-to-date advice on storing and freezing foods: Food Standards Agency (UK) | Food Safety (USA).
Printable Pineapple Upside Down Cake Jello Shots Recipe Card
The printable recipe card is below. To save ink, any demonstration photos on the recipe card do not print.
Remember to leave a star rating and review the recipe to share your experience with others!
For the Red Layer
- 1 (3-oz) box cherry jello
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup Vanilla Vodka, chilled
- ½ cup Amaretto, chilled
- 12 maraschino cherries with stems
For the Yellow Layer
- 1 (3-oz) box pineapple jello
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup Malibu Coconut Rum, chilled
- ½ cup canned pineapple juice, chilled
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
- Place the hot boiled water into a large measuring cup/jug and add the cherry jello. Whisk well to dissolve. Add the chilled Vanilla Vodka, and Amaretto, and whisk well to combine.
- Place 12 (2-oz) jello shot cups onto a tray and pour the jello into each cup to about halfway full. Place the tray of jello cups into the refrigerator to partially set for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cups from the refrigerator and add a maraschino cherry to each cup. Return the cups to the refrigerator to set for 2 hours.
- Place the hot boiled water into a large measuring cup/jug and add the pineapple jello. Whisk well to dissolve. Add the Malibu Coconut Rum, canned pineapple juice, and fresh lime juice, and whisk well to combine.
- Remove the cups from the refrigerator and pour pineapple jello on top of the cherry jello layer, filling to the top of each cup. Return the filled cups to the refrigerator to set for 2 hours (or overnight). Serve and enjoy!
To make it without alcohol, replace the half-cup Malibu rum with cold water.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
More Jello Shot Recipes
Want to make more jello shots for your next party? Check out these recipes next:
- Cinco De Mayo Jello Shots
- Shark Bait Jello Shots with Malibu & Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
- Watermelon Shark Attack Jello Shots with Rum
We’ve got a list of 100 Jello Shots Recipes you can take a look at too!
FAQs About Jello Shots
Here are some questions people often ask about making jello shots.
Click the question to read the answer. If you have one of your own, please comment on this post.
Jello shots are a fun, creative way to serve and enjoy alcohol, particularly at parties or events! They can be made in various flavors, matching the theme of the event or the guests’ preferences.
Hot water fully dissolves jello, ensuring the Jell-O sets correctly and has a smooth texture.
Certain fresh fruits like pineapple, kiwi, papaya, figs, and guava cannot be used in Jell-O as they contain an enzyme called bromelain which prevents the gelatin from setting.
Fresh pineapple ruins gelatin because it contains an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain breaks down the proteins in gelatin, preventing it from being set properly.
Heat deactivates bromelain in pineapple. This is why canned pineapple, which is heated during the canning process, does not prevent gelatin from setting.
No, canned pineapple will not break down gelatin because it is heated during the canning process, which deactivates the bromelain enzyme.
If you used fresh pineapple juice or pieces, the bromelain enzyme in the pineapple likely prevented the jello from setting. To avoid this issue, use canned pineapple or cook the pineapple first to deactivate the enzyme.
If your plastic shot cups have lids, you can certainly cover jello shots when setting them to prevent other food odors from getting in, but they will set whether or not they are covered.
However, ensure that the jello is cooled sufficiently before adding the lids so that condensation doesn’t form, spoiling the look of the jello shots.
While not necessary for setting, lids are useful for jello shots if you transport them, store them for a while, or prevent spills.
While plastic shot glasses or cups are usually preferred for jello shots (because they can be squeezed to release the set gelatin mixture from the sides of the cups), glass shot glasses can also be used.
You might find that providing small demitasse spoons to reach the bottom of the shot glass will make it easier to enjoy your jello shots.
The simple answer is no, unfortunately not.
Use chilled ingredients such as ice-cold water and alcohol that you’ve placed in the refrigerator before using.
To eat jello shots, loosen the jello from the sides of the cup with your tongue, finger, or spoon, then suck the shot from the cup or use a small spoon to scoop it out.
The alcohol content in a jello shot can vary based on the recipe, but generally, about 2 to 4 jello shots equate to one regular shot of alcohol. Always remember to consume responsibly.
Jello shots typically contain alcohol and can get you drunk if consumed in large amounts. Always consume them responsibly.
The choice of alcohol for jello shots depends on the flavor profile you’re aiming for. Vodka is often used for its neutral flavor, but rum, tequila, or flavored liqueurs can also be used.
A general guideline is substituting half of the cold water in a regular jello recipe with alcohol. So for a 3-ounce Jell-O packet, 1 cup of boiling water is typically used, and then 1/2 cup of cold water can be replaced with 1/2 cup of alcohol. You can add more alcohol, but try not to use more than 2/3 of a cup, as too much alcohol can prevent the jello from setting.
We’ve got some more fun shots for you to try out below!
When making your jello mixture, follow the package directions, dissolving the jello with hot water first, then adding cold water, liquors, and/or juices to make the remaining volume of jello.
Try not to use more than 2/3 of a cup of alcohol, as too much may prevent the jello shots from setting.
More Delicious Jello Shots To Make
When you realise how easy it is to make jello shots, you will come up with all kinds of flavor combinations! Here are some ideas to get you started:
Pina Colada Jello Shots: Make pineapple jello with coconut rum. Add a swirl of whipped cream and a cherry on top for a tropical delight!
Peach Jello Shots: Blend peach jello with peach schnapps and vodka for a fruity punch.
Irish Cream Pudding Shots: Use gelatin to turn cold coffee into jello, then mix with Irish cream and chill until set.
Plain Vodka Jello Shots: Start with any flavor of jello and mix with regular vodka for a classic jello shot.
Strawberry Cake Batter Jello Shots: Make strawberry jello, then add cake-flavored vodka. Decorate with whipped cream and colored sprinkles.
Cream Vodka Jello Shots: Combine cream soda jello with boiling water, let cool, and then mix in cream vodka for a creamy delight.
Key Lime Pie Jello Shots: Start with lime jello and mix with whipped cream vodka. Add a dollop of whipped cream on top and a lime jelly slice.
Tropical Sunrise Jello Shots: Following the two-layer method in our pineapple upside-down jello shots, use strawberry and orange jellos to create a sunrise effect. Mix the jello with flavored rum, plain vodka, or tequila.