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Chocolate Jello Shots

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Chocolate jell-o shots (a perfect dessert to bring to parties)

Have you ever eaten a Jell-O shot?

The alcoholic rainbow confections are almost as ubiquitous at college parties as those notorious red plastic cups. And yet, due to turning vegetarian at age 14, I’ve never actually tried one.

Not that I mind… Jell-O is too sweet and not chocolatey enough for me anyway. So when I recently came across a recipe for chocolate jello shots (without gelatin) in the cookbook Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts by Fran Costigan, I was super excited to finally try them out.

jello pudding shots

I brought the homemade jello shots to a Friendsgiving party (basically Thanksgiving, but with friends instead of family). All of the same Thanksgiving foods are normally present at Friendsgiving: stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, chocolate jello shots… well, maybe the jello shots were a little out of place. But no one seemed to mind!

work on

photo 2

Chocolate Jello Shots

  • scant 1 1/2 tbsp agar flakes (3g)
  • 1 cup water (240g)
  • 1/3 cup sugar of choice (60g)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder (25g)
  • 1/4 cup vodka (I think water would work for an alcohol-free version, but I haven’t tried it) (60g)

In a small saucepan, stir together the water and agar flakes. Without turning on the heat, let sit 10-15 minutes. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower to a simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring very occasionally until the agar flakes are dissolved. Add all other ingredients except the vodka, and whisk to dissolve. Turn off the heat and add the vodka. Immediately pour into 9-10 shot glasses and refrigerate uncovered 20-30 minutes until gel has set. For best taste, be sure to use Dutch cocoa powder in this recipe. Please drink responsibly, and if you enjoy this recipe be sure to check out the book from which it was adapted: Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts by Fran Costigan.

View Nutrition Facts

Jello Shot

Homemade Jello Shots

Questions of the Day:

Have you ever tried a Jell-O shot? And have you ever attended a Friendsgiving?

Link of the Day:

cauliflower alfredo
…………Cauliflower Alfredo

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Ayaka says:

    Great recipe! Coming from Japan, agar was more common in Jelly/pudding type of things growing up :) But I never associated you with alcohol for some reason… so I was like “yes! of course she drinks” and brought another new side of you, which is always nice.

  2. Out of place or not, these look super yummy!

  3. Danielle says:

    I have never tried Jell-O shots with agar, I will have to try it out sometime. I too had a friendsgiving…with Jell-O shots too. We made Jolly Rancher Jell-O watermelon and green apple with vodka, turned out delicious!

  4. lisa says:

    what is agar and where can I find it?

    1. Amber says:

      They are tiny white flakes that act as a thickener. I get them in a small bag at Whole Foods, I think the Asian section.

    2. Kristyn says:

      it’s a type of red algae

  5. Rachel says:

    Hmmm, these sound interesting. I wonder how they would turn out if you lowered the amount of sugar and used a sweet alcohol that would compliment the chocolate flavor. The sorts you might use making chocolate liqueurs or truffles, like Kahlua, amaretto, creme de menthe, Grand Marnier, Chambord… *wanders off distractedly, still listing liqueur names*

  6. could i substitute gelatin for the agar? I don’t have any, and it would be too much to buy a whole pack since this recipe only asks for a little.

    1. Sunnie says:

      Actually, the bag that you buy them in is only little (like 30 grams or about 1 ounce) anyways. :)

      1. ahhh! good to know! thanks for replying =) can’t wait to make these

  7. OilLadyLaura says:

    I LOVE Friendsgivings, only downside is you don’t get as many primo leftovers as when you host yourself or go to Mom’s (not an option for me as my family is all far away). I also do these types of dinners at Easter and Christmas. What would we call those? Freaster sounds a little strange!

  8. Jacob says:

    Ummm…how does one consume a Jello shot? Is it like a regular shot (I’ve seen people drink those on TV), or do you eat it with a spoon?

    Somehow this seems a safer place to ask the question than searching youtube for “jello shots”…:-P

    1. kate says:

      You kind of just slurp it down lol

  9. These are kind of awesome. I tried a Jell-O shot once when I was about 21. Because I remember very little of the rest of that night, that was the last Jell-O shot I would ever try. I think it was more than a shot, though, as it was served up in a large test tube. Heh, college.

  10. How creative! I’ve never had jello shots as I’m underage… and also because I just don’t like jello. But CHOCOLATE jello… I think I could get on that train :)

  11. Adele says:

    Wow I really like your website! And you have amazing recipes.
    I have tried jello shots before – but who would of known – chocolate? Good one!
    I plan to link to you often from my site. :-)

  12. Sandra says:

    they look like little Darth Vaders :)

  13. Amber says:

    OMG I BOW AT YOUR FEET!!! I can not wait to make these, possibly tonight since I have everything. I have made what I call “Jewish Jello Shots” with a box of gel dessert/jello that I acquired from the Jewish nursing home I work at. It is not made with gelatin which is awesome since I had never had a gelatin jello shot. THANK YOU!!!

  14. Mari says:

    I had way too many jello shots in college. WAY too many. Mostly illegally (underage) :) We made them in ice cube trays with double-strength jello, like “jello jigglers”, so you could pick them up and pop them in your mouth, or single-strength jello in those little plastic condiment cups, which you slurped down like an oyster. Love the concept of these, I’m looking forward to playing with the recipe as I no longer consume alcohol except in very small amounts as flavoring and I don’t care for the texture of agar-jelled stuff, but I’m not vegetarian – I use a grass-fed bovine gelatin (Great Lakes Kosher or Bernard Jensen, for any other non-vegetarians who don’t dig agar). I think coffee would work well as the liquid if you like a mocha flavor, and I love the idea of a splash of liqueur like Kahlua, Godiva, schnapps (peppermint, vanilla, cinnamon, Buttershots), Triple Sec, maybe Canton for that chocolate-covered-candied-ginger action. Never had a Friendsgiving, though we did occasionally “pick up strays” as someone did for me this year.

  15. Melissa says:

    These look really good and I like how they are gelatin-free!

  16. Jess says:

    You just combined my two favorite things…thank you :’)

  17. Etka says:

    Yum!!! Love the blog!!

    In case you’re interested, kosher gelatins are very often seaweed based for religious reasons. (Some are fish based bur plenty are plant derived.) They’ve got plant-derived marshmallows too. Just saying!

  18. Lisa says:

    If you want another tasty vegan option, try using a pudding mix base plus homemade Irish cream (Google it; you can make it with coconut milk) and chocolate vodka. Jell-o’s pudding mix doesn’t contain any gelatin.

  19. I Love jello shots and these look like the perfect vegan alternative and with chocolate! Your recipe get me every time!!!

  20. Sara says:

    OW Katie, great great idea, cannot wait to try this out for a party in the future!!!

  21. laura says:

    I was a varsity athlete in university, and for our rookie night we had to consume some pretty nasty things including a giant tupperware container full of jello shots and then vodka infused gummy bears. Needless to say I haven’t done jello shots since!

  22. Liz says:

    Chocolate Jell-O Shots! In all the college parties I attended, I never thought to try to make chocolate ones. I will have to try this with the flavored vodka I have (whipped cream, I think it will work nicely).

    I’ve done many “Friendsgivings” and always get asked to bring the same dish – cornbread casserole (it’s not vegan, but I’m sure you could make a vegan version). My friends love it! They were super sad I couldn’t make it this year, both because they missed the dish and my company. I think Friendsgivings are a lovely way to celebrate and be thankful for the other very important people in your life :)

  23. anonymous says:

    You are very thin. A little too thin…..


    1. dyan says:

      this is a really gross comment.

  24. Nanabella says:

    I see that agar is available as flakes AND powder. Do you ever use the powder?

  25. Louise says:

    why Dutch chocolate in particular and not regular cocoa powder?

    1. Nat says:

      That’s a good question, I’m curious too. Wondering whether I can use my raw cacao.

  26. Ruth says:

    I have agar powder, not flakes… How much would I sub in? Or is it not recommended?

    1. Sorry, I’ve never actually tried it.

  27. Madeleine says:

    I’ve always wanted to try jello shots but haven’t because of the gelatin. I can’t wait to make these!

  28. Barbara says:

    I never think of vodka and chocolate together. Although there are plenty of recipes with other ones, i.e. Creme de Cocoa, Bailey’s Irish Creme, etc…
    I’m going to the store tomorrow to get the agar flakes because I’ve never heard of it before. I might substitute Apricot Brandy instead.

  29. Catherine says:

    I came upon your blog yesterday, while looking for someone (anyone?) who would speak up in favor of carbs. I am so tired of hearing that one should not ingest carbs of any kind! I’m in my late 60’s and majored in home economics in college. I have baked forever and have never heard so much bad press about carbs. Your blog cheered me considerably and your recipes are amazing! I now have you on my “favorites” list and anticipate enjoying many chocolate treats to come…

    Catherine from Charlotte

  30. Laura says:

    I have agar powder, instead of flakes. Does anyone know how much of this I would use instead?

  31. Chrissy says:

    I don’t do alcohol at all, but I had to post an interesting fact about the Jell-O shot.
    Did you know it was reportedly invented by Tom Lehrer? Yeah, the guy that write the song about the elements.