5 Refreshing Layered Fruit Dessert Cups

First and foremost a dessert needs to taste great, but we think desserts should look great, too! The warm months ahead bring along a whole range of gorgeous, light dessert options using seasonal fruits like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwis, and mangoes. We're taking full advantage of all of those beautiful fresh fruits and pairing them with a sweet, light Italian pudding called panna cotta. Instead of using a traditional cream base, this pudding is made using coconut milk to give it a subtle tropical flavor that compliments the fruit perfectly! Pair all of these amazing ingredients with an original pouring technique, and you're got yourself 5 irresistible dessert cups! Give your tastebuds the tropical vacation they deserve!

Yield: 5 per flavor
Prep Time: 2 hours
Difficulty Level: Advanced

1. Raspberry Dessert Cup

You'll Need:

  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • cup unflavored gelatin powder (¼ cup for the coconut panna cotta + 2 tbsp for the raspberry jello)
  • 2 cups raspberry syrup
  • fresh raspberries

Here's How:

1.1 For the coconut panna cotta, let ¼ cup of the unflavored gelatin powder dissolve in 1½ cups of cold coconut milk for 5 minutes. While the gelatin powder is dissolving, heat the remaining 2½ cups of coconut milk in a saucepan along with the sugar until it reaches 130°F. Pour the gelatin mixture into the saucepan and stir everything together. For the raspberry jello, dissolve 2 tbsp of unflavored gelatin powder in ½ cup of raspberry syrup. Heat the remainder of the raspberry syrup in a saucepan, pour in the gelatin mixture, and stir everything together until the mixture reaches 130°F. Make a third flavor by mixing together some of the panna cotta and some of the raspberry jello. Once you have all 3 mixtures ready, position the 5 large glasses at an angle in the door compartment of your refrigerator. Divide the lightly colored raspberry panna cotta mixture in half and distribute that half evenly between the 5 glasses. Let the first layer set in the refrigerator for 34 hours. 

1.2 After the first layer has set, rotate the glasses 180° and distribute half of the coconut panna cotta between the 5 glasses. Let this layer set in the refrigerator for another 34 hours. 

1.3 After the second layer has set, turn the glasses around 180° and distribute half of the raspberry jello between the 5 glasses. Let this layer set in the refrigerator for another 34 hours. 

1.4 Repeat this process with the remaining layers.

1.5 Once the all of the layers have set, garnish the raspberry dessert cup with fresh raspberries and dig in!

2. Blueberry Dessert Cup:

You'll Need:

  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  •  ⅓ cup unflavored gelatin powder (¼ cup for the coconut panna cotta + 2 tbsp for the blueberry jello)
  • 2 cups blueberry syrup
  • fresh blackberries and blueberries

Here's How:

2.1 Repeat the same process used in the raspberry dessert cups to make the coconut panna cotta and the blueberry jello. Make 3 additional blueberry panna cotta mixtures by mixing varying amounts of the blueberry jello with the coconut panna cotta. There should be an equal amount of 5 different shades once everything has been combined. Divide the coconut panna cotta evenly among 5 glasses and let the layer set in the refrigerator for 34 hours.

2.2 Once the first layer has set, heat the next darkest mixture over a double boiler to about 85°F and pour it on top of the first layer in the refrigerator. Shield the first layer from any steam that might come up using a wooden spoon.

2.3 Repeat this process with the next 3 layers, making sure each mixture is warmed to 85°F and each layer cools for 34 hours in the refrigerator before moving on to the next one.

2.4 Once the final layer has set, garnish the blueberry dessert cup with fresh blackberries and blueberries.

3. Mango Dessert Cup

You'll Need:

  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  •  ⅓ cup unflavored gelatin powder (¼ cup for the coconut panna cotta + 2 tbsp for the mango jello)
  • 2 cups mango syrup
  • fresh mangoes, diced

Here's How:

3.1 Repeat the same process used in the raspberry dessert cups to make the coconut panna cotta and the mango jello. Make 3 additional mixtures by stirring varying amounts of the mango jello into the coconut panna cotta. There should be an equal amount of 5 different shades once everything has been combined. Once you have all 5 mixtures ready, position the 5 large glasses at an angle in the door compartment of your refrigerator. Distribute the mango jello mixture evenly between the 5 glasses and let the layer set in the refrigerator for 34 hours.

3.2 Once the first layer has set, turn all of the glasses clockwise 90° and pour the next lightest mixture into each of the glasses. Let the layer set in the refrigerator for another 34 hours.

3.3 Repeat this same process with the next 2 mixtures, leaving the pure panna cotta for the last layer.

3.4 Place the 5 glasses upright in the refrigerator, pour in the panna cotta, and let the final layer chill for 34 hours.

3.5 Once the final layer has set, garnish the top of the mango dessert cup with diced mangoes.

4. Kiwi-Lime Dessert Cup

You'll Need:

  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unflavored gelatin powder
  • 3 tbsp lime gelatin powder
  • juice of 2 limes 
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • fresh kiwis, diced

Here's How:

4.1 Repeat the same process used in the raspberry dessert cups to make the coconut panna cotta. For the kiwi-lime jello, dissolve 3 tbsp of lime gelatin powder in ¼ cup of cold water and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Heat the juice of 2 limes, sugar, and 1¼ cup of water on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool to about 140°F, then add in the gelatin mixture. Pour the mixture over a cheesecloth to make the jello smoother, then let it cool to 85°F. Make a third flavor by mixing together the panna cotta and lime jello. Place a spoon in the door compartment of the refrigerator and place the 5 glasses on top so that they are positioned at a slight angle. Pour ½ of the coconut panna cotta into the 5 glasses and let the layer set in the refrigerator for 34 hours.

4.2 Lightly blanch the diced kiwi to ensure that the gelatin will bind properly. After the first layer has set, rotate the glasses 180°, place a layer of diced kiwi on top of the first layer, and pour in the lime jello mixture, making sure the pieces of kiwi are all submerged. Let this layer set in the refrigerator for another 34 hours.

4.3 After the jello layer has set, rotate the glasses 180°, pour a layer of the panna cotta and jello mixture on top, and let this layer set.

4.4 Repeat this layering process with the remainder of the ingredients.

4.5 Once the final layer has set, garnish the kiwi-lime dessert cup with a pieces of diced kiwi.

5. Floating Fruit Cup

You'll Need:

  • juice of 4 lemons 
  • 3½ cups water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp unflavored gelatin powder
  • fresh fruits & berries
  • 5 glasses

Here's How:

5.1 Dissolve the unflavored gelatin powder in ½ cup of cold water and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Heat the juice of 4 lemons, sugar, and 3 cups of water in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from the heat, let it cool to 140°F, and add in the gelatin mixture. Pour the hot mixture through a cheesecloth to make it as smooth and transparent as possible and let it cool to 85°F. If you'd like an even more transparent jello, substitute the lemon juice with 34 tablespoons of ascorbic acid powder dissolved in water. Position 5 glasses in the refrigerator, spoon a tablespoon of mixed fruits into the 5 glasses, and pour the clear jello mixture over the top until the fruits are completely submerged. Let the transparent jello set in the refrigerator for 34 hours.

5.2 Let each layer set individually so that the fruit doesn't float to the top and it's fully suspended in the jello. Continue to repeat this layering process with the fresh fruit and transparent jello until the glasses are full.

5.3 Garnish the floating fruit cup with fresh fruit.

As soon as you dip your spoon into one of these desserts, you'll know it was well worth the effort. Not only are these dessert fruit cups absolutely stunning, they'll satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you away from the oven on those hot summer days. They're pure works of food art!

Get the recipe for the Gummy Bear Jello Cake featured in the bonus video.

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