Edible No-Cook Jell-O Play Dough (Without Cream of Tartar)

No cook jello playdough recipe

Video No cook jello playdough recipe

Don’t have time to make regular plasticine? This simple Jell-O plasticine recipe requires no salt, no cream of tartar, no cooking, and it’s also completely edible, making it perfect for younger kids!

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Before I had children, I would never have imagined that there could be SO many different ways to make plasticine. Lotion dough, bath dough, pudding dough… As a result, you can make plasticine with almost anything.

Our current favorite is the batch of Jell-O Play Dough we made a few weeks ago. We’ve been leaving it on the kitchen table every night so our four-year-old daughter (who is an early riser) has a quiet activity to do when she gets up. It’s super soft and smells AMAZING.

That said, if your children are still very young and like to eat all the activities you prepare for them, you may not feel comfortable giving them traditional salt-based play dough. Or you may not have all the ingredients on hand (cream of tartar) or the time needed to cook it on the stove.

That’s exactly why I developed this Jell-O edible plasticine alternative recipe!

Like its counterpart, it has a lovely fruity aroma (although it’s not as strong because the cooking process seems to highlight the smell). But unlike its counterpart, it’s made with cornstarch and doesn’t require salt, cream of tartar, or baking.

It doesn’t have the same texture, but that’s part of the fun! Our kids loved playing with both types of Jell-O plasticine and we will definitely add both recipes to our repertoire.

And because this recipe calls for cornstarch instead of flour, it’s also a good alternative for kids who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity!

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this gelatin plasticine is completely edible and uncooked, it won’t last as long as regular salt-based plasticine. It’s meant to be a one-time activity, though you might be able to make it last a couple of days if you store it properly (see below for more details).

It’s also a bit messy, and the coloration of the gelatin tends to peel off on the skin. That may happen less with sugar-free Jell-O, but I couldn’t tell you for sure because it seems like we only have regular Jell-O on hand.

So if you decide to do this for your child, be sure to protect both their clothing and the surface they’re playing on. We keep our dining table permanently covered with a transparent plastic tablecloth precisely for this reason. (We do a LOT of sensory activities and they tend to get dirty.)

Finally, it does not have the same texture as normal plasticine. It can be turned into a ball, but it’s crunchier and less elastic, which is perfect for kids who love exploring different textures!

If you’re looking for something more elastic, less messy and more durable, I definitely recommend this more traditional homemade jelly dough.

But if you don’t mind clutter and prefer to give your child something that’s completely edible… or something gluten-free… Or something that doesn’t require cooking or cream of tartar (since not everyone has it in their pantry), this recipe is a fun alternative!

How to Make Edible

Gelatin Plasticine

(Uncooked Recipe)

Required Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to prepare a batch of uncooked, uncooked edible food dough, without cream of tartar:

3-ounce package of gelatin

  • powder (we use regular regular gelatin because that’s what we had at home, but you could probably use a regular-sized box of sugar-free gelatin, and might even be less sticky)
  • 3

  • /4 cup cornstarch 3-4
  • tablespoons water 1 teaspoon
  • vegetable oil

Step by step instructions

1. Pour

Jell-O into the bowl

Start by pouring the contents of a 3-ounce box of Jell-O into a medium bowl


We use cherry Jell-O, but feel free to experiment with different scents and colors using lime, orange, strawberry, or whatever other flavor you have on hand. (We’ve also tried raspberry and it smells great!)

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. Add the cornstarch

Add 3/4 cup cornstarch and stir with a spoon until



. Add water

Add 2 tablespoons of water and stir to combine. The mixture will be a bit difficult to stir, so feel free to combine the ingredients with your hands; I usually do it because I find it much easier than using a spoon.

Add a third tablespoon of water, working it in the cornstarch mixture until it has spread everywhere.

Mixture of crumbly wet cornstarch and gelatin powder in bowl

If the mixture is still very crumbly, add a fourth tablespoon of water and work that one as well. I used the full four tablespoons, but you may need less or more depending on the particular brand of ingredients you use.

4. Add vegetable oil

At this point, the mixture should have a consistency similar to the dough. (Be sure to add that fourth tablespoon of water if you don’t.)

Add 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil, kneading it in the dumpling until it feels nice and soft. If necessary, add a second 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil and knead that as well. (You can skip the second if the dough feels too wet.)

5. Adjust

the consistency Once the

oil has mixed, test the consistency of your dough by pressing it with your hands. You should be able to easily shape it into a ball.

If the plasticine is still too crumbly, add more water. To avoid adding too much, try wetting your hands and kneading the dough until the water from your hands has been absorbed. I have found this to be a convenient way to add small amounts of water to cornstarch dough.

If, on the other hand, the dough

is too wet, simply add some cornstarch and work with your hands, repeating as needed until the dough no longer feels as sticky.

Once you’re happy with the consistency of the jelly dough, it’s time to play! Give it to your little ones and let them have fun with it.

If the plasticine ever gets too dry, you can always wet your child’s hands a little to re-moisten it. But keep in mind that because it’s made with cornstarch, this dough has a crunchier texture than salt-based sweet dough.

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The plasticine kept its shape quite well and we were able to roll it into small balls to make a cute gelatin mass snowman. Our kids loved the unique texture of this plasticine… And also the fact that it smelled like cherries!

They also decided to try it, of course. Apparently it tasted pretty good. And while I’m not saying you should encourage your kids to eat it as a snack, this safe-tasting plasticine is perfect for babies and toddlers who like to put things in their mouths, because you won’t have to worry about it being harmful if ingested.

It’s also easier to make than traditional plasticine, and because it doesn’t require cooking (or even heat), you can involve your kids in the whole process without needing to worry about them burning themselves.


this plasticine

is made from edible ingredients, it doesn’t last as long as regular plasticine. It also dries quite quickly, as plasticine made with cornstarch tends to do.

To make it last longer, store it in a sandwich bag or airtight container in the fridge when not in use. You’ll also want to make sure your kids have clean hands every time they play with it.

If you ever find that plasticine has dried out too much, you can always try to revive it by working in some water or vegetable oil with your fingers. But try to keep your expectations realistic, as edible plasticine really is meant to be more of a single-use type of activity!

If you’re looking for a more traditional gelatin plasticine recipe that actually holds, you might want to check out this salt-based plasticine recipe!

Related Edible Plasticine Recipes

Looking for

more fun and taste-safe plasticine recipes to make for your kids? Check out these articles:

2-Ingredient Pudding Plasticine

  • Edible Marshmallow Dough Game Dough
  • 3-Ingredient Glaze Plasticine

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