Introduction: Donkey Kong Coconut Barrels (Jello Shots)

Every red-blooded gamer knows at least some portion of the Donkey Kong legacy! This great ape is one of the most iconic characters in all of video-game-dom! I was first introduced to DK on the Super Nintendo. I would watch my older brother and sister play Donkey Kong Country all the time, and while I did my best to emulate them I was never quite as skilled. I never got very far in any of the DK games, but what I enjoyed about the games wasn't the challenge of the levels or the feeling of accomplishment after defeating a boss, what I always played for was the scenery and design of the levels. Jungles, ancient temples, pirate ships, volcanoes, beaches, tunnels, mine shafts, anywhere the DK clan went was some place totally unlike anything my little single-digit-aged brain had seen and those were the only places I wanted to be (you can only imagine what happened after I saw the first three Indiana Jones movies).

The original concept of this jello shot came to me as I was planning to attend a wrap party for a tropical themed musical my friends had been working on. I wanted to bring them something fun for the party so I whipped up this idea with some input from my ever-so creative girlfriend. I hope you all go as coconuts for it as we did!

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools


  • 99 Bananas (1/3 Cup)
  • Kahlua (1/2 Cup)
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk (1/4 Cup)
  • Cold or room temperature Water (1/4 Cup)
  • Knox Unflavored Gelatin (2 packets)
  • Hot Water (2 Cups)
  • (Optional) Sweetened coconut flakes (1/4 Cup, Lightly Toasted)


  • Liquid Measuring Cup (Size: 1-Cup)
  • Liquid Measuring Cup (Size: 4-Cups)
  • Shot Glasses or jello shot cups
  • Large Stirring Spoon
  • A refrigerator for cooling
  • (Optional) A small pan or toaster oven for toasting coconut flakes.

Serving Size

  • Makes 14 Jello Shots

Step 2: Preparing Your Ingredients & Mixing 'em Together!

    Pour your Kahlua, 99 Bananas, Coconut Milk, and Cold/Room temperature Water into a large bowl. Make sure you stir it well so that the coconut milk mixes nicely with the other ingredients. Now place it in a freezer until it's chilled. (Tip: If you're not sure if the mixture is chilled enough, touch the side of the bowl. If it feels freezing cold, then the mixture is, too!)

    Step 3: Making Your Gelatin & Cooling Your Jello

    Pour the contents of 2 Knox Unflavored gelatin envelopes into a large measuring up then boil 2 cups of hot water and pour it into the measuring cup with the gelatin powder. Now stir it all together making sure to remove all the lumpy-bits. Take your chilled alcohol mix out of the freezer and pour it into the hot gelatin mix. Stir thoroughly!

    Once you've finished mixing all of your liquids start pouring it into our shot glasses or jello shot cups right away and then stick them in your refrigerator immediately! You'll need to let these guys sit in there for about 2-3 hours before they turn into jello.

    (Tip: DO NOT PUT YOUR SHOTS IN THE FREEZER! Doing so can be a time saver if you have done it before and know how long to keep them in there, but if you leave them in too long they'll be ruined. Just plan ahead and allow 2-3 hours for them to set properly in a fridge.)

    Step 4: Toasting Your Coconut Shreds

    Stove Top Method

    Take your sweetened coconut shreds and place them in a small pan. Place your pan on a burner at medium-low heat. Stir or toss your coconut shreds frequently so that there is an equal amount of golden brown and white color to them. Once you have about half of them looking golden brown and delicious, place them in a bowl to cool them off.

    Toaster Oven Method

    Place your sweetened coconut shreds on a toaster oven sized baking pan and place them in your toaster oven. Set it to toast and keep a watchful eye on it. This method is faster than the stove top, but can also lead to burnt coconut shreds very quickly if done neglectfully.

    (Tip: An easy way to tell that it is time to stir or toss your shreds is if you see a little wisp of smoke rising out of the pan.)

    (Tip: If you don't know what I mean by "tossing" your shreds, it's that fancy trick that chefs do when they grab the handle of the pan and flip the ingredients around by shaking the pan.)

    Step 5: The Fun Step: Serving and Ingesting!

    After about 2-3 hours, take your jello shots out of the fridge. They should have a nice firm, but jiggly consistency by now. Sprinkle a little bit of lightly toasted coconut shreds on top of each shot and enjoy!

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