Annika Eats

Rooibos Orange Tea Jelly

A fresh cold dessert fit for a tea party. The orange flavor and color is zesty and vibrant making for a simple and elegant jelly recipe. Served in tasteful cocktail glasses. Under 4 ingredients to make this beauty.

While the summer sun is shinning on us and the heat taking over our diet, this dessert is definitely one for the season. Ill be honest, this heat wave has got me nibbling at food lately. Also, my appetite has significantly reduced making for a very basic meal situation at home. I am currently looking for zesty and refreshing recipes to keep my taste buds going not to mention to keep them satisfied. I was not always a fan of jelly, don’t get me wrong if was saved raspberry jelly (made out of the instant box mix) I would happily eat it as long as I had vanilla ice cream to go with it. So making a jelly for me was not something Id jump to the opportunity for. 

In saying this, when I tasted this Orange scented Rooibos Tea I was blown away with the flavor and couldn’t stop drinking it. I brewed multiple cups of tea over the next couple of days and indulged my obsession by making cold iced tea as well. I then brushed a vanilla cake which was part of a Madeira cake recipe for moisture and it was a game changer! However I have been looking for cold treats lately with the deafening heat. Which brought my thought to jelly. I had a bunch of fresh oranges that would compliment the Rooibos Orange Tea and literally with 4-5 ingredients this beauty came together. 

The best part about this dessert is not just the flavor but the amount of effort needed to bring it together because its almost nonexistent. All you need to do is stir a couple of ingredients on the stove and the fridge does the rest as it sets the jelly for you. While that happened you can potter about and do whatever you like. There are a few points to keep in mind while making this dessert as a wrong turn here or there will not make it set. Also, when I say set I don’t want the jelly to be firm and hard. No, that is not jelly. I want it to have a wobble, not a minor wobble but a serious wobble when I shake the glass, where there is just enough gelatin to hold the liquid together. 

A important points to keep in mind:

Tea Bag: I used Rooibos Orange Tea to make this jelly however you can use any tea you like. The recipe calls for 1 cup + 2 tbsp hence you only need one bag of of tea with hot water. This should be brewed and cooled before making the dessert. 

Honey: This is not necessary but since it is a dessert a little sweetness with go along way. I like the flavor of honey here but maple syrup, agave syrup or coconut syrup work well. If you are using solid sweeteners like sugar, brown sugar, jaggery etc you need to dissolve it into the water (step 2) well to ensure there are no granules.

Gelatin powder: Make sure your gelatin is not expired. Measure it out as accurately and ensure you bloom the gelatin. What does bloom mean? It involves you sprinkling the gelatin powder over a liquid and letting it soak up in turn allowing it to swell up. After which when its heated it dissolves evenly. You can use a gelatin sheet instead make sure to check the box to understand how much one sheet is equal to in grams and use it accordingly. 

Orange: Since I am using orange tea I decided to accentuate the orange flavor with he fruit. I use the zest and the juice here, however you could use blood orange (will change the color), lemons, limes, grapefruit etc. 

Vegan: If you are vegan and want to use agar agar you can, but I would recommend using half the amount as that of gelatin powder as it sets any liquid firmer. Also if using agar agar you need to heat it with the water and sweetener, bring it to a gentle bubble and then follow the recipe as mentioned below. 

Cooking: When heating gelatin powder you never want to boil it (totally different to agar agar), it will loose its jelling properties. Always keep the flame on medium and stir using a heat proof spatula. 

Setting Glasses: You can set this in one giant mold which will take longer to set but would make a nice table center piece for dessert time. I used cocktail glasses here but you can use any glass or bowl to set this. The smaller the container the lesser time to set, the larger the container the more time it will take to set. 

Alcohol: I haven made this recipe using Cointhreu but you can use a little brandy or Prosecco in place of the orange juice in the recipe to spike it up a little. 

Whipping Cream: I have served the jelly with whipped cream and a fresh orange segment which really turns this jelly into a pudding like dessert. You can skip it but the fragrant melt in your mouth jelly pairs well with the rich whipped cream. You can use coconut cream or any dairy free cream that whips up to soft peaks. 

Garnish: A few garnish ideas include toasted coconut, roasted flaked almonds, biscotti and anything you would like to serve it with. 

The jelly will take 1 hour minimum to set in your fridge. Keep in mind this will differ depending on the size of container you use to set the jelly, the fridge temperature and the gelatin powder brand. What you are looking for is when you shake the container the liquid is set and have a wobble. It shouldn’t be wet. Once the jelly has set you can leave it in the fridge for 5 days (covered), I would recommend when you are about to serve it let it sit on the kitchen counter top for 5-10 mins, then garnish it and serve. This is will help the jelly relax a little and not be too firm. 

Now that we have covered everything we need to keep in mind, let’s get setting! Happy Jelly Making Ninjas!

Rooibos Orange Tea Jelly

A fresh cold dessert fit for a tea party. The orange flavor and color is zesty and vibrant making for a simple and elegant jelly recipe. Served in tasteful cocktail glasses. Under 4 ingredients to make this beauty.
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Course Brunch, Cocktail, Cocktails, Dessert, Drinks, Finger food, Party, Pudding, Sweet tooth, tea time
Cuisine French
Servings 6 people


  • Sauce pan
  • Heat proof spatula
  • Glasses


  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 3 tsp Gelatin powder
  • 1 cup + 2 tsp Rooibos Orange Tea
  • 2 tbsp Orange juice


  • 1/2 cup Whipped cream
  • Orange zest
  • Orange segments


  • Bloom gelatin in 1 tbsp water and set aside until swelled up. This should take 5 mins.
  • In a sauce pan on medium heat add the water and honey, let it simmer and then add the bloomed gelatin. Stir until totally dissolved. Reduce heat to low.
  • Add the tea and orange juice. Stir well and take off the heat. Let it cool for a few minutes before pouring into your heat proof glasses/bowls.
  • Place in the fridge and let it set for 1 hour minimum until set. When you shake it, the jelly must have a wobble and bounce.
  • Serve with whipped cream, orange zest and fresh orange segments.


  • Do not boil the gelatin or else the jelly won’t set.
  • If your gelatin has not bloomed it is either expired or you need to let it sit a little longer.
  • The amount of time needed to set the jelly might depend on your location as well, when I make this in winter it sets in 30 mins however in the scorching heat of summer it can even take up to 2 hours. This is also cause my fridge is always full in the summer.
  • You can make this the night before and let it chill over night in the fridge.

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