Difference Between Jelly and Jam

Both jelly and jam are very popular desserts that are made from cooked fruit. Each of them has different ways or preparation techniques that determine the differences between them, which we present in this article after the relevant definitions.


Jelly is a gelatinous dessert that is made with fruit juice mixed with sugar and other ingredients such as lemon juice, pectin (a natural ingredient used to give consistency), cornstarch or flavorless gelatin. The jelly is usually clear and shiny, viscous and with consistency.

Likewise, the most common fruits with which jelly is made are strawberries, grapes, peaches and pineapple, but some vegetables are consumed in this type of food such as paprika, peppers or jalapeños. Generally, it does not have pieces of fruit, but some homemade recipes add small pieces of the fruit or vegetable to the jelly.

On the other hand, the way to prepare the jelly is as follows:

  • The fruit is washed very well, boiled and then blended to obtain the juice.
  • Lemon juice is added and simmered to reduce liquid.
  • Add pectin or unflavored gelatin, stirring constantly until desired consistency is obtained.
  • It is removed from the heat, allowed to cool and molds are served.


Jam is a fruit-based dessert made with whole fruit cut into small pieces or mashed, sugar and a touch of cinnamon. The jam contains small pieces of the fruit that are what give consistency to this dessert. Likewise, it is usually intense in color, viscous and with little consistency, since it is used as a spread for cookies or bread.

The way to prepare the jam is as follows:

  • The fruit is carefully washed, cut into very small pieces or finely crushed.
  • Sugar is added, the necessary amount according to the natural sweetness of the fruit and its maturity, with a little cinnamon and water.
  • Cook over medium heat until it begins to boil.
  • When boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and leave it until the desired consistency is obtained.
  • Let cool and reserve in containers for refrigeration.

Finally, the jam is usually served cold as an accompaniment to bread and cookies, the most common jams being strawberry, guava, passion fruit and pineapple.

Taking into account the above, the main differences between jelly and jam can be summarized as:

  • Jelly is made from fruit or vegetable juice while jam is made from finely chopped or crushed fruit or vegetables.
  • The jelly must have some ingredient that gives it consistency such as pectin, cornstarch or flavorless gelatin, while the jam does not have these types of ingredients, since it is less consistent.
  • The jelly does not usually have small pieces of the fruit except for some particular recipes according to the taste of the person who prepares it, while the jam does have small pieces of the fruit.

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