Lebedushka – Creamy Ricotta and Kiwi-Strawberry Gelatin Dessert

Lebedushka -1Preparing for holidays or parties always brings an exciting note of anticipation into the home. During my childhood, I remember all the bustling and planning as I watched my Mama in a flurry of activity. She seemed to understand my longing to be part of the action, even as a little 5 year old, and would give me little jobs here and there so I could feel involved. 

Lebedushka was one of the desserts that was almost always on the menu, from the days of my childhood and even now that all of my siblings and I are married and have homes of our own. It’s a two layer gelatin dessert, with the first layer consisting of a creamy ricotta mixture, and the top layer is fruit and a flavored gelatin. Our family really loved this dessert and we always got rave reviews and recipe requests from guests. 

As I grew older and started to make this dessert myself, I realized that this is high on the list of the cook as well, because it’s so easy to make, can be made ahead of time and looks absolutely stunning. It’s very versatile as well. You can serve it in individual portions or chill it in any deep rimmed dish and cut it into different shapes. You can also use many different fruit and berry combinations as well as use any flavor of gelatin that you like. 

This year, I was really excited to try out the Blendtec blender. I was so impressed with this incredible kitchen workhorse. You can read more about my thoughts about this blender in this post. Lebedushka is one of my favorite family recipes that I created for their website. To get the recipe, check it out on the Blendtec website. 


  • Lily

    HI Olga, I can’t seem to find the recipe on Blendtec website :(, I’ve looked through all 28 pages, and it’s hiding from me. Can’t wait till we finally find each other! Thanks so much 🙂

  • Olivia

    This looked like a great recipe but I’m having some trouble – my top jello layer won’t set! I’m wondering if it is because of the kiwi in it? The jello box instructions always warn against using kiwi because of this but I trusted your recipe would work. Any thoughts about how yours set and mine didn’t?

    • olgak7

      Definitely follow the instructions on the box, Olivia. I don’t manufacture the jello, so you have to follow their instructions. Use other fruit next time.

    • olgak7

      I sprinkle the gelatin over cold water, let it bloom for 5 minutes, and then dissolve it in the microwave or using a double boiler, without letting it boil.

  • Olena @ candies & crunches

    Hi Olga! I just recently came across your blog when I was looking for plov recipe. First of all, it came out DELICIOUS when I made it! So thank you for that. Anyhow, even though this happened not even a week ago, I fell in love with your website already. And believe me, I MEAN IT! As probably you can tell, I am originally from Ukraine, but have been living in Canada for the past 10 years. Needless to say, I haven’t had a great variety of Eastern European food in a very long time!!!! Now that I’m pregnant (14.5 weeks wooohooo!!!! btw good luck on your coming up c-section!!!), savory food from my childhood is ALL I’ve been craving. Your blog is pretty much a treasure chest that I’ve been looking for ahahahha! And this particular dessert brought back some great memories. So I just wanted to take some time and thank you for the wonderful website that you’ve created! It is my GOAL & determination to make as many recipes from here as I possibly can in the VERY near future 😀 Suggestion: varenyki (pyrogies), pretty please? xoxoxox Olena

    • olgak7

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Olena. I really appreciate that you took the time to write, it means a lot to me. I’m so happy to meet a fellow Slavic immigrant.
      Congratulations on your pregnancy! Children are such a blessing. I’m glad the recipes are coming in handy. Vareniki are definitely a favorite too! Great idea.

  • Kirk Johnson

    Worked perfectly! Had only orange jello and it was striking with the kiwi and strawberries.

    In my Russian language class I learned this word means “swan.” Or little swan maybe? I would be interested if you could add why the dessert has taken the name of swan.

    Also in the future if you would continue to provide the Cyrillic with your recipe names (just the title of the food recipe) I would be delighted!

    Thank you for everything.

    Kirk in Minneapolis, proud father of of two sons of Russian heritage.

  • Julie

    This looked so good i decided to make it for Easter but unfortunatley the top jello did not set:( it was in the fridge all day! So my sister in law tells me that she read somewhere online not to put kiwi or pineapple in ur jello it will not set! Sure enought it didnt:( imagbe because i did it in a big ban and it was one in a half kiwi?
    So because i didnt want to throw it out i put it back in a bowl did the unflavored jelatin part like u instructed for the white part and i see that it worked:) i will se how it tastes today:) thanks for the receipe:)

  • Anya

    I had the same problem with the red layer not setting up even with just the one kiwi slice! (I didn’t think the rumors were true!) I remade it with just strawberries and mandarin oranges and it was fine. Maybe just a kiwi slice on the edge of the glass 😉

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