Red, White, and Blue Gumdrops made in your home kitchen.


If candy were considered one of the major food groups, my life on earth would be heavenly. I made my first batch of candy when I was in elementary school and have spent a good part of my life creating chocolates. In all those years of candy making, surprisingly, I have never attempted to make homemade gumdrops – until today. I don’t know why I waited so long.



I was inspired to try my hand at making gumdrops when I spotted star shaped silicone ice cube trays while shopping at Target last week. The cavities in the molds are just the right size for a yummy little sweet treat and I could immediately envision how great the candy stars would look dressed in red, white, and blue sugar.There are several gumdrop recipes posted on-line, and I settled on one from the Better Homes and Garden’s website which uses pectin as the gelling agent and includes corn syrup which helps prevent crystallization.

My first batch turned out perfectly. These  homemade sweets are soft and chewy on the inside and kind of melt in your mouth once you’ve crunched on the coating of sugar.Flavored oil can be added to enhance the taste of these little treats, and I chose green apple. You can use any oil or extract you like. You may even want to divide up your batch and use three different flavorings. You can keep your candy clear and roll them in colored sugar or you can color your candy and roll them in plain white granulated sugar. I used bright red and blue sanding sugar and really love how vibrant the stars look.

I piled my gumdrops in a small pail, that I also found at Target. This would make a nice hostess gift or centerpiece if you are invited to a Fourth of July party.
Both kids and adults will enjoy these sweet little patriotic treats. I know I sure have!
Star Spangled Gumdrops – Red, White, and Blue Gumdrops
(makes about 1 1/4 pounds, 40-50 stars)  Recipe Adapted from BHG


Just a note before you begin: I used a gas stove and All Clad pans which conduct heat really well. It took my sugar much less time to boil to temperature than called for in the original recipe. So, be sure to watch your thermometer, instead of using time as your guide.


vegetable oil
about 1 teaspoon butter
3/4 cup water
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin (original not low or no sugar pectin)*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
flavored oil or extract
optional, food coloring

granulated sugar or colored sanding sugar*NOTE: You want pectin that is white or clear looking. I used Sure-Jell for this recipe. Pectin made my Ball has a brown hue to it, so I don’t suggest it for this project.

silicone molds, you’ll need 4-5 of the star shaped ice cube trays*
optional, food handling glove to help with oiling your molds
1 1/2  or 2 quart saucepan, preferably a good quality stainless steel pan
2 or 3 quart saucepan
candy thermometer
glass bowl with spout or a glass mixing bowl
*I only had two star shaped ice cube trays, so I used another larger mold to make some other shapes, but I know you’ll need at least 4 of the star molds, maybe 5. I also saw the same ice cube trays at the Dollar Tree.
Brush vegetable oil all over the cavities of your silicone mold. I found it easiest to put on a food handling glove, dip my finger in some oil, and rub it into the star cavities. You could also use butter, and I think I’ll try that next time.

Butter the sides of a heavy 1-1/2 or 2 quart saucepan. Set aside.

In another 2 or 3 quart saucepan combine water, pectin, and baking soda. Mixture will be foamy. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.


In the buttered saucepan pour corn syrup into the bottom. Sprinkle sugar in the center of the pan. Turn heat on medium-high and allow it to cook for one minute. Then stir gently to dissolve sugar. Be careful not to splash the sugar crystals onto the side of your saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. This took me just a few minutes, but the recipe says it can take up to 10 minutes. Clip your candy thermometer onto the side of your pot. Cook until the thermometer registers 260 degrees Fahrenheit. You will continue to cook your sugar (ultimately you’ll want it to reach 280 degrees which is the soft crack stage,) but at this point, you need to set your pan of pectin mixture back on the stove and heat it over high heat until it comes to a boil.

Once your pot of boiling corn syrup/sugar reaches 280 degrees remove it from the heat or turn off your gas. Slowly and VERY CAREFULLY drizzle in the hot pectin, stirring slowly yet constantly. You DO NOT want to splash any of this hot boiling sugar on your hands. Once all the pectin has been poured into the saucepan, return it to medium-high heat and cook it  for one more minute, then remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl, with a spout, preferably. This stops it from continuing to cook.

To flavor your gumdrops, add some flavored oil or extract, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, if flavoring the whole batch.  To check if you like the flavor, fill a glass with ice water, take a small spoonful of your hot gumdrop mixture and set the spoon in the ice water. Let it set for at least 30 seconds. Remove it and touch it to make sure it is cool. Return to water, if too hot. Taste it. Adjust your flavoring accordingly.

Optional: You can divided your batch and use various flavorings, if you prefer. You can also add coloring now if you’d like. Grocery store variety food coloring will work fine. I left mine clear and used colored sugars and was very happy with the result.

Carefully pour into the silicone mold, filling each cavity to the top. Let sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours for best results. I pulled a few stars out after just a few hours, and they looked like stars, but flattened out a bit. Those left in the mold overnight, looked perfect when removed the next morning. You can see the blue star second from the right below was pulled out too soon.

To remove your gumdrops from the silicone molds, press firmly all around one of the stars then peel the candy out of the mold. Coat it in colored sanding sugar or granulated sugar. Let them sit at room temperature for about an hour before packaging.

Package in festive Fourth of July pails, boxes or bags or simply set them in a candy dish and enjoy.

If you like the recipe presented above, please share it with others by using the share buttons below. I really appreciate being Stumbled Upon and Pinned, and am always grateful to those of you that share my ideas on your website. I do request that you don’t post my entire tutorial, but rather share a picture with a link. If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to send me a photo to [email protected] so that I can share it in my Reader’s Gallery. I link my recipes up to lots of websites that are listed here. Thank you for visiting Hungry Happenings – Beth 
Products used to make this recipe that are available on

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Thanks for sharing!


    • says

      I did a search for homemade fruit snack recipes and several came up. I think I might have to give one or two of them a try. Several of them were made using the ice cube tray molds. If you try any and find one that is really good, let me know:)

    • says

      Thanks Diane. Yes, I have a Hungry Happenings Facebook page. There is a "like" button on the right hand column on my blog page. You can also sign up for RSS feed and e-mail, all of which have buttons in the right hand column.

  1. says

    This is a clever use for those ice cube trays. My grandkids will love these. Their mother may shoot me after all the sugar. 😀

    Thanks for sharing at Saturday Dishes.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

  2. says

    What brand of pectin did you use? I just made two batches of this recipe (haven't tasted yet but so far so good!) and my pectin mixture was a brown-ish color and made the entire batch an off-orange color and it smelled quite potent. I'm hoping it doesn't override the flavor of the oils I used or the color.

    • says

      Hi Katherine, I used Sure-Jell brand pectin to make these, but later on tried Ball brand pectin. The flavor of the Ball brand was perfectly fine, but it did have a brownish color to it. At the time I was making ghosts and was hoping for clear gumdrops, so I had to add some white coloring to the mixture, which actually looked great. I mentioned this in the Gumdrop Ghost post, but didn't think to come back and mention it in this post. I'll do that now. I'm sure your gumdrops will taste great!

  3. sonia says

    hi, i want to try out this recipe. i just bought a pack of pectin. Could you pls tell me how much of pectin you used in tsp or tbsp or grams? Back home we have a diff measurement that is why I am asking. pls let me know ASAP as I would love to try out this recipe. thanks once again.

    • says

      Hi Sonia, I used a 1.75 ounce package of pectin and that is equivalent to 49.6117 grams. Enjoy your gumdrops. I haven’t made any in a while, but now I have a craving for them:) I just might need to get into the kitchen and try them again.

  4. sonia says

    Thanks Beth. I tried this recipe yesterday and still today it is still liquid. what happened was i tried this recipe using 49 grams of pectin but the water amt was insufficient. the whole thing turned into a bit of a lump so I added more approx 1/4 c up or so water to make it liquid. and had to strain it coz there were few lumps which diodn’t go away when I heated the mixture. and now my gumdrops are not setting. pls help. what do i do? what did i do wrong? thanks

  5. sonia says

    and lemme clarify . i measured 49 grams of pectin by using standard measurement spoon ( 1 tbsp is 15 grams ). I simply multiplied and had 49 grams.

    • says

      Hi Sonia,

      I’m so sorry your gumdrops did not work and that I didn’t look up the conversion to teaspoons for you. I assumed you’d use the gram measurement, as most of my readers outside of the US do. Now I wish I had. When I looked at a conversion chart for teaspoons to grams it says that 1 teaspoon equals 5 grams not 15 grams, so you would need 10 teaspoons of pectin for this recipe. The reason your gumdrops did not set up is that you needed 2/3rd more pectin for the recipe. I have no idea why, if using less pectin, you would have needed more water. I’ve made this recipe several times and when I’ve added the pectin to the 3/4 cup of water, and heated it up, it melted easily and turned into a liquid quickly. The only thing I can think, is that the pectin, you are able to get, is somehow different than what we have here in the states. We have a few different types of pectin and I mention in the recipe that you don’t want to use the No Sugar Added Pectin because that wont set correctly. I’m not sure if that type of pectin would clump up when mixed with water.

      I know this would be a mess, but it might be possible to reheat your gumdrop mixture and add more pectin. I’ve not ever tried that, but I have had to reheat hard candy before and was able to get that to work. You’d have to scoop out the candy and put it back in a sauce pan, heat it up a bit, stir in the extra pectin then bring it back up to 280 degrees Fahrenheit again. Being you added a bit of extra water, you might even want to add an extra few teaspoons of pectin to be safe.

      I wish you luck, and do hope you can get this recipe to work for you.

  6. sonia says

    thanks a lot for taking the trouble to answer my query. But morning itself I looked up the net to chk how much of 1.75 ounce of dry pectin is in tbsp. it said ( that 1.75 ounce of dry pectin is 6 tbsp so I added more pectin, heated the whole mixture together till thick and guess what? it set beautifully within 1 1/2 hrs. Lovely yummy orange gumdrops. looks fabulous too. I really have to thank you anyway for answering my query and for this recipe. thanks once again. just one last query, last time I made hard candy it was hard and crunchy for couple of days. after that it started losing its texture and became a bit soft. what could be the reason?

    • says

      Oh, I am so glad it worked! That is great to know that the gumdrops can be reworked and will firm up. I hope you enjoy them:)

      If hard candy softens over time it could be that it is stored in a hot or humid place. It’s best to store it somewhere cool and dry. If you don’t have air conditioning and you make the candy in the summer, that can be a problem. In the winter, be sure the candy is not near a heat source or the candy will begin to melt. If neither of these is the case, then the candy might not have gotten cooked to a hot enough temperature. You might need to check your thermometer. To check it, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, put the thermometer in the water and it should read 212 F (100 C.) If it does not then your thermometer is not accurate. Some can be adjusted, but some candy thermometers can not. Just look to see if your thermometer is too high or too low, then make adjustments when you are cooking based on that.

      I hope that helps.

      • sonia says

        thanks. Actually I kept the hard candies in a box in the kitchen. Since it is summer here, it is super hot. I don’t have a candy thermometer. I prefer the cold water test. Thanks .

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