Creep out your friends this Halloween by serving them homemade gummy brains, skulls, or ghosts. These homemade Halloween candies are fun to make in your favorite flavors and shapes.
Making homemade gummy candies and gumdrops is so much fun. You can add your favorite flavors like green apple, raspberry, pineapple, cherry, grape, etc. There are so many options.
You can also make homemade gummies using a variety of silicone molds.
I'm going to show you how to create Brain Memorrahage Gumdrops that look like they have blood inside, white Gumdrop Ghosts, and skull-shaped gumdrops. They all use the same recipe but are made in different molds.
Let's make some Halloween gummy candies.
powdered fruit pectin (not low or no sugar pectin) - I used Sure-Gel pectin. Some pectins, like Ball Pectin, have a brownish tint. You really want to use clear pectin when making these gumdrop brains and Sure-Gel pectin is nice and clear.
baking soda - Baking soda will provide lift to the candies so they are airy and light. These gumdrops have the most amazing texture. They are softer than store-bought gumdrops.
sugar - Use granulated sugar to make your candy sweet. You will also coat your gumdrops in sugar to keep them from sticking.
light corn syrup - Not only does corn syrup add sweetness, but it also prevents your gumdrops from crystallizing and adds the perfect chew to the candies.
flavored candy oil - I use candy oils to flavor my homemade gumdrops. Start by adding ¼ teaspoon of the candy oil to the hot gumdrop mixture. To test the flavor, fill a glass with ice cubes, then pour in some water. Dip a metal spoon into the hot gumdrop candy mixture then set that spoonful of candy into the ice water to cool for one minute. Once the candy cools, you can taste it to see if you want to add more flavoring.
liquid food coloring - You will add a drop of liquid red food coloring to each gumdrop brain to make them look bloody inside. To make the ghosts and skulls white, add some white food coloring. Or you can simply leave them clear. They look great either way.
Brain Freeze Molds (4 molds with four brain cavities) to make gummy brains
Gingerbread men silicone molds to make gumdrop ghosts
Skull and crossbones molds to make skull gumdrops
optional, food handling glove to help with greasing your molds
1 ½ or 2-quart saucepan, preferably a good quality stainless steel pan
2 or 3-quart saucepan
glass bowl with a spout or a glass mixing bowl
skewer or toothpick
You can find the supplies needed to make Halloween gummies on Amazon.com. I earn a small commission when you make a purchase using the links in this post at no extra cost to you.
Let's start with the brains.
These bleeding candy brains will make a killer addition to a food table at your Zombie party, Serve them alongside Cake Ball Brains, Hot Chocolate Bomb Brains, Stuffed Pizza Brains, and Zombie Candy Cups.
I have a bit of an obsession with bleeding brains for Halloween. Although I love creating cute party food, when it comes to Halloween the more gruesome the better. These are definitely in the creepy Halloween food category.
I think it's really cool how you can see the ruby-red blood inside the clear gummy brain. Don't worry, the blood is just red food coloring.
Step 1 - Grease your silicone brain molds.
Butter your silicone brain molds before you make your batch of gumdrops. I recommend using butter because the cooking spray will leave a film on your silicone molds.
Step 2 - Make homemade gumdrops.
- Pour corn syrup and sugar into a buttered 3-quart saucepan set over medium-high heat.
- Cook until a candy thermometer reaches 280 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Meanwhile, in another saucepan bring water, pectin, and baking soda to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Once the sugar syrup reaches 280 degrees, pour in the pectin syrup.
- Stir constantly for one minute then remove it from the heat.
- Stir in the flavoring.
These candies have a wonderfully soft gummy texture. If you prefer a firmer gummy candy, you can use my Gummies Recipe instead.
Step 3 - Fill brain molds with the hot syrup.
- Set your silicone brain molds on a baking pan or cutting board that will fit into your freezer.
- Pour the gumdrop mixture into the brain molds, filling them about ¾ full.
- You can top them off after you fill up all 8 brains. You won't have enough to completely fill the mold.
Step 4 - Make the brains look bloody!
- Immediately, poke a hole in each brain using a skewer or toothpick that has been dipped in red food coloring.
- Swirl the skewer around a bit, spreading the red coloring around inside the brains.
Step 5 - Cool the gumdrop brains.
- Allow the gumdrops to cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Then, pop the molds into the freezer for an hour.
- Remove, and un-mold the brains onto some sugar.
- Coat all the gumdrop brains in sugar.
The brains look eerily transparent without sugar, but they are pretty sticky, so I do recommend coating them.
Step 6 - Storing your homemade gumdrop brains.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
- Do not refrigerate. They will become sticky.
What do you think? Could you eat a candy brain?
If not, how about a candy ghost instead?
Making gumdrop ghosts.
To make these gummy ghosts, start by greasing a silicone Gingerbread Man mold with butter.
Then, make the gumdrop syrup and stir in a few drops of white food coloring if you want them to be opaque white. Otherwise, they will look clear.
I actually used pectin that had a brown tint to it so my ghosts are not pure white. If you use clear pectin, your ghosts will look brighter.
Pour the white gumdrop syrup into the buttered mold. Let the candy cool at room temperature for about 8 hours until the candy firms up or cool at room temperature for 1 hour then freeze for 30 minutes.
Un-mold the candy ghosts directly into granulated sugar. Coat the candies completely in the sugar.
Use light corn syrup to attach two small candy eyes to each ghost. They are ready to serve.
Making gumdrop skulls.
You'll do the same thing to make skull and crossbones gummies.
Start by making the gumdrop syrup using the recipe below and then add white food coloring.
Pour the hot gumdrop syrup into a well-buttered skull and crossbones ice cube tray.
Let the gummy candy harden for 8 hours at room temperature or speed up the process by freezing the candy after 1 hour.
Unmold into granulated sugar and coat the entire surface of the candy.
You can use gelatin if you want your candies to be chewier. Check out my Gummies Recipe where I use fruit juice and clear gelatin to make gummy candies or my Homemade Gummy Candy Recipe where I use boxes of flavored Jell-O to make flavored gummy candies.
You can make grape gummy bats using grape gelatin.
Make gumdrop stars by coating clear gumdrops in colored sugar.
Add citric acid to the sugar to make Sour Gummies.
Be sure to check out all the Halloween recipes here on Hungry Happenings.
This recipe was originally published on October 3, 2013.
- butter, to grease pan and brain mold
- ¾ cup water
- 1.75 ounces original powdered fruit pectin (not low or no sugar pectin)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ -½ teaspoon flavored oil, I used LorAnn Sour Apple oil
- granulated sugar to coat gumdrops
- red liquid food coloring
- white food coloring
- 40 small candy eyes
Butter your brain molds before you make your batch of gumdrops.
Pour corn syrup and sugar into a buttered 3-quart saucepan set over medium-high heat.
Cook until a candy thermometer reaches 280 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, in another saucepan bring water, pectin, and baking soda to a boil, stirring constantly.
Once the sugar syrup reaches 280 degrees, pour in the pectin syrup. Stir constantly for one minute then remove it from the heat.
Stir in the flavoring.
As soon as your gumdrop mixture is ready, pour it into a glass bowl, preferably with a spout.
Pour the gumdrop mixture into your brain molds, filling them ¾ full.
Immediately, poke a hole in each brain using a skewer or toothpick that has been dipped in red food coloring.
Swirl the skewer around a bit, spreading the red coloring around inside the brains.
Allow the gumdrops to cool for 1 hour then pop the molds into the freezer for an hour.
Remove, and un-mold the brains onto some sugar.
Coat all the gumdrop brains in sugar.
Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
To make ghost or skull gumdrops, color the sugar syrup with white food coloring after it has been cooked to the right temperature.
Pour the syrup into greased silicone molds.
Let the candy cool and harden at room temperature for about 8 hours or at room temperature for 1 hour then 30 minutes in the freezer.
When firm, unmold the candies into granulated sugar. Toss to coat them completely.
For the ghosts, you can add two small candy eyes using corn syrup as edible glue. Once recipe should make about 20 ghosts so you'll need 40 candy eyes.
Use Clear Pectin
You want pectin that is white or clear-looking. I used Sure-Jell for this recipe. Ball pectin has a brown hue to it so I don't suggest it for this project.
Store your candies in an airtight container for up to a month.