Making homemade gummies using fruit juice is fun and easy. You can use this gummies recipe to make colorful candies in a variety of shapes and flavors like apple juice gummy worms, grape juice gummy sharks, lemon gummy dinosaurs, orange gummy octopus, cherry gummy elephants, and more!
Have you ever made homemade gummies?
Gummy candies are so easy to make at home and the best part is that you can flavor and color them to your liking. You can also make them in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Years ago, I shared a recipe to make gummy bears, worms, fish, and more using Jell-O, water, and gelatin. I used a few different gummy candy makers to create those candies.
I've been wanting to try out a fruit juice gummies recipe made on the stove, so when I got some new silicone molds, I thought it was a perfect time to give it a go.
Let's make homemade fruit juice gummy candy!
I tried several different recipes using just apple juice and gelatin along with recipes that added honey to the mix. I felt these candies were lacking in flavor. Additionally, the honey muted the fruit flavor which I did not like.
I wanted my gummy candies to be sweeter so I opted to sweeten the apple juice and gelatin with sugar. I also decided to pump up the fruit flavor by adding a few drops of candy oil (more on that below).
step 1 - combine the apple juice, sugar, and gelatin
- Start by pouring ⅓ cup of apple juice in a small saucepan.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar into the juice.
- Stir the sugar until it begins to dissolve.
- Then, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gelatin over the juice.
- Stir the gelatin into the juice, then let it rest for two minutes until the gelatin softens. The mixture will look like apple sauce at this point.
- You can see some gelatin-free gummy recipe ideas at the bottom of this post past the recipe card.
- This is a small-batch gummy candy recipe. It will fill 1-2 silicone gummy molds.
- I wanted to have a nice variety of flavored gummy candies so I made small amounts of each flavor and color.
- Plus, the boiled sugar syrup begins to firm up rather quickly, so working in small batches just works best.
- If you want to make healthier gummies, you can skip the sugar.
step 2 - boil the fruit juice, sugar, and gelatin
- Set the saucepan on the stove over medium heat.
- Bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat.
- The sugar syrup will continue to bubble for a while once you remove it from the heat.
- Set it aside and let the foaming subside.
- If you have any excess foam, skim it off the surface of the sugar syrup (see the middle left image). If you pour the foam into the silicone candy molds, your gummies will have an opaque color and a foamy texture.
step 3 - flavor and color your gummies
This step is optional but highly recommended when you are using apple juice to make your homemade gummies. See notes below regarding making gummy candies using other fruit juices.
- Add 4-10 drops of candy oil into the hot sugar syrup.
- Also, add 4-6 drops of liquid food coloring.
- Stir until well blended.
Do I have to use food coloring to color my homemade gummy candy?
No, I used food coloring because I wanted to have a variety of colored gummies without having to use a variety of fruit juices. I only had apple juice in my pantry the day I decided to test out this recipe.
I also wanted to show you how you can make a variety of colored gummy candies easily using one kind of fruit juice with food coloring, but there are other options.
See more details below.
The gummies pictured above are made using apple juice without any coloring or flavoring added.
Plain apple juice gummies may look different than those pictured above depending on the brand of gelatin you use. Some gelatins will produce darker or more cloudy-looking gummy candies. I used Knox Gelatin.
Can I use other fruit juice to make homemade gummies?
Yes. This recipe was tested using apple juice but you can so use grape juice, cherry juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, and more to make these gummy candies. You may also need to increase the amount of gelatin when using other fruit juices. Make a small test batch using your preferred fruit juice and adjust it based on your preference.
Do not use pineapple juice to make homemade gummies. Your candy will not set up properly.
Gummies made using other fruit juices may be more flavorful, so you won't need to use the candy oil. They will also be more colorful, so you may be able to skip using food coloring.
Why use candy oils to flavor my gummies?
- Candy oils (a.k.a. candy flavorings) will add amazing flavor to your homemade apple juice gummy candies.
- The candies flavored with candy oils will taste more like store-bought gummies.
- Candy oils are available online and at candy-making stores, grocery or discount stores (sometimes in the pharmacy), and drug stores.
- They come in small bottles that typically cost $1-$3. Online they can be more expensive.
- I particularly love LorAnn Green Apple, Cherry, Grape, Lemon, and Orange, but there are dozens of flavors available.
How to test the flavor of the hot gummy candy syrup?
- Fill a small glass with ice, then pour in some water.
- Take a small spoonful of the gummy candy mixture and hold it in the ice water so the water covers the candy but the candy doesn't spill out.
- Let it rest for about 20 seconds.
- Then remove it from the ice water and the candy should have firmed up a bit.
- Touch it to see if it feels cool.
- If it is not too hot, you can now taste the candy.
- Add more flavoring to the liquid sugar syrup if desired, then repeat this process in order to taste it again.
step 4 - make gummy candies using silicone molds
- Use an eyedropper to fill your silicone molds with hot sugar syrup.
- Fill the eyedropper with the hot liquid, then squeeze it into the mold.
- Set the mold aside for 20-40 minutes to allow the gummy candies to firm up.
- You can also pop the mold into the freezer for 10-20 minutes just until the gummy candy firms up in order to speed up the process.
Tips for making homemade gummies:
- If the liquid falls out of the eyedropper, making a mess, then let it cool for a minute and try again.
- Be careful to only fill the molds to the top.
- Just gently squeeze the rubber bulb on the eyedropper allowing the gummy candy mixture to fill the silicone mold.
- Stop squeezing when the mold is about half-filled.
- The liquid will continue to flow out of the eyedropper.
- This technique will keep you from overfilling your molds.
- Remove air bubbles.
- Once the eyedropper is almost empty it will be filled with too many air bubbles. Squeeze the syrup along with the bubbles back into the saucepan, then refill it with more sugar syrup.
- If you squeeze air bubbles into the gummy candy molds, you can pop them using a toothpick. They won't pop on their own.
- If the sugar syrup gets too thick, heat it on low heat on the stove just until it thins out again.
step 5 - unmold the candies
Once the candies feel firm, you can quickly and easily unmold them by pushing up on the underside of the mold and peeling the candies out of the mold.
Be careful with the very thin parts of your gummy candies when removing them from the mold.
This JACOBAKE Apex predators gummy candy mold makes really small intricately detailed gummy sharks, whales, walruses, and more. You need to move slowly when removing the candies to ensure you get all the tales and fins to come out of the mold. I only lost the detail on one of my animals.
Overall, they look amazing!
Speaking of amazing, look at the detail on these gummy dinosaurs, alligators, tigers, lions, and more.
All three of these Apex predators gummy candy molds come together in a set from JACOBAKE. I received a free set to try out and was thrilled with the results. (They did not sponsor this post but did send me a free silicone mold set.)
I can't wait to make some lollipops using the dinosaur mold. When I made the gummy dinosaurs, the hot sugar syrup flowed into the lollipop stick area creating a gummy stick on the bottom of each of the dinosaurs. No biggie, it was easy to cut off, as you can see in the picture on the top right above.
My favorite gummy animals were made using the pyramid-shaped mold. I am in love with these gummy elephants, rhinos, giraffes, hippos, and more.
What molds to use to make homemade gummies?
You always want to use silicone molds to make homemade gummy candy.
The molds are heat resistant so they won't warp or melt when you pour the boiling hot sugar syrup into them.
Also, they are flexible so you can easily bend them to remove the finished candies.
If you check out my original gummy candy post (the one where I use gummy candy makers) you can see a nice variety of other molds that are available. You can make homemade Mickey Mouse gummies, Snoopy gummies, and more.
Oh, and in that post, I even show you how to make multi-colored gummy bears and gummy worms.
You can find the supplies needed to make this gummy candy from Amazon. I earn a small commission when you use the affiliate links in this post at NO extra cost to you.
Printable Gummies Recipe
Homemade gummy candy made using apple juice, sugar, and gelatin can be flavored and colored, and shaped into animals including gummy bears, worms, dinosaurs, sharks, fish, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, and more.
- ⅓ cup apple juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon gelatin
- 4-12 drops candy oil (optional)
- 4-6 drops food coloring (optional)
Pour apple juice and sugar into a small saucepan.
Stir until the sugar disolves.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice, stir until blended, then let it sit for two minutes.
Set the saucepan on the stove over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Once it comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and let the foam subside.
Skim off any foam that remains using a spoon.
Set a gummy candy mold on a cutting board or baking tray.
Fill an eyedropper with the hot sugar syrup or pour the sugar syrup into a squeeze bottle, then squeeze it into the cavities in your gummy candy mold.
Once the eyedropper has a lot of air bubbles in it, squeeze the bubbly sugar syrup into the saucepan, then fill it up again.
Once the eyedropper is almost empty it will be filled with too many air bubbles. Squeeze the syrup along with the bubbles back into the saucepan, then refill it with more sugar syrup.
Set the mold aside at room temperature for 30-45 minutes until firm or speed up the process by freezing the mold for 10-20 minutes.
Un-mold the candies and they are ready to enjoy.
- Store your gummy candies in an airtight container at room temperature.
- If exposed to air, homemade gummies will shrivel up.
- If exposed to heat, homemade gummies will melt.
- This is a small recipe that will fill one to two silicone candy molds depending on the size of the candies and the size of the mold.
- If you make these gummies using apple juice, I highly recommend adding candy oil to flavor the gummies.
- If you want to taste the gummy candy mixture while it is still hot, fill a glass with ice water, set a spoon filled with the hot sugar syrup into the ice water (completely covering the syrup), and allow it to cool and firm up for about 20 seconds.
- Then, when the candy has cooled enough, remove it from the ice water and taste it.
- Adjust the flavoring as needed. 5-12 drops of candy oil should be adequate.
- You can use grape, cherry, orange, or cranberry juice in place of apple juice.
- These other juices are more flavorful so you won't need to use candy oils or food coloring to make your homemade gummy candies.
More gummy candy recipes:
Gelatin-Free Gummy Recipes
Gelatin-free Gummy Stars are made using fruit pectin instead of gelatin. These gumdrops are softer in texture than a traditional gummy bear.
These Gelatin-Free Gummy Bunnies are made using fruit pectin and citric acid (to make them sour). They are super cute too!