Making homemade gummies using fruit juice is fun and easy. You can use this gummy recipe to make colorful candies in a variety of shapes like gummy bears, gummy worms, gummy dinosaurs, elephants, and more.
Have you ever made homemade gummies?
Making gummy candy at home is easy and the best part is that you can make your candies in a variety of shapes, sizes, flavors, and colors.
Years ago, I shared a recipe to make homemade gummy bears, gummy worms, gummy fish, and more using flavored Jell-O, unflavored gelatin, and water. Today, I'm going to show you how you can make gummies using fruit juice.
For this recipe, I chose to use the stove. You can see how to use the gummy candy maker, here.
So, let's make some gummies.
fruit juice - You can use apple, grape, cherry, pomegranate, cranberry juice, and more.
sugar - Adding just a little bit of sugar helps to sweeten the candies. Depending on the juice you use, candies made without sugar can taste bland. If you want to make healthier gummies, you can skip the sugar.
gelatin - This is what makes a gummy candy chewy and firm. If you prefer not to use gelatin, be sure to check out my Gelatin-free Gummy Stars recipe. They are made using pectin.
candy oil - If you use apple juice, I highly recommend adding a few drops of candy oil to give your candies a brighter fruit flavor. I used LorAnn Oils Green Apple flavoring.
food coloring - If you use clear juice, it's nice to add a few drops of coloring. You won't need this if you use a darker juice like grape or cherry.
step 1 - combine the apple juice, sugar, and gelatin
- Start by pouring ⅓ cup of apple juice into 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.
- 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.
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 to the hot sugar syrup.
- Also, add 4-6 drops of liquid food coloring.
- Stir until well blended.
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.
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 add candy oil. They will also be more colorful, so you can skip adding food coloring.
Candy oils (a.k.a. candy flavorings) will add a more intense fruit flavor. They will taste more like store-bought gummies.
Candy oils are available online and at candy-making stores, grocery stores, and pharmacies. 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 dozens of flavors are available.
Fill a small glass with ice, then pour in some water. Then, 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.
Once the candy has cooled, you can taste it. Add more flavoring to the liquid sugar syrup if desired, then repeat this process in order to taste it again.
If the candy won't firm up, you will need to add a little more gelatin.
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.
- 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!
Swap out flavors, colors, and shapes to make a variety of candies.
You can use any silicone mold you like. There are so many different shapes to choose from. I love the jungle animal and dinosaur molds pictured above.
All 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 set of silicone molds.
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 GIANT Gummy Bears, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, and more.
Oh, and in that post, I even show you how to make multi-colored gummy bears and gummy worms.
If you don't want to use fruit juice, you can make gummies using soda. Check out the recipe to make Star Wars Gummy Candies using soda.
If you don't want to use gelatin, you can make softer, less chewy, homemade gumdrops. Check out the recipe to make Balsamic Blueberry Gumdrops. They are made using real blueberries and fruit pectin instead of gelatin.
You can swap out honey for sugar if you like that flavor. You will taste the honey though.
Make your candies sour by adding citric acid. Check out my Sour Gummy Bunnies recipe for details.
You can find silicone molds and ingredients on Amazon.com. I earn a small commission for sales at NO extra cost to you.
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.