Candy

Homemade Gummy Bears (Real Fruit)

4.56 from 163 votes
Learn how to make Homemade Gummy Bears featuring your favorite fruit and only 4 ingredients!
Homemade Gummy Bears made with Fresh Fruit and Natural Sugars. Just 4 ingredients and a healthy treat for your family

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’ll LOVE THIS RECIPE: This Homemade Gummy Bears Recipe offers a combination of health benefits, customization options, nostalgia, and the satisfaction of creating iconic delights from scratch. Store-bought Gummy Bears can tend to have a ton of unpronounceable ingredients in them that would make you wonder. With my easy step-by-step instructions, you can make these treats yourself freshly at home with just a few good quality ingredients and all-natural sugars instead of highly processed sweeteners!

Being able to bake is great for a lot of reasons. One reason in particular is to be able to know and control what goes into your food. My one rule of thumb is premium ingredients get great results, and that applies to this recipe as well. Better yet, you will bond with friends, family, especially kids, while customizing them in various flavors and colors to cherish personal experiences and shared memories.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe was updated on 8/24/23 to include updated ingredients and step-by-step instructions, most commonly asked questions and answers, Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips and a video from Gemma’s Test Kitchen

Table of Contents

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What is a Gummy Bear?

  • A gummy bear is a small, chewy candy that is shaped like a bear.
  • It’s typically made from a mixture of gelatin, sweeteners, flavorings, and colorings. The gelatin gives gummy bears their distinctive chewy texture, while the other ingredients provide a sweet taste and vibrant colors.

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Tools for Homemade Gummy Bears

Key Ingredients and Why

  • Powdered gelatin (or agar agar)

    • Gelatin is a protein derived from animal collagen. I recommend using a good quality unflavored grass-fed gelatin.
    • In homemade gummy bears: gelatin contributes to the signature chewy and gummy texture, allows the gummy bear mixture to solidify and maintain its shape, and binds and evenly distributes other ingredients throughout the candy.
    • Agar agar is suitable for vegetarians because it’s derived from red seaweed. (Find how to use agar in the Pro Chef Tips section down below.)
  • Water

    • Water serves as a solvent to dissolve other ingredients to form a uniform liquid gummy mixture that can be easily mixed, heated and adjusted to the desired consistency and taste.
    • Moreover, water hydrates and sets the gelatin leading to the formation of the gummy bears’ chewy texture.
  • Fruit puree or fruit juice

    • Fruit puree or fruit juice adds healthy sweetness and imparts a natural and fruity taste such as strawberry, orange, blueberry, and more.
    • It also results in vibrant and appealing colors without the need for artificial additives that are bad for gut health.
    • The natural pectin and fibers in fruit puree can contribute to the gelling and binding properties of the gummy bear mixture. This helps enhance the texture and overall structure of the gummy bears.
  • Honey (or agave)

    • Honey or agave naturally sweetens gummies and balances the tartness of certain fruits, enhancing the overall flavors.
    • Different varieties of honey, such as wildflower, clover, or orange blossom, can bring subtle floral or fruity notes to the candies.
    • Honey’s stickiness binds ingredients together and enhances the chewiness of the final product.
    • Nutrition-wise, honey is potentially attributed to gummy bears’ antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
  • Lemon juice

    • Lemon juice provides acidity to not only balance the sweetness but also activate and bind the gelatin, leading to a cohesive gel.
    • In the meanwhile, lemon juice contains antioxidants like vitamin C to preserve gummy bears and stabilize the colors to prevent oxidation.

How to Make Homemade Gummy Bears

  • Place a silicone gummy bear mold on a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Bloom the gelatin: in a small bowl, combine the gelatin with the water. Stir and let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the juice, agave or honey and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin for a few minutes, until dissolved and no lumps remain.
  • Pass through a sieve and into a jug with a pour spout to ensure that the mixture is free of small lumps or pulp..
  • Pour the mixture into the gummy bear molds and refrigerate for 4 hours, until completely set.
  • Pop the gummy bears out of the molds.

How to Store Homemade Gummy Bears

Store gummy bears in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

How can I substitute gelatin sheets for gelatin powder?

  • One packet (1 tablespoon) of powdered gelatin is equivalent to four gelatin sheets.
  • Soak the sheet(s) of gelatin in a bowl of cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. (Figure about 1 cup/240ml, cold water per sheet.) -Once soft, lift sheets from the cold water. -Wring gently to remove excess water, then add to warm liquid, stirring until dissolved.

FAQs

Q: Why didn’t my homemade gummy bears set well?

  • If your gummy bears didn’t set, then you didn’t use enough gelatin or gelatin was not bloomed properly.
  • Follow my updated recipe as written and use the correct amount of gelatin.
  • Bloom the gelatin: in a small bowl, combine the gelatin with the water. Stir and let sit until the powder has soaked up all the water and expanded.

Q: Why did my gummy bears start to melt when coated with citric acid?

  • Citric acid is extremely water soluble. If you apply the citric acid and sugar mix when you remove the gummies from the mold, it will pull the moisture out of your gelatin causing it to melt the sugar making the candy wet and sticky.
  • We don’t recommend coating homemade gummies in any sort of sugar as they all dissolve the gummies without other commercial addtives, both regular and vegan.

Q: What shall I do to make sour gummy bears?

  • For sour gummies, we recommend adding 1 tablespoon of citric acid into the gummy mixture while heating the juice.
  • Any coating at all will dissolve. We do not suggest coating anything.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips

  • You can use store-bought pulp-free juice or puree and strain almost any fruit of your choice to make these gummies.
  • Juices from papaya, pineapple and kiwi contain enzymes that break down protein and interfere with the gelatin’s ability to set properly.  Besides berries and citrus, you can also use apple juice, pomegranate juice, grape juice, or mango juice.
  • To make vegan gummy bears, replace the gelatin with 2-3 teaspoons of agar agar powder (less for softer gummies, more for firmer gummies.) No need to bloom – simply combine all of the ingredients in a small pot and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for a few minutes, until the liquid has thickened. Strain and then pour into molds. Refrigerate for several hours, until set.
  • If you don’t have a mold, you can set these gummies in a lightly oiled 8-inch (20 cm) baking pan. Cut into squares once set.

Find out what experiments we made to solve the problems and improve this recipe by watching my video—New & Improved Gummy Bears Recipe from Gemma’s Test Kitchen!

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IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe was updated on 8/24/23 to include updated ingredients and step-by-step instructions, most commonly asked questions and answers, Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips and a video from Gemma’s Test Kitchen

Strawberry Gummy Bears

Homemade Strawberry Gummy Bears (all natural sugars)

4.56 from 163 votes
Learn how to make Homemade Gummy Bears featuring your favorite fruit and only 4 ingredients!
Author: inspiration from diynatural.com
Servings: 40 Bears
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chill for 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Learn how to make Homemade Gummy Bears featuring your favorite fruit and only 4 ingredients!
Author: inspiration from diynatural.com
Servings: 40 Bears

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin*
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml/1floz) water
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) pure fruit juice strained
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or agave)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • Place a silicone gummy bear mold on a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Bloom the gelatin: in a small bowl, combine the gelatin with the water. Stir and let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the juice, agave or honey and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin for a few minutes, until dissolved and no lumps remain.
  • Pass through a sieve and into a jug with a pour spout to ensure that the mixture is free of small lumps or pulp.
  • Pour the mixture into the gummy bear molds and refrigerate for 4 hours, until completely set.
  • Pop the gummy bears out of the molds. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Find out what experiments we made to solve the problems and improve this recipe by watching my video—New & Improved Gummy Bears Recipe from Gemma’s Test Kitchen!

Recipe Notes

Don’t have a mold? You can also pour mixture into a small baking tray lined with cling wrap. After mixture is set up, cut with a knife or use cookie cutters to make any shape you like.
For vegan gummies replace the honey with agave and the gelatin with Agar Powder (a plant based setting agent)
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Strawberry Gummy Bears (all natural sugars)
Amount Per Serving (6 g)
Calories 50
% Daily Value*
Sodium 7mg0%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 5g10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Blueberry Gummy Bears

Homemade Blueberry Gummy Bears (all natural sugars)

4.51 from 75 votes
Author: inspiration from diynatural.com
Servings: 40 Bears
Author: inspiration from diynatural.com
Servings: 40 Bears

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin*
  • 2 tablespoons (1floz/30ml) water
  • 1 cup (8floz/240ml) pure fruit juice, strained
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or agave)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  • Place a silicone gummy bear mold on a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Bloom the gelatin: in a small bowl, combine the gelatin with the water. Stir and let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the juice, agave or honey and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin for a few minutes, until dissolved and no lumps remain.
  • Pass through a sieve and into a jug with a pour spout to ensure that the mixture is free of small lumps or pulp.
  • Pour the mixture into the gummy bear molds and refrigerate for 4 hours, until completely set.
  • Pop the gummy bears out of the molds. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Find out what experiments we made to solve the problems and improve this recipe by watching my video—New & Improved Gummy Bears Recipe from Gemma’s Test Kitchen!

Recipe Notes

Don’t have a mold? You can also pour mixture into a small baking tray lined with cling wrap. After mixture is set up, cut with a knife or use cookie cutters to make any shape you like.
For vegan gummies replace the honey with agave and the gelatin with Agar Powder (a plant based setting agent)
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Strawberry Gummy Bears (all natural sugars)
Amount Per Serving (6 g)
Calories 50
% Daily Value*
Sodium 7mg0%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 5g10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Orange Gummy Bears

Homemade Orange Gummy Bears (all natural sugars)

4.38 from 54 votes
Learn how to make Homemade Gummy Bears featuring your favorite fruit and only 4 ingredients!
Author: inspiration from diynatural.com
Servings: 40 Bears
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Learn how to make Homemade Gummy Bears featuring your favorite fruit and only 4 ingredients!
Author: inspiration from diynatural.com
Servings: 40 Bears

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (1floz/30ml) unflavored powdered gelatin*
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup (8floz/240ml) pure fruit juice, strained
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or agave)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  • Place a silicone gummy bear mold on a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Bloom the gelatin: in a small bowl, combine the gelatin with the water. Stir and let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the juice, agave or honey and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin for a few minutes, until dissolved and no lumps remain.
  • Pass through a sieve and into a jug with a pour spout to ensure that the mixture is free of small lumps or pulp.
  • Pour the mixture into the gummy bear molds and refrigerate for 4 hours, until completely set.
  • Pop the gummy bears out of the molds. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Find out what experiments we made to solve the problems and improve this recipe by watching my video—New & Improved Gummy Bears Recipe from Gemma’s Test Kitchen!

Recipe Notes

Don’t have a mold? You can also pour mixture into a small baking tray lined with cling wrap. After mixture is set up, cut with a knife or use cookie cutters to make any shape you like.
For vegan gummies replace the honey with agave and the gelatin with Agar Powder (a plant based setting agent)
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Strawberry Gummy Bears (all natural sugars)
Amount Per Serving (6 g)
Calories 50
% Daily Value*
Sodium 7mg0%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 5g10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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Mné Kidwell
3 years ago

Hi Gemma (Bigger Bolder Baking)
I’ve made this recipe once and it were fantastic.
Now I need to make this every second day. My mom loves it. When thy are done she almost eats everything. ♥♥

Your Bold Baker.
I really like your recipes and always will. I ♥ to bake.

Aksa
Aksa
2 years ago

my gummies got watery when kept outside for some time..why does this happens?

Farzana Firoz
Farzana Firoz
3 years ago

Hi! I just tried this with my boys and they turned out FANTASTIC. I only had frozen raspberries so I used it. Because of all the seeds I used a cloth to remove and squeeze out. I then used a sieve after simmering. They set in 1 hour. When I make marshmallows it also sets in 1 hour. My boys devoured them. I had chocolate moulds and used this. Oh, I did add a few drops of stevia because we like them sweeter but without the extra sugar calories. THANKS sharing this recipe! Can’t wait to try other fruits!

Mina
Mina
2 years ago

Hi Gemma. Hope you’re well. I wanted to ask that will adding more gelatin firm up the jellies and that can you please do a recipe on pate de fruit without pectin because pectin is really hard to find in my country. Thank you. Take care

Mina
Mina
3 years ago

Hi Gemma! Love the simplified and briefly explained version of gummy bears recipe. My question is, can I use boxed juice instead of fresh fruit juice? Thanks X.

Barbara
Barbara
4 years ago

I have tried several recipes for homemade gummy bears. This recipe for strawberry gummy bears tasted great (better than other recipes I tried), but did not gel up properly at all. They pretty much fell apart when I tried to take them out of the mold. I haven’t had this problem before. Anyone know why they would not have gelled? Thanks!

Sadie
Sadie
5 years ago

Dear Gemma,
Like a lot of people here, I too found my gummies jelly-like. In fact, they WERE jellies; I easily spread one on a piece of bread. Furthermore, they had the bitter taste of cooked orange juice (which is, admittedly, exactly what they’re made of, but still). I made these specially because I just got my braces off, but I could have eaten these if I didn’t have any teeth at all. I love your website and your recipes, but I’m kind of bummed out about this one.
Sadie

Paige
Paige
6 months ago

Hi Gemma,
I can’t wait to try this updated version. Do you need to add water as you purée the fruit? Could you add collagen powder to this recipe?

Thank you.

Sunrise
Sunrise
2 years ago

Hi Gemma! Hope you’re doing well. Can you make a recipe on gummy Candy made with pectin? I really love your recipes.

Cathy
Cathy
2 years ago

When making the gummy bears do you use a cup of fruit or a cup of purée. When I defrosted and poured my berries I only had 1/2 cup of purée so I added more fruit. They were good tasting but mashed coming out of the molds.

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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