Basic Gummy Recipe and Tutorial


Basic Gummy Recipe Photo - Rainbow Han Solos

What’s this gummy stuff I keep talking about all over this blog? It’s simply gelatin added to Jello to make room-temperature-stable candies and more. Here’s the basic recipe and tutorial modelled by my daughter who was five years old when we took these photos (also available further down in a photo-free version for easier printing).

If you can’t find unflavoured gelatin in envelopes, you can measure it at 28g or about 2 1/2 tbsp (see the post about Measuring Gelatin for details).

Basic Gummy Recipe and Tutorial
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Just under 1 cup (see note)
 
Making your own gummy treats at home is inexpensive and so easy a child can do it (with a bit of assistance). Plus, it tastes great and the medium is so versatile that it can be altered or adapted to highly advanced techniques suited to elite cake decorating. You will need the following tools in addition to the ingredients: a small nonstick pot, a silicone spatula, a baster (see note at bottom), a glass tall and heavy enough to support the baster, and molds (see note at bottom).
Ingredients
  • 3 oz box of Jello or store brand (any flavour including sugar-free, blue tastes the most like classic gummies)
  • 4 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • about a half glass of hot water
Method
  1. Combine the unflavoured gelatin and the Jello powder in the pot. Gummy tutorial photo
  2. Stir them together thoroughly. Gummy tutorial photo
  3. Add ½ cup COLD water and stir until thoroughly combined. Then let the mixture sit for at least two minutes. This will hydrate the gelatin and make for a smoother result later. You will know it’s well-hydrated when it starts to thicken and you can see little to no remaining liquid when you stir. Gummy tutorial photo
  4. Heat the pot on a very low setting to slowly melt the mixture. You do not want to risk boiling it, so go low and slow. You know you’re warming it at the right rate when the five-year-old gets slightly impatient but remains in the room. Gummy tutorial photo
  5. Mix occasionally as it heats up, working gently to scrape the goo from the bottom and sides of the pot but without beating in any air. You’re going to want the air out later so don’t stir roughly and add extra right now.
  6. When you can no longer see any gelatin lumps on your spatula (only tiny bubbles as shown here), it’s melted. Gummy tutorial photo
  7. Optional step: if you want really clear gummy, the trick is to let it cool until it solidifies, then reheat it slowly with minimal mixing (possibly repeating this several times) until all of the bubbles/foam are on the top. You can then scrape this foam off with the spatula or use one of the instructions in some of the advanced techniques to remove it. The foam is completely edible but is very chewy and doesn’t have a great mouth-feel. Little kids don’t seem to care if gummy is clear or not, though, so how much you bother with any of this will depend on your desired result. For some advanced techniques, you can later use this solid foamy stuff in a decorative fashion, such as the wild foam created in a water tank with a really angry superhero (the third picture on that link shows a chunk of foamy blue gummy incorporated onto the surface of the “water”). Gummy tutorial photo
  8. Fill the heavy-bottomed glass about half full of water and microwave until very hot. It’s okay to boil it, but not necessary if you’re working with little kids. Place the baster in the hot water to warm up. This helps prevent gummy from solidifying in the baster and clogging it.
  9. Add about 10-20ml (roughly 2-4 tsp, depending on how thick you want your gummy) of the hot water from the glass to the pot using the baster. My baster has ml markings on the side so I just pull up 10ml from the glass and squirt it into the pot. This will help improve the clarity of the gummy faster. Mix minimally to avoid re-introducing bubbles or foam into the gummy.
  10. Even if you do remove some foam, you won’t be able to get it all off. The trick to getting the nice clear gummy underneath is to hold your baster above the pot, squeeze the bulb firmly and hold it, tip the pot so the gummy goes to one side (the smaller your pot, the deeper your pool), put the tip of the baster all the way down to the bottom, then gently release pressure on the bulb to draw up the clear goo. Then increase a little pressure on as you lift it out so you don’t suck up any foam as you go. Gummy tutorial photo
  11. Working swiftly but carefully, gently squeeze the bulb again to deposit the gummy into your mold. You can opt to fill molds entirely or partially, depending on your intended result. To get a clean back/top, avoid emptying the baster entirely as the last squirt will make bubbles. If you do get a bubble, you can suck it back up into the baster while the gummy is still warm. Gummy tutorial photo
  12. Return your baster to the hot water glass for a moment and pull up hot water if necessary to clean out the tip, then repeat until all of the clear gummy is used up.
  13. If you use up all of what’s in the pot, you will get some foam floating on the top of the gummies. It can be cut off later when it’s cold, but that’s tricky, so it’s best to try to leave it in the pot. That being said, I haven’t met a small child yet who cared if there was a bit of foam, so adjust your efforts based on the expectations of the recipients! You can see in the photo here that the Pis in the upper right were done first and have almost no foam, whereas the ones in the lower left got more foam in the baster and bubbles on the back. Gummy tutorial photo
  14. Let the mold sit at room temperature for a few minutes until it has set up enough to move (placing very flexible molds on cutting boards beforehand will help you move them more easily). The exact time will depend on the ambient temperature and the depth of the mold, but a few minutes is generally fine. Meanwhile, go to your fridge or freezer and prepare a level space for your mold. Once it’s stable, transfer it to the fridge or freezer for several minutes, however long is required for it to set up entirely. Thick items in the fridge might take as much as ten or fifteen minutes, whereas thin items in the freezer may take as little as one minute.
  15. Once they’re firm, remove them from the mold. Flexible molds are best because you can bend them and the gummy will pop out. Firm molds might require you to gently and carefully use a tool to pry the gummies out. Gummy tutorial photo
  16. Voila! Gummies! Note that the side against the mold always looks nicer because it won’t have foam or bubbles. With this particular mold, that means showing the nicest side will make the letter backwards. I have some alphabet molds that will yield the same result. Keep this in mind if directionality is important to your project. Then again, remember that the five-year-olds don’t care and will happily eat them regardless of which side is prettier to you. Gummy tutorial photo
  17. Here are some we made later using the Fred Chillbots mold. Note how the medium captures every tiny detail of the mold. This is excellent for when you want fine detail, but does make getting glass-smooth gummy fairly tricky, which is why that’s an advanced lesson for later. Gummy tutorial photo
  18. Final step: EAT THE GUMMY! Or as we say in our house: NOM NOM NOM! Gummy tutorial photo
Notes
Notes on the baster: to be able to lift the gummy out of the pot and get it into molds without making a huge mess, you want a good baster that won’t drip all over the place. Test a baster by squeezing the bulb, then pressing your palm firmly against the tip, then let go of the bulb. If the bulb stays collapsed, you have good suction without leaks. If the bulb re-inflates, you will have gummy mess everywhere. Notes on molds: flexible silicone molds (frequently found as novelty ice trays) work best. Hard candy molds are also usable, but it’s a bit trickier getting the gummy out. Chocolate molds can also be used, but cool the gummy as much as possible first without solidifying to avoid damaging low-heat-tolerance molds. Always use food-safe molds. Notes on yield: this recipe yields just under one cup of gummy, but the actual yield will depend on what size molds you use. The recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc. Gummy tutorial photo

Photo-free version for easier printing:

Basic Gummy Recipe and Tutorial – No Photos
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Just under 1 cup (see note)
 
Making your own gummy treats at home is inexpensive and so easy a child can do it (with a bit of assistance). Plus, it tastes great and the medium is so versatile that it can be altered or adapted to highly advanced techniques suited to elite cake decorating. You will need the following tools in addition to the ingredients: a small nonstick pot, a silicone spatula, a baster (see note at bottom), a glass tall and heavy enough to support the baster, and molds (see note at bottom).
Ingredients
  • 3 oz box of Jello or store brand (any flavour including sugar-free, blue tastes the most like classic gummies)
  • 4 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • about a half glass of hot water
Method
  1. Combine the unflavoured gelatin and the Jello powder in the pot.
  2. Stir them together thoroughly.
  3. Add ½ cup COLD water and stir until thoroughly combined. Then let the mixture sit for at least two minutes. This will hydrate the gelatin and make for a smoother result later. You will know it’s well-hydrated when it starts to thicken and you can see little to no remaining liquid when you stir.
  4. Heat the pot on a very low setting to slowly melt the mixture. You do not want to risk boiling it, so go low and slow. You know you’re warming it at the right rate when the five-year-old gets slightly impatient but remains in the room.
  5. Mix occasionally as it heats up, working gently to scrape the goo from the bottom and sides of the pot but without beating in any air. You’re going to want the air out later so don’t stir roughly and add extra right now.
  6. When you can no longer see any gelatin lumps on your spatula (only tiny bubbles as shown here), it’s melted.
  7. Optional step: if you want really clear gummy, the trick is to let it cool until it solidifies, then reheat it slowly with minimal mixing (possibly repeating this several times) until all of the bubbles/foam are on the top. You can then scrape this foam off with the spatula or use one of the instructions in some of the advanced techniques to remove it. The foam is completely edible but is very chewy and doesn’t have a great mouth-feel. Little kids don’t seem to care if gummy is clear or not, though, so how much you bother with any of this will depend on your desired result. For some advanced techniques, you can later use this solid foamy stuff in a decorative fashion, such as the wild foam created in a water tank with a really angry superhero (the third picture on that link shows a chunk of foamy blue gummy incorporated onto the surface of the “water”).
  8. Fill the heavy-bottomed glass about half full of water and microwave until very hot. It’s okay to boil it, but not necessary if you’re working with little kids. Place the baster in the hot water to warm up. This helps prevent gummy from solidifying in the baster and clogging it.
  9. Add about 10-20ml (roughly 2-4 tsp, depending on how thick you want your gummy) of the hot water from the glass to the pot using the baster. My baster has ml markings on the side so I just pull up 10ml from the glass and squirt it into the pot. This will help improve the clarity of the gummy faster. Mix minimally to avoid re-introducing bubbles or foam into the gummy.
  10. Even if you do remove some foam, you won’t be able to get it all off. The trick to getting the nice clear gummy underneath is to hold your baster above the pot, squeeze the bulb firmly and hold it, tip the pot so the gummy goes to one side (the smaller your pot, the deeper your pool), put the tip of the baster all the way down to the bottom, then gently release pressure on the bulb to draw up the clear goo. Then increase a little pressure on as you lift it out so you don’t suck up any foam as you go.
  11. Working swiftly but carefully, gently squeeze the bulb again to deposit the gummy into your mold. You can opt to fill molds entirely or partially, depending on your intended result. To get a clean back/top, avoid emptying the baster entirely as the last squirt will make bubbles. If you do get a bubble, you can suck it back up into the baster while the gummy is still warm.
  12. Return your baster to the hot water glass for a moment and pull up hot water if necessary to clean out the tip, then repeat until all of the clear gummy is used up.
  13. If you use up all of what’s in the pot, you will get some foam floating on the top of the gummies. It can be cut off later when it’s cold, but that’s tricky, so it’s best to try to leave it in the pot. That being said, I haven’t met a small child yet who cared if there was a bit of foam, so adjust your efforts based on the expectations of the recipients! You can see in the photo here that the Pis in the upper right were done first and have almost no foam, whereas the ones in the lower left got more foam in the baster and bubbles on the back.
  14. Let the mold sit at room temperature for a few minutes until it has set up enough to move (placing very flexible molds on cutting boards beforehand will help you move them more easily). The exact time will depend on the ambient temperature and the depth of the mold, but a few minutes is generally fine. Meanwhile, go to your fridge or freezer and prepare a level space for your mold. Once it’s stable, transfer it to the fridge or freezer for several minutes, however long is required for it to set up entirely. Thick items in the fridge might take as much as ten or fifteen minutes, whereas thin items in the freezer may take as little as one minute.
  15. Once they’re firm, remove them from the mold. Flexible molds are best because you can bend them and the gummy will pop out. Firm molds might require you to gently and carefully use a tool to pry the gummies out.
  16. Voila! Gummies! Note that the side against the mold always looks nicer because it won’t have foam or bubbles. With this particular mold, that means showing the nicest side will make the letter backwards. I have some alphabet molds that will yield the same result. Keep this in mind if directionality is important to your project. Then again, remember that the five-year-olds don’t care and will happily eat them regardless of which side is prettier to you.
  17. Here are some we made later using the Fred Chillbots mold. Note how the medium captures every tiny detail of the mold. This is excellent for when you want fine detail, but does make getting glass-smooth gummy fairly tricky, which is why that’s an advanced lesson for later.
  18. Final step: EAT THE GUMMY! Or as we say in our house: NOM NOM NOM!
Notes
Notes on the baster: to be able to lift the gummy out of the pot and get it into molds without making a huge mess, you want a good baster that won’t drip all over the place. Test a baster by squeezing the bulb, pressing your palm firmly against the tip, then let go of the bulb. If the bulb stays collapsed, you have good suction without leaks. If the bulb re-inflates, you will have gummy mess everywhere. Notes on molds: flexible silicone molds (frequently found as novelty ice trays) work best. Hard candy molds are also usable, but it’s a bit trickier getting the gummy out. Chocolate molds can also be used, but cool the gummy as much as possible first without solidifying to avoid damaging low-heat-tolerance molds. Always use food-safe molds. Notes on yield: this recipe yields just under one cup of gummy, but the actual yield will depend on what size molds you use. The recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc.

21 Responses to Basic Gummy Recipe and Tutorial

  1. Ann says:

    Are these gummies shelf stable at all?

  2. Hi Ann, the gummies are room-temperature stable and can be kept out for a day or so. After about three days, if sealed in plastic at room temperature, they'll get moldy. They're a great petri dish that way.

    Left unsealed at room temperature, they'll start to dry out, but the amount of time for that will depend on ambient humidity. They may twist or curl as they dry, depending on the shape. If they dry completely, they won't mold: I have some of my original experiments around in a cupboard still from 2010 and they're hard as rock, very brittle, but not moldy.

    The best way to store a batch is covered with plastic or sealed in a tub in the fridge. I've had those last for weeks, although for my personal grossness threshold, I consider them not great for eating after about a week.

  3. The_L says:

    Re: shelf stability, I would also like to point out that if you or anyone else in the household has a sweet tooth, they won’t last 24 hours anyway! :)

    Just for grins and giggles, I’m making a “gummy Bible” of sorts, since newbies will want to know where to get cheap molds, how to make other recipes, and how to troubleshoot gummy that doesn’t turn out right. I’ll send it in so you can decide if any of it is guest-post-worthy.

    • Guest posts would be awesome. :)

      • The_L says:

        Just in case it didn’t get past your spam filters: I sent it in to you on Friday. Same email address as the one I’m using here.

      • The_L says:

        Another quick comment about that guest post, because I apparently went insane while writing it: The recipe that uses Kool-Aid is off. You need to double the amounts of Knox & water to make that right. Otherwise, it’ll be way too strong! (I listed the 2-quarts-of-beverage thing because a lot of companies make those little 2-quart pre-measured cups. The canister they come in is awfully handy.)

  4. Kitengela says:

    Wow. Simply awesome. Even a child could do it! This is a great recipe
    Kitengela

  5. Melissa says:

    I just made a batch of this and so far: woo hoo! It's working for me!
    I have a zombie cake due the 1st of June and I'm wondering how to gummy holds up to heat and humidity? Some melting would add to bloody effect but too much will just be a mess and disappoint the birthday girl. The event will be held outside.
    Do you have any inkling if it will hold up?
    TIA!

    • Gummy is very stable at room temperature, but obviously it'll melt as it gets hotter. It'll get soft and saggy first, so the key is to ensure you don't expect it to stand upright in any kind of heat.

      High humidity will also make it melt faster, especially to touch.

      It really depends on how hot you're talking about. I wouldn't expect it to stay solid on a summer day outside in the sun here in Texas. In the shade back home in the Toronto area, maybe.

      But put it this way: fondant and buttercream won't be doing much better in the heat either. In fact I'm not sure which will liquefy first between buttercream and gummy, but it'll be close between them. Maybe I should run a test on that someday…

  6. Melissa says:

    I'm in Ohio so I have no idea what the weather will be like the day of the event. Earlier this week it was 80 and sunny and today it's in the 50's and raining. I made "blood" drips and hung them off a plate overnight. They've held up well and are only a little stiffer this morning. If we get a warm, sunny day next week, I'll put them outside and see how they do.

    If you'd like to see a first time user's experience, I posted a video on my little cake company's Facebook page (2 Chicks Cake). I made it for the client so she can really see what it's like.

    Thanks!

    • If you've dried the drips, they will hold up even better in heat because there's little to no moisture left in them to melt. However, they do get extremely chewy at that point so while they're still edible, they're not the nicest for eating. Mike McCarey tried a piece once before I could stop him and said, "You've invented edible vinyl!" Because that's what it's like when dried.

      It is still very flexible at that point, though. Just not floppy.

  7. Dee says:

    I freeze my gummy candy and I love to eat it cold and slightly hard on a hot summer day…

  8. Pearl says:

    I haven't tried this recipe but will soon. I've tried other recipes (3 different kinds) and tried to sugar coat the gummies to no avail. It keeps melting. Any suggestions?

    • Do you mean the sugar coating keeps melting? I have had success in getting sprinkles or fancy sugars to stick to the surface as the gummy is cooling so it's at a point where it's almost solid but not quite. Some sinks in a bit but that's what fuses it on. It definitely doesn't work to sprinkle it on warm gummy, and it won't really stick to cold gummy well (maybe with some water but then you risk the whole thing getting soggy).

  9. pagingfunmums says:

    Hi Kimberley,

    I LOVE this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing! I made robot shaped gummy's for my son't 5th birthday just gone and they were a HUGE hit! I have a Mummy Blog (Paging Fun Mums) and I will be sharing this recipe with a link back to you in the next few weeks. I am sure our followers will love it just as much as I did!
    THANK YOU!!
    Jenni x : )

  10. Pingback: Gummi Lolly Recipe! |

  11. choincstar says:

    Very cool recipe. Thanks for sharing this. It will help add something unique to my sugar free diet plan!

  12. Awesome! My children loved this recipe. Thank you so much.

  13. Omega says:

    Great recipe! Will try this with my kids and post some pictures here :)

  14. Erwin Paleo says:

    I really like this kind of food, it looks like some sort of jelly for me. But still look nice and charming.

  15. Fantastic and looks beautiful Recipe. My kids also want to make those types of Recipe.

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