gummy bears

Gummy Bears

Fruit juice-sweetened Gummy Bears are ideal as an after-school snack and work just as well for Halloween.

My children were very upset with me last night when they saw I was making gummy bears. Why? I told them they could not eat any as I needed them for a morning photo shoot…for you all. The boys will be happy this afternoon when they get home from school and find this healthy candy ready to eat. These gluten-free gummy bears are the perfect thing to pack as a treat in school lunches, make a wonderful after-school snack, and are a great homemade Halloween candy for your little ghosts and goblins.

My boys (both teenagers now) are literally obsessed with these fruit juice-sweetened gummy bears and worked with me as I made them numerous times to perfect both the texture and flavor.

Print Recipe
Gummy Bears
Serves:10gummy bears
  1. In a medium saucepan bring juice to a boil
  2. Allow to cool for 3 minutes, then stir in lemon juice and stevia
  3. Very gradually, whisk in gelatin
  4. If you do not whisk gradually and thoroughly your bears will be lumpy
  5. Allow mixture to cool almost to room temperature, then pour into gummy bear molds
  6. Refrigerate for 2 hours
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days

Each healthy gummy bear candy has close to 2 grams of protein –not bad for a snack food. My older son likes to eat these with breakfast.

I haven’t played with gelatin for quite some time, however, Kelly kept telling me about her gummy recipe using pure gelatin (as in unflavored, without all of the sugar and dyes found in the more commercial product) and now I’m totally on the gelatin bandwagon.

Gelatin is fantastic for gut health and high in protein, which makes it an optimal food for my family. I make sure to purchase the grass fed gelatin and have found it to be very high quality. Here’s to the oxymoron of healthy candy, and gummy, or gummi, bears!


  1. suzanne says

    I made lots and would like to keep them longer than a couple of days. can I freeze them? otherwise how long do they last in the fridge?

  2. Kim says

    Hi Elana! I know this is an older recipe, but I wanted to let you know that my kids favorite snack are gummies and I cringe every time they eat them. So I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time. I finally got around to it this weekend. I don’t know what took me so long…..this recipe is SOOOOO super easy. And the best part, the kids LOVED them! Absolutely no taste of beef either as others have commented. My husband couldn’t believe there was beef gelatin in them. I used silicone molds (actually the mold you recommend for your mini bagels) and they popped right out perfectly. Thank you so much for what you do and for passing your recipes on to us. The best part of your recipes is that they are so much more simpler than other blogger’s. Eating real food means you have to spend more time in the kitchen and your simple recipes make it much more enjoyable to live this lifestyle and cook for my family. Thank you!

    • Elana says

      Kim, thanks for letting me know that your kids loved these! And thanks for your feedback about my recipes being the easiest out there!

  3. Elana says

    Trista, what brand and type of gelatin did you use? We make these with pineapple juice and all types of juices and they set up very well as you can see in the photo above (the yellow one was made with pineapple juice). Happy to help you troubleshoot this :-)

    • Elana says

      Hi Sandra, no prep necessary. The gummies pop right out of the molds. It’s so easy! You’re going to love this recipe :-)

  4. The Egg-Free Cookbook says

    Pineapple juice will only cause gelatin to fail to set if fresh pineapple is used. Once the juice is heated, the enzyme that keeps the gelatin from setting is deactivated. (Canned juice also works because it is heated in the canning process.) Good question!

  5. Susan says

    These look great. I also want to experiment with pectin. So any ideas on quantities if someone has this mastered, that would be great!
    I also recommend the molds by The Kitchen Fix on Amazon. They are sooo cut and have great eye and feet detail and pop out really easily. My son loves these bears! If your losing feet, either too long in the fridge or not enough gelatin?

  6. Ariel Van Ness says

    How long do these last? I was considering making them for Christmas gifts, but after reading the comments saying they’re more the texture of a dense jello, it made me wonder about their shelf life. Do they need to be kept in the refrigerator?

  7. Rachael says

    Hi – Has anyone tried these with elderberries? I’m thinking I’d like to try a spin on them for some back-to-school Immune boosters. Just looking for tips on doing that from frozen berries. Thank you!

  8. Philsy says

    Elanas stuff is licensed. Does anyone know if that means she wants payment for using her recipes? or does that only mean we’re not to make lollies using her recipes then selling them for a profit ? Thanks

    • Elana Amsterdam says

      Hi Philsy, Thanks for your question! The recipes here are available for free for your personal use, however, commercial use is not permitted.

  9. Heidi says

    I was excited to make these and followed recipe to a tee. I too tasted the immediate flavor of beef when biting into it. I am not imagining it. There was fruit juice flavor, but only as a second note. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this. Not sure if another gelatin would work better??

    • LuLU1900 says

      Try unflavored gelatin, and if that doesn’t do it for you there is a plant based gelatin called agar agar. Hope this helped!

  10. Wendy says

    I attempted to make these today and was unsuccessful. The mixture glugged up on my whisk and was very cloudy. I put them in the fridge and tried them a few hours later…I think I need more practice. Even my children didn’t like them. Any suggestions please where I may have gone wrong? I did use agar agar instead of gelatin. Has anyone got any photos of making them and what the mixture should look like?

    • LuLU1900 says

      With most gelatin, you have to add it to cold liquids let it soften for about 5 min and very slowly add the hot liquid while whisking very fast. Pouring the gelatin directly onto hot liquids will make it clump HORRIBLY and then it’s ruined and 3 bucks down the drain.

  11. E says

    We love these! I use 3tbs of raw honey instead of stevia. Pure Concord grape is our fave flavor :). These travel great in our cooler for road trips! Thanks for the recipe Elana.

  12. Veronika says

    I made these with Agar powder instead of gelatin and they turned out just fine – but I used only 1 tablespoon of Agar powder to the amount of liquid suggested above, and simmered it together for 5 minutes, and then followed Elana’s instructions for the rest of the recipe. I am not a big fan of stevia, so I might try another sweetener next time. I actually found the result too sweet, so I might reduced or drop the sweetener altogether as the juice is already sweet enough.

  13. KT says

    2 grams of protein and how many calories? (since I fully intend on eating more than 1 :) )

    Also, do you use liquid stevia?

  14. Jessica says

    I haven’t tried these, but it sounds like a jello recipe not a gummy bear one. Do these really have a similar texture to gummy bears? Or is it just jello bears? Even if jello, it is a wonderful idea :-)

    • Beth says

      These are indeed more like a jello texture than a true gummy texture. However, they are more dense than regular jello (since much less liquid is used), so therefore a bit chewier.

  15. RGC says

    Do you still use the stevia you recommend? The reviews on Amazon say the formula has changed and that it is awful now.

  16. tara says

    Elana: I attempted these gummies over the weekend and after a night in the fridge, they are gooey and have not set :( Any advice? I did substitute honey for stevia. My little one was so excited to have one after her first ski race this weekend and it was so disappointing… please HELP!

  17. Nicole says

    Try getting the moulds at Bulk Barn. They have tons of different kinds of moulds and are super cheap. Not sure if the gummy bears will stick though.

  18. Lashonda says

    I made these with just fruit juice, lemon juice, and gelatine. The consistency was fine. Not totally like a gummy candy but much firmer than jello. My concern is the flavor. They were really bland. I used cranberry grape juice, which I thought would be pretty strong in flavor. Was the juice the problem?

    • Beth says

      I used grape juice and mine were also bland. I would try more stevia (or alternative sweetener, perhaps agave or honey) to sweeten them up a bit. Any other suggestions?

  19. says

    I made the pineapple gummies yesterday exactly as written and with the same brand of gelatin, but the “beefy” flavor of the gelatin is very evident (and very gross).

    Am I just super sensitive to this smell/taste? I made beef broth exactly one time and can’t make it again because the smell of the boiling bones was overwhelmingly disgusting to me.

    My husband didn’t notice the taste, but the kids did. Maybe we have some genetic sensitivity to that taste??? I’m so disappointed because they came out great otherwise and were so easy!

    • Ann says

      All gelatin is made from the collagen of cows and/or pigs and does not impart any “beefy” or pork flavor. Even regular jello brand gelatin is made with it. Possibly the power of suggestion? or maybe you are just sensitive to it.

    • jen says

      we found ours to have a bit of a “stinky” flavor too. kids won’t touch them and it kind of grosses me out a bit too. this flavor I’ve only noticed with great Lakes brand. with knox, I don’t have any issues.

    • Pina says

      I have the same problem- Animal base gelatin does have specific taste- especially when there is so much of it. My kids don’t like it either. I tried several recipes for gummy bears and gello and I could always taste it.

  20. Leslie says

    Does the 3 tablespoons of gelatin really work. I read in another recipe it called for 3 envelopes of gelatin with all other ingredients remaining the same.

  21. says

    Is the texture supposed to be more like jello rather then a gummy bear. not sure if i did something wrong. I used cranberry juice since I didnt have anything else. I also tried making my own “juice” with blueberries and raspberries but they turned out the same way. I also used honey because I didn’t have any stevia. I’ve seen other recipes use honey and homemade juice so thought it should work. But I am not sure what the texture of these is supposed to be like so don’t know if I did them correctly or not. They are more jiggly like jello though, but still a little firm. But not like a chewy gummy bear if that makes sense.

    • Alexandra says

      I had to use commercial gelatin because I didn’t have any other options. Mine came out very much like jello. I was hoping for that rubbery-chewy feel that gummy bears have. I’m also wondering what the correct texture is supposed to be…

    • Beth says

      They are more of a dense jello texture. Not 100% the same as a true gummy bear, but tasty nonetheless.

  22. Vivian says

    I made these and wish I could say I liked them, but they didn’t turn out as I’d hoped. They were more like firm Jell-o and not really gummy in texture. I also found I could really taste the gelatin, which tastes a bit glue-like. I did make a half batch – did I do something wrong or am I just picky?

  23. Tina says

    When I whisked the gelatin the mixture became frothy. They hardened with a frothy layer. Does anyone know where I went wrong? I really want this to work before Halloween. Thanks for any suggestions.

  24. jennifer says

    Love this recipe. Because I didn’t want to use stevia or honey, i used thawed, frozen concentrate to increase the sweetness from the juice. I put 1/2 cup of thawed concentrate in a shallow glass baking dish and sprinkled the gelatin over it to soften it. Then I poured 1/2 cup boiling water over it, whisking to blend. Could also use half cup of boiling juice to increase sweetness even more. This eliminated lumps which I got when I did it with the original recipe. Guess I am too impatient for Elana’s technique. Thanks Elana, so fun to have candy!

  25. Ruth says

    Lime Gummy Bears
    1/3 cup lime juice cold with the gelatine
    1/3 cup water + 1/3 cup lime juice to boil
    about 1.5 Tablespoons of honey added with the boiling juice/water;
    and 2 “drops” of powder stevia (I have one of those measuring spoons labeled “drop”; I”m pretty sure the “drop” spoon is 1/64 teaspoon) that I added to the cold lime juice and gelatine

    I pour the boiling combo over the cold combo, stir without generating froth, then pour into gummy molds.

    The kids and I both felt that they tasted like lime jello gummies.

  26. Jennifer says

    I made these as written, with pomegranate juice. I had a layer of foam on each one – it stayed white even after they hardened. Anyone know why this happened? One of my kids loved them … the other two stuck their nose up after one bite … but maybe that was the foam issue?

    Oh, and I bought the molds on Amazon, and they are more ice cube sized.

    • Ruth says

      To get rid of the foam, I used 1/3 cup of juice to put the gelatin in (I used 4 packets of Knox) then I heated the 2/3 cup of juice to boiling. Poured the boiling over the gelatin/juice ball, and I didn’t have to whisk so much that there was foam. My boys also hated the foam. I find that you can cut off foam and/or crust that forms over time with kitchen sheers and/or knife.

  27. Jennifer says

    Love these!!! I made my “non cooking” boyfriend make these while I was cooking dinner. Such a fun dessert! Now every time I turn around he is making another batch. Lol! Double batch of Mango lemonade and pineapple in the fridge right now! We use candy molds and a squeeze bottle for accuracy. Great treat!!!

  28. Manya says

    Elana, big fan over here. My kids have had many a EVERYTHING because of you. Now I see this and cannot wait to get started. Only question is where does one aquire such an ice cube tray???
    I have GOT to get one asap!
    Thank you

  29. Debra E says

    I would love if someone could share how to get these gummies out of the mold. They kept tearing at the feet.

    • Ann says

      Did you use silicone molds? They turn inside out and make removing these much easier. I get mine from Amazon or Michaels.

  30. Tara Nicholson says

    How to get the gummies out of the mold without them sticking? I made pretty firm gummies, but to get them out of the mold they did not come out easily. What did I miss?

  31. Ruth says

    These are Feingold compliant, and my sons loved them and asked for more flavors. I’m going to try to fix up the recipe for lime or grape gummy bears too. Found the gummy bear mold on ebay, and had to order a 2nd one to satisfy demand. Thank you Elana! My son was craving decadence, and this satisfied him.

  32. jennifer says

    I actually found molds at meijer! They have their summer things on clearance and there were so many different shapes to choose from! 99 cents each! I picked up six and I can make two batches. I got bears, cars, stars, apples, strawberries and smiley faces!

  33. Michelle says

    I have tried numerous other gummy candy recipes and was not happy with the results due to taste (lack of mostly) texture (too rubbery), and finally I have found the perfect recipe! I used a mango juice with no stevia (juice was intensely sweet already) and they are perfectly textured. Thank you!

  34. Leah says

    These we’re so easy to make! I was worried (silly me) that they would come out to be glorified jello jigglers, but darned if they aren’t gummies! My kids like them. I bought silicone molds from Amazon for $4 each. Penguins, fish, hearts, and ducks. Perfect!

  35. Mary Ann says

    I am wondering how to store these. Do you keep them in the refrigerator or can they be left out. Mine are like ice cubes. Please advise.

  36. Mia Pritchett says

    I did make these in a regular jello mold-very gummy and yummy. The Great Lakes gelatin just has such a strong smell and taste (not really in the best way either). My boys were not too sure about eating it. I guess Mom gets it all:)

  37. Heather J says

    Wow, these are really good! I wanted to play with gelatin so this recipe came at the right time :)

    I used plastic Ikea ice cube trays for my gummies. Super cheap and they come in lots of different shapes. One tray had 10 figures (half the batch). I got 20 gummies from the recipe.

  38. Deila says


    I make gummy treats for my dogs using bone broth and gelatin.

    1C bone broth of choice
    4-6T gelatin

    Heat broth. Whisk in gelatin, 1T at a time. Pour into molds or pan with lip and set in refrigerator. Pop them out of molds OR cut into pieces and give them as treats.

    I add in extra gelatin to make them *harder*, because my dogs like to chew them. plus, it’s a hoot when I toss them a gummy, and they don’t catch it. Watching the gummy bounce around while they chase after it is a RIOT!!!!

    My dogs adore them, they are Paleo (SHOCK) and good for pups with joint issues.

  39. Pam Frydman-Roza says

    Where do you find Kosher Gelatin with a real hechsher. I’ve seen Great Lakes gelatin that is labelled Kosher but I don’t see a hechsher.
    Thanks a bunch.
    Chag Sukkot Sameach!
    Pam :)

  40. Maggie says

    I don’t have molds–do you think it would work if I just spread the mixture out thinly on a parchment-paper lined jellyroll pan?

    • Deila says

      If you pour this into any pan with a lip, it sets up very quickly (mine sets in the fridge within 10 minutes) then you can cut shapes out with rings or cut into slices.

      • Heather J says

        BUT! Adding to my comment: I left them on my counter for a few days and they did grow mold. This probably wouldn’t happen if kept in the fridge.

    • Deila says


      I am not sure that agar would be healthier than gelatin. Gelatin provides a vast amount of nutrition, protein, and helps with joint issues. i think I would prefer to stick with grass fed gelatin when making gummy candies.

      • Sheindal says

        But if one were not to use gelatine because one didn’t use animal products, then asking if agar agar would work is a valid question, even if it is not one that Elana would have the answer to. (And one I’d like to know the answer to as well!) Sea vegetables have a great deal of nutrition in, so assuming the refining process does not extract all the goodness (and the company that make the ones I have don’t use chemicals to process it) then I can’t see why agar wouldn’t be equally as beneficial to your body, if in a different way from the nutrition cited above for gelatine. BTW, for any vegetarians or kosher following enquirers, my agar flakes box suggests one full tablespoon of flakes to one cup of liquid. I might try and see…

          • Sara says

            I have a high sensitivity to all things beef, so I tried agar agar instead and they didn’t quite work. I’m not sure though if it was the agar or that I used pure organic pineapple juice, which was a little thicker then the typical juices. It was also challenging to get it to dissolve, even in the hot juice. I ended up have to take my immersion blender to it to fully integrate the agar agar. Anyway, they didn’t get completely solid like gummies, they are more like jell-o that hasn’t quite set. Either way they are totally tasty and it won’t be a problem making them disappear. I’m going to try again with a thinner juice (like grape) and then I’ll know for certain if it was the juice or the agar.

          • says

            I haven’t worked with any of the better gelatin, but “run-of-the-mill” gelatin doesn’t set up when using fresh pineapple. Something in the fresh pineapple juices counter-acts the jelling process. Canned pineapple can be used with gelatin.

          • Frederique says

            It is the enzyme in fresh pineapple that cuts up the bonds used to gel. Boiling the pineapple juice should do the job. You also need a whole lot more agar than gelatin to get the consistency – it’s quite fussy! Oh and agar is good for you, but does not have the same “gut healing” properties as the collagen in the beef bones are responsible for that. If just for fun though, agar is a great vegan substitute!

    • Ruth says

      Caution for those trying agar agar. While it says on most sites to substitute agar agar powder for gelatin in the same amount, when I did this and followed Elena’s recipe, I came out with bears the texture of wax. I googled “agar gummy bears” and came up with recipes that use roughly 1 Tablespoon of agar per 8 ounces (as Elena uses) of fluid. Also, the juice with agar must be simmered at least 5 minutes to thicken. I’ve yet to perfect agar gummy bears and I’ve used an entire bottle of agar and an entire jar of organic juice experimenting.

      (When I made it with gelatin, I got it perfect the first time.)
      Like others, my kids are allergic to beef, so I might punt on the agar and use gelatin from fish.

      • Ruth says

        Used fish gelatin from Modernist Pantry and they came out GREAT again. Fish gelatin needs to be stirred *really* well for consistency. Some gummy’s were too solid, some perfect.

  41. Michele says

    I’m about ready to jump on the gelatin bandwagon myself! I found some through Azure Standard that is grass and grain fed (I assumed finished) at half the price ($8.60 a lb) and I am motivated to finally try it tonight!

    • Michele says

      Elana has an affilate link for the molds in step #5 of the recipe. I don’t want to break her link on accident so forgive me for not linking to it here.

  42. minnie says

    if you use a small portion of the juice to bloom the gelatin (soak it til it hydrates) you’ll have no lumps. i think maybe 1/4 c would work

    • Michele says

      I assume we’d need the juice to be hot? And about how long would it take for it to ‘bloom’?

      I just made some a little while ago and had a little bit of trouble whisking in the gelatin, but that may have been the pan and the whisk I used.

      • Debra E says

        You don’t need the juice to be hot, just room temperature. Let the gelatin soak in and gel, then you can whisk it into the hot liquid mixture. I believe that once it has gelled that you could also add it to the rest of the ingredients while they heat up. You might not have to wait until the end if you did the gelatin this way.

      • Bernadette says

        I poured half the juice into a bowl and sprinkled the gelatin over it to let it bloom, The other half of juice was put in a saucepan and I just warmed it. It doesn’t need to be hot. In fact, you’ll retain some of the vitamin C if you DON’T heat it hot. I then mix in the juice from the bowl into the saucepan and used a whisk to get out all the lumps.

        • fio says

          you need to boil the juice to extract all the air in it so that the gelatin becomes completely clear. some chef even boils it twice letting the juice completely cool between one boil and the other.

  43. kathy scott says

    Hi Elana
    I just love your recipes and would love to make these for my grandson! Could you tell me where you bought your gummy bear moulds? I live in Ontario.

    Thank you

    Kathy S.

    • Heather J says

      I bet Michael’s craft store would have them.

      I used plastic ice cube trays from Ikea (gummi fish)! One tray had 10 fish which filled half the recipe.

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