Fun and easy to make, these homemade gumdrops are a sweet and chewy treat that can be made in any color or flavor. Perfect for holiday snacking and gifting!
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About Homemade Gumdrops
Festive and delicious, homemade gumdrops are easier to make than you think – in fact, you’ll even enjoy making them.
From choosing the flavors and colors to cutting out festive shapes, this gumdrop recipe is a fun event from start to finish. And when everything is said and done, you’ll have plenty of bite-sized sweet candies to enjoy for your efforts.
Sounds like a win-win to me!
What do you need to make gumdrops?
Before getting started, make sure you have the following ingredients on hand:
- Two packets of unflavored gelatin (I like to use KNOX brand).
- Water and granulated sugar.
- Flavored jello (like the JELL-O brand boxes). This recipe is written to make two different flavors but you could make a single flavor or even up to four flavors (just be sure to use the three ounce boxes of JELL-O and not the six ounce.)
- Food cloring, just in case you want a different or brighter hue than the jello makes on it’s own.
- Sanding sugar, which is just nother name for colored sprinkles that look like tinted granulated sugar. Feel free to use a color that matches the gumdrops or use festive colors like gold, silver, or even just white sugar.
As far as tools, you will need:
- Multiple mixing bowls, including a microwave-safe bowl.
- Two 8×8 baking dishes.
- A whisk or another tool you’d prefer to stir with.
- Parchment paper.
- Cooking spray.
- Small metal cookie cutters (for shapes) or a knife (for simple square gumdrops).
How should you store gumdrops?
Depending on the consistency you like, gumdrops can be stored in one of two ways:
- For soft, jelly gumdrops, store them in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to eat.
- For firm, chewy gumdrops, allow the gumdrops to “set” on the counter for 8-24 hours (or until desired firmness is reached) then store in a sealed container, either on the counter or in the refrigerator, until ready to eat.
How long are gumdrops good for?
Once prepared, gumdrops can be stored in a sealed container (either in the refrigerator or on the counter) for up to seven days.
Can you freeze gumdrops?
Yes, you totally can!
Once prepared and set, gumdrops can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag (separate layers with parchment or wax paper) for up to three months.
Can you use a mold instead?
If you’d rather use a mold than cut these gumdrops, then yes, you can do this with this gumdrop recipe.
Instead of pouring the gumdrop mixture in the 8×8 baking dishes, spray a mold of your choice with cooking spray and pour in the gumdrop mixture.
NOTE: if at all possible, I would recommend using silicone molds. The gumdrops will be easier to release because the mold is flexible and can be bent or twisted to push out the gumdrops. Plus, with a silicone mold, there is less of a concern of the hot liquid warping the mold as it might if the molds were plastic.
More easy candy recipes
Other recipes for Christmas
How to make homemade gumdrops
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In two separate bowls, add about 1/4 cup water and allow a packet of unflavored gelatine to bloom in each one for about two minutes. Once done, quickly stir the contents, set these bowls aside.
Step 2 – Microwave the remaining two cups of water until boiling, then divide the water evenly between two bowls. Pour a different flavor of jello and some granulated sugar into each bowl, then mix. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring until the mixture is the hue that you want.
Step 3 – Pour one bowl of the unflavored gelatin in with the flavored jello, then mix. Repeat this step with the remaining bowl of unflavored gelatin and flavored jello.
Step 4 – For each flavor, pour the gumdrop mixture into an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Do this for both flavors of the gelatin mixture.
Step 5 – Transfer the baking dishes to the refrigerator and let set until firm.
Step 6 – When ready to cut, lift the gumdrop mixture out of the baking dishes and move it to a work area. Using cookie cutters (or just a knife), cut the gumdrops as you see fit, then roll them in sanding sugar. From there, you can either let the gumdrops firm up at room temperature or store them in the refrigerator for softer gumdrops.
Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!
- 1/2 ounce unflavored gelatin, divided (2 pkgs)
- 2 1/2 cup water, divided
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 6 ounce red gelatin, any flavor (1 pkg)
- 6 ounce green gelatin, any flavor (1 pkg)
- food coloring, red and green (optional)
- coarse sanding sugar, for coating, any color (optional)
- Line 2 8×8 baking dishes with parchment paper or aluminum foil, extending pieces over the sides for easy handling. Spray inner sides and bottom with cooking spray. Set dish aside.
- In two small bowls, add 1/4 cup water to each. Without stirring, sprinkle a gelatin packet over the surface of the water in each bowl. Allow gelatin to bloom for 2 minutes, then stir contents of both bowls. Set bowls aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add the remaining 2 cups of water. Heat water to boiling (typically 1-3 minutes, depending on microwave.) Once hot, remove 1 cup of water to a separate bowl, leaving you with two bowls with 1 cup hot water in each.
- Sprinkle red gelatin over hot water in one bowl and green gelatin over hot water in the other. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar to each bowl, then stir thoroughly until sugar and flavored gelatin has dissolved.
- Pour one bowl of unflavored gelatin in with the red gelatin and pour the other unflavored gelatin in with the green gelatin. Stir until combined. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring to brighten the color.
- Pour the gelatin into the 2 prepared baking dishes, one for each color.
- Place gelatin in the refrigerator until firm and set, about 2-4 hours.
- When ready to cut, have a serving plate ready (or lay out a piece of parchment paper) and place sanding sugar in a small bowl. Bring out gelatin and lift gelatin out of baking dish by gripping excess paper/foil along the sides, then transfer it to a work area. Peel back paper/foil from edges of gelatin, then either cut bars into small squares or use cookie cutters to create festive shapes. Once cut, roll gumdrops in sanding sugar to coat, then place on the serving plate/parchment paper.
- For soft, jelly-like gumdrops, store in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to eat. If you'd like firm gumdrops, cover prepared gumdrops with a tea towel and let rest at room temperature for 8-24 hours or until desired firmness is reached, then store in a sealed container (either on the counter or refrigerator.)
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.