I have been starving for color all winter.  So many bleak days.  I wore bright lipstick, knitted some cheerful yellow mittens, considered painting everything in the house bright aqua and kelly green and tried (only somewhat successfully) to stay positve.

  Finally, it has winter has eased up.  My well used uggs are in the back of the closet, along with my Michelin man shaped down coat.  It’s officially spring, and I am silly happy about it. And with Easter only a few weeks away, I thought I’d try making some candy to fill the Easter basket, and get my color fix in at the same time (it may be warmer, but nothing green has starting showing up here, yet).

  Gumdrops are one of my favorite candy fixes.  They’re small, so you don’t feel like you’re doing anything that bad, unless you eat 20 at a time (like me).  There is so something down right cheerful about them, I don’t even mind how they stick to my teeth.

   I expected these to be harder; I don’t know why.  You don’t even need a candy thermometer for them.  And these don’t have any strange ingredients in them like store bought candy.  The only drag is waiting overnight for them to set.  So plan ahead.

   I used orange, lemon and mint extracts for flavors.  I know, that’s only three.  I didn’t have any flavor for red, so I made them orange, too.  So my red and orange gumdrops are like fruit loops:  different colors, same flavor.


makes about 1 pound of candy

adapted from Betty Crocker
  • 3/4 c. cold water
  • 3 packages powdered gelatin
  • 2 c. sugar
  • extracts for flavors
  • food coloring
  • sanding sugar
  • non stick cooking spray

  Pour 1/2 c. cold water into a bowl.  Sprinkle gelatin over the water.  Stir, then set aside.

  In a saucepan, combine remaining 1/4 c. water with the 2 c. of sugar. Stir, then bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin until dissolved.

  Separate mixture into bowls if you are making different colors.  Add  food coloring and extract.  I made 4 batches, I used 4 drops of food coloring and 1/2 tsp. of extract for each bowl. Stir gently.  If you see some gelatin(like in the green bowl) or your gumdrops start to set, heat mixture in the microwave for 10 seconds and stir.

gumdropsSpray your molds with non stick cooking spray.  Mini loaf pans would be a good size here.  I don’t own those, though, so I made my own molds by wrapping aluminum foil around a box of butter and taping the foil together. Pour into molds and chill in the fridge overnight to set.gumdrops

Remove from molds and place on wax paper or cutting board, cut into shapes, and roll in sanding sugar.  Allow to dry at room temperature for a few hours on each side. (you can eat them right away, but the outsides get a little firmer when set).


I love how these look with the sun streaming through them.gumdrops 2 gumdrops 3

5 comments… add one
  • Heather Apr 15, 2014, 6:02 am

    Could you use ice cube trays or silicone molds to make different shapes? Or would they not set up correctly? I can’t believe how easy they are to make! Thank you for this recipe!

    • krista Apr 30, 2014, 1:00 pm

      Heather- Definitely! It’d be cute to make them in those novelty ice cube trays!

  • Amanda Apr 12, 2014, 3:36 pm

    Love your photography! It inspired me to try out this recipe today. You have a typo in one of the steps though. “In a saucepan, combine remaining 1/4 c. water with the 2 c. of sugar” should read 3/4C water.

    My gumdrops are in the fridge right now – thanks for posting the recipe and lovely photos!


    • krista Apr 30, 2014, 1:05 pm

      Amanda- Thanks for the photo compliment! The water amount in that step is right, though. 1/2 of the cold water was used with the gelatin. How did your gumdrops turn out?

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