Homemade Gummy Bears with Jello
Have fun making your own gummy candy at home with this easy Jello gummy bear recipe! Seriously, these homemade gummy bears look & taste like the REAL deal, but they’re so simple to make. Perfectly sweet, chewy, and colorful—and made with only 3 ingredients! Learn how to make gummy bears with Jello, gelatin, & water in just 45 minutes.
For an all-natural gummy candy without Jello, try my healthy gummy bears made with real fruit!
What are gummy bears made of?
Originally, gummy bears were made of gum arabic or acacia gum: a natural gum made from the hardened sap of Acacia trees. (This is where the name “gummy” comes from!) Nowadays, most modern gummy bears are made with gelatin: a protein that comes from animal bones. Gelatin becomes rubbery and sticky when moist, which is why it’s used as a gelling agent in foods like marshmallows, Jello, and gummy candies—including this homemade gummy bear recipe!
Simplifying DIY Gummy Bears with Jello
These 3-ingredient gummy bears were inspired by my recipe for homemade gummy worms, and both recipes use the same ingredients. Boxed Jello mix provides sweet flavor and fun color all-in-one, while plain gelatin & water create a chewy, gummy texture! Jello gummies set quickly, they’re not too sticky, and they turn out well every time. Other recipes that use only gelatin without Jello tend to be stickier, more finnicky, and less reliable. This gummy bear recipe with Jello is just about fool-proof—a great DIY candy recipe to try with kids!
Reasons to Love Jello Gummy Bears
- Simple to Make. The #1 reason to make homemade gummy bears with Jello is it’s just plain easier than any other method. There’s no complicated equipment or candy-making steps involved, and you only need 3 ingredients. Simply whisk and heat the mixture, then fill your gummy bear molds. And your Jello gummies will set after just 15-20 minutes in the fridge!
- Flavorful & Colorful. The sweet flavor & vibrant color of boxed Jello mix is already pretty candy-like—so it’s perfect for making your own gummy bears at home! You can even use different flavors of boxed Jello mix to make DIY gummy bears in different colors.
- Perfect Texture. These Jello gummy bears are such a convincing twist on the classic candy! Amazingly, they do NOT have the gelatinous texture of Jello, but they have a genuine gummy candy texture—without becoming overly chewy & sticky, like some plain gelatin gummies can. I’ve made some tasty homemade gummies with just fruit and gelatin, but making gelatin gummy bears with Jello guarantees a perfectly tender-yet-chewy bite.
- Easier to Pop Out of Molds. Ultimately, this gummy bear recipe with Jello just works better than recipes without Jello. Gummies made with plain gelatin alone often turn out stickier, so pieces of your bears may get stuck inside the gummy molds. Making homemade gummy bears with boxed Jello and gelatin makes the mixture less sticky overall, so your bears pop out cleanly from the candy molds. A perfectly adorable bear shape, every time!
Homemade Gummy Bears Ingredients
- Boxed Jello Mix. This easy gummy bear recipe calls for 6 ounces of boxed Jello mix—either one 6-oz box, or two 3-oz boxes. Use whatever color or flavor of Jello you like! For the best result, use only one color of Jello per batch of gummies. I used regular boxed Jello mix with real sugar, but this recipe would probably work with sugar-free Jello if you want to make sugar-free gummy bears.
- Unflavored Gelatin. Adding plain gelatin to this recipe transforms the jiggly texture of classic Jello into the firmer, chewier texture of a homemade gummy candy. Make sure to read the ingredient amounts carefully here! You need 0.75 oz plain gelatin powder per batch of Jello gummy bears—which is 3 envelopes (0.25-oz each) of plain gelatin, as it’s sold in most U.S. stores.
- Water. Of course, you need enough water to activate the sticky, viscous quality of the gelatin in your homemade gummy bears. I don’t recommend using a different liquid in this recipe. Use room temperature water—neither cold nor hot.
For Different Colors of DIY Gummy Bears
Use different flavors of boxed Jello to make your own gummy bears in different colors! You’ll just need to prep a separate batch of Jello gummies for each different color you want to make. If preferred, you can try making smaller batches by cutting the recipe in half—using only one 3-oz box of Jello instead of the full 6 oz.
Which flavor of boxed Jello mix should I use to make gummy bears?
Personally, I made one batch of red gummy bears with raspberry Jello mix, and a separate batch of blue gummy bears with berry blue Jello mix. Have fun using whatever colors and flavors you enjoy! If you want to make copycat gummy bears in the classic colors, there are many flavors of boxed Jello mix you can use:
- Pink Gummy Bears: watermelon or strawberry banana Jello
- Red Gummy Bears: cherry, raspberry, or strawberry Jello
- Orange Gummy Bears: orange or peach Jello
- Yellow Gummy Bears: lemon, mango, or island pineapple Jello
- Green Gummy Bears: lemon-lime or lime Jello
- Blue Gummy Bears: berry blue Jello
- Purple Gummy Bears: grape Jello
Do I have to spray my silicone mold when making gummy bears with Jello?
For this gummy bear recipe with Jello, you do not need to spray your silicone gummy bear molds with cooking spray. Many recipes recommend this step to make it easier to remove homemade gummies from the molds, but I find it leaves an unpleasant oily residue. Thankfully, it’s not necessary with Jello gummy bears! Even with the more detailed shape of gummy bear molds, the Jello in this recipe helps the gummies pop out easily.
How to Make Gummy Bears with Jello and Gelatin
- Whisk & Thicken. To start, pour boxed Jello mix, plain unflavored gelatin, and water into a saucepan over no heat. Whisk well to combine everything, then allow the Jello gummy mixture to sit and thicken for 5-10 minutes at room temperature.
- Heat Briefly. Transfer the saucepan to the stovetop and heat the mixture over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, whisking continuously until the Jello and gelatin have dissolved.
- Fill Gummy Bear Molds. Once everything has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the Jello gummy mixture into silicone gummy bear molds. I recommend using a dropper or syringe to make this process easier!
- Chill until Set. Transfer your filled gummy molds into the refrigerator to chill until your homemade gummy bears have set. (Typically, this only takes 15-20 minutes!)
- Remove from Molds. Once they’ve set, you can gently pop your Jello gummy bears out of the silicone molds and enjoy! For best results, push from the back of the silicone mold, starting at the bottom with the legs and moving up to the bear’s head.
Watch my Gummy Bears 2 Ways video to see how to make your own gummy bears with Jello!
How long do homemade gummy bears last?
DIY gummy bears with Jello will last for 1-2 weeks stored in the fridge. Either transfer the gummies into an airtight container, or you can leave them in the silicone molds and cover them. You can actually leave Jello gummy bears at room temperature for quite some time (i.e., a few hours) and they won’t melt, but they’re best stored in the fridge for longer periods.
Homemade Gummy Bears with Jello
- 6 oz boxed Jello mix, (1 flavor/color per batch)
- 0.75 oz unflavored gelatin powder, (3 envelopes, 0.25 each)
- ⅔ cup water
- Pour flavored Jell-o, unflavored gelatin, and water into a saucepan (no heat) and whisk to combine. Allow to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to thicken.
- Heat mixture in saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking continuously until melted and dissolved (~2 minutes).
- Remove from heat and transfer mixture into silicone gummy bear molds or silicone molds of choice. (I use a dropper/syringe to make this easier, adding ~1mL of liquid per gummy bear cavity.)
- Chill in refrigerator until the gummies are set. (This should only take around 15-20 minutes.)
- Once set, pop gummy bears out of molds and enjoy! To remove from molds, push from the back of the mold—starting at the bottom/legs of each gummy bear and moving up to the top/head.
- Store gummies in an airtight container in the fridge, or leave them in the molds and cover until ready to enjoy. Lasts up to 7 days.
- Yields ~150 gummy bears. (Filled ~3 of my silicone gummy bear molds.)