How to Make Vegan Gummy Worms!

Updated on March 18, 2016
Gummy worms!
Gummy worms!
Gummy bears!
Gummy bears!

Hello crafters and creative peoples! It's early in the morning on a beautiful Saturday in lovely Seattle and here I am having a craving for something sweet. Only the problem is I'm craving something that is generally made with an animal product, and I haven't eaten anything like that in over 11 years. I want gummy worms! Fortunately for me, I came up with this recipe some time ago when my dear sweet husband wouldn't give me a moment's rest until I found him some gummy worms that we could eat. They are by far his favorite candy and I hope they will be yours too!

Please remember to read all the instructions before you begin, as there are a few different options for some of the steps.

You'll need to gather the following materials:

  • 8 tablespoons agar agar powder. Don't use the flakes; they're not going to get solid enough.
  • 4 cups fruit juice in your favorite flavor
  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 worm mold. You can find these at craft stores. I got mine from a child's "mad scientist" candy kit.
  • 1 half cup corn starch
  • 1 pinch of salt. Really a pinch will do!
  • Access to running water, a stove, and a freezer.
  • 4 tablespoons of a dry sweetener of your choice. I use sugar but you may omit this ingredient if you'd like. A liquid one will make it more runny, and we don't want that!
  • 1 stirring device. Plastic or wooden spoons work beautifully.
  • 1 sheet waxed paper
  • 1 smashin' plate (see Step 5)
  • Optional: citric acid or ascorbic acid spray (for sour gummy candy) Spray it on after they're done! You can find this at health food stores or online.
  • You can also add a few drops of food coloring or flavoring (vanilla, lemon, etc.) Do this in Step 2!

You can also obviously use any other candy mold you'd like. I know of a guy who used Legos somehow; just make sure that you're using a food grade plastic.

Okay, so now that you've got your materials together you can get started:

Step 1: Dust your worm mold with cornstarch. Dust it well enough to cover it completely but not so well that you're going to mess with the shape of your worms. Place in the freezer for later.

Step 2: Dissolve the agar agar powder, salt, sugar, and any optional coloring or flavoring in your sauce pan. Let stand a few (maybe 5) minutes before applying to heat. Stir.

Step 3: Place the pan (with all your yummy ingredients) on the stove and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stirring constantly, boil until the mixture becomes thick. Think of the glue you used to make that one kid eat in grammar school, or that you ate in grammar school... Remove from heat.

Step 4: Take your dusted molds out of the freezer and place on a stable area ( a cleared counter top would be wonderful!) Now carefully but quickly (this stuff is hot, folks!) dab the mixture into the molds. Too much and they'll look weird, too little and they'll look weird, so just experiment!

Step 5: place the wax paper on top of the mold tray. Place your smashin' plate on top of the waxed paper. Now get to smashin'! What I mean is, apply pressure using your hands to the plate atop the waxed paper, atop the worms, inside the molds.

Step 6: Scrape off any of the mixture that is left over (not settled into the molds) and shape into whatever shapes you'd like. Place all of these and the mold (with the mixture in it) into the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Step 7: Remove the worms from the freezer. Spray on ascorbic or citric acid, roll in sugar, or leave plain. You can eat them now or chase your significant other around the house with them; it's your call.

I hope you love these wonderful candies as much as we do!

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        lindadchurch3@gmail.com 

        8 days ago

        love these

      • profile image

        Dylan Paul Zamski 

        5 months ago

        What are you doing today

      • profile image

        Elizabeth 

        14 months ago

        Hello, I know this is an old blog but hoping for some advice. Is the corn starch imperative to get the gummy consistency? And I am not vegan and was wondering if I can use grass fed beef gelatin just the same. Thank you!!!

      • profile image

        SweetMara@ 

        19 months ago

        Hey this looks like a great recipe. I'm totally gonna try it! Maybe today still!♥

      • profile image

        Abh 

        19 months ago

        For people who are struggling with the order:

        1. Put the dry ingredients in a pot (sugar, salt, agar agar)

        2. Add the liquid of your choice

        3. Stir until melted together

        4. Turn on stove to medium high, constantly stir

        5. The corn starch is to dust the molds.

        Experience:

        The melting and mixing and molding

        The consistency was great (goopy -not clumpy-, melty). However the smell was muted and you have to work fast before the mix cools and hardens.

        Only stuck in freezer for a couple minutes, until firm to the touch. Popped right out of the silicone molds.

        They are quite...solid...

        Taste

        Next is the taste test...which doesn't look too appetizing. The color got muted (used tropical juice and mango nector).

        It is just as bad as the reviews say...it's dry and compact and sandy. Looked great until eating it.. disappointed..

      • profile image

        Lisa 

        20 months ago

        Looks good, but It says to dissolve the dry ingredients, but not what to dissolve them in...water? Or juice?

        I'm guessing the juice?

        Thanks

      • profile image

        Alex 

        21 months ago

        This recipe is awful -- I don't think you can even call it a recipe. All of the ingredients and supplies are listed together and the instructions are so vague. When are you supposed to add the liquid? Are you supposed to mix in some of the corn starch? I tried these tonight and they were very disappointing.

      • profile image

        Ashley 

        21 months ago

        I had it boiling for like a half hour. Never got to a "glue like" consistency, so I will just let it sit for a while and see what happens

      • profile image

        Gwen 

        21 months ago

        my mixture got super thick and grainy and when I tasted it it had no sweetness. Why did this happen.

      • profile image

        RQ 

        24 months ago

        Ended up making a mistake in the very beginning and dissolving my ingredients into all 4 cups of juice...after 30 minutes, it's still not getting thick on the stove. I'm increasing the temperature in hopes that it helps. I might have to start over :-(

      • profile image

        April 

        2 years ago

        Don't do this recipe at all it doesn't work you'll just end up with hard rock tummies. I think all this people commenting haven't done it themselves

      • profile image

        raina 

        2 years ago

        posting a pic of the finished product rather than the brand name sweets would have been good!

        I am always suspicious of bloggers who won't post what their concoctions look like!

      • profile image

        Kat 

        2 years ago

        I tried this recipee twice today and both times they turned out grainy and crumbly and I can't even put them in my mouth. Am I doing something wrong or is this the way it is supposed to be?? I'm looking to make a chewy gummy similar in texture to a regular gummy bear. I've had vegan gummies before so I know it's possible to reach that consistency. How do we achieve that?!?

      • profile image

        HalalLover 

        2 years ago

        I've been wanting to make halal gummies at home for years, so this is like a dream come true for me. Thank you soooo much!!

      • profile image

        druby38 

        2 years ago

        http://www.britishlarder.co.uk/how-to-use-agar-aga...

        apparently the agar agar cannot be used with acidic fruits and juices.

      • profile image

        Jas 

        2 years ago

        I tried this recipe flavouring them with ice tea. I don't know if it was the ice tea, but they we NOT gummy at all and just the thought of that texture makes me sick. Thank god I only made half the recipe, because this seemed to make a million of the things.

      • profile image

        TereziHearfilia 

        2 years ago

        Omg, I saw that lego video you talked about, "The King of Random" if I am correct. I have been looking everywhere for a vegan recipe so I can try it with my mom and sisters for new years! This looks so good I can't wait to try it! Thank you! ^_^

      • profile image

        PizzaPrincess 

        2 years ago

        I have tried making these several times in the last few days (I was hoping to have good amount for a Halloween party) and they are just awful. I followed the directions each time and tried different ways of cooking them (longer boiling time to make sure everything dissolved, less agar agar/more juice) and they never turned out right. Or maybe they did and they are just gross. The texture makes me gag and unfortunately did the same to the two friends I had try them. I'm going to try using pectin and/or tapioca syrup and hopefully they turn out better. I'll let you know how it goes and if the recipe is decent I'll post it. :)

      • profile image

        Cmdrsweetpotato 

        2 years ago

        Ok, so to be honest, I was really looking forward to trying this recipe, but I'm pretty disappointed with the results. Like some other commenters have mentioned, the mouthfeel is SUPER grainy, and there wasn't much gumminess to the texture. It could be that my dry ingredients didn't dissolve fully, or that I didn't let it boil long enough to thicken, but I really feel like I'm flying blind with this recipe's instructions.

        When you say to dissolve, you mention only the dry ingredients. I'm assuming I'm supposed to use all of my liquid in this step, but it isn't even mentioned.

        Also, I used a cranberry cocktail fruit juice. I don't know it already has too much sugar, doesn't have enough pectin, or some other magical chemistry explanation that I'm not clear on. Regardless, it would be helpful to have some clarification on what the authors has used that has worked, and what has not.

      • profile image

        DatingAVegan 

        3 years ago

        We made these and they set really well in the freezer!! So surprising to make a gelatin candy that easily without animal product! Here is a video of us making the candies and the results: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G0xKFWdheE

      • profile image

        anon. 

        3 years ago

        I tried making these today. I can't find agar agar powder where I live so I used Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin and fruit juice. They are setting in the molds now so I don't know how they will be.

      • profile image

        FairyQween82 

        5 years ago

        I have been boiling and stirring for at least 15 minutes and my juice is still as watery as when it was in the bottle. I'm getting ready to give up. A little more detail in the recipe would have been appreciated. Also, I have 2 trays of molds, and I just realized there is no yield. Wish it would say what to do if you need to wait for them to set before molding more.

      • profile image

        Don 

        6 years ago

        How long does it take to thicken while bowling? I had the mixture bowling for quite some time, but then had to leave for a half our so I took it off the heat. When I return I had a wax like concoction. Still tasted good though.

      • profile image

        Thanh 

        6 years ago

        Is the juice heated as well?

      • profile image

        david 

        6 years ago

        just made these(but without a mould so I just made a sheet) they are awesome! They are firmer then normal and more like the real juice ones you buy at the store. I'm going to try a pectin/agar combo next time. Also I added more agar during the heating because I didn't think it was getting thick enough which might have been a mistake since my were firm.

        really good recipe!

      • profile image

        Kendra 

        6 years ago

        Just tried these. The consistency we got was really mealy. Not gummy/chewy at all. They look right, smell right, feel right and have a disastrous mouth feel. Is that the agar agar powder? Sometimes things vegan recipes come out like the originals and this one didn't. Bummer.

      • profile image

        heather 

        6 years ago

        I was wondering what the shelf life and storage recommendations are.

      • profile image

        Carson 

        6 years ago

        How long should it take to get thick?

      • profile image

        Thyme Cypher 

        6 years ago

        Rox, sounds like something didn't dissolve fully.

      • profile image

        Rox 

        6 years ago

        I made this, but halved the recipe... Maybe I did something wrong, but the gummies are... well grainy! The have this weird texture. Did I put too much agar agar? Did I undercook the gummies?

      • profile image

        val 

        6 years ago

        Hi, i've been looking for a recipe like this for YEARS and i trust yours is great, but i have a liiiittle request, if you may help me... could you please put the ingredients in grams? i get really messed up with cups, tablespoons and stuff, especially bgeing from argentina and having everything different hahaa. thanks!

      • profile image

        Randy 

        7 years ago

        Where can I get a plastic gummy worm mold with sizes from 6" to 12"?

      • profile image

        Laila 

        7 years ago

        I just read online that 1 tsp of powder agar agar replaces 1 Tbs of agar agar flake (which replaces 1 tsp of gelatin).

      • profile image

        Laila 

        7 years ago

        I would like to try out this recipe but I only have agar agar flakes.. if I mill them, will it work?

      • Debra McVay profile image

        Debra McVay 

        7 years ago from Troy, Alabama

        sounds like fun

      • profile image

        Jessica 

        7 years ago

        What is the yield for this recipe? Looks really cool.

      • profile image

        meme 

        7 years ago

        hi, would vege-gel be an alternative to agar?

      • profile image

        Ellie 

        7 years ago

        Oh and recently launched in the US and UK is Goody Good Stuff www.goodygoodstuff.com vegan gummi sweets !! Hooray!!

      • profile image

        Ellie 

        7 years ago

        Wow I will try these out one day. I've already found a great company that make vege gummi cola bottles and fruits called Biona. I've also found out that Haribo do a range of halal,kosher,vege gummi sweets including fizzy bottles, gummi bears and others. I love gummi sweets but son't eat them because of the gelatine.

      • Lady make profile imageAUTHOR

        Lady make 

        7 years ago from Seattle

        For everyone: Please note that the cornstarch is only for dusting the pan that goes into the freezer! The mixture is thickened by the Agar Agar flakes. I hope this helps :)

        Have fun making!

      • profile image

        Leah 

        7 years ago

        This is a great hub!! Thanks! I only eat Halaal foods soo when i found out that they use pork in the gummie worm making process i was discusted! now i can make them for myself, and well maybe i give some to my kids too ;)... thanks again! =)

      • craftybegonia profile image

        craftybegonia 

        7 years ago from Southwestern, United States

        Very interesting recipe. Worms, yikes! Kids will definitely love it.

      • profile image

        Caron 

        7 years ago

        I'm going to make these this week but I am just a bit curious about the cornstarch... Do you use the 1/2 cup in the mixture that gets heated, or is it just for dusting the mold????

      • profile image

        Megan 

        7 years ago

        I have tried this and for some reason my gummies are getting to hard. I have attempted twice and I used fruit juice with no sweetner what am I doing wrong? Please help I really want gummies!

      • Lady make profile imageAUTHOR

        Lady make 

        8 years ago from Seattle

        @ Tif- I just use a little of the liquid that I'll be using later in the recipe, so if i am using fruit juice I use a little of that as the mixture ends up in the rest of the recipe anyway, you wouldn't want to add more liquid or it will change the constancy ;) hope that helps!

      • profile image

        Tif. 

        8 years ago

        What do you mean by dissolving the Agar Agar powder, salt, and sugar? do I require more water for that? Do I do it in the juice? Do I dissolve it over heat?

      • profile image

        Haley 

        8 years ago

        This is awesome! I've been looking for sour gummi worms without gelatin and not having luck. Do you think this recipe could be altered to make them sour?

      • profile image

        Mary M 

        8 years ago

        how exciting! my husband loves gummy candy, too, but we don't eat it anymore because of the gelatin. i can't wait to tell him about this. thanks!

      • Dale Mazurek profile image

        Dale Mazurek 

        8 years ago from Canada

        What an interesting hub.

        I guess not being vegetarian I never thought of vegan candy.

        Anyways your hub is now up on my blog.

        You can find the link to my blog at the bottom of my profile page.

        Cheers

        Dale

      • profile image

        HelloEcoMDR 

        8 years ago

        this looks delicious, and there are so many products I wish didn't have gelatin in them. I miss the peach circles too, the blue sharks, the gummy soda bottles! If you ever want to form a vegan candy company, contact me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • theherbivorehippi profile image

        theherbivorehippi 

        8 years ago from Holly, MI

        LOVE this!! I am so going to try this one day! Thanks for sharing!

      • martycraigs profile image

        martycraigs 

        8 years ago

        Wow, this would be a really fun project for parents and kids (especially for parents who are raising their children vegan or vegetarian). Sometimes vegan recipes include too many obscure ingredients--either hard to find or rather pricey. This recipes looks great, though!

      • Madame Ginger profile image

        Madame Ginger 

        8 years ago from Dublin

        Love it!

      • profile image

        doc quinn 

        8 years ago

        I tried these and they are very good. Well made tutorial. Keep up the good work!

      • profile image

        sweetlips 

        8 years ago

        OMG! I love this idea! I'll make some today!

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