Updated date:

How to Make Vegan Gummy Worms

Author:

I am an artist, designer, singer, poet, costumer, belly/ballet/swing/hip-hop/folk dancer, crafter, and general DIY person!

Gummy worms!

Gummy worms!

Hello, crafters and creative peoples! As I'm writing this, it's early in the morning on a beautiful Saturday in lovely Seattle, and here I am with a craving for something sweet. Unfortunately, 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.

Ingredients

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
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 pinch of salt (Really, a pinch will do!)
  • 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!)
  • Citric acid or ascorbic acid spray (optional, for sour gummy candy. Spray it on after they're done! You can find this at health food stores or online.)
  • Food coloring (optional, add in step 2.)
  • Flavoring like vanilla, lemon, etc. (optional, add in step 2.)

Equipment

  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 worm mold (You can find these at craft stores. I got mine from a child's "mad scientist" candy kit. 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.)
  • Access to running water, a stove, and a freezer
  • 1 stirring device (Plastic or wooden spoons work beautifully.)
  • 1 sheet waxed paper
  • 1 smashin' plate (See step 5.)

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

Instructions

  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 the mold in the freezer for later.
  2. Dissolve the agar agar powder, salt, sugar, and any optional coloring or flavoring with a little of the fruit juice in your saucepan. Let stand a few (maybe 5) minutes before applying to heat. Stir.
  3. Add the rest of the fruit juice to the pan. Place the pan 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 the glue that you ate in grammar school. Remove from heat.
  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!
  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.
  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.
  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!

Comments

Chloë Myers on July 03, 2020:

Could I use a silicone water bottle ice cube mold (It makes long and thin ice cubes to go in water bottles) instead of the worm mold?

Jodi on December 29, 2019:

I tried making these and was very disappointed. Finding agar around here is very difficult,so I had to order some,now I'm all ready to make my gummy bears,except they never got thick,no where near a glue like consistency. I continuesly stirred for over 20 minutes,didn't thicken. I wasted a small bottle of agar,and my time.

lindadchurch3@gmail.com on October 12, 2018:

love these

Dylan Paul Zamski on April 26, 2018:

What are you doing today

Elizabeth on August 07, 2017:

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!!!

SweetMara@ on March 17, 2017:

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

Abh on March 06, 2017:

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..

Lisa on February 09, 2017:

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

Alex on January 26, 2017:

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.

Ashley on January 16, 2017:

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

Gwen on January 10, 2017:

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

RQ on October 26, 2016:

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 :-(

April on October 06, 2016:

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

raina on September 23, 2016:

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!

Kat on July 18, 2016:

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?!?

HalalLover on April 14, 2016:

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!!

druby38 on March 28, 2016:

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

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

Jas on March 04, 2016:

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.

TereziHearfilia on December 15, 2015:

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! ^_^

PizzaPrincess on October 28, 2015:

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. :)

Cmdrsweetpotato on October 28, 2015:

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.

DatingAVegan on January 09, 2015:

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

anon. on October 26, 2014:

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.

FairyQween82 on January 24, 2013:

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.

Don on July 26, 2012:

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.

Thanh on July 05, 2012:

Is the juice heated as well?

david on May 03, 2012:

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!

Kendra on April 29, 2012:

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.

heather on April 25, 2012:

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

Carson on April 10, 2012:

How long should it take to get thick?

Thyme Cypher on March 12, 2012:

Rox, sounds like something didn't dissolve fully.

Rox on March 06, 2012:

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?

val on December 26, 2011:

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!

Randy on October 19, 2011:

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

Laila on July 31, 2011:

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

Laila on July 31, 2011:

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

Debra McVay from Troy, Alabama on July 14, 2011:

sounds like fun

Jessica on June 15, 2011:

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

meme on February 13, 2011:

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

Ellie on February 10, 2011:

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

Ellie on February 10, 2011:

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 (author) from Seattle on January 15, 2011:

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!

Leah on January 04, 2011:

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 from Southwestern, United States on December 22, 2010:

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

Caron on December 06, 2010:

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????

Megan on October 28, 2010:

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 (author) from Seattle on October 10, 2010:

@ 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!

Tif. on September 30, 2010:

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?

Haley on August 22, 2010:

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?

Mary M on April 14, 2010:

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 from Canada on April 02, 2010:

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

HelloEcoMDR on March 16, 2010:

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 from Holly, MI on February 28, 2010:

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

martycraigs on February 22, 2010:

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 from Dublin on January 10, 2010:

Love it!

doc quinn on November 22, 2009:

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

sweetlips on November 15, 2009:

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