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Vegan Gummy Bears

These vegan gummy bears are naturally sweetened with fruit juice and maple syrup, and free from artificial sweeteners and colours. They’re a great healthy alternative for anyone who loves candy!

vegan gummy bears scattered on worktop

I am a HUGE foodie and will try anything at least once. And since going vegan, I’ve had so much fun trying plant-based versions of my old favourite foods.

But there’s one thing I haven’t had since going vegan… Gummy bears.

Although I’ve always been more of a chocolate gal, gummy bears were a close second when it came to eating sweet treats.

Especially Haribo, which for some reason always took me back to watching “Free Willy” in the cinema at the age of 5 with a bag full, every time I ate them… weird.

As you’ll probably know, traditional gummy bears are made with gelatine. In other words, ground up animal parts. YUCK.

Plus, they contain lots of E numbers which are sometimes not vegan-friendly, and not so good for your health either.

So how exactly do you make vegan gummy bears if you don’t use gelatine?

blue and pink vegan gummy bears

How To Make Gummy Bears Vegan Friendly

By using agar-agar powder!

Agar-agar is a jelly-like substance derived from algae. It usually comes in flakes or in powder form and when boiled with liquid, it sets in a similar way to traditional gelatine.

I first discovered agar-agar powder whilst attempting to make a no-bake cheesecake with condensed coconut milk.

Unfortunately, my filling didn’t set properly (even after a whole day in the fridge!) so I began looking into ways to rescue it. I was told that adding Vege Gel or agar-agar powder might help the filling to set.

Unfortunately, using Vege Gel didn’t work so I ended up having to dispose of the poor cheesecake. But it got me curious about agar-agar powder so I ordered some online.

When it arrived, I decided to scrap the cheesecake idea (I will try again one day!) and attempted to make some vegan gummy bears instead.

I ordered the cutest little gummy bear mold from Amazon which will allow you to create 50 vegan gummy bears at a time.

But the great thing is, because the gummy bears set so quickly, you can pop them out and refill the mold to make as many batches as you like. Which means you only need one mold!

Want more easy vegan dessert recipes?

You can make these vegan gummy bears whichever flavours you like. Here are some of the flavours I tried…

red vegan gummy bear standing upright

Vegan Gummy Bear Flavours

Blue Guava

I used Innocent’s new “Bolt From The Blue” smoothie which is a mix of different fruit juices and some blue spirulina for the colour. The main flavour I could taste was guava and I really liked these gummies!

For blue vegan gummy bears, you can either use this same smoothie or mix a small amount of blue spirulina with a super sweet juice such as guava or apple.

I also made a second batch and replaced ½ of the juice with almond milk. I liked the way these turned out because the colour was much more vibrant thanks to the lightening effects the milk had.

Grape

I had high expectations for the grape flavour but sadly it was my least favourite. The flavour just wasn’t strong enough for me personally. If you decide to make grape gummies, I’d recommend adding an extra tablespoon or two of sweetener.

Cherry

I LOVED the flavour of the cherry juice and I liked that it produced translucent, red vegan gummy bears! They looked just like the real deal.

I also made a batch of cherry gummies with almond milk but feel that this took away from the flavour a little. Lovely colour though!

Mango

The mango ones were by far my favourite flavour. They were just the right amount of sweetness and the flavour was so strong!

I made an almond milk mango batch too and they tasted just as amazing. I HIGHLY recommend making mango vegan gummy bears!!

**I will say that the sweeter, richer juices such as mango and orange work best for vegan gummy bears because the taste of the agar-agar powder is quite strong.

Regardless of which juices or smoothies you choose to use, these vegan gummy bears are a much healthier alternative to the traditional ones. You still get to eat a nice sweet treat, but this time there’s no cruelty involved.

a row of vegan gummy bears

How To Make Vegan Gummy Bears

Step 1

The first step is to clean and dry your gummy bear mold to make sure it’s free from any dirt or dust.

If you don’t have a gummy bear mold, you can purchase one from Amazon. I used the HENGSONG silicone gummy bear mold.

Alternatively, you can use whatever else you have to hand, such as a loaf tin. If you’re not using silicone, I would recommend sprinkling your mold/tin with cornstarch first. This will help to prevent the gummy mix from sticking when you try to pop it out.

Step 2

Take your smoothie or fruit juice of choice and mix it with your agar-agar powder. I find 1/2 a cup of liquid mixed with 2 tablespoons of agar-agar powder works perfectly for 50 small gummy bears.

You’ll also want to add a tablespoon or two of sweetener to help enhance the flavour, as it can be quite weak without. You can use maple syrup, agave or white sugar.

I tried all 3 variations and they all tasted good. But personally, although it’s not as healthy, I found white (caster) sugar to be the best.

It really brings out the flavours of the fruit juice and helps the gummy bears to become more “chewy” once they’re set. 1-2 tablespoons of sugar per 1/2 cup liquid is the perfect amount.

agar powder in a pan with smoothie

Step 3

Give everything a good mix together in a small pot.

Now, place the pot over a very low heat and stir continuously until it begins to thicken. You need to make sure you allow it to heat up long enough to get thick otherwise the gummy bears won’t set properly.

On the other hand, if you heat it for too long, you’ll burn the mixture and end up with “grainy” gummies.

1-2 minutes on a low heat should be just the right amount of time.

thicken the vegan gummy bear mixture over a low heat

Step 4

Using a small teaspoon or two, gently transfer the mixture into each gummy bear hole.

If you make a mess and the mold holes overflow, you can scrape any excess off using the side of the spoon. Watch the video at the bottom of the page to see what I mean!

Once you’ve got your mold full, pop it into the freezer for 5 minutes. Then just pop your vegan gummy bears out and enjoy!

How To Store Vegan Gummy Bears

These gummies can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week. You can also keep them in the freezer if you’d prefer, and they’ll last like this for up to 3 months.

popping blue gummy bear out of the mold

I hope you love these healthy fruit gummies! Please leave me a comment below and let me know the flavour combinations you try- I’d love to know!

xo

vegan gummy bears scattered on a work top
4.6 from 10 votes
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Vegan Gummy Bears

A vegan-friendly alternative to gummy bears made with gelatine.

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan gummy bears
Prep Time 5 minutes
Freezing time 5 minutes
Servings 50
Calories 21 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Smoothie or fruit juice of choice (120ml)
  • 2 Tablespoons Agar-agar powder
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Sweetener of choice**

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small pot.

  2. Put the pot over a very low heat and gently stir until the mixture begins to thicken, around 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to under or overdo this part- too thin and the gummy bears won't set, and if you burn it, they will become grainy.

  3. Spoon the mixture into your bear molds, scraping off any excess using the side of a teaspoon.

  4. Place the mold in the freezer for 5 minutes, then pop out your gummy bears.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

**I personally find that white sugar works best for texture and flavour but maple or agave syrup will also work well too.

*Calorie info shown is for mango flavour gummies made with caster sugar.

*Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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Recipe Rating




Kristina yoshizawa

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Gelatine actually has many benefits for your bones and joints not to mention the fact it helps strengthen nail and hair growth. "YUCK" is offensive...

Chloe

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Hey Kristina! Sorry that offended you but I personally do find the methods used to make gelatine quite unpleasant. If you're interested, you can get similar health benefits from vegan omega 3 sources such as seaweed/algae, nuts and seeds.

Demi Jones

Monday 30th of November 2020

Could I use squash instead of 100% fruit juice? Xx

A

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Mine did not set after 2 minutes, in fact I'm on to about 15 min and they haven't set. Followed instructions exactly.

A

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

These did not work out for me at all. They were nowhere near a gummy consistency. I tried cooking less, cooking more, and no matter what I did they either were too runny and did not set, or grainy and only set because they were in the freezer for an hour. I used 1/2 cup of orange juice, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 tablespoons agar. Cooked for 1-2 minutes. Not good.

Chloe

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Hi! I'm really sorry they didn't work out for you. It sounds like they might have needed to stay on the heat a little longer before chilling but I will revise the recipe as a few people have had trouble with this one. Thank you for your feedback.

Mado

Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Great recipe. I would like to make these for my kiddo and tried ordering agar powder from Whole Foods. They replaced it with aged agar flakes.. do you think it would work?

Chloe

Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Hey Mado! It would work but you'd need to use a bit more than you would if you used the powder. I haven't tested it myself yet so I can't say for sure how much you'd need exactly, sorry. But if you try it out, let me know how it goes. xo

Nava

Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

I made it with apple juice and sugar and it took more then two minutes to thicken. When it did I froze it but it was grainy and never solidified to a gummy texture. Does this mean I just cooked it too long? It just didn’t seem thick until then.

Chloe

Thursday 23rd of April 2020

Hey Nava! Yes, if it goes grainy it's because it was cooked too long. Try taking it off the heat just slightly before next time.