Homemade Jelly Beans

Jelly beans are small sugar candies with soft candy shells and thick gel interiors. It is usually sold in different colors and flavors. Many kids and kids at heart love to eat jelly beans. One of the most popular jelly bean brands is Jelly Belly and they offer tons of different gourmet jelly beans. They also have a guide where certain jelly bean flavors change when combined with other flavors. This is the reason why it’s a fun and delicious treat.

Another popular jelly beans manufacturer is The Jelly Bean Factory which offers many different jelly bean flavors and all of them are gluten-free and gelatin-free. However, gourmet jelly beans being sold in candy shops can be expensive. But did you know that you can make some at home too? It’s actually easy to produce quality jelly beans in your own kitchen. It just takes some patience, imagination, and basic instructions. 

If you or your kids love jelly beans, you no longer have to go out to a candy bar to buy some because you can make them in the comfort of your own home. Making them can also be a great bonding activity with your kids if you ask them to help you out. 

If you want to make some jelly beans at home, then here is a great recipe we found.

Homemade Gourmet Jelly Beans

This recipe for gourmet jelly beans is shared by Sweet Petes. Here are the ingredients you will be needing.

For the middle part of the jelly bean:

  • 1 and ½ cups of water
  • 2 and ½ cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of plain gelatin
  • 1 cup of pulp-free fruit juice or pre-made drink mix
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • A bowl of ice cubes
  • Cooking spray
  • Cornstarch

For the shell:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of extract for flavoring
  • Food coloring of your choice

Equipment needed:

  • Wooden spoon
  • Candy thermometer
  • ½ dozen jelly bean molds
  • Colander
  • Stainless steel pot with a tight-fitting lid
  • Cookie sheets
  • Wax paper


For the Middle Part of the Jelly Bean

  1. Mix 1 and ½ cups of water, 2 ½ cups of sugar, and the gelatin in a saucepan. Then, allow the mixture to boil slowly over medium heat. Stir slowly continuously while it heats up.
  2. From time to time, check the temperature of the syrup using a candy thermometer and the goal is 230 degrees which may take about 25 minutes. 
  3. When the syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove the saucepan from the heat and put it on top of the ice in the bowl to stop the temperature from rising further. 
  4. While the saucepan of syrup is on the ice, you can add the juice and ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix them thoroughly and quickly then allow to cool completely.
  5. Using the cooking spray, spray the jelly bean pans lightly. After that, fill the molds with the syrup using a spoon or a syringe. This should be done quickly to prevent the syrup from becoming too thick or gummy as it stands.
  6. After filling the molds with the syrup, allow it to stand in the molds for 4 to 6 hours or overnight to become firm.
  7. The following day, spread a wax paper on a flat surface and sprinkle it with some cornstarch. Then, pop the jelly beans out of the molds and set them on the cornstarch. Sprinkle them with cornstarch until no jellybeans are touching then let them sit until they are dry. 
  8. When the jelly beans are dry, transfer them into a colander and shake them until all of the excess cornstarch is off the jelly beans.

For the Shell of the Jelly Beans

  1. Combine the cup of sugar and ½ water in a pot. Then, add the extract you want as well as any food coloring and mix them well.
  2. Put the jelly beans you made to the mixture. You need to coat the jelly beans by tilting and rotating the pot. You can also put the lid on the pot tightly and swirl the jelly beans in a circular motion. This should maintain a steady pace and do it for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the jelly beans are well-coated. 
  3. Using the colander, drain the excess liquid.
  4. Cover some cookie sheets with wax paper and then place the jelly beans on the paper but do not allow them to touch. After that, place them in the freezer for up to 4 hours or until they are completely hardened. 
  5. Once done, you can store the jelly beans in a jar or put them in cellophane bags to give away as party favors or holiday treats. 

When making jelly beans, you can experiment with different flavors. You can even combine flavors as you please. Here are some of the juices and drink mixes that you might want to try:

  • Fruit punch
  • Apple
  • Lemonade
  • Grape
  • Mojito
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberry daiquiri
  • Cranberry
  • Pina colada
  • Orange
  • Margarita

And here are some extracts and spices you can add:

  • Cherry
  • Vanilla
  • Peppermint
  • Coconut
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Mint
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Orange
  • Rum

If your kids are craving for some jelly beans but you don’t have much time or an extra budget to buy them some gourmet jelly beans in stores, then you can now simply make some for them at home. It’s a great way to bond and you will get to choose what flavors you will be making. If you also want to learn how to make some gummy bears, you can check out our Guide to Making Your Own Gummy Bears for ideas.