Got a few peppers? This spicy gummy bear recipe uses your favorite fruit juice to create hot candy that’s perfect for snacking. You can use Jalapenos, Habaneros, Ghost peppers, or whatever you’d like to make these fiery gummy chillies.
I’m always looking for ways to use peppers, so after lots of experimenting, I ended up with some tasty — and very hot — gummy bears.
This page contains everything I learned, with recipes, so that you can make homemade spicy gummies too (gelatin or vegan).
- This is a hot pepper gummy bear recipe with juice and not Jello or other flavored gelatins.
- There’s a vegan gummy bear recipe option using agar-agar (Agar) if you don’t eat gelatin.
- Getting the right texture requires an extra step so that you end up with “gummy” bears and not “jelly” bears.
Let’s get started!
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Basic Hot Pepper Gummy Bear Recipe
Traditional gummy bear ingredients include sugar, glucose syrup, citric acid and gelatin. [source] To make these bears hot, we’ll also throw in some of your favorite peppers.
Here’s everything you’ll need for this spicy gummy candy recipe:
- 4 peppers of choice with stems removed
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup juice of choice
- 1 to 2 TBSP sugar (or your preferred sugar alternative)
- ½ TSP citric acid or lemon or lime juice (omit if you’re already using lemon or lime juice)
- 2 TBSP glucose syrup (or honey or corn syrup)
- Thickener: either 4 TBSP unflavored gelatin OR 2.5 TSP Agar powder for vegan substitution
- Gummy bear molds (this product comes with droppers)
If you want to make your gummies less spicy, remove the whitish innards of the peppers. Don’t forget to wear gloves before doing this!
Because this is a homemade gummy bear recipe without Jello, the juice replaces flavored gelatin (if using gelatin) and influences the flavor and color of your gummies.
You can use any chilies you like in this recipe. Below, are some examples of peppers and juices that (in my opinion) taste great together.
Habanero Gummy Bears Recipe
This gummy bear recipe is based on the Yucatán combination of habaneros and sour orange (Naranja Agria). Sour orange juice can be hard to find so we’re using a mix of orange, lemon and lime juice instead.
- 4 Habaneros
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup lime juice
» Related: How to Grow Habanero Pepper Plants
Ghost Pepper Gummy Bears
Beet juice enhances the earthy, fiery heat of the Ghost pepper. It also gives your Ghost pepper gummies a very intense red color.
- 1 to 4 Ghost peppers
- 1 cup beet juice (if you prefer fruit, cherry juice also pairs well with this pepper)
The Ghost pepper releases heavy fumes when blended. (Think burn-your-nose-hairs, and cough until you pee kind of hot.) Make sure to wear gloves and a mask, and open a few windows!
Gummy Jalapeno Bears
Jalapenos and lime juice are a classic combination of salsas and margaritas. This blend is also delicious in gummy Jalapenos too!
- 4 Jalapeno peppers
- 1 cup lime juice
- Optional: 1 TSP matcha powder (green tea) for darker green color
» Related: Growing Jalapeños 101
Gummy Bear Texture
The most surprising thing when making these hot pepper gummies was just how jelly-like they are coming out of the mold. After reading Todd Wilbur’s post on The Food Hacker, I learned that homemade gummy bears need to be left out for a couple of days to dehydrate and, ultimately, become chewier.
To dehydrate, leave your gummies on the counter or in the refrigerator for 1 and 3 days (it depends on your texture preference). Stand your bears up so that more surface area is exposed to airflow.
It’s only after dehydration that you get the sticky, chewy bite that we typically associate with gummy candy.
Agar Vegan Gummy Bears
This was my first time using Agar Agar powder – a gelatinous substance that comes from seaweed. I was pleased with the results, but there are some differences in the texture between Agar and gelatin.
Here’s how they differ:
- Agar-agar gummies have a more firm texture than gelatin bears.
- Agar gummy bears have more of a chew to them. (To me, it’s like eating a cooked pea or pinto bean.)
- You’ll need agar-agar powder and not flakes to get this gummy bear recipe to work.
And like the gelatin spicy gummy bear recipe, Agar gummies should also be left out to dehydrate. After a couple of days, these bears have a texture that’s more similar to a chewy candy.
When making a spicy gummy bear recipe with gelatin, it’s better to use more gelatin so that you don’t unmold bears with a disturbing texture (like boogers). I recommend using 4 tablespoons, but you can add another 1-2 tablespoons if necessary.
Some fruit juices like pineapple, mango, papaya and kiwi have an enzyme that prevents gelatin from setting. If you’re making a gummy bear recipe with gelatin, boil the juice first to deactivate the enzyme.
How To Make Spicy Gummy Bears
First, blend your peppers and water to make the spicy liquid for your gummy bear mixture. If the chilies are really hot, put on eye protection and a mask, and vent the room because the fumes are strong!
For spicy gummy bears with gelatin, bloom the gelatin by adding it to a cup of juice. Mix everything and allow it to sit for five minutes so that the gelatin absorbs the liquid.
When your gelatin is ready, add it to a saucepan. Strain the pepper liquid into the pan to create the hot pepper gummy bear flavor.
For vegan gummy bears, mix the juice and Agar in a saucepan. Pour the pepper liquid through a strainer and into the pan.
Next, add the syrup and sugar to the mix. (You’ll find suggested amounts in the recipe card, but it depends on your sweet tooth.) If you’re not already using lemon or lime juice, add in your citric acid, lemon or lime juice to help brighten the flavor.
Mix all the ingredients together and heat until it’s ready. For the gelatin mixture, heat on medium-high (don’t boil) until the powder is dissolved. For agar agar, heat on high to boil for a couple of minutes.
When your mix is ready, take it off of the heat and allow it to sit for up to 10 minutes before it hardens. Meanwhile, get your gummy bear molds ready by putting them on a plate or tray that can fit into the refrigerator.
Use a dropper to fill your molds, and then pop it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes. If your candy mold doesn’t come with a dropper, use a spouted measuring cup to carefully add the mix to your molds.
Remove your gummies from the mold and decide on the texture you’d like. You can eat your spicy gummy bears in their current jelly-like state. Otherwise, stand them up on a plate and leave them out for a couple of days until your bears have the chewiness you like.
Make sure to clean your pan and dropper immediately. Gelatin and Agar are a pain to remove after they harden.
FAQs On Spicy Gummy Bears
I hope you enjoy this spicy gummy bear recipe. Besides homemade snacks, you can use this recipe to make gifts or save it as another creative way to use your chile peppers. 🌶
P.S., Don’t forget to check out the Spicy Kitchen for other ways to enjoy your chilies.
- 4 peppers of choice (stems removed)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup juice of choice
- 1 to 2 TBSP sugar (or your preferred sugar alternative)
- 1/2 TSP citric acid OR lemon OR lime juice (omit if you're already using lemon or lime juice)
- Syrup: 2 TBSP glucose syrup OR honey OR corn syrup
- Thickener: EITHER 4 TBSP unflavored gelatin OR 2.5 TSP Agar (agar-agar) powder
- Gummy bear molds
- Blend your peppers and water to create a spicy liquid and set aside. If you're using superhot peppers, be sure to wear gloves and a mask because those fumes are strong!
- Add unflavored gelatin (if using) and juice to a bowl, mix together and let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom. When done, scoop the gelatin mix into a saucepan. For vegan gummy bears, combine the juice and agar-agar powder in a saucepan.
- Strain the pepper mix into the saucepan. Press down on the pepper mixture with a spoon to get as much liquid as possible.
- Add sugar and syrup (or honey) to the mix. If you're not already using lemon or lime juice, add citric acid, lemon or lime juice to the mix, and stir everything together.
- Using gelatin, set the heat to medium-high so that the powder dissolves but doesn't boil. For Agar, heat on high to boil the mixture for a couple of minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat when the mix is ready. Allow it to sit for up to 10 minutes to cool but not harden.
- Prepare your gummy bear molds by putting them on plates or trays that can fit in the refrigerator.
- Use the dropper to fill your molds and pop any bubbles along the way. Put your molds in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Unmold your hot pepper gummies and decide on the texture you want. You can eat your candy in its current jelly-like state, or dehydrate your bears (see next step) to get the sticky, chewy bite that gummy candy typically has.
- Optional Dehydration Step: Stand your gummy bears up and leave them on the counter or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Each day, your gummy will get smaller and have more of a chew.
- Store your spicy gummies in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Dehydrating Time: If you choose to dehydrate your bears for a chewier texture, this recipe takes an additional 24 to 72 hours to make.
Agar Powder: Check the product label for the recommended measurement. This Agar product suggests 2.5 TSP, which is the quantity used in this recipe.
Heat Level: You can remove the whitish innards of the chilies if you want to get the flavor, but tone down the heat.
Juice: If using juices like pineapple, mango, papaya or kiwi, boil the juice before using to deactivate the enzyme that prevents gelatin from setting.
Clean-Up: Be sure to rinse your dropper after use because gelatin and Agar are difficult to remove after they harden.
EXAMPLE PEPPER & JUICE COMBOS
Habanero Gummy Bears Recipe: 4 habaneros, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup lime juice
Ghost Pepper Gummy Bears: 1 to 4 ghost peppers, 1 cup beet juice
Gummy Jalapenos: 4 jalapeno peppers, 1 cup lime juice, Optional: 1 TSP matcha powder for a darker green color
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