The Gummy Bear Coating Guide: Techniques for Coating Gummies

The Gummy Bear Coating Guide: Techniques for Coating Gummies

Ashley Reinsmith

The Gummy Bear Coating Guide: Techniques for Coating Gummies

Gummy candies are beloved for their chewy texture and vibrant flavors. However, gummy makers often face the challenge of their products sticking together, losing moisture, or getting affected by environmental factors. Coating gummies is a practical solution to these issues, offering both protective and aesthetic benefits. Here's an in-depth guide on how and why to coat gummies.

Why Coat Gummies? The Importance of Coating Process

Coating Techniques for Gummies enhancing quality and increase shelf life. Coating gummies does all of the following:

  1. Prevent Sticking: Gummies tend to stick together due to their gelatinous nature, especially in warm or humid conditions. Coatings provide a barrier, reducing stickiness.
  2. Moisture Control: Certain coatings help maintain the ideal moisture level in gummies, preventing them from drying out or becoming too moist.
  3. Enhanced Flavor and Texture: Coatings can introduce new textures and flavors, adding a tangy, sweet, or creamy dimension to the gummy.
  4. Visual Appeal: A well-coated gummy can have enhanced visual appeal, whether it's a glossy sheen or a sugar-dusted sparkle.
  5. Longer Shelf Life: Coatings can extend the shelf life of gummies by protecting them from environmental factors.

Sugar Coat Your Gummy Candy

Sugar Coated Gummies (Sanded)

Sugar coating (also called sanding) is a popular method to add a sweet, crunchy texture to gummies. It involves tossing the gummies in granulated sugar, which adheres to their sticky surface, creating a delightful contrast between the soft gummy and the crisp sugar layer. Of course it also prevents sticking. 

Best Sugar for Coating Gummies

The ideal sugar for coating gummies should adhere well and add the right amount of crunch without overpowering the candy's natural flavor. Granulated sugar, with its fine texture, is often preferred. However, powdered sugar can also be used for a softer coating.

Sugar and Citric Acid Coating

When it comes to recreating the beloved tangy taste found in treats like Sour Patch Kids, the key lies in incorporating citric acid into your sugar coating. This method is a simple yet effective way to infuse your gummies with that distinctive sour kick, perfectly complementing the inherent sweetness of the candies. The process involves a blend of granulated sugar and citric acid, mixed and then applied to coat the gummies. 

  • Ingredients: Granulated sugar, encapsulated citric acid.
  • Application: Mix sugar with a proportion of citric acid (1:4 ratio as a starting point). Coat the gummies evenly in the mixture.
  • Benefits: Adds a crystalline texture and a tart flavor that can enhance the gummy's taste.
  • Ideal For: Those looking for a balance of sweetness and tartness in their gummies.

Shiny Bears: The Role of Carnauba Wax

Wax Coated Gummies (Shiny)

If you want to make a product like Albanese Gummi Bears with a shiny finish you'll want to use a wax coating process. This involves applying a thin layer of this natural wax to the candies. It imparts a shiny finish and acts as a barrier against moisture, extending the shelf life of the gummies.

The process of applying a carnauba wax coating to gummy candies involves creating a mixture of carnauba wax and a neutral-flavored oil, such as vegetable or canola oil. This mixture can be heated in a microwave to make it easier to work with. Once a thin, even layer is applied, place the gummies in a mixing bowl and gently toss them for a few minutes to ensure they are uniformly coated. This process gives the gummies a light, glossy finish.

  • Ingredients: Carnauba wax, flavorless oil (like vegetable, canola, or peanut oil).
  • Application: Dissolve carnauba wax 1 part to 20 parts heated oil (about 175°F). Apply a small amount to the gummies and distribute evenly by tossing them.
  • Benefits: Creates a waterproof layer, offering a polished look and protecting against moisture loss.
  • Ideal For: Gummy makers aiming for a polished, professional look with added moisture protection.

Coating gummies with Crunchy Candy

Candy Pros Coaties, a Nerds candy alternative

If you want to make a product like Nerds Gummy Clusters you can coat your gummies with Candy Pros Coaties.This method involves encasing gummies in a layer of tiny, crunchy candy pieces, offering a unique sensory experience that combines chewy and crunchy textures.

Utilizing Candy Pros Coaties for Textural Contrast

Ingredients: Candy Pros Coaties in any of 9 flavors/

Application: Gently roll the gummies in a bowl of Candy Pros Coaties until they are completely covered. Shake off excess candy pieces to ensure a balanced coating.

Benefits: The Coaties add a delightful crunch, contrasting with the softness of the gummies. This method also adds visual appeal with the colorful, speckled appearance of the coated gummies.

Ideal For: Those who love a mix of textures in their confectionery and are looking to recreate or innovate upon the popular Nerds Gummy Clusters concept.

Key Considerations for Perfect Coating

  • Coating Consistency: The size and consistency of the Coaties play a crucial role in ensuring a uniform coating. Opt for a consistent size to achieve a balanced texture.
  • Adhesion: To ensure that the Coaties adhere properly, the gummies should be slightly tacky. If they are too dry, a light mist of edible adhesive or syrup can be used.
  • Flavor Pairing: Choose Coaties that complement or enhance the flavor of the gummies. The combination of flavors should be harmonious and enticing.

Cornstarch Coating

For a non-sticky, elegantly matte finish on gummy candies, a Cornstarch Coating is the go-to solution. This method combines cornstarch and powdered sugar in equal parts, applied right after the gummies are unmolded. The cornstarch effectively absorbs moisture, preventing stickiness, while giving the candies a frosted, matte look akin to weathered beach glass. This approach is particularly suited for those who want to enhance the visual appeal of their gummies without changing their flavor.

  • Ingredients: Cornstarch, powdered sugar.
  • Application: Use a 1:1 ratio of cornstarch to powdered sugar. Apply the mixture to the gummies immediately after removing them from their molds. Cure in a dry, cool environment before packaging.
  • Benefits: Acts as a desiccant, preventing moisture-related stickiness. Provides a matte finish, reminiscent of weathered beach glass.
  • Ideal For: Makers seeking a non-sticky, matte finish without altering the gummy's inherent flavor.

Tips for Effective Gummy Coating

  • Even Application: Ensure that the coating is evenly distributed over each gummy for consistency in flavor, texture, and appearance.
  • Quantity Control: Use just enough coating to cover the gummies without making them overly wet or altering their texture.
  • Curing Time: Allow adequate curing time, especially for cornstarch and carnauba wax coatings, to ensure the coating sets properly.
  • Storage Conditions: Store coated gummies in appropriate conditions to maintain their quality and extend shelf life.

How to Properly Coat Gummies

Assembling the Necessities: Prepping for a Gummy Coat

Are you set to coat your gummy creations? Gather all necessary items: gummies, cornstarch, citric acid and sugar, and a flavorless oil. The oil serves to prevent your gummies from sticking together during the coating process. It's a part of the kitchen alchemy that makes your gummy product stand out.

Mastering the Coat: Step-by-step Guide on Coating Gummy Bears

In the world of gummy coating, practice is key. Begin by dissolving a mixture of citric acid and sugar in water. Once it coats a spoon, it’s ready to be used. Next, dip each gummy bear into the coating mixture, ensuring it's evenly coated. Then, let them sit out for a day to dry properly.

Cleaning up the Excess Coating: How and Why?

Cleaning up excess coating ensures your gummies become desirable, not deposited with too much sugar. Gently roll the candies in corn starch to remove unwanted sugar coating, then brush off any leftover starch deposit. Don’t rush—this step is vital in adding a coating without turning candies into crunch bombs.

Common Problems and Solutions in Gummy Coating

Fight the Sticky: How to Prevent Wet and Sticky Gummies?

Frustrated with wet and sticky gummies? Try adding a bit more gelatin or starch to your gummy recipe or ensuring your gummy bears are completely dry before coating. Cornstarch can prevent sticking, and a tad more citric acid can counter excess sweetness while adding tanginess.

Unwanted Deposits: Why Does My Sugar Coating Dissolve?

If your sugar coating dissolves quickly, it's often because candies are coated while still warm. Ensure your gummies are completely cooled before adding the coating. Also, avoid excessive moisture and remember, sugars melt but the sour layer from citric acid doesn’t.

Why Does My Coating Mixture Solidify?

If your coating mixture tends to solidify before applying it, you might be using too high a heat or taking too long. The solution lies in properly managing your cooking time and temperature. In this case, patience indeed becomes a virtue, ensuring you perfectly coat gummy bears every time!

My Candies Are Not Coated Well: How to Rectify?

If your candies are not well-coated, you are likely rushing the drying process or using insufficient coating mix. Allow your gummies sufficient time to dry after coating and consider doubling your batch of coating mix for more thorough coverage. Peak gummy perfection is just a patient coating process away!

Learn the Candy Industry Coating Terms

We are nothing if not super candy nerds! If your making candy you should learn the terms, so in the interest of completeness here are all the official candy coating terms...

Sugar Panning

Sugar panning is the process where a thin layer of sugary syrup is applied on the gummy candies. The gummies are placed in a rotating pan where the syrup is slowly added to evenly coat the candies. Once the syrup dries, it leaves a sweet hard shell around the gummy. This method is commonly used for jelly beans.


Tumbling is similar to panning, but instead of a syrup, a sugar powder is used. The gummies are placed in a tumbling machine and sugar is added. As the machine rotates, the sugar evenly coats the candies. This method results in a smoother texture on the gummies and is often used for sour gummies.


In this method, the gummies are passed through an enrober which provides a curtain of coating material, usually chocolate or another flavored coating. The candies are then cooled to harden the coating. 

Spray Coating 

This method involves spraying the gummies with a coat of syrup or other flavoring. It can provide a more uniform coating and is often used when adding a glossy finish to the gummies.


This method is similar to enrobing, but it involves submerging the gummies in the coating material before cooling. It can provide a thicker coating than enrobing.


This is a method where coarse sugar is used to give the gummies a rough texture. It is typically used for gummies that are meant to have a sour taste, as the sugar can be mixed with citric acid or tartaric acid to give a sour flavor.


This method involves using a food-grade polish to give the gummies a shiny, glossy look. The gummies are placed in a polishing pan where they are coated in the polish and tumbled until they are shiny.


Properly coating your gummies will make your product much more professional. Whether it's for enhancing flavor, texture, visual appeal, or shelf life, the right coating technique can make all the difference. From the classic sugar and citric acid coating that adds a tangy twist to the glossy sheen of carnauba wax, each method offers unique benefits. Understanding how to properly apply these coatings, managing the right conditions for curing, and troubleshooting common issues are crucial steps towards achieving the perfect finish. By exploring these diverse coating techniques, you can unlock a world of possibilities in gummy candy making, delighting both the eye and the palate with your delectable treats.