I've successfully home-made gummy sweets -- my preferred flavour currently is scotch bonnet chilli. They are made of sugar -- heated until just below hard-ball temperature, gelatin, chillies.

The problem I'm having at the moment is that I want to give them a super sour coating. I've done this by covering them with citric acid, which gives exactly the desired taste effect, however...

Within a few days, they go more and more sticky and gloopy until they congeal to form a gloopy, sticky mass.

This is not desirable. How do I avoid this? And how do things like Tangfastics and other super sour gummmy sweets work?

  • 2
    What tipe of citic acid are you using? anhydrous or monohydrate?
    – Pork Chop
    Aug 28, 2015 at 12:39
  • It doesn't actually say on the bag, but the fact that it looks more like a grain than a powder indicates that it's monohydrate -- the stuff that's crystalised out of cold water. @PorkChop What are you thinking? Sep 1, 2015 at 10:37

4 Answers 4


Like most candy with a coating there is some degree of processing, drying time and technics. Anhydrous would be more preferable because its moisture free. The less moisture on a coating of any sweet the better. Citric acid just like sugar attracts moisture.

I've had success with the Sour Patch Kids recipe from Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats. The quantities are merely an indication for the coating recipe. Just see how much you used and then subtract or multiply the recipe accordingly.

Coating recipe:
• 2 T powdered sugar for dusting
• 2 T cornstarch
• 2 T granulated sugar
• 1 t citric acid (anhydrous)

Whisk the powdered sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl, and whisk the granulated sugar and citric acid together in another small bowl. Set aside.

Set a wire cooling rack in a rimmed baking sheet, making sure the rack fits comfortably inside the "walls" of the sheet.

Lightly dust a cutting board with powdered sugar, spreading it with your hand to make an even dusting. The moment your gummies are ready take them out of the pan you had them in. Flip over each gummy once on cutting board so that both sides have a fine coating of sugar.

If the candies are starting to "weep" and get goopy and sticky first dredge them in the cornstarch-powdered sugar mixture, a few at a time, tapping on the side of the bowl to remove excess powder. Then toss them in the sugar-citric acid mixture. If the candies are dry to the touch, simply coat them in the citric acid mixture.

Let the coated candies dry for 8 hours on the cooling rack until the coating is hard and crunchy.

Store the candies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.

  • In the food industry, the molds for gelatin candy are MADE of starch. It is really important to keep the moisture out and prevent the citric acid from drawing it Nov 1, 2019 at 12:20

Once cooled, put them in a sealable container. Add two or three tablespoons of cornstarch (or more, as needed) and put the lid on and shake until each gummy is lightly coated and then remove.

Another option would be if the citric acid is a powder then mix some cornstarch with it and then coat your gummy.

Another option if you make sweet gummy's is to mix together half powder sugar, and half cornstarch, and toss gummy's in this mixture. I use this combination also when rolling out cookie dough so it doesn't get stiff.

You can store them in a tight container with one of the above mixtures which should help to absorb moisture.


Use fumaric acid, not citric. That’s how sour gummies are made without the sticky coating mess. Fumaric in the mix, and then mixed with sugar for a coating.

  • 1
    Isn't malic acid used for some candies as well? Oct 31, 2019 at 19:28

Add more of your dry ingredients and try different citric acid. Also consider corn starch or powdered sugar.

  • also corn starch or powdered sugar
    – malak
    Oct 5, 2016 at 16:37
  • 1
    Hi malak. Welcome to Seasoned Advice! Your answer doesn't add anything beyond what has already been covered by other answers. If you agree with an answer you can show your support by upvoting it rather than posting a separate answer.
    – Preston
    Oct 11, 2016 at 20:57
  • Oh. And you can edit your answers to include new information in them rather than adding them as comments. I've gone ahead and made an edit to put your comment in the main body of the answer for you.
    – Preston
    Oct 11, 2016 at 20:57

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