Sundays at Home | Homemade Bubble Gum Recipe

by Beth Montgomery on March 25, 2012 · 12 comments

in Crafts for Kids, Frugal Cooking, Recipes, Recipes for Babies & Kids

My daughter asked me the other day if she could have some gum, but after a look, I realized we were all out.  Her response was, “Let’s make some then.”

Typically, when we are out of something, we can make it ourselves like bread, crackers, and even hot dog buns, but I had no clue if you could make gum.  We went to the internet and after a quick search, we found that we could.   We didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, so going out to buy gum would have probably been more productive, but not as much fun.

I’ll warn you.  Making gum is messy!  But, we had an absolute blast, so it’s a great way to entertain creative kids.

Before you get started, set the mood with some music! We highly recommend Icky, Sticky Bubble Gum by David Landau or our favorite, The Sticky Bubblegum Song by Carole Peterson.

Homemade Bubble Gum Recipe

You will need:

Things you probably have on hand:

  • 2 tsp corn syrup
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Apron
  • Rolling Pin
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Mixing Bowl (small works fine!)
  • Waxed Paper
  • Oven Mitt
  • Vacuum  Cleaner (powdered sugar spreads!)
  • Small Cookie Cutter or Knife
  • Cutting Board

Harder to find items:

You can find the following ingredients at stores that sell cake and candy making supplies, such as Michael’s, Joann’s, Hobby Lobby, or Walmart.  Call ahead, because finding gum base can be spotty, since not all stores carry it.  It will be the hardest item to find, but not impossible.

  • 1 TBSP Gum Base
  • Flavoring (powdered)
  • Food Coloring Gel (optional)

How you make it:

Are you ready?  First, get on your apron or make sure you’re wearing clothes that can get a bit messy, because kids tend to get powdered sugar everywhere and gum making is very messy.

Place your gum base into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Use your oven mitt to remove the gum from the microwave, because the bowl will be hot.  Stir your gum.  If it’s not melted, place it back into the microwave and repeat.  It will probably take 2-3 times, depending on your microwave.   It will b done when it’s melted, but slightly gooey.  If you overcook it, it becomes a bit hard, but you can add a couple drops of water and microwave for 15 seconds to soften it.

Next, add the corn syrup and powdered flavoring, then stir into a gooey ball.  If you’re using a strong flavor, like mint, you should add at least 1/2 teaspoon.  If you have a more mild flavor, like watermelon, add about 1 teaspoon.  The more flavor you add, the more flavor your gum will have, so you may  need to play around to get it just the way you like it.  We typically add about 1 1/2-2 teaspoons of flavor, because we love flavor!

Toss 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar into the bowl on top of your mixture and set it aside to cool.  While you’re waiting, prepare your area by laying down a square of wax paper and lightly dusting it with powdered sugar.  It helps to tape the wax paper down so it doesn’t move.  If you’d like, you can just lightly powder your workspace, like we did instead.

Once your gum mixture cools, lightly dust your hands with powdered sugar.  Add in a tiny dot of food coloring gel to your mixture and knead it like dough in the bowl.  If it’s still sticky, add  more powdered sugar 1 teaspoon at a time and knead until it forms a ball.  It may still be a bit gooey and sticky, but as long as you can hold it in your hands and manipulate it without it sticking to everything, you’re ready to move on.

Oh, and when I say a dot of food coloring, I mean it! This is what happens next, if you add too much.  Either way, if you add food coloring, be prepared for your fingers to turn colors.

Next move to your lightly powdered workspace and knead your gum like dough.  Continue to add a pitch or so of powdered sugar at a time and knead if your gum is too sticky.  It will be a bit sticky, but you don’t want it sticking to your hands and workspace.  You’ll want to knead it for at least 15 minutes, but the more you knead your gum, the better it will be.  If you under knead your gum, it becomes too hard or cracks when you chew it.

If you add too much powdered sugar, your gum may become too stiff.  If your gum does become too stiff while kneading, add a few drops of water and microwave for 15 seconds to soften it up and continue.

Next, roll your gum into a ball in your hand and lay it in the center of your workspace.  Lightly dust your rolling pin with powdered sugar and roll your dough out.

You’ll want to continue rolling until your gum is as thin as possible.  After a while, it may be easier to use your fingers to lightly pull on the edge of the gum to thin it out.  You’ll want to be extra gentle if you try this method, because you won’t want to tear the gum or get holes in it.  However, it is a lot easier to get it nice and thin this way.

Once your gum is thin, place it (and your wax paper if you used it) on a cutting board.  The next step is to cut your gum.

Small cookie cutters work great as one option.  Use them to cut the gum into about 12 pieces.

Getting the cookie cutter through the gum may be tough, so it’s a bit easier to press it down, then pick the gum up and press lightly around the edges of the edges of the cookie cutter to push it through.  Place your pieces on a piece of wax paper as you cut them.

If you’re prefer, you can use a simple knife to cut the gum into sticks.  Sometimes it’s even hard to get the knife through, so you may have to pull the gum up along the edges of the knife cuts to separate the pieces.  You’ll often get 12-14 pieces of gum when you cut it into small sticks.

If you have kitchen shears, they work great to cut the gum easily.  Make sure you dust them with powdered sugar!

Finally, set your gum out on the wax paper to dry for at least 45 minutes.  You can’t over dry them, so if you need to let them sit out for longer, that’s fine.

While you’re gum is drying, put your kid to work cleaning up the inevitable powdered sugar mess!  Mine is much more motivated to clean up after herself if I call her Cinder-Izy and we pretend she’s Cinderella and I’m the evil stepmother.

Once you’re ready, lightly dust the individual pieces so they don’t stick together.  Store them in a container or a baggie for 1-2 weeks.  This gum is perfect for teaching kids to blow bubbles, but you may need a few pieces to get a big one.

If you want to get creative, small tin containers make great gum storage containers and cute gifts.  Or, use foil to individual wrap pieces like real gum.

 

Homemade Bubble Gum Recipe
Recipe Type: Desserts & Candy
Author: Beth Montgomery
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 2 mins
Total time: 1 hour 2 mins
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 TBSP Gum Base
  • Flavoring (powdered)
  • 2 tsp corn syrup
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Apron
  • Rolling Pin
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Mixing Bowl (small works fine!)
  • Waxed Paper
  • Oven Mitt
  • Vacuum Cleaner (powdered sugar spreads!)
  • Small Cookie Cutter or Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Food Coloring Gel (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the gum base in a microwave safe bowl and head in the microwave on high for 30 seconds.
  2. Use your oven mitt to remove from the microwave. Stir and if it hasn’t melted, repeat until the mixture has melted. It will be gooey.
  3. Add corn syrup and flavoring, then stir.
  4. Add in a (1) tablespoon of powdered sugar and a dot of food coloring gel (if desired) over top of the mixture.
  5. Place wax paper down on the table and lightly dust it with powder.
  6. Wait until the gum base cools. Now, knead the mixture with your finger tips in the bowl. This may be messy with the food coloring!
  7. Add more powdered sugar (1) teaspoon at a time until the mixture is more solid, then you can move it from the bowl to a lightly powder-sugar dusted wax paper.
  8. Knead into a smooth, stiff dough. It will take at least 15 minutes. If you don’t kneed the gum enough, it will be hard and break when chewed. If your gum becomes stiff, add a few drops of water and pop it back into the microwave for 15 seconds on medium high.
  9. Use your rolling pin to roll the dough flat. Once it gets flat, you may lightly pull the edges to spread the gum as flat as possible. It’s a bit easier than rolling, but make sure not to tear the gum.
  10. Lay the gum on the wax paper and place the wax paper on a cutting board.
  11. Use your knife or cookie cutters to cut the gum into individual pieces.
  12. Set the wax paper out on a flat surface with the pieces spread out on top to dry for at least 45 minutes.
  13. Lightly dust them with a bit of powdered sugar, so they don’t stick together, then place them in a baggie or container for storage.
  14. It stays fresh for 1-2 weeks.
Serving size: 1
Notes

You may individually wrap your gum in foil if you’d like. Try different flavors. The more flavoring you add, the more flavor your gum will have. Add at least 1/2 teaspoon, depending on your preferences.

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{ 12 comments }

1 gina September 18, 2012 at 5:18 PM

hi! i was reading your recipe and and in the first step it says to melt the gum base in the microwave…for 30 MINUTES. i think you may have meant 30 seconds. I have not made gum before but i have been looking around at other recipes and they are similar and say 30 seconds. i hope that is helpful and if i am wrong just ignore me :)also thank you for so many pictures on your site! they are giving me proof and hope that children CAN make gum! i have to teach a candy making class for youngsters and we want to make gum. now i know its possible!

2 Beth September 19, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Gina, thank you so much for pointing that out. Yes, it was a BIG typo!

3 Cj November 15, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Hi. This recipe is very helpful! By the way, i’d like to ask if there’s a way to include carrots in your recipe? Like, alternative, something? I’m not really good at these kind of stuff, so I’m relying much on the given steps. Thanks. :)

4 Beth November 15, 2012 at 1:21 PM

You are looking to include carrots in bubble gum? Not that I now of. Really, carrots aren’t an alternative to any of the ingredients.

5 Peter December 18, 2012 at 5:07 AM

Thanks for the tutorial. Which store did you find your gum base at, and did you find the base by itself, outside of a kit?

6 Beth December 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Peter, I found it at Michaels, but you can often find it outside of a kit at craft stores, cooking stores, and sometimes candy stores. It’s found with their candy-making supplies. Or you can buy it online.

7 Max January 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Thanks for the tutorial! But i find it hard to find gum base around our area; is there an alternative for this? Thanks

8 Beth January 21, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Max, unfortunately not that I can find. Have you checked craft stores, like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby? Or specialty cooking stores or stores with candy/cake-making ingredients? you can also buy it online at Glee Gum here: http://www.gleegum.com/gum-base-pound.htm.

9 gabby May 31, 2013 at 4:57 PM

thank you so much for this recipe!! :) i’m going to let my school kids make some on the last day of school! and do you know where you could find flavored powder? they don’t carry it in the stores that I’ve looked at

10 Beth Montgomery May 31, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Gabby, I’ve found it at craft stores like Michael’s in the candy-making section or at stores like Walmart that have a candy-making section.

11 Eliza November 20, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Hi – Can you give me an example of “Flavoring (powdered)”? Thank you.

12 Beth Montgomery November 21, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Eliza, You can get powdered flavorings at stores that sell candy-making supplies. Sometimes it’s in the Organic or Natural aisle of the grocery store or spice aisle. You can also buy it online and see examples here: http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&hvadid=31546415477&hvdev=c&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvpone=&hvpos=1o1&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvrand=1132883088744090567&index=grocery&keywords=powdered%20flavoring&linkCode=ur2&ref=pd_sl_8hpan9bj8r_b&tag=igc01-20&afsrc=1

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