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For other uses, see Gumdrop (disambiguation).
Glowing gumdrops.jpg
Type Confectionery
Main ingredients Gelatin or pectin, granulated sugar, flavoring
Variations Spice drops
Cookbook:Gumdrop  Gumdrop

Gumdrops are a type of candy. They are usually brightly colored gelatin- or pectin-based pieces, shaped like a truncated cone and coated in granulated sugar.

Characteristics and usage[edit]

Gumdrops come in (usually artificial) fruit and spice varieties; the latter are also known as spice drops. Gumdrops, spice drops, and their variations are used in baking, candy crafting, decorating, and for eating out of hand. They are often used for decorating cakes and cupcakes. Around Christmas time, this candy is an ingredient used in making gingerbread houses.[1]

In the United States, three other "old fashioned" gumdrop candies are also popular: Orange Slices, Licorice Babies, and Spearmint Leaves. All are larger in size than spice drops or gumdrops, are fruit slice, kewpie-doll, or leaf shaped, sprinkled with sugar, and are typically sold by the bag.

Spice drops[edit]

Spice drops are a variation and are distinctly different in the flavorings used. Instead of the typical fruit flavors found in regular gumdrops– for example: orange, lemon, lime, grape, cherry – spice drops have sharp spicy flavors such as cinnamon, mint and cardamom. They are also generally smaller than gumdrops.

The spice drop color/flavor code is generally as follows, though can vary by manufacturer: orange is clove, yellow is allspice or sassafras, red is cinnamon, green is spearmint, purple is cardamom or anise, white is wintergreen or peppermint, and black is licorice.

Other meanings[edit]

The Apollo 9 Command module was nicknamed "Gumdrop" — not only did it have the appropriate stumpy cone shape, but it arrived at Cape Kennedy in a blue cellophane wrapper.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Augusten Burroughs (27 October 2009). You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas. St. Martin's Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-4299-4375-8. 
  2. ^ Evans, Ben (Aug 25, 2010). Foothold in the Heavens: The Seventies. Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration Series. New York: Springer-Verlag. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-4419-6341-3. 

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