Gummy Worms

One of the most popular candies for kids today is the gummy worm (or gummi worm). It’s not the sugar that kids like the most – although this is definitely a plus, but kids like the bright colors, the movement, and the worm shape that easily identifies an authentic gummy worm. Gummy worms are made from gelatin, cornstarch, corn syrup, sugar, color, and artificial flavoring. While gummy worms have been around since 1981, gummy candy dates back to the 1920s. A German inventor and candy company owner by the name of Hans Riegel manufactured the first gummy candy back in the 1920s from his candy company called Haribo. In 1981, another German candy company named Trolli made the first gummy worm. Today, gummy worms are the most popular gummy candy ever made.

Gummy worms come in all colors ranging from striking blue, bright yellow, and outlandish orange to multi-colored and even rich brown — just like real worms! Gummy worms are available in regular, sour, and sugar-free varieties. Flavors run the gamut from strawberry, grape and orange to raspberry, cherry, and apple. Most gummy worms are around two inches long.

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You can eat gummy worms alone or use them in a number of recipes. An all-time favorite is “dirt cake gummy worms. Continue reading to find out how to make a delicious dirt cake gummy worms dessert.

How to make dirt cake gummy worms

Worms are a delicacy in many parts of the world such as China and Mexico. In Mexico worm tacos are common and everyone is familiar with the old “worm on the bottom of the tequila glass” right? And in China, worm bamboo shoots and worm jelly are normal delicacies. Some are even expensive. Back over in the U.S. a worm is just a worm. Most Americans prefer their worms neatly tucked away in the soil, only to come to the surface at night when most of us are asleep.

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While America has no desire to fry, sauté or dip its night crawlers in chocolate, America loves to come up with tasty sweet treats and candies that are shaped like worms!

One of the most popular candies for kids today is the gummy worm. Gummy worms are basically made from edible gelatin and sugar. Gummy worms can be eaten alone or used as part of a recipe to make cupcakes, cookies, and cakes. A popular gummy worm cake is the “dirt cake with gummy worms.”

The dirt cake with gummy worms is a novelty cake made from ingredients kids love such as Oreo cookies, cool whip, chocolate pudding, and gummy worms. Used mostly for kid’s parties, dirt cake with gummy worms has many different versions, but the recipe listed below is a favorite. Enjoy!


1 bag of gummy worms
1 1/4 lb. pkg. Oreo cookies
1 12 oz. tub Cool Whip (can use chocolate)
2 3 1/2 oz. pkg. instant vanilla or chocolate pudding
1/2 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups milk
Flower pot (8 inch diameter)

Crush Oreos. Put 1/3 of the crushed Oreos into brand new flower pot. Set aside.

Mix sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Set aside.

Stir milk and pudding mix together. Fold Cool Whip into the pudding.

Fold pudding mixture and butter-cream cheese mixture together.

Layer the mixture (about 1/3) onto the crumbled cookies. Add another layer of the pudding mixture, then another layer of cookie crumbs. Continue until all ingredients have been used.

Place the gummy worms in the “soil” with their heads poking out. Embellish with decorative pieces like edible flowers or plastic daisies.

Chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

For a low-sugar dirt cake with gummy worms, replace the powdered sugar with “powdered Splenda” made from scratch. The following recipe is perfect because dirt cake with gummy worms does not require baking.

Try the following Splenda recipe for powdered sugar:

1 cup granulated Splenda (buy a box of loose Splenda, not the sugar packets)
1 tsp cornstarch

Place the Splenda and the cornstarch in a mixer or food processor. Blend on high speed for one minute until the texture is similar to powdered sugar. The mixture can be stored in an airtight container for up to one month. While Splenda can be used for baking, keep in mind that this particular Splenda mixture is not intended for baking. Click here for Splenda baking tips.

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