I know that Easter is long past, but Wednesday is National Jelly Bean Day! I thought to myself…what kind of recipes are out there involving jelly beans as an ingredient, and not just as decoration?! Trusty Google did not let me down!

Some fun facts about jelly beans, courtesy of the National Day Calendar website:

-While candies made in a similar manner existed before the jelly bean, Boston confectioner William Schrafft made them popular during the Civil War. With their firm exterior, jelly beans were the first candies to be sold by the pound, so Schrafft encouraged his customers to send them to Union soldiers.

-During the 1930s, jelly beans became closely associated with the Easter holiday, but are now enjoyed year round. 

-Jelly Beans were Ronald Reagan’s favorite treat. 

I’ve included a recipe for homemade jelly beans, so you can now have your favorite flavor/color all year round! Or get creative, like the company, Jelly Belly, did. They say, “Jelly Belly beans expand the flavor horizons with the largest collection of flavors on the planet,” but I’m sure someone could come up with something new! Me personally, I’d stick to red/cherry.

Recipes wanted! Submitted recipes will be accepted at [email protected], or you can stop by the Albion office and drop a copy off up front. If you don’t have a recipe to submit right now, but there is a recipe you’re desperately seeking, feel free to email or drop off a note for a “Recipe Request.” I’m still requesting recipes for your favorite apple pie recipes!


Jelly Bean Pop-Tarts


For the Pastry:

1-1/2C flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2C butter, softened and cut into cubes

3 TBSP cream

For the Filling:

1C jelly beans

For the Icing:

1C confectioners' sugar, sifted

2 TBSP heavy cream

Rainbow sprinkles


Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set to the side.

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and blend with a fork, pastry cutter or your hands. Blend until the mixture is fairly coarse. Add the cream, bit by bit, gently mixing the dough after each addition, until the dough is cohesive enough to form a ball.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out rectangles approximately the size of index cards (3x5-in.) or smaller if you prefer a more modest portion. Make sure you have an even number of cutouts.

Place jelly beans in neat rows along half of the rectangles, forming color patterns if you'd like. How many beans fit on your pastry rectangles will vary depending on the brand; I was able to get 4 rows of 4 jelly beans on each rectangle. Be sure to leave about half an inch empty on all sides of the pastry.

Place the remaining rectangles of dough on top of the ones with jelly beans. Crimp all four edges by hand or with a fork to ensure that your filling won't ooze out. Poke a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape.

Place the tarts on your prepared baking sheet, and bake until light golden on the edges, 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

While the tarts cool, prepare your icing; combine the confectioners’ sugar with the cream. After the tarts have cooled, drizzle icing on top. Garnish with sprinkles.

***Recipe courtesy of Jessie Oleson of ‘Cakespy’ via Serious Eats website.***


Jelly Bean Donuts


For the Donuts:

1/4C milk

1/4C plain Greek yogurt (can use sour cream)

1 egg

2 TBSP butter melted

1 tsp vanilla

1C flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/3C sugar

1/2C miniature jelly beans

For the Strawberry Glaze:

1C confectioners’ sugar

3 TBSP strawberry powder

1/4C milk

1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine milk, yogurt and egg with an electric mixer. Add butter and vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar to yogurt mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in jelly beans.

Spray donut pan with nonstick spray*. Add batter to a large zipped top bag and cut off one corner to use as a piping bag. Add batter to each donut well until 2/3 full.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let donuts cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together all glaze ingredients. Add glaze to a zipped top bag and cut off one corner to use as a piping bag and glaze donuts. Garnish with an extra jellybean, if desired.

* if you don’t have a donut pan, you can also make these in a muffin tin; simply adjust the cooking time.

***Recipe courtesy of Melanie Bauer, of “Melanie Makes” blog.***


Homemade Jelly Beans


1C water, divided

2C sugar, divided

1/4oz. gelatin

1/2C juice with no pulp, or your favorite cocktail

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp cornstarch

non-stick cooking spray

food coloring, whatever color you would like


jelly bean molds

candy thermometer


In a large saucepan on medium heat, combine 3/4C water, 1-1/4C sugar and gelatin. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly to ensure that no clumps of gelatin form.

As soon as the temperature reaches 230 degrees, take the pot off the burner-the syrup should still be quite liquidy. This should not take more than 25 minutes. If your syrup gets any hotter than 230 degrees, it will make your jelly beans too hard.

Set the pot in a bowl of ice to stop the temperature from rising. If you don't have a bowl bigger than your pot, just fill your sink with ice water and put the pot in there.

Quickly stir in the juice and salt.

Spray the jelly bean molds with non-stick spray and pour the syrup into the molds. I found that it was better to overfill the molds than to underfill them (the beans that I underfilled a little bit were harder to remove from the molds). Let the jelly beans sit for 4-6 hours, or until the gelatin has hardened. It will still be gummy and sticky.

Pop the jelly beans out of the molds and transfer them to parchment paper. This part is a little bit tricky. I used a small spoon to dig them out. The great thing is that the beans are very forgiving. Don't worry too much about mangling them when you remove them, as they hold their shapes surprisingly well.

Lightly dust the beans with cornstarch to help them dry. Let them sit for another few hours.

To make the outer shell, mix 1/4C water, 3/4C sugar, and whatever food coloring you like. Pour the mixture into a jar along with the jelly beans. Seal the jar tightly. Tilt the jar at an angle (like a slide) and turn it in your hand (as you would a doorknob), preserving the angle. The goal is to make a mock version of a tumbler (a tool used for coating candy-that at $700 is cost-prohibitive for the average home baker) that allows the sugar to gradually build up and evenly coat the jelly beans. This step is extremely important. If the candy is not well-coated, it will not have a hard outer shell. Tumble for 10-15 minutes. This, my friends, is the workout portion of your candy making experience.

Fish the coated beans out of the liquid and place them on fresh parchment to dry and harden overnight.

Once the top side is hard, flip each bean and allow the other side to dry.

***Recipe courtesy of JJensenSC, recipe4living.com, via Just a Pinch Recipes.***