Introduction: Homemade Sweet Tarts

Picture of Homemade Sweet Tarts

Sweet and sour all wrapped up in one tiny magnificent bite!

That would be my definition of homemade sweet tarts and making them was so much easier than I ever imagined. They don't have that semi-shiny coating on the outside (because I didn't want to put food in a rock tumbler!!!) but the flavor and texture are the same!!

Step 1: The Recipe

Picture of The Recipe

Homemade Sweet Tarts
1/4 c. clear soda (Blue Sky, Cream Soda, Sierra Mist, 7-UP)
3/4 t. gelatin
3-4 c. powdered sugar, plus more for rolling
2 t. citric acid

Flavored extracts
Food coloring
1/2 t. each of lemon and orange zest - optional

In a small non-reactive bowl combine gelatin and soda. After about 5 minutes, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water to dissolve the gelatin completely - until you can't see any granules. Remove from heat.

Using a hand or stand mixer - mix 1/2 c. powdered sugar and the citric acid into the gelatin mixture. Keep adding the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you have stiff fondant-like dough. It will be somewhat sticky. Turn dough out onto a work surface covered with powdered sugar. Knead until dough is less sticky and can be easily rolled with a rolling pin.

This is the basic recipe. Now you can add what ever flavorings and colors you wish.

Step 2: Add Flavorings and Extracts

Picture of Add Flavorings and Extracts

Once the basic dough recipe is finished divide dough into as many equal pieces as flavorings you have to use. I divided mine into four equal pieces so I chose four extracts (and matching food colorings) - Lemon, Orange, Strawberry and Blueberry

Starting with one piece of dough make a well in the middle and add:

1/4 t. of flavoring/extract
food coloring - to desired color
1/2 t. zest - optional - I used this only in the orange and lemon varieties.

Knead until cohesive. Set aside while you mix the other colors and flavors.

I only highlight one version (lemon) in this instructable but the steps are the same for each color/flavor.

Step 3: Roll, Cut and Dry

Picture of Roll, Cut and Dry

Starting with one color/flavor of dough roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. I used 1/4 inch square dowels as guides. It makes the drying more consistent this way.

Using a small round cookie cutter (about 1/2 inch in diameter), cut out as many circles as you can and transfer cut-outs to a baking sheet to dry. Collect scraps and re-roll and cut continuing until dough is gone.

Drying may take a few days so be patient. If you have a food dehydrator you can speed the drying process significantly! Don't try to put them in the oven, however, even on warm. They will not dry smooth and will have bumps and indents. Trust me I tried it once!!!

Roll sweet tarts in candy wrappers if desired or store in an airtight container for up to three months. Don't worry they will be gone before that! They also make great party snacks or a good addition to a goodie bag. They are mess free!


CurlyBrain (author)2017-10-24

Is there a way to substitute the gelatin to make it vegan?

wold630 (author)CurlyBrain2017-10-24

You could try agar.

MartyP23 (author)2017-08-17

Is there a way to make these softer? After a few days these became so hard I couldn't chew them. What if I put more gelatin in them?

MartyP23 (author)2017-05-26

Is the citric acid necessary? Is that what makes it tart? Is it possible to make just a sweet version without the tart? Could I use vanilla extract, rather than the fruit flavors?

wold630 (author)MartyP232017-05-26

Yes, the citric acid makes them tart, but you can flavor by just using extract (any flavor) without citric acid.

MissH3 (author)2017-02-28
Thank you for posting this recipe!

My mother can't have sugar, but she used to LOVE Sweet Tarts back when she could still eat them. Does anyone have a sugar substitute that might work for this recipe? I'm guessing this will be tricky, as sugar is the bulk of the ingredients.

And, for anyone who can't find citric acid, first check near the gelatin and in the baking section for citric acid under its alternate name "sour salt." If that doesn't work, go to a pharmacy (chemist in Britain) and you should be able to get a pound jar of citric acid there.

wold630 (author)MissH32017-02-28

You could try two packets of stevia per one cup of arrowroot or potato starch. I'm not sure how well it will come out as I've never tried it. Let us know if you try.

KamiM3 (author)2017-01-14

I was wondering if these would dry if you put them in a silicone mold. I have a Lego party coming up and wanted to try to make them into Lego shapes

wold630 (author)KamiM32017-01-14

I think it would probably work if you allow a lot more drying time. Maybe a week ahead of the party.

BeauC3 (author)2016-12-04

I heard my cousin made homemade smarties (That might be a lie) and I wanted to find a recipe. This was the first and only one I could find. Great job finding out how to make these! I will try doing this using fruit zest like you said.

JetL4 (author)2016-01-23

What's the purpose of the soda? Can it be seltzer or water?

wold630 (author)JetL42016-01-26

Yes, seltzer would would work. Anything fizzy to provide some air bubbles.

abdellah309 (author)2015-12-10

what you mean by "3/4 t" of gelatin

wold630 (author)abdellah3092015-12-14

t = teaspoon

KarlisM (author)2015-10-24

how many days till it drys? and thanks for the idea

wold630 (author)KarlisM2015-10-26

It's hard to say since it will depend on humidity in your area of the world and in your kitchen. They will be hard enough to handle in a few hours but mine took about three days to harden completely.

bestfriends2458 (author)2015-01-13

this is so cool you did a really good job on it

SWASERS (author)2014-10-18

How long does it take to dry

evacooper (author)2013-04-29

cool, i want to try this... maybe green ones that are mint flavored...

wold630 (author)evacooper2013-04-30

I've never had anything that is minty and sour - it would be interesting to try. Let me know how they turn out.

evacooper (author)wold6302014-08-11

so i never made the mint ones, but am considering making blue ones (i'm about to have a boy), maybe blue and white. can i use strawberry flavored jello you think? it's just that i already have it in the house. it might turn out slightly pink, but i'll add blue food coloring.

lexpres61 (author)2014-03-18

I used to be a Sweet Tartsaholic when I was a kid. Still love 'em. Am going to have to make these for my Grand-babies. Thanks :)

jjohnson115 (author)2014-02-12

I've used this from here and love it!! getting ready to make it again!! thank you!

neetz (author)2013-10-06

I have a question, could I use beef gelatin instead?
also, would it work if I made them giant?
also, do they melt easily?


wold630 (author)neetz2013-10-07

I'm not sure how different gelatins respond. If you try to make them giant they will probably have a hard time drying out. They do not melt.

michael63 (author)2013-09-21

Love it

soccer_dancer12 (author)2013-09-05

I do not know but I am trying agin I am not giving up

soccer_dancer12 (author)2013-09-04

It did not work

wold630 (author)soccer_dancer122013-09-04

We're you able to find citric acid? It's available at most supermarkets. I'm sorry to hear it did not work out. What seemed to go wrong?

soccer_dancer12 (author)2013-09-02

Where do u find citric acid?

soccer_dancer12 (author)2013-09-02

Where do u find citric acid

soccer_dancer12 (author)2013-08-25

Good idea I going to try it

wold630 (author)2013-05-21

If you follow all the steps to the end they will answer all of your questions!!

doodlecraft (author)2013-05-07

Ooh Congrats! Another fabulous win! :) We should hang out and have a fondue party!

wold630 (author)doodlecraft2013-05-21

I would love to! Sounds delicious!!

Mairashah (author)2013-05-06

t. stands for tbs or tsp?

wold630 (author)Mairashah2013-05-06


Limadito (author)2013-04-28

I will try a small batch with gluten free ingredients. My son will love this!

wold630 (author)Limadito2013-04-30

I'm glad to hear you will be making some!

straycatmeow (author)2013-04-24

These were FANTASTIC! The kids & I loved the taste & that they were a good size too. Anyone who makes these, will not be sorry. But good luck trying to stop eating them

wold630 (author)straycatmeow2013-04-24

I'm so glad you and the kiddos liked them! My kids don't want to stop eating them either!

claudette sova (author)2013-04-21

I LOVE Sweet Tarts. My son buys them for me for Mother's day and my Brithday and for Christmas. I will have to try this recipe. As far as using the Knox Gelatin, I use it everyday because it helps with my knee pain and hip pain besides giving me some great looking nails. I mix a packet of it in my morning breakfast shake.
Thank you for the recipe.

wold630 (author)claudette sova2013-04-23

You should talk your son into making you sweet tarts next time instead of buying them!!

claudette sova (author)wold6302013-04-23

Yes, he said that next year when we go to our house in Florida on vacation, he will help me make some.

shazni (author)2013-04-22

You always make such beautiful sweets...and the presentation is as always excellent!
well done :-)

wold630 (author)shazni2013-04-23

Thank you. That is very sweet!

htbake (author)2013-04-21

Cool recipe! What function does the soda perform? Or could you use plain water?

wold630 (author)htbake2013-04-21

Good question. I think it would work the same with plain water but I have never tried so I can't say for sure.

sunshiine (author)2013-04-20

I love the way you wrapped them! Thanks for sharing!

wold630 (author)sunshiine2013-04-21

Thank you. They are just wrapped in store bought candy wrappers!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, I'm Jen! In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, cake decorator, and Etsy shop owner. I also can't stop ... More »
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