Introduction: Juicy Spheres Snack - Easy Kitchen Science

Picture of Juicy Spheres Snack - Easy Kitchen Science

This is an easy, fun way to play with your food! If you have picky kids, you could do some juicing of fruits and veggies and then create these "caviar" jellies out of it.

This only involves two ingredients! ...and a cup of oil!

If you've never heard of molecular gastronomy, it involves food science & modern innovative methods of transforming everyday ingredients. These transformations involve a variety of methods and sometimes specialized equipment and special ingredients that will trigger a physical or chemical change.

In this Instructable, we will be doing a very easy and simplified method involving spherification. Spherification will allow us to change the shape and makeup of our liquid into perfectly round little spheres. There are a variety of methods used for this one technique, and the outcomes will vary greatly. This method of spherification, being simplified, will involve transforming a liquid into these perfectly round flavorful jellies!

Other common methods, if you really enjoy experimenting with Molecular Gastronomy, will involve other gelling agents: sodium alginate and calcium lactate as well as others. Those are not at all required for our Instructable. If you've never done anything like this before and you love what you make through this Instructable, you may want to buy some other ingredients and try some more advanced techniques later on. With this method, it creates spheres with a texture similar to jellied cranberries - a bit soft but jelled. In a more advanced technique, requiring some other ingredients, you can do a spherification process that creates similar looking spheres, with a thin outer membrane, and full liquid contained within it. This Instructable isn't for that method, but this is a great introductory lesson into some food science!

Step 1: Cold Oil Spherification - Super Easy Molecular Gastronomy Spheres

Picture of Cold Oil Spherification - Super Easy Molecular Gastronomy Spheres

Ingredients Needed:

  • Agar Agar - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Liquid - 1/3 C + 1 1/2 teaspoons (I used a caffeinated V8 Energy Drink!)
  • Oil - I used Vegetable

Equipment & Tools:

  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • A tall glass
  • Candy thermometer
  • A dropper or syringe type tool
  • Sieve & Bowl

Substitution: Although I've currently only used Agar Agar to create these spheres, I have found a tutorial online that is similar to mine, except she used Gelatin. Here is a link to the tutorial - as the ratios are different than mine. So, if you really want to try this out and don't have Agar Agar, you could try using Gelatin. I read on a Molecular Gastronomy site that it would not work. Yet, this other blogger made beautiful coffee caviar and it turned out great! Also, I purchased my Agar Agar from an Asian grocery store.Update Regarding Substitution with Gelatin: I attempted to make spheres using Gelatin (about 1/2 a teaspoon) and it did not work for me. The next time I try to do it, I will try it out using the ratios from the recipe I linked to above, since it worked for her.

Notes about Liquid: Feel free to use any type of liquid you like, from coffee, wine, whiskey, soda or super healthy juiced fruits and veggies. When you see my photos and notice I have some yellow spheres, it was from an experiment with a thicker liquid - a purée of mangoes. I do not recommend a thick liquid at all because it won't form the perfectly round spheres like the thinner liquids. It will create odd-shaped spheres, a bit of an odd texture and the only way I found to fix it is to add water. Adding water dilutes the flavor of it, so it would be better to use a thinner liquid. It's ok to simmer your liquid down to let some water evaporate and condense its flavor, just be sure you have the right amounts needed when you're ready to do this project.

Holly Mann is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Step 2: First Step to Cold Oil Spherification - Simple Prep

Picture of First Step to Cold Oil Spherification - Simple Prep

This step if very simple. Fill a tall glass with some oil. I used vegetable oil. Place that glass in your freezer for 30 minutes to one hour. Check on it after about 30 minutes, as you don't want it to freeze all the way through. You just need it to be really cold when it's time for you to create these spheres.

Next, measure out your liquid and you can place it in a saucepan. Then, measure out your Agar Agar. Now that you are ready to go, you just need to wait a tiny bit longer until your oil is nice and cold. Once it is cold and its been in there at least 30 minutes, you can begin.

Step 3: DIY Molecular Gastronomy Simple Spheres

Picture of DIY Molecular Gastronomy Simple Spheres

If you want to add any sugar or sweetener to your liquid, feel free to do that. Then measure out the liquid and pour it into the saucepan. Then pour in the Agar Agar and whisk briskly. Turn the heat up on the saucepan and bring it to a boil, whisking until then.

Once it is brought up to a boil, you can turn the heat off and take it off of that burner. Put your thermometer in the saucepan to monitor the temperature of the liquid. It may take a few minutes or more to lower the temperature enough. You will want it to be lowered to around 120-130 deg. F (50-53 deg. C). Now, take your cup of oil out of the freezer.

Step 4: Transforming Liquid Into Spheres

Picture of Transforming Liquid Into Spheres

Once the temperature of the liquid is lowered enough, be sure to have the cold cup of oil and dropper or syringe nearby. Take the dropper and hold it up above the cup at least a few inches - and drop away. You can do this surprisingly fast with just squeezing the liquid out of the dropper - they form so perfectly. If they are all floating near the top, you should try to hold your dropper up even higher so the force of the drop will help the spheres to fall to the bottom of the cup. It's ok if some of them float on the top - sometimes that happens with smaller spheres or when you first start dropping them in.

Try to work fast because things might change if the oil warms too much or the liquid cools too much. I didn't intent on making so many mini spheres but that happened as a result of changing temperatures. If you have kids around, this is the really fun part. If you're just an adult who gets a kick out of kitchen experimentation (like I do) then do this yourself!

Step 5: Rinse the Spheres or Juicy Caviar & Discard or Save the Oil

Picture of Rinse the Spheres or Juicy Caviar & Discard or Save the Oil

Now place a bowl in the sink and take a sieve and place it above the bowl. Gently pour the spheres and oil into the bowl. Some people pour the spheres into a bowl of water to rinse them, but these are stable enough to be rinsed with a sprayer from the sink. Either way is fine. If you want, you could save the oil you used for when you feel like doing this fun project again - just put it in a mason jar.

Your juicy caviar snacks are all done! You can enjoy them immediately or store them in the fridge, covered. If you want the texture of them to be more dense, just add more Agar Agar and experiment.

Step 6: Enjoy Your Gorgeous Spherical Creation - Juicy Caviar

Picture of Enjoy Your Gorgeous Spherical Creation - Juicy Caviar

Enjoy your creation!

Here are some ideas for using these yummy caviar spheres:

  • Pour them over some yogurt - yum!
  • As a topping on Ice Cream
  • In a coconut water drink (that reminds me of those old bottled drinks with spheres in them - remember?)
  • On any type of dessert that involves whipped cream
  • Use to pair up with a pudding
  • You could make honey pearls, which could be a fancy way to sweeten pretty much anything
  • Savory - you can make them out of sauces or vinegar for savory options


SherylinRM (author)2016-09-21

This is about the simplest way I have seen of doing this.

Thanks for this :)

PitStoP (author)2016-06-03


This is so cool Holly. I can't believe it only takes two ingredients and oil to do this. I have to try this someday. This is super cool... =)) I would definitely vote if this if this was in a contest.. I like how you keep bringing new things here.

Will this work with any drink or do I have to stick to any particular ones? I will love to try this with coconut juice.. Yumm... I sound like a little kid now lol..

Keep it up Holly... =)

HollyMann (author)PitStoP2016-09-07

Thanks so much for the comment - sorry for such a late reply! You're too kind! I think this does work with almost any liquid...I thought it worked with ANYTHING (including alcohol) but I've been warned that alcohol doesn't work I'm not sure..but most drinks do work! Coconut juice pearls or spheres and pineapple ones together - yum!

PitStoP (author)HollyMann2016-09-08

Yummy I love pineapple and with coconut even better.. Glad to see you're back =))

RosaleenC (author)2016-05-30

What is the refrigerator life after making them. The other link said to store them in a jar with oil? What have been your experiences ? Thanks ?

HollyMann (author)RosaleenC2016-09-07

Sorry for the late reply! I had surgery and was off here for a while. I ended up storing mine just covered in a small bowl with plastic wrap in the fridge and they stayed the same. I originally read to store them in liquid - water or oil - and that did not work at all for me...the colors faded and flavor did too.

watchmeflyy (author)2016-06-04

I had these once on top of froyo and always wondered how such perfect spheres were achieved; now I know! Thanks for sharing.

HollyMann (author)watchmeflyy2016-09-07

No Problem!!!

studleylee (author)2016-06-19

Wow! Very Cool!!!!!!

HollyMann (author)studleylee2016-09-07


JoelBennett1 made it! (author)2016-07-03

The first time I tried this, it worked out pretty well. I tried using pineapple juice, and it formed nice round balls. The only downside is that the flavour was pretty weak. The second time I tried it, I tried boiling down some Dr. Pepper into a more flavourful liquid. It didn't work that time, as I didn't wait for the liquid to drop to 53 C or so. I also suspect my measurement of the agar was off.

Definitely a cool kitchen science project. I'm going to try it again, for sure! Thanks for sharing.

HollyMann (author)JoelBennett12016-09-07

Thanks SO Much for sharing your photo and methods!!! That is awesome! I am sorry for not writing to you sooner. I don't know why I wasn't notified of the comments! I missed out on all these awesome posts! Thanks for sharing!

HollyMann (author)2016-05-29

Hey Sorry it didn't work for you! Did you use Agar Agar? And, did you check the temperature of the liquid and keep the oil super cold? :) I will try to help figure out the problem if I can! What did you use for the liquid?

ladymda (author)HollyMann2016-06-28

I did use agar agar and for the liquid I used v8 like you did, sorry it took me a while to respond.

DIY-Guy (author)2016-06-07

Vegetarian caviar? Would that involve seaweed sauce for flavoring?
Anybody got any ideas for making the flavor pretty close?

tyler roberts (author)DIY-Guy2016-06-12

caviar doesn't really have a flavor, other than slightly salty.

RosaleenC (author)2016-05-30

I tried making the suggested coffee caviar and it bombed too? it formed spheres, but went I went rise the oil off they liquified. When you use the agar agar will the sphere taste oily? Help what did I do wrong

HollyMann (author)RosaleenC2016-05-30

Hi Rosaleen - did you use the recipe I posted or the one I linked to for the coffee caviar? And, also, did you use agar agar or gelatin? I personally haven't had any luck with gelatin working for me yet - but I haven't done the coffee caviar recipe I linked to as of now..I will this week. I had the exact issue you did when I used gelatin. But every single time I made it with agar agar, it worked great for me - even if temperature fluctuated a bit....So, I hope it works for you next time!!! And, the spheres will not taste oily once it's washed off!

RosaleenC (author)HollyMann2016-05-30

Yes, I used the gelatin and the recipe for the coffee caviar-yuck?I will try the agar agar, but i just placed an order for calcium chloride and sodium alginate ( food grade) to attempt spherification that way. Thanks so much for posting. It has me trying out different things? so glad to hear the agar agar method will hold shape and no liquefy with rinsing oil off- I have not given up yet?✌️

gentry (author)2016-05-25

Ooh do you think I can use canned tuna juice to make hobo caviar?!

gentry (author)gentry2016-05-29

I was concerned that the oil in the tuna juice might not be compatible with the cold oil. I'll just give it a try and find out, maybe with another batch with juice as a backup so I have some success.

HollyMann (author)gentry2016-05-29

Hmmmm...not sure if that would work but if you used tuna in water it should be ok. Please let us know what you come up with! Great idea!

HollyMann (author)gentry2016-05-29

What an interesting idea! Love it! :) It should work just fine!

dgwatson5 (author)gentry2016-05-27

No reason to believe you couldn't. It would probably taste better as well. I've had caviar. I'd rather have tuna any day.

ladymda (author)2016-05-29

sorry about that Nike shoe stuff, it wouldn't let me delete it

HollyMann (author)ladymda2016-05-29

it's ok!

TylerS99 (author)2016-05-25

How do I make the ones with the thin membrane layer? I here in BC we have a frozen yogurt place that puts those on ice cream and it's great

MarcB88 (author)TylerS992016-05-26

The ones with the thin membrane are not made with agar but with sodium alginate and a calcium salt (calcium lactate is common - some people use calcium chloride but it has a horrible taste).

You can however take an ice ball and dip it in hot agar, which will leave a membrane around the ice, and once melted it'll be a membrane with a liquid core. I'm not sure how well this technique would work for very small ice pellets though, I've not tried it for small sizes.

HollyMann (author)MarcB882016-05-29

Wow, thank you for sharing. :) Yeah I got some of the other ingredients to make the ones with the thin is good to know about the calcium chloride!!! Thank you so much!

OneBirdieMa (author)2016-05-24

OMG this is incredible. Just have to get some agar agar . . . vegetarian, I don't use gelatin for anything so this will be a treat! Thanks so much for posting.

HollyMann (author)OneBirdieMa2016-05-29

Yay! So glad to hear! Hope you have fun making them and enjoy them! :) People posting comments on here have some incredibly creative ideas for using them!

canorth (author)2016-05-24

Sounds really neat! I hope to try it with gelatin. I use gelatin to help me get rid of arthritis pain, so this would be a good way to take it! Thanks :))

HollyMann (author)canorth2016-05-29

Also, I updated the instructable to include a link to the tutorial I found which uses Gelatin: - I tried using Gelatin in my recipe (where all ingredient ratios were the same, except I used 1 teaspoon of Gelatin) and for me, I did not work. :( So, next attempt I will use this tutorial and see if it turns I know a lot of people do not have Agar.

HollyMann (author)canorth2016-05-24

Wonderful. :) I love using gelatin and now Agar since I've discovered some of its many uses. Do you use any particular brand of gelatin? I will test this out later on to make sure it works as well with gelatin.

Amethyst Star (author)2016-05-27

Oooh smart!! I'm gonna try this tmr.

chris.a.rakoczy (author)2016-05-24

Has anyone tried with alcoholic liquids? I have found that alcohol interferes with gelatin's ability to set. I'm wondering if the same holds for agar, or if you simply need more of it for high-proof spheres.

These could make awesome citrus and cranberry garnishes in cocktails :-)

I've never tried mixing alcohol with agar agar, but I have also never had a problem getting gelatin to set when mixed with alcohol. I make Jello shooters quite often. Perhaps some adjustments to your process could make a difference??

Dr. D (author)chris.a.rakoczy2016-05-24

I think you'd like Jelly Test Shot Kitchen

HollyMann (author)Dr. D2016-05-26

Thank you so much Dr. D. :) LOVE IT! :)

MarcB88 (author)chris.a.rakoczy2016-05-26

Yes, agar tolerates alcohol. It doesn't like tannins though. And indeed, gelatin doesn't work with high alcohol concentrations. Source: a free PDF document out there called "Hydrocolloid recipe collection" - fire up Google and search for it. You'll wonder how you ever did without.

HollyMann (author)MarcB882016-05-26

Thank you - I didn't have a chance to try it yet.

I will try this soon to test it out for you. I did find this article and tutorial: where the guy used alcohol and the cold oil spherification method to make the alcoholic spheres...seems it worked for him. I need to try it out - and especially with gelatin. I will try to do it today! It doesn't take long..I will update later!

alxkwriter (author)2016-05-26

Great idea! But you can also buy Agar Agar from most health food stores. I believe even Wal-Mart is carrying it now too. I can't wait to try this, thanks!

HollyMann (author)alxkwriter2016-05-26

Wow! Good to know!

Denis EduardoD1 (author)2016-05-24

Here in my Country (Brazil) we have a delicious candy made by wine or juice (in preference grape juice) and these little balls are made by cassava starch, it is comum for us, find these balls to buy on our the market. (

Maybe it can be a easily suggestion to do, follows below a recipe:

Best regards.

Thanks for sharing this! Great to know. It looks delicious too! :) I don't have any cassava starch. :) I used to live in Thailand and remember having a dessert there that had jellies in a kind of resembles the taste and texture of these ones.

IdaB3 (author)2016-05-26

can you make a video for this ?

nightmane (author)2016-05-26

How do these hold up to freezing? Would this process work with water in place of juice to make a reusable ice pack?

JulaW (author)nightmane2016-05-26

I don't think that it would work, if you want to freeze it.. Water expand when it goes to ice, so i think the globules will burst.

ladymda (author)2016-05-25

Wow, this is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing :D

About This Instructable




Bio: Army Vet. I love learning & being creative.
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