5 Incredible Gelatin Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

 Likes  Comments

Gelatin substitutes are relatively easy to find and the consistency of gelatin is also easy to mimic. Although understanding the best gelatin substitutes is particularly important if you do a lot of baking!

Gelatin Substitutes

Gelatin is a protein derived from the connective tissues of animals. It is used in cooking and baking, primarily as a thickener for liquids. When heated, gelatin is a liquid, but as it cools it will thicken into a solid. Most people are familiar with the use of gelatin in ice creams, marshmallows, custards, and pies. However, many people who embrace a vegan or vegetarian diet prefer to use one of the many non-animal based substitutes available such as arrowroot, agar, xanthan gum, guar gum, and carrageen among others.


Arrowroot is a starchy powder ground from African arrowroot tubers. It is used in a similar fashion to cornstarch. It will help thicken sauces and jams, and when added to ice cream, it prevents ice crystals. However, too much will taste starchy in the recipe, and it does not firm up into a solid the way that gelatin does. It is also not suggested for non-frozen dairy products.


Agar, also known as Japanese moss, is a seaweed derivative that liquifies when melted but cools into a solid. It has no taste, no color, and no smell, making it a perfect substitute for gelatin. It even cools to a more solid density than gelatin. One teaspoon of agar will replace one teaspoon of gelatin.

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is made from fermented corn, processed and then dried into a fine powder. It is used as an additive in many industrial food products as a thickener and emulsifier. It binds water to solids and is used to thicken pie fillings and increase dough elasticity. However, like arrowroot, xanthan gum will not cool to a solid the way gelatin will. One teaspoon of xanthan gum will substitute for two teaspoons of gelatin.

Guar Gum

Guar gum is made from guar beans that have been husked, milled, and then dried to a fine white powder. It is primarily used as a thickener and a stabilizer in cheese, pannacotta, and ice creams. One benefit of guar gum is that it does not require heat to act as a thickener. One teaspoon of guar gum will substitute for two and a half teaspoons of gelatin.


Carrageen is a seaweed extract that is used primarily in vegan gel products. It has no flavor, but gives a softer set to recipes, so it’s best used as a gelatin substitute in soft custards, mousses, and creams. One ounce of carrageen will set into one cup of liquid.

DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 4.0 out of 5.0 based on 1 user(s).

Latest Health News:

Sepsis written on a blue-screened tab with a stethoscope over it.

Study Finds Sepsis Kills 1 in 5, Double The Expected Cases

Sepsis may be causing more deaths worldwide than we believe. According to a joint study by the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Washington,…

Back view of a sleeping woman on a dark colored-pillow and comforter.

Blue Light Therapy Can Help In Recovery From Mild Brain Trauma

One of the ways to treat a brain injury is by correcting disruptions to sleep and sleep cycles. In a study published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease,…

An arrangement of bottles of skincare and cosmetics

Oxybenzone & Propylparaben Can Add To Breast Cancer Risk

Today is not the first you might be hearing about the presence of carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents, in your beauty products. But a team of researchers has…