Skip to content

How To Make Homemade Fruit Leather

Some of the links in this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases without any increase in price to you.


Finding healthy snacks that you kids will actually eat can feel like a daily battle. This post is your secret weapon. I’ll show you how to turn fresh fruits and berries into delicious, all-natural fruit leather using a dehydrator. Follow these instructions if you’re ready to create nutritious, preservative-free snacks that are perfect for lunchboxes, after-school pick-me-ups, or anytime your crew needs a healthy energy boost.

fruit leather rolls

The taste of fresh fruits and berries always has me thinking about things to do with peaches and new ways to use apples. One fun activity for the whole family is making homemade fruit leather; it’s also a great addition to children’s homeschool curriculum (math, health, home economics, etc.) Plus, dehydrating is a great way to preserve summer’s bounty and supplement your food storage, as well as reduce food waste. That’s a lot of wins in my book! Here’s how simple it is to make.

Equipment Needed

  • A dehydrator. I had always been hesitant to buy a dehydrator prior to this experiment. After tasting the results when I used my mother’s to make copious amounts of fruit leather and dehydrated peach slices, I changed my tune. There are several kinds of dehydrators on the open market these days. Briefly, there are bottom-up dehydrators and top-down ones — they blow the warm air either from a fan at the top of the unit or the bottom. There are also dehydrators that blow the warm air from the side. Food dehydration experts agree the Excalibur is the best style and brand on the market. Alton Brown also rigged up a DIY model using furnace filters and a box fan, though I would not recommend it for sticky items like fruit. If you want to use your dehydrator to make yogurt, you can empty a unit of its trays and have an open area for jars.
  • Fruit roll sheets or dehydrator trays for fruit leather. If you are hoping to make fruit leather, you will need specialty fruit roll sheets suitable for your model of dehydrator, lest your fruit puree fall through the slats in the drying rack into a gooey mess. If you have an Excalibur-style dehydrator, you’ll need sheets like these.

How to Make Homemade Fruit Leather in a Dehydrator

Time needed: 1 day

Puree your favorite fruits, spread them thinly on dehydrator trays, and let them dry for a tasty and healthy snack.

  1. Prepare fruit

    Take some fruit. Remove any seeds. Peel if desired. It is not necessary to peel peaches in this instance.

  2. Puree fruit

    Put the fruit in a blender on the “puree” setting. Blend until your solid fruit is now a liquid.

  3. Simmer puree

    Simmer your pureed fruit over the stove. Your puree is ready to be put into the dehydrator when a spoonful of your fruit dropped onto a plate no longer bleeds any watery liquid. The benefit here is that you will be able to fit more solids onto your dehydrator tray and thus get a thicker piece of fruit leather. The negative is, of course, that this takes more time.

  4. Spread puree on fruit roll sheets or trays

    Spread your mixture onto your fruit roll trays. In a pinch you can use parchment paper, I use this brand, but it does tend to get wrinkly when absorbing the liquid from your fruit. so for best results, you really do need to invest in the fruit roll trays. pureed peach fruit for fruit leatherpureed peach fruit for fruit leather

  5. Dehydrate

    Once the fruit leather mixture is in the dehydrator, expect it to take somewhere in the vicinity of 8 hours before it’s ready. Water content and the thickness of the puree makes this variable. Basically, it will be done when it’s done. Take if off the fruit roll trays when it is still pliable, but no longer gooey. Note: the fruit leather in the picture below lasted approximately three and a half minutes after I took this picture. So if you are making it with the intention to put it in your child’s lunchbox, you will need to store it in a safe.dehydrated peach fruit leather rolled updehydrated peach fruit leather rolled up

Tips for Making Homemade Fruit Leather

  • To save time you can skip simmering the puree to remove excess water. This also results in a thinner leather.
  • It’s easy to experiment with new flavors, as well. For example, in addition to plain peach, I made a batch of peach-mango and peach-strawberry. I didn’t measure proportions, I just blended it all together. Of the three flavors, my kids liked the peach-mango the best. You’re only limited by your imagination and taste buds.

What fruits can you use for fruit leather?

Almost any fruit works! Berries (like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries), apples, mangoes, bananas (add a little lemon juice to prevent browning), and even mixed fruits are all great options. Choose fruits that are ripe and flavorful for the best results.


A touch of honey, maple syrup, or a sprinkle of cinnamon can add some sweetness or warmth. You can also experiment with pureed vegetables like spinach or kale for a more unique flavor profile.

Advantages of Homemade Fruit Leather

When I was a kid, roll-ups were very heavily marketed with their neon colors and interestingly-shaped cutouts. Technically, the fruit roll-ups you buy at the grocery store are made of fruit (pear slurry, mostly), but they are so chock-full of corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors that you would have to split some very fine hairs when calling it a “healthy snack.”

Let’s compare this to the homemade variety, sometimes known as “fruit leather.” When made correctly, fruit leather contains: fruit. If you feel like it, or if your fruit is especially tart, you may choose to add a small amount of sugar.

If you’re worried about whether anyone in your family would want to eat your latest creation, don’t. My kids kept gobbling it up before I could whip out my camera to take a picture, so I wasn’t able to take any photographic evidence until I’d made my third batch. I’m pretty sure that when they ate the second batch it was still warm from the dehydrator. I kind of had to make three batches – it would have been really lame to show you guys a picture of an empty plastic bag.


How do I prepare the fruit?

Wash and remove any pits or cores from your chosen fruit. You can then chop, slice, or dice it depending on your preference.

Do I have to peel the fruit?

Peeling is optional for many fruits, especially if the skin is thin and soft. However, thicker skins like mangoes or pineapples might be better peeled for a smoother texture.

How do I store homemade fruit leather?

It’s recommended to store your dehydrated fruit leather in the refrigerator. For longer storage, place it in the freezer. Any moisture left in the finished product could mold when left out for long.

What do you line dehydrator trays with for fruit leather?

For lining dehydrator trays when making fruit leather, silicone fruit roll sheets are the preferred choice. These reusable sheets are non-stick, allowing for easy removal of the finished leather without tearing. Parchment paper can be used in a pinch, but it wrinkles easily, may tear when removing the leather, and isn’t reusable. While silicone sheets are generally more expensive, their reusability and functionality make them the better option in the long run. There are trays for some dehydrator models.

How long does it take to dehydrate fruit leather in a dehydrator?

Dehydration time varies depending on the fruit, thickness of the puree, and your dehydrator’s model. It typically takes 6-12 hours or more. The leather is done when it’s no longer sticky but still pliable.

Can I dehydrate food without a dehydrator?

Heck yes, you can. If it’s good enough for Ma Ingalls it’s good enough for all of us. A simple cookie sheet is all you need, although I also recommend using a silpat mat in addition, particularly if you are going to be making fruit leather. I recommend putting a thin layer of cheesecloth over your food if you’re going to dry it in the sun, for the purposes of protecting it from being snacked on by critters and to keep it from getting The Great Outdoors all over it. Be advised that sun-drying takes several days.
You can also use a conventional oven to dehydrate food if you put it on a low setting (170 degrees or thereabouts).

Final Thoughts

Ditch the sugary store-bought options and artificial flavors, and whip up a batch of homemade fruit leather instead! It’s a fun and rewarding activity for the whole family, and you’ll be creating a nutritious and delicious snack everyone will love. Dehydrate your favorite fruits throughout the seasons to enjoy the taste of summer year-round, reduce food waste, and empower your family to make healthy choices on the go! Share in the comments your favorite fruit leathers!

Source link