Marshmallow Recipe

Making homemade marshmallows is a delightful and simple process that yields soft, fluffy candies far superior to store-bought varieties. With or without corn syrup, and with or without a sugar thermometer, you can create marshmallows that have a pure, irresistible flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Homemade marshmallows can be customized to any size and flavor, and can be stored for a long time in an airtight container. In this article, we’ll delve into the ingredients and techniques for creating the perfect marshmallow.

Marshmallow Recipe

Key Takeaways:

  • Homemade marshmallows are soft, fluffy candies that are far superior to store-bought varieties.
  • You can customize homemade marshmallows to any size and flavor.
  • Marshmallows can be made with or without corn syrup and a sugar thermometer.
  • Creating homemade marshmallows is a delightful and simple process.
  • Marshmallows can be stored for a long time in an airtight container.

The Ingredients for Homemade Marshmallows

When it comes to making homemade marshmallows, the ingredients play a crucial role in creating that perfect balance of sweetness and fluffiness. Let’s take a closer look at the key components:


Gelatin acts as the setting agent in homemade marshmallows, giving them their distinctive texture. Derived from animal collagen, gelatin provides the necessary structure for these delightful treats. However, for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, agar can be used as an alternative. Keep in mind that agar-based marshmallows may have a slightly different texture compared to gelatin-based ones.


White cane sugar is typically used in homemade marshmallow recipes, providing the necessary sweetness. However, granulated white sugar can also be used as an alternative. The type of sugar used can affect the final texture and taste of the marshmallows, so choose according to your preference.

Corn Syrup and Alternatives

Corn syrup is commonly used in marshmallow recipes to prevent crystallization of the sugar syrup. However, if you prefer to avoid corn syrup, there are alternative options available. Some invert sugars that can be used in place of corn syrup include agave syrup, golden syrup, maple syrup, or honey. These alternatives can provide a similar function and add different flavor profiles to your homemade marshmallows.


To add a touch of deliciousness to your marshmallows, consider incorporating flavorings such as vanilla extract. Vanilla is a classic choice and pairs well with various flavors. You can also experiment with other extracts such as peppermint, almond, lemon, orange, or even alcohol-based flavors like rum or bourbon essence. The choice of flavorings allows you to personalize your marshmallows and create unique taste experiences.

It’s important to note that gelatin can lose some of its setting properties at high temperatures. Therefore, when adding the sugar syrup to the gelatin, handle it carefully to maintain the desired texture and consistency in your marshmallows.

Now that you know the essential ingredients for homemade marshmallows, it’s time to dive into the step-by-step process of creating these delightful treats. But before we do that, let’s explore how to make marshmallows without corn syrup in the next section.

Making Marshmallows Without Corn Syrup

While corn syrup is commonly used in marshmallow recipes to prevent crystallization of the sugar syrup, it is possible to make marshmallows without it. Some alternative inverted sugars that can be used in place of corn syrup include agave syrup, golden syrup, maple syrup, or honey. When making marshmallows without corn syrup, it’s important to take extra care to avoid reintroducing sugar crystals or cold water into the mixture.

Without the use of corn syrup, the recipe for homemade marshmallows remains just as simple and delicious. By substituting with other inverted sugars, you can create marshmallows with a unique flavor profile. The following table highlights different options for replacing corn syrup:

Inverted Sugar Suggested Flavor Pairings
Agave syrup Lemon, lime, or tropical fruit
Golden syrup Caramel, butterscotch, or ginger
Maple syrup Cinnamon, pecan, or bacon (for a savory twist)
Honey Lavender, chai spices, or almond

Regardless of which inverted sugar you choose to use, the process of making marshmallows without corn syrup is fairly similar to the traditional recipe. The main difference lies in the sweetener substitution. To ensure a smooth and luscious marshmallow texture, it’s important to follow the recipe carefully and pay attention to any adjustments needed due to the different characteristics of each inverted sugar.

Gelatin and Vegan Marshmallow Recipes

Gelatin, derived from animal collagen, is the traditional setting agent for marshmallows. However, for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, agar can be used as a substitute. It’s important to note that the texture of agar-based marshmallows may differ slightly from gelatin-based marshmallows.

“Gelatin, derived from animal collagen, is the traditional setting agent for marshmallows.”

“However, for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, agar can be used as a substitute.”

To create vegan marshmallows, the agar powder can be dissolved in water and then simmered until thickened. This mixture can then be combined with a sugar syrup and whipped to create a fluffy and delicious vegan marshmallow base. Agar-based marshmallows have gained popularity in recent years, offering a cruelty-free alternative to the traditional gelatin-based recipe.

Vegan Marshmallow Recipe from Serious Eats

Vegan Marshmallow Recipe
Ingredients Quantity
Agar powder 2 tablespoons
Water 3/4 cup
Sugar 2 cups
Corn syrup 1/2 cup
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Vanilla extract (optional) 1 teaspoon
Powdered sugar For dusting

Note: This recipe is adapted from Serious Eats. You can find the full recipe and detailed instructions on their website.

When making vegan marshmallows, it’s important to follow the recipe precisely to ensure proper setting and texture. Agar reacts differently than gelatin, so using the correct ratio of ingredients and following the recommended cooking and whipping times is crucial. With a little practice, you’ll be able to create vegan marshmallows that are just as delicious as their traditional counterparts.

Adding Whisked Egg Whites to Marshmallow

Whisked egg whites can be a delightful addition to your homemade marshmallow recipe. By incorporating whisked egg whites, you can achieve extra light and fluffy marshmallows that are sure to impress. This technique is particularly popular in French marshmallow recipes, known for their delicate texture and airy consistency.

The addition of egg whites not only enhances the fluffiness of the marshmallows but also makes them softer and easier to pipe into various shapes. Whether you want to create whimsical marshmallow animals or elegant piped designs, the incorporation of whisked egg whites provides the ideal consistency for molding and shaping your marshmallows.

However, it’s important to note that marshmallows made with egg whites may not have as long of a shelf life as traditional recipes. The perishable nature of egg whites can affect the stability and longevity of the marshmallows. Therefore, it’s best to consume or use them in recipes within a shorter timeframe.

Experimenting with whisked egg whites in your marshmallow recipe can elevate your confectionery creations to new heights. Try adding this technique to your repertoire and enjoy the light, fluffy, and melt-in-your-mouth goodness of homemade marshmallows.

Flavoring Homemade Marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows offer endless opportunities for flavor customization. Whether you want to enhance the classic vanilla taste or experiment with unique combinations, there are plenty of options to tantalize your taste buds. Here are some flavorful ideas to elevate your homemade marshmallows:

1. Vanilla:

Vanilla is a timeless choice that complements the delicate sweetness of marshmallows. Its warm and inviting flavor pairs well with various toppings and mix-ins. Whether you opt for pure vanilla extract or use vanilla bean seeds, this classic flavor will never disappoint.

2. Peppermint:

Perfect for the holiday season or anytime you crave a refreshing twist, peppermint extract adds a delightful coolness to marshmallows. The combination of peppermint and chocolate is particularly heavenly, making these marshmallows a delectable addition to hot cocoa or s’mores.

3. Almond:

Add a touch of nuttiness to your marshmallows with almond extract. This subtle, yet distinctive flavor enhances the sweetness and provides a pleasant aroma. Almond-flavored marshmallows pair well with various fruits, particularly berries, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.

4. Citrus:

For a zesty and refreshing twist, citrus-based flavors like lemon or orange can brighten up your marshmallows. The tangy notes of citrus add a burst of flavor that complements the sweetness of the marshmallows, creating a delightful and aromatic treat.

5. Alcohol-Based Flavors:

If you’re looking for a sophisticated twist, alcohol-based flavors like rum or bourbon essence can add depth to your marshmallows. These flavors can be subtle or robust, depending on your preference. They pair exceptionally well with chocolate or coffee-infused marshmallows, creating a delightful adult twist.

When flavoring your homemade marshmallows, it’s important to consider the best time to incorporate the flavorings. Some extracts, such as vanilla or peppermint, can be added directly to the sugar syrup during the cooking process. However, for more delicate flavors like citrus, it’s best to add them once the marshmallow mixture has cooled down to preserve their freshness.

If you’re looking to experiment with flavors like fruit puree or cocoa powder, it’s important to note that these additions can affect the consistency and setting of the marshmallow mixture. You may need to adjust the amount of gelatin to ensure proper setting and texture.

“Flavor is the magic that turns ordinary homemade marshmallows into extraordinary treats.” – Unknown

Now that you have some flavor inspiration, let your creativity shine and experiment with different combinations to create marshmallows that suit your taste preferences. Remember, the key to perfectly flavored homemade marshmallows lies in finding the right balance that enhances the sweetness without overpowering its delicate texture.

For a visual reference, here is a table summarizing the flavor options for homemade marshmallows:

Flavor Description
Vanilla A classic and versatile flavor that pairs well with many other ingredients.
Peppermint A refreshing flavor that adds a cool twist to marshmallows, perfect for the holiday season.
Almond A subtle nutty flavor that enhances the sweetness of marshmallows.
Citrus Zesty and tangy flavors like lemon or orange that add a burst of freshness.
Alcohol-Based Flavors Rum or bourbon essence that adds depth and sophistication to marshmallows.

Get creative with your homemade marshmallows and let your taste buds guide you through a world of delicious possibilities. Remember, the journey of flavor exploration is as delightful as the end result!

Tips for Making Homemade Marshmallows

When making homemade marshmallows, there are a few tips to keep in mind. These helpful suggestions will ensure that your marshmallows turn out perfectly fluffy and delicious every time.

  1. Weigh the gelatin: Instead of relying on pre-packaged envelopes, it’s recommended to weigh the gelatin. This will ensure consistent results and prevent any measurement discrepancies.
  2. Dissolve sugar completely: Ensuring that the sugar on the sides of the pan has completely dissolved is essential for a smooth marshmallow mixture. To achieve this, you can brush the pan with warm water or cover it with a lid for a few minutes.
  3. Use a stand mixer: Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment is ideal for achieving the desired fluffy texture. This will make the mixing process easier and more efficient, resulting in perfectly whipped marshmallow batter.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create homemade marshmallows with ease. Now let’s move on to explore the different variations and shapes you can experiment with to elevate your marshmallow game.

Different Variations and Shapes of Marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows offer endless possibilities for variations and shapes. Whether you’re looking to add a festive touch, create fruity flavors, or experiment with vibrant colors, there are numerous ways to customize your marshmallow creations.

Peppermint Twist

Peppermint extract can be added for a festive touch to your marshmallows. Simply mix a few drops of peppermint extract into your marshmallow mixture before it sets. The refreshing minty flavor pairs perfectly with the soft and fluffy texture of the marshmallows.

Fruity Delights

For a burst of fruity flavors, incorporate powdered freeze-dried fruit into your marshmallow recipe. Simply crush freeze-dried fruit into a fine powder and mix it into the marshmallow mixture. This technique allows you to create marshmallows with a variety of flavors such as strawberry, raspberry, or mango.

Vibrant Hues

Make your marshmallows visually appealing by adding food coloring to the mixture. Choose your favorite shades or experiment with different combinations to create a rainbow of marshmallows. This is a fun way to make your marshmallows standout at parties or special occasions.

Colorful Confetti

Add a fun and colorful twist to your marshmallows by incorporating confetti sprinkles. These tiny edible decorations will add a festive touch and make your marshmallows visually appealing. Simply mix the sprinkles into the marshmallow mixture before it sets, and enjoy the burst of colors when you take a bite.

Crispy Marshmallows

If you prefer your marshmallows with a slightly firmer texture, you can cook the mixture to a slightly higher temperature. This will result in crispy marshmallows that have a bit more bite to them. It’s a delicious variation that adds a different dimension to the classic marshmallow recipe.

With these different variations and shapes, you can enjoy a world of marshmallow creations. Let your imagination run wild and experiment with different flavors, colors, and textures to create marshmallows that will delight your taste buds.


Creating your own homemade marshmallows is a delightful and satisfying experience. By using a simple marshmallow recipe and a handful of basic ingredients, you can make marshmallows that surpass the taste and texture of store-bought ones. Whether enjoyed as a sweet treat on their own, melted into a warm cup of hot chocolate, or toasted to perfection in s’mores, homemade marshmallows are sure to bring joy to any moment.

With endless possibilities for flavor customization and the ability to shape them into various forms, homemade marshmallows allow you to unleash your creativity in the kitchen. Their soft, fluffy texture and melt-in-your-mouth goodness make them a favorite among both children and adults. Plus, you can store them in an airtight container, ensuring a fresh and delicious supply for future indulgence.

So why not give this easy marshmallow recipe a try and experience the satisfaction of creating your own marshmallows from scratch? Elevate your marshmallow game to a whole new level by sharing your homemade treats with family and friends or by incorporating them into your favorite desserts. The possibilities are endless, and the delicious rewards are well worth the effort. Start making your own homemade marshmallows today and enjoy the pure pleasure they bring.


What is the key ingredient in homemade marshmallows?

The key ingredient in homemade marshmallows is gelatin or agar for vegan alternatives.

Can I make marshmallows without corn syrup?

Yes, you can make marshmallows without corn syrup by using alternative inverted sugars like agave syrup, golden syrup, maple syrup, or honey.

Can I make vegan marshmallows?

Yes, you can make vegan marshmallows by using agar as a substitute for gelatin. Check out recipes on Serious Eats for a good vegan marshmallow recipe.

Can I add whisked egg whites to marshmallows?

Yes, whisked egg whites can be added to marshmallows to make them extra light and fluffy. However, marshmallows made with egg whites may not keep as long.

Can I customize the flavor of homemade marshmallows?

Yes, homemade marshmallows offer endless opportunities for flavor customization. Popular extracts include vanilla, peppermint, almond, lemon, orange, and alcohol-based flavors like rum or bourbon essence.

What are some tips for making homemade marshmallows?

It’s recommended to weigh the gelatin, ensure the sugar is fully dissolved, and use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment for the desired fluffy texture.

What variations and shapes can I make with marshmallows?

You can add peppermint extract, powdered freeze-dried fruit, food coloring, or confetti sprinkles to create different flavors and shapes. For crispy marshmallows, you can cook the mixture to a slightly higher temperature.

What is the advantage of making homemade marshmallows?

Making homemade marshmallows allows for greater control over ingredients and results in marshmallows that are far superior in taste and texture to store-bought versions.

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