Homemade Marshmallows — Easier than you think to make and the results are so WORTH IT! Chewy, sticky, bouncy, soft yet firm, and they blow store bought marshmallows away! Learn how to make marshmallows at home with my straightforward and simple recipe!
Easy Marshmallow Recipe
Making marshmallows at home from scratch is easier than you think and the results are so worth it!
These delectable marshmallows have a classic taste but truthfully are far superior to both the taste and texture you find in store-bought marshmallows.
They’re chewy, sticky and bouncy. They are soft yet firm.
Even adults who may have outgrown a childhood love of marshmallows tend to agree these homemade marshmallows are irresistible!
What Are Marshmallows Made Out Ot?
The marshmallow ingredients you’ll need are fairly basic and easy to find. Here’s what goes into this simple recipe:
- Gelatin: This is the essence of marshmallows and without it you will have a sweet meringue.
- Cold water: This is used to help bloom the gelatin as well as make a sugar syrup.
- Granulated sugar: Besides adding sweetness to the marshmallows, sugar stabilizes the meringue to help create the bouncy squishy texture.
- Light corn syrup: This helps prevent the sugar syrup from crystalizing.
- Salt: Salt brings out the flavor in the marshmallows however it can be left out if you prefer.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla enhances and gives the marshmallows their classic flavor.
- Confectioners’ sugar: Powdered sugar is used as an alternative to baking spray to ensure the marshmallows don’t stick to the pan. Baking spray will make the bottom of the marshmallows slimy and adds a funny taste.
How to Make Homemade Marshmallows
Making marshmallows is easier than you’d think! I avoided making marshmallows for years because I thought they’d be a labor-intensive process, but they’re actually not.
Step 1: To the bowl of a stand mixer, bloom the gelatin by adding half the cold water and all of the gelatin. Let it set for 10 minutes.
Step 2: While waiting for the gelatin to bloom, in a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, add the granulated sugar, corn syrup, remaining cold water, and salt.
Whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Let it simmer and bubble for about 3 minutes until the syrup becomes clear.
Step 3: Once the gelatin has bloomed, pour in the hot syrup. When the syrup comes into contact with the gelatin, it may bubble up which is fine.
Step 4: With the whisk attachment, whisk on low for about 2 minutes. Do not increase speed until the gelatin and syrup have mixed as it will fly out and cause burns.
Step 5: After it has mixed, increase the speed to high and let it whisk for 10 minutes or until it is really fluffy and increased in size.
Step 6: Add the vanilla and whisk for an additional minute.
Step 7: Generously dust a 9×13-inch pan with powdered sugar to ensure the marshmallows do not stick and are easy to remove. If your confectioners’ sugar is lumpy, I recommend sifting it.
Step 8: Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and with a rubber spatula, spread it into an even layer. Dust the top of the marshmallows with additional powdered sugar.
Step 9: Cover with plastic wrap and let set for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight.
Step 10: Once the marshmallows are set, dust a cutting board or flat surface with powdered sugar to prevent them from sticking.
Cut the marshmallows into 1-inch squares. You should end up with 28 marshmallows. Serve and enjoy!
Is a Stand Mixer Required?
I strongly recommend using a stand mixer because ultimately you whip the mixture on high speed for 10 minutes and preceding that, for a few minutes on low speed.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a handheld electric mixer fitting with the whisk attachment, noting you may have to whip the mixture longer than the indicated times.
Do I Have to Use Corn Syrup?
Yes, in order to make this recipe for homemade marshmallows, you will need to use light corn syrup. I don’t know any way around it.
How to Store Homemade Marshmallows
Marshmallows made from scratch may be stored in an airtight container or a ziptop baggie for up to 2 weeks.
Can You Freeze Marshmallows?
Yes, although I never have enough leftover to warrant freezing them! However, you can freeze them up to 3 months.
Just be sure to wrap them in a layer of plastic wrap before sealing them in a sturdy freezer bag. If the marshmallows develop even the tiniest bit of freezer burn, their texture will change completely.
Can I Halve This Recipe?
This homemade marshmallow recipe makes a 9×13-inch pan of marshmallows (about 28 in total). You’re likely fine to halve the recipe, but personally I think it makes more sense to make a big batch since they’ll last up to two weeks at room temperature.
If you do want to halve the recipe, turn the marshmallow “batter” into an 8- or 9-inch square dish instead of a 9×13-inch.
Can the Gelatin Be Substituted?
No, definitely not. However, if using animal-derived gelatin is an issue for you there are many vegan gelatins on the market now.
Can a Sugar-Free Sweetener Be Used?
Also no. The sugar not only sweetens the homemade marshmallows, but it also acts as a preservative. Plus, it helps create that classic fluffy marshmallow consistency.
Gifting Homemade Marshmallows
As much fun as this easy marshmallow recipe is to make, I know not everyone needs a 9×13-inch pan of marshmallows staring them in the face. If that’s the case for you, I highly suggest gifting a few to neighbors and loved ones!
These marshmallows make a fun gift for a child’s birthday, a nice take-home trinket to hand out at a kiddie birthday party, a thoughtful hostess gift, or a nice way to say thanks with something homemade for a few teachers, coaches, or colleagues over the holidays.
Since you’ll end up with 28 marshmallows and they are generously sized, putting a half dozen or so in a cellophane baggie and tying it with cute ribbon will allow you to gift four people from one batch, making them a cost efficient gift as well.
Tips for Making Marshmallows
These marshmallows toast up beautifully and are just like, or better than, store-bought marshmallows. They are perfect for s’mores, especially since they are square.
However, for almost any dessert where you’d use large store-bought marshmallows, these homemade puffy beauties are just the thing. I use them in my epic three-layer Smores Cake.
Flavor Variations to Try
As written, this easy marshmallow recipe makes classic vanilla-flavored marshmallows.
However, you could add one of the following extracts in place of the vanilla to create flavored marshmallows:
- Peppermint extract
- Orange extract
- Lemon extract
- Almond extract
Note that the extracts I’ve just listed are much more potent than vanilla extract. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and work your way up, as needed.
Recipes Using Homemade Marshmallows
Anytime a recipe calls for marshmallows, you can substitute your homemade ones! Here are a few recipes on my site that call for marshmallows:
- Classic Marshmallow Sweet Potato Casserole
- Sweet Potato Bites
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Smores Cake
- Hot Chocolate Cookies
- No-Bake Smores Bars
- Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookie Pie
Pin This Recipe
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 3 packets unflavored gelatin, packets are .25 ounce each
- 1 ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup confectioners' sugar, divided
- While the gelatin blooms, in a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, add the granulated sugar, corn syrup, remaining 1/2 cup water, and salt. Whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Let it simmer and bubble for about 3 minutes until the syrup becomes clear.
- Once the gelatin has bloomed, pour in the hot syrup mixture. When the syrup comes into contact with the gelatin, it may bubble up which is fine.
- With the whisk attachment, whisk on low for about 2 minutes. Do not increase speed until the gelatin and syrup have mixed as it will fly out and cause burns.
- Once it has mixed, increase speed to high and let whisk for 10 minutes or until it is really fluffy and increased in size.
- Add the vanilla and whisk for an additional minute.
- Generously dust a 9x13-inch pan with confectioners' sugar, about 1/4 cup. This ensures the marshmallows do not stick and are easy to remove. If your confectioners' sugar is lumpy, I recommend sifting it.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, and with a rubber spatula, spread it into an even layer.
- Dust the top of the marshmallows with about 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, cover with plastic wrap, and let set for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Once the marshmallows are set, dust a cutting board or flat surface with 1/4 cup or more of confectioners' sugar to prevent them from sticking.
- Cut the marshmallows into 1-inch squares. You should end up with 28 large marshmallows. Serve and enjoy**.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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More Marshmallow Desserts:
Smores Cake – A three layer showstopping cake that everyone will ADORE! Moist and tender layers of chocolate cake along with crunchy graham cracker crusts, sweet marshmallow buttercream frosting, toasted marshmallows, and chocolate bars for a true smores experience!
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting – A five-minute decadent frosting recipe made with just five ingredients! Rich, sweet, smooth, perfect for piping or just spreading on your favorite cake, cupcakes, brownies, and more! So EASY yet so good!
S’mores Brownie Pie — Each bite of the pie is so satisfying and starts with a base of dense, fudgy, rich brownies, topped with melted chocolate chips, fluffy gooey marshmallows, and sprinkled with crunchy bits of graham crackers.
S’mores Poke Cake — Chocolate cake gets poked all over and soaked in a marshmallow creme mixture before being topped with crushed graham crackers, toasted marshmallows, and hot fudge sauce.
Chocolate Chip S’mores Cookie Bars — Between layers of super soft chocolate chip cookie dough there’s chocolate, marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs for the most DECADENT smores ever!! So EASY and just 4 main ingredients!!
Hot Chocolate Cookies — These gooey hot chocolate cookies are complete with big gooey marshmallows and chunks of melted dark chocolate. This is the perfect holiday and winter time cookie recipe!
Soft and Gooey Loaded S’mores Bars – Fast, easy, and so good! A reader favorite for years!
Peanut Butter S’mores Cookie Pie — A peanut butter and graham cracker cookie underneath gooey marshmallows and melted chocolate!! You don’t need a campfire for these easy and AMAZING smores! Grab a spoon and dig in!!
Marshmallow Caramel Oreo Cookie S’mores Bars – No campfire needed for these Smores! Chocolaty with plenty of gooey caramel and marshmallows!
S’mores Bars – SO EASY, NO-BAKE, just FOUR ingredients, and ready in FIVE minutes!! It doesn’t get any better than that and no campfire required! A hit with kids and adults at parties, potlucks, and picnics!!