How to Make Marshmallows

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Healthy homemade marshmallows are soft, light, and airy guilt-free snacks to roast over a fire pit or to top a cup of hot chocolate with.

This coveted white squishy treat is like a pillow or a cloud that somehow makes everything better, especially when warm, slightly charred, and squished between graham crackers and chocolate!

pile of marshmallows on a cutting board

Whether you’re making a s’mores dip or a cherry pineapple jello salad, marshmallows are always great to have on hand. And with this basic marshmallow recipe, you’ll be sure to always have access to a fresh batch!

Making marshmallows at home is a great way to spend an evening with the family.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Clean ingredients. You’ll know what goes into your marshmallow! No additives, artificial coloring, or anything else not wanted.
  • Staple ingredients. Most of the ingredients needed for marshmallows are in your pantry, already.
  • Can be customized. Want a new flavor such as coconut, mint, or raspberry? Swap out the vanilla extract with what you’re craving.

Ingredients

Ever wondered what ingredients are in marshmallows? You may be surprised!

  • water
  • unflavored gelatin powder
  • granulated sugar
  • corn syrup
  • salt
  • vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar

Tools Needed To Make Marshmallows

Unlike most of our dessert recipes, there are some tools that are essential for making homemade marshmallows.

  • Candy thermometer. (Don’t have one? Read our FAQ section below for tips on making marshmallows without a candy thermometer.)
  • Stand mixer. (You can use an electric hand mixer, but trust me when I say a stand mixer is better.)
  • Butter spray. (Marshmallows are super sticky! Again, marshmallows are super sticky. Butter spray will come in handy!)
    • Spray your spatula for transferring the marshmallow fluff from the mixing bowl into the baking dish.
    • Spray your knife when it’s time to cut the marshmallows. (Continue to spray if it becomes sticky.)

How To Make Marshmallows

  • Pour ½ cup of the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin powder into the water; stir, then set this bowl aside. (You want this to sit for 15 minutes.)
  • In a large pot, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and the remaining ½ cup of water.
  • Bring sugar and corn syrup mixture to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring often, until the candy reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
  • Very carefully, pour the hot candy mixture into a large mixing bowl. Safety note: be extremely cautious to not splash the very hot candy onto your skin!
  • Add the gelatin and water mixture to the candy.
  • Beat the candy with an electric mixer (a stand mixer is preferable if possible), starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed to high as the mixture thickens.
    • While your marshmallow is mixing (preferably in a stand mixer, or by a family member) prep your pan with a generous amount of powdered sugar!
  • When the marshmallow has thickened and turned white, add the vanilla extract (or extract of your choosing).
  • Continue to beat the marshmallow on high speed until it has more than doubled in volume.
    • The mixing process can take about 10-15 minutes.
    • You want to continuously check your bowl to make sure it’s warm. When the marshmallow mix begins to cool, it will harden.
  • Scoop the marshmallow fluff into the pan prepared with the powdered sugar. Use a lightly oiled spoon to smooth the marshmallow out, then sprinkle the top of the marshmallow generously with powdered sugar.
    • Be mindful of your speed. Some of the marshmallow mixture may stay behind -it’s okay, focus on getting as much out at once to quickly spread it flat before it hardens into a large clump.
  • Place the pan of marshmallow in a cool, dry area to set for 8-12 hours.
  • Cut the marshmallow with a butter greased knife, lengthwise into 5 long strips, then cut each strip into 10 pieces to create a total of 50 marshmallow squares. (Or smaller for homemade mini marshmallows.)
  • Roll each marshmallow in powdered sugar and shift the marshmallows to take off the excess powdered sugar.
  • Store the homemade marshmallows in an air tight container for up to two weeks.
knife cutting homemade marshmallows
hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows
hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows

How to Make Marshmallows

5 from 1 vote
Servings 50
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 8 hours

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup water divided
  • 2 ½ tablespoons unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Pour ½ cup of the water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder into the water; stir, then set aside.
  • In a large pot, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and the remaining ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring often, until the candy reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
  • Very carefully, pour the hot candy mixture into a large mixing bowl. Safety note: be extremely cautious to not splash the very hot candy onto your skin!
  • Add the gelatin and water mixture to the candy. Beat the candy with an electric mixer (a stand mixer is preferable if possible), starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed to high as the mixture thickens. When the marshmallow has thickened and turned white, add the vanilla extract. Continue to beat the marshmallow on high speed until it has more than doubled in volume.
  • Prepare an 11×7 inch glass dish by completely covering the bottom and sides with powdered sugar. Use your fingers to press the powdered sugar up the sides of the pan. You’ll want every bit of the pan to be coated in powdered sugar so that the marshmallow does not stick.
  • Scoop the marshmallow into the pan prepared with the powdered sugar. Use a lightly oiled spoon to smooth the marshmallow out, then sprinkle the top of the marshmallow generously with powdered sugar.
  • Place the pan of marshmallow in a cool, dry area to set for 8 hours.
  • Cut the marshmallow lengthwise into 5 long strips, then cut each strip into 10 pieces to create a total of 50 marshmallow squares. Roll each marshmallow in powdered sugar.
  • Store marshmallows at room temperature in an airtight container.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe making 50 marshmallows, with 1 serving being 1 marshmallow. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 52kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 16mg | Sugar: 14g | Calcium: 1mg
Calories 52

FAQ

Do I need a candy thermometer to make marshmallows?

If you do not have a candy thermometer, a way to test that it is around the right temperature is to:
-Drop a bit of the mixture into cold water and see if it will form into a ball.
-Remove it from the water and if at the right temperature it will flatten slightly as it sits on your finger. It won’t be firm. The temperature is slightly forgiving.

How do I make colorful marshmallows?

-Towards the end of mixing your marshmallow mix, add a few drops of your preferred food color. Use a little and be aware that it lightens further as it mixes.
-Be cautious with adding too much! If you add too much food coloring, it will thin out the marshmallow mixture which will keep it from it’s desired “poof”.
-Want red marshmallows? Use “no taste red” for a pleasant red marshmallow recipe.

How do I store marshmallows?

Store marshmallows in a cool dry place in a container that has a tight fitting lid. Make sure you give your marshmallows space! Don’t cramp them in, or they will squish into a soft gooey mess.

Can I use flavored gelatin to make marshmallows?

Yes! If you want to use flavored gelatin (or Jello as known to many), you can use it in place of unflavored gelatin. Be sure to leave out the vanilla!

pile of fresh cut marshmallows

Recipes That Use Marshmallows

Here are some easy recipes that use marshmallows!

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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