With a light vanilla flavor and a springy, squishy texture, these Homemade Marshmallows will make you forget that the store-bought version even exists. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Are Homemade Marshmallows Worth It? 100% Yes!
These springy-sticky-squishy, light and airy homemade marshmallows are going to be your new favorite treat. Yes, they do require a candy thermometer and a few hours to set up, but we forgive them for it because they’re just that good!
These marshmallows have a gorgeous vanilla flavor that reminds me of my meringue cookies, and they are equally delicious in a s’more or mug of hot chocolate as they are by themselves. Sometimes I even like to cloak mine in chocolate before enjoying.
While making homemade marshmallows is admittedly more time consuming than just buying a bag from the store, they truly put the store-bought version to shame. Far better in both texture and flavor, homemade marshmallows are 100% worth the effort and time it takes to make them–I promise! Plus, they’re not at all difficult to make (your mixer will do most of the work!) and the ingredients are super simple. Here’s what you need!
What You Need
With only eight ingredients (nine if you count water), my homemade marshmallows are so simple. Here are the stars of today’s recipe:
- Gelatin. These homemade marshmallows use gelatin for stability and structure, much like my stabilized whipped cream frosting. You’ll need three packets for today’s recipe. As far as a substitute goes, while you can sometimes substitute cream of tartar to stabilize whipped cream, I unfortunately don’t have a substitute for the gelatin in this recipe.
- Light corn syrup. This is not the same as high fructose corn syrup! If you’re still concerned about using it, glucose syrup could be substituted, but an invert sugar like corn syrup is really necessary to give the marshmallows their proper texture and keep the sugars from crystalizing.
- Granulated sugar. We’ll be boiling this with the corn syrup until it reaches 242F, so you’ll be using your candy thermometer today.
- Water. You’ll need ice water for the gelatin mixture, but you can use any temperature water for the syrup.
- Vanilla extract. I use vanilla for a classic marshmallow taste, but you can always switch up the flavor. Coconut, strawberry, or peppermint (a very tiny amount) would all taste great! Let me know in the comments if you try any other flavors.
- Cornstarch and powdered sugar. This makes up the dusting mixture, which we’ll be sifting over the top of the marshmallows while they set and rolling them in after they’ve been cut.
- Vegetable shortening or oil. Since homemade marshmallows are mostly sugar and corn syrup, they’re very sticky! You can use either vegetable shortening or oil to grease your pan and spatula to prevent the mixture from sticking.
SAM’S TIP: While you could opt to use all powdered sugar for the dusting powder, it will make the marshmallows stickier, messier, and even sweeter than they already are. A blend of powdered sugar and cornstarch keeps the marshmallows from sticking to each other, gives them a manageable exterior (even where they’re sticky from being cut), and tastes similar to what you’ll find on a store-bought marshmallow.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Homemade Marshmallows
- Grease your pan and spatula, then set both aside. Whisk together your powdered sugar and cornstarch to make your dusting powder, and set that aside too.
- Combine the ice water and gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
- In a medium pot, stir together the granulated sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Turn the stove to medium heat and stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved. When the mixture comes to a boil, attach your candy thermometer and keep cooking (do not stir!) until the mixture reaches 242F.
- Remove the syrup from the heat. Turn your stand mixer to low speed and carefully begin drizzling the syrup into the gelatin mixture.
- Once all of the syrup has been added, increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the mixture is fluffy, glossy, and thick–about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and stir until fully incorporated.
- Pour your marshmallow into your prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Sift a few tablespoons of the dusting powder over the top, and put the rest in a bowl for later. Let the marshmallows sit for 4-6 hours, until firm.
- Sprinkle your cutting board with some of your reserved dusting powder. Turn your marshmallows out onto the cutting board and cut them into squares with a greased knife or kitchen shears.
- Toss the cut marshmallows in the bowl of dusting powder, making sure each side is coated. Enjoy!
SAM’S TIP: Be very careful when handling the hot syrup! Keep your mixer speed very low until it’s combined, because if it splashes on you, it will burn you.
Frequently Asked Questions
As long as you’ve let them set up properly, they should roast beautifully! If you try to roast them before they’ve firmed up, they will just melt.
Yes you can! Just add it when you add your vanilla extract (or whatever flavor you’re using).
They’ll last for about a month when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
More Recipes You Might Like
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- Vegetable shortening or vegetable oil for greasing pan and utensils
- 1 cup powdered sugar (125g)
- ½ cup cornstarch (65g)
- ½ cup ice water (118ml)
- 3 packets gelatin (0.75 oz)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
- 1 cup light corn syrup¹ (236ml)
- ½ cup water any temperature (118ml)
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Additional powdered sugar as needed
- Medium-sized pot
- Sharp knife or kitchen shears
- Prepare a 13×9” (33x23cm) pan by thoroughly greasing the sides and bottom with vegetable shortening (I use Crisco) or a thin layer of vegetable oil. Grease a rubber spatula as well and set it aside nearby (you’ll need this when you pour your marshmallow).
- Prepare dusting powder by whisking together powdered sugar and cornstarch until well-combined and set aside.
- Pour ice water into the bowl of a stand mixer (see note 2 if you don’t have a stand mixer) fitted with a whisk attachment and sprinkle gelatin overtop, then stir to combine.
- In a medium-sized pot, combine sugar, corn syrup, remaining ½ cup (118ml) water, and salt and stir to combine.
- Turn stovetop heat just a notch above medium and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved. If you notice sugar crystals on the side of the pot, use a damp pastry brush to gently wash them down the sides of the pot back into the mixture.
- Continue to stir until mixture comes to a boil, then attach a candy thermometer to the pot (make sure the end of the thermometer is suspended in the middle of the mixture and that it is not touching the bottom of the pot!) and continue to cook without stirring until mixture reaches 242F (115C).
- Remove syrup from heat and turn stand mixer speed to low. With mixer on low speed, gradually drizzle the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture in a steady stream. Once all syrup has been added, gradually increase mixer speed to high.
- Beat on high-speed for at least 10 minutes/until mixture is fluffy, thick, glossy, and greatly increased in volume.
- Stir in vanilla extract (or your favorite extract and any food coloring you may wish to use) at this point until completely combined.
- Use your greased spatula to pour/spread marshmallow mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sift 2-3 Tablespoons of the dusting mixture (save remaining mixture, you’ll need it) over the surface of the marshmallows.
- Let marshmallows sit until firm, about 4-6 hours or overnight.
- Once firm, dust a cutting board generously with about a tablespoon of the dusting mixture and pour the remaining mixture in a bowl.
- Turn out the marshmallows onto a cutting board and use a greased knife or kitchen shears (lightly greased with either shortening or vegetable oil) to cut into squares. Toss marshmallows one at a time in bowl with remaining dusting mixture then enjoy.
¹Corn syrupMay substitute glucose syrup.
²MixerIf you don’t have a stand mixer, a powerful electric mixer will work, but it will take much longer and will be quite an arm workout. I don’t really recommend trying this by hand.
StoringStore marshmallows in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.