Curious about how to make marshmallows? Homemade marshmallows are really simple with this easy marshmallow recipe that only uses a few common ingredients! Once you've made them you'll never go back to store bought!
Marshmallows are this mystical thing to me... fluffy and sweet, light as air, and seemingly impossible to wrap my mind around.
How do a few simple ingredients turn into something so rich and luscious? How is it that a little bit of hot sugar water and gelatin can transform into such a delicious and versatile treat?
I found out that the answer is that it's actually really easy!
Why Homemade Marshmallows?
A long time ago (over 20 years ago) I found out that I was allergic to corn.
My response to the doctor when he told me - "That's ok, I don't like corn on the cob all that much any way..."
Boy was I in for it. I had no idea how many things contained corn, or some corn derivative like corn syrup, corn meal, dextrose, malto-dextrin, dextrin, and so on...
Cooking and dining out became increasingly difficult as I began to realize the depth of this allergy, and my journey into "from scratch" cooking was born.
One of the first recipes I mastered on this journey was marshmallows. I know it sounds so silly, but to still be able to have something "normal" was extraordinary to me!
Many batches of marshmallows later, and they are still one of my favorite "from scratch" items. No corn, no soy, no dairy, no gluten, no dyes, or funny additives. Just real food that's real good ;-).
What are marshmallows made of usually?
Marshmallows are generally made from just a few simple ingredients, whether you buy them from the store or make them yourself.
Marshmallows consist of a sweetener, and a binding/gelatin agent.
In store bought marshmallows that means corn syrup in various forms for the sweetener, and either cornstarch, carageenan, agar agar, or gelatin as the binding/gelatin agents.
For homemade marshmallows, you can really use anything you want for the sweetener. I've used everything from cane sugar to maple syrup to sweeten marshmallows and they all work wonderfully well!
Gelatin is almost always used in homemade marshmallows, unless you are trying to make vegan marshmallows. In that case you can use agar agar in place of the gelatin, in a 1:1 replacement ratio.
Homemade Marshmallow Recipe
I've used these Homemade Marshmallows for everything from plain old hot chocolate, to s'mores, sweet potato casserole, and even as a filling in homemade candies.
If you have the time to try them (they seriously take 10 minutes, you should find the time), you will not be disappointed.
A little note about gelatin: I used to use the Knox brand gelatin for this recipe. It works ok, however, I would recommend investing in the Great Lakes brand gelatin pictured above.
It's from grass-fed cows, it's kosher, and it's actually good for you. It promotes healthy joints and bone strength, and has a healing affect on your whole body.
That means these marshmallows are GOOD FOR YOU... I'm just saying. That's worth it to me!
You can buy a single can here or a 2 pack here. I purchased my 2 pack almost 3 years ago and I still haven't made it through one whole bottle... this stuff will last you forever.
Sugar in the Raw syrup: I've used molasses, cane syrup, honey, and golden syrup in the past for this recipe. They all turn out perfectly on the texture front, but the flavor varies quite a bit. This Sugar in the Raw syrup is the best I've ever tried as far as achieving that light and subtly sweet marshmallow flavor.
It also helps the marshmallows turn out nice and bright white, instead of a darker cream or yellow.
My local grocery store sells this product, or you can buy it here.
NOTE: If you want to make fully organic marshmallows, skip the Sugar in the Raw and instead add an additional 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of water to the recipe. Omit the Sugar in the Raw completely and follow the rest of the directions.
A big thanks to my mom who helped me with the texture demonstration part of this post! See how nice and pliable they are?
They pull apart just like the store bought marshmallows!
And they melt nicely in hot chocolate too! I love the way they form this gooey layer of sweetness that perfectly doles out a helping of melted marshmallow with each sip...
But don't take my word for it, make them yourself today!
- 3 tbsp Great Lakes gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water + 1/4 cup
- 2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup Sugar in the Raw syrup
- dash salt
- 2 tsp Homemade Vanilla extract
- Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup of water in a mixer bowl and let bloom while cooking sugar syrup.
- Combine sugar, Sugar in the Raw syrup, 1/4 cup water, and salt in medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and allow to remain and a rolling boil for 3 minutes.
- Turn mixer onto low with just the gelatin in the bowl. Pour boiling syrup over gelatin** and slowly raise the speed to high over about 4 minutes to avoid splatter.
- Add vanilla at this point and continue to beat until it is the consistency of marshmallow cream. This usually takes about 5 -10 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen and speed of your machine.
- Pour mix into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Allow to cool.
- After about 4 hours, use a greased pizza cutter to slice into individual marshmallows.
To make these marshmallows with honey only, replace ALL sugar and sugar syrup with 1 cup of honey. Follow the direction for sugar marshmallows.
HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS FAQ
How long do these homemade marshmallows keep?
At room temperature, these keep for about 7-10 days. In the fridge they last about 2 months.
You can also store them in the freezer for up to 1 year!
How should I store my homemade marshmallows?
A sealed air tight container is the best way to store these homemade marshmallows, regardless of where you choose to store them.
Can I substitute honey or maple syrup for the sugar in the raw liquid?
Yes! Both work well instead of the liquid sugar, however please note that the taste will drastically change. You may need to test a few batches to find a combination that you like!
If you are looking to make paleo or GAPS diet marshmallows, I would recommend honey as it has a wonderful mild flavor that doesn't over power your taste buds.
** To sub honey for sugar, see the printable recipe notes.
Can I use something else for the Sugar in the Raw?
If you want to make fully organic marshmallows or just don't have access to the sugar syrup, skip the Sugar in the Raw and instead add an additional 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of water to the recipe.
Omit the Sugar in the Raw completely and follow the rest of the directions.
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER
Laurie Schoch says
What an ingenious recipe! So easy and perfect! I was successful on my first try. I loved the easy ingredients and used the sugar substitution for the sugar in the raw. I’m so pleased as I cannot tolerate corn ingredients in commercial marshmallows. So delicious! Thank you for sharing.
Yay, Laurie, I’m so glad! I’m making these tomorrow with honey and we will use them to make fudge and have in our hot chocolate this holiday season! Whoo hoo!
You said agar agar can be replaced 1:1 for gelatin. Have you actually done this? Other sites say agar agar is much more powerful and you would only need 1 tsp. of agar agar instead of 8 tsp. of gelatin. I need a vegan variety so I would want to try this.
Hi Sara! I do see that there are some people saying that now (lower ratios), however, when I originally wrote the post many years ago, this was the advice that I followed: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-agar-agar/
They talk about using the powder in a 1:1 ratio to replace gelatin. I *believe* I tried it at the time to confirm, but it has been years, so I’m not 100% sure.
Here’s another quote that I found helpful “Victoria recommends using about 1/2 the amount of agar as a recipe with gelatin would call for, or about 1 teaspoon agar per 3 cups liquid. Err on the side of caution: No matter what recipe you’re using agar in, you’ll probably need to do some experimentation to get the texture just right.”
I don’t have any on hand (we don’t often use it), or I would give it a try and let you know!
It looks like some experimentation might be needed to get it just right based on your brand and so on. Sorry about that!
Denise Marshall says
Hi Victoria. I’m going to give these homemade marshmallows a try!! I really want them in my cocoa when the weather cools a bit more.
Thanks for the recipe 🤗
Yay!! You’ll love them!