These easy homemade marshmallows are sticky, sweet and pair with almost anything. There are only a couple of ingredients when making this treat – sugar, water, gelatin and flavoring of your choice. I flavored these marshmallows with vanilla, as it is the standard flavoring for marshmallows. But you can switch it up and add different flavoring such as rosewater or coffee.
After cutting your freshly-made treat, toss your homemade marshmallows in a confectioners sugar and cornstarch mixture.
This egg-free marshmallow recipe is easy to make and a great gift for friends and family for the holidays.
- Sugar: Use white sugar for this recipe.
- Corn syrup: Mix in corn syrup for the perfect blend of sweetness for the marshmallows.
- Vanilla: The best vanilla flavoring that will perfume and flavor your marshmallows is from a vanilla bean. If you are lucky enough to have vanilla bean, scrape the insides of one into the water and sugar mixture during the beginning of cooking. If not, use vanilla extract.
- Gelatin: Using gelatin is what gives marshmallows their signature texture. Make sure to activate the gelatin and to use unflavored packets. Be warned: unflavored gelatin smells quite bad before adding in any other ingredients.
How to Bloom Gelatin
Blooming gelatin is incredibly easy. Simply take your gelatin packets and dump them into cold water. For this recipe I used 3 Knox packets with 1 cup of cold water.
You will know the gelatin has bloomed when after 5 to 10 minutes the gelatin has absorbed all the water and it looks jiggly.
If for some reason your gelatin does not bloom, the best option is to toss it and start over.
Making homemade marshmallows without gelatin is more difficult but it is possible. You can use agar instead to replace the gelatin in this recipe. Use agar agar, also just called agar, a gelling agent from South East Asian seaweed, as a replacement which can be difficult to find. Use agar the same way you would the gelatin. Replacing the gelatin with agar will make this recipe both halal and vegan.
How to Make Marshmallows
Making is marshmallow recipe is quite simple. It requires a few basic ingredients for candy making.
In a heavy saucepan add your corn syrup, sugar and water and mix with a large spoon. Then heat until the mixture boils and then cover and let the pan stay covered for 2 minutes. It will “cook” during this time. Try not to peak!
Let the mixture come to 245 degrees. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, then let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes to come to temperature.
Allow the sugar to cool slightly, just until no more bubbles are forming and coming to the surface. Move over to your stand mixer and start beating the gelatin that is already in the mixing bowl slowly. Add in the sugar mixture along the side of the mixing bowl so that the sugar doesn’t scald the gelatin.
While you are adding the sugar, put the mixer on low. After all the sugar is added, turn the mixer up to high and let the mixer aerate for about 7 minutes. Turn the mixer down to medium when soft peaks form and add in the vanilla and salt. Add in any other mix-ins, such as chocolate chips during this time.
Grease a 9×9 baking dish, or an 8×8 dish if you want your marshmallows a little bigger. It’s also best to grease your utensils beforehand since this part gets a little sticky! I usually just use PAM but you can use butter or margarine.
Fill up your baking dish and spread out the top with a greased knife. I even greased my hands to spread out the top of these homemade marshmallows.
Shift powdered sugar on top of the marshmallow square and allow it to set for at least 6 hours. What I did was cover it in plastic wrap and allowed it to set overnight.
Looking to change up this basic easy homemade marshmallow? There are many different ways to make your marshmallow stand out a little bit.
This marshmallow recipe is your classic vanilla sugar. It’s a little sweet and very dainty. If you are looking for something different there are a couple of different ways to change it up.
- Chocolate chips: Add in mini chocolate chips to your marshmallows right after you see the stiff peaks. Beat just enough so that the chocolate chips are mixed through.
- Chocolate dip: Make an easy chocolate shell and dip your marshmallows into the chocolate and set on parchment to let them dry.
- Sprinkles: Right after you spread your mallow batter into the pan, add sprinkles and press them in slightly so they stick and don’t fall off.
- Coffee: Add in a surprising flavor like coffee by replacing the water in this recipe with coffee. Just use some coffee you brewed earlier that is still sitting in the pot. Add your coffee marshmallows to a hot chocolate and make it a different kind of mocha 🙂
Cutting and Storing Homemade Marshmallows
Take your giant marshmallow square and flip it onto a cutting board. Make slices with a sharp knife and cut your marshmallow square into whatever shape you’d like, but most people cut squares. You can use cookie cookie cutters to cut out shapes as well.
After cutting, toss the freshly-cut marshmallows in the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture.
Store the cut marshmallows wrapped in parchment in an airtight container. You can also wrap the fresh marshmallows in cellophane bags for gifts.
Clean Up Techniques
After working with sugar in the firm-ball stage (at 245 degrees) the sugar will be more difficult to clean up. It’s best to add soap and water to whatever the marshmallow or sugar mixture has touched or has accidentally dropped on – this includes the counter!
Instead of scrubbing your hands raw trying to get off that sugar, let the utensils you used sit in the mixing bowl with soapy hot water filled to the brim. After about an hour, the sugar should dissolve completely and it will wipe away easily.
Ways to use Marshmallows
Now that you have your fluffy marshmallows set and cut, you are ready to eat them! But how? There are so many ways to serve your freshly-made marshmallows or incorporate them into other dishes.
Add them to hot chocolate or dip them in chocolate for serving. You can also press sprinkles into the giant marshmallow square when it is poured into the baking sheet as it is setting. You can also turn this marshmallow recipe into rice krispy treats.