You can make amazingly soft, delicately chewy, deliciously sweet marshmallows at home.
These fluffy homemade marshmallows taste so much better than any mass-produced store-bought marshmallows and they are easier to make than you'd think using just six ingredients.
Be sure to read all my tips for making the best marshmallows in the post below. If you are in a hurry, you can scroll down to the end of the post to see the printable marshmallow recipe.
If you have never tasted a homemade marshmallow, you are missing out!
Not only is the flavor superior to store-bought marshmallows, but the texture is too.
Each soft billowy square of vanilla-flavored candy is perfect on its own, but you can use them to make extraordinary s'mores or you can add them to a cup of hot chocolate, or even cut them into small pieces to add to hot chocolate bombs.
Be sure to watch this video to see how to make marshmallows.
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Once you learn how to make marshmallows at home you can use the recipe to make all of these fun marshmallow treats for holidays and special occasions.
- cute marshmallow chicks (click the link then scroll down the roundup to see the chicks)
- Starfish S'Mores
- Marshmallow Flags (swap out the square S'More Mallows with homemade marshmallows)
- Marshmallow Easter Eggs
- Homemade Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats
- Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
- Marshmallow Sea Animals ( Gold Fish and Octopus)
- Marshmallow Penguins
- Marshmallow Bunny Paws
- butter or non-stick baking spray - Grease the inside of a 9X13-inch pan well. I prefer the flavor of butter but the non-stick baking spray works well too.
- a blend of powdered sugar and corn starch - Some recipes tell you to dust your marshmallows with just corn starch. I'm not a fan of the flavor, so I blend my cornstarch with powdered sugar. Powdered sugar already has cornstarch in it, but it's best to add a bit more.
- water - You will dissolve the gelatin in water then use more water to make a sugar syrup.
- gelatin - Use unflavored gelatin. You'll need 2 ½ tablespoons for this homemade marshmallow recipe. If you use packets of unflavored gelatin, it's best to measure the gelatin as packages don't always contain the same amount from brand to brand. You'll need approximately 3 packets.
- granulated sugar - Adds sweetness and structure to the marshmallows.
- light corn syrup - This will not only add sweetness but will also keep the sugar from crystallizing. Crystalized sugar will make your marshmallows gritty. By adding corn syrup your marshmallows will be nice and smooth.
- vanilla - I suggest you use pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste for the best flavor. I love using vanilla bean paste as it is loaded with real vanilla bean seeds. When you make your marshmallows with the paste they will be speckled with vanilla bean seeds.
- other optional flavorings - You can swap out any candy oil for the vanilla extract. There are so many possibilities. Imagine making orange, cotton candy, cherry, root beer, or butterscotch-flavored marshmallows. Start by adding ¼ teaspoon of the candy oil, then add more drops until your marshmallows taste like you want them to.
Supplies and equipment:
small saucepan with a lid
9" x 13" pan
rubber spatula and/or an offset spatula
You can find items to make these homemade marshmallows on Amazon. I earn a small commission when you use the affiliate links in this post at NO extra cost to you.
How to make marshmallows:
Bloom the gelatin and boil the sugar syrup.
- Pour ½ cup of water into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Sprinkle 2 ½ tablespoons of gelatin over the top of the water and allow it to soften (bloom) for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour the remaining ½ cup water, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, and a pinch of salt into a small saucepan.
- Stir just to combine the ingredients.
- You don't want to get sugar crystals on the side of the pan, so stir slowly.
- Cover the saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a boil. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
- Condensation will build up in the pan and when you remove the lid, the water will help to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. If you notice lots of sugar crystals, you can put the lid back on the pan for a few more minutes or you can dip a pastry brush in water and brush the water around the side of the pan to push the crystals back into the boiling sugar syrup.
- Remove the pan lid, and clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan.
- Continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit (about 7-8 minutes.)
- Be very careful not to touch or spill any of this hot syrup on your skin - it will burn badly!
Whip the marshmallows until light and fluffy.
- Place the whisk attachment on your stand mixer.
- You will need to whisk this marshmallow mixture at high speed for 12-15 minutes so it is imperative that you use a stand mixer. If you use a hand-held mixer, be sure to use a heavy-duty mixer and stop to give the motor breaks while whipping the marshmallows.
- Turn the stand mixer to low speed.
- Very carefully and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the softened gelatin.
- This hot liquid can burn your skin badly, so be very careful with this step.
- Once all of the sugar syrup is in the bowl, slowly increase the mixer speed to high going up a few steps at a time.
- Whip until the marshmallow becomes very thick and cools to a lukewarm temperature, about 12-15 minutes.
- Add the vanilla or other candy oil and whip just to combine.
- It's best to add your flavoring after your marshmallow has whipped and cooled off so the flavor does not evaporate.
Spread Marshmallows in a pan.
- While the marshmallow is whipping, prepare your pan.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a 9" x 13" pan if you want thin marshmallows (pictured on the left) or a 9-inch square pan if prefer thick marshmallows (shown on the right).
- Combine ¼ cup of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a bowl.
- Pour about half of the powder blend through a fine-mesh sieve evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Tap the pan to remove excess.
- Save the remaining powdered sugar/cornstarch mix for later.
- Butter or spray a rubber spatula and use it to remove the marshmallow from the bowl.
- Spread the marshmallow evenly in the pan.
- Use a buttered offset spatula to smooth the surface.
Dust marshmallows with powdered sugar and cornstarch.
- Dust the top of the marshmallow with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover.
- You can now use your hands to really flatten out the marshmallow.
- Cover any remaining powdered mixture for later use.
- Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Cut the marshmallows.
- Set a large cutting board on top of the pan of marshmallows.
- Turn both the board and pan upside down.
- The marshmallow should fall right out of the pan onto the board. If it doesn't, you can run a thin plastic knife or spatula around the interior edge of the pan to release the marshmallows from the pan.
- Butter or spray a long, sharp knife with non-stick baking spray, then make your first cut.
- Wash the knife, dry it, then make another cut.
- Repeat, washing the sticky marshmallow off the knife as you go.
- You will get the cleanest cuts if you make every cut with a clean and greased knife.
Roll the cut sides in more of the powdered sugar/cornstarch blend.
- Dip the sticky sides of the marshmallows into your bowl of powdered sugar and cornstarch.
- Tap the marshmallows between your hands to allow any excess powder to fall off.
- If you plan to dip your marshmallows in chocolate you can even use a pastry brush to brush off the excess powder.
How To Make Homemade Marshmallows
Don't forget to watch the video!
Make billowy soft, slightly chewy, delicately sweet homemade marshmallows using just 6 ingredients. You can flavor them using vanilla or any candy oil you like.
- butter or non-stick baking spray
- ⅓ cup powdered confectioners sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup water
- 2 ½ tablespoons unflavored gelatin, (about 3 packets)
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ x 13″ pan or a 9-inch square pan.
Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a bowl.
Pour about ⅓rd of the powder blend through a fine-mesh sieve and sprinkle evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan.
Cover and save the remaining powder for later.
Pour ½ cup of the water into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over top.
Let the gelatin bloom (soften) while you make the sugar syrup.
Gently stir together the remaining ½ cup of water, 1 ½ cups sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan.
Set the pan over medium heat on the stovetop.
Place a lid on the pan.
Cook, covered for about 4 minutes until the liquid comes to a boil.
Remove the lid and cook, without stirring until the mixture reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit (about 5-8 minutes.)
Slowly and carefully pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the stand mixer bowl into the gelatin with the mixer turned on low speed.
Once all of the gelatin has dissolved, increase your mixer speed to high and whip until the marshmallow becomes very thick and cools to a lukewarm temperature. This will take about 12-15 minutes.
Add the vanilla and whip just to combine.
While the marshmallow is being whipping, prepare your pan.
Tap the pan to remove excess powder.
Butter or spray a rubber spatula and use it to remove the marshmallow from the bowl.
Spread the marshmallow evenly in the prepared pan.
Use a buttered offset spatula to smooth the surface.
Pour about half of the remaining powdered sugar cornstarch blend through a fine-mesh strainer, sprinkling it over the marshmallows.
Use your hand to press the marshmallows down into an even layer.
Set the marshmallows aside at room temperature for at least 4 hours.
Butter (or spray with baking spray) a long sharp knife and cut a 1 ½ inch wide strip.
Wash the knife and grease it again then make another cut.
Cut 36 marshmallows approximately 1 ½ inches square.
Dip the sticky sides of the marshmallows in the remaining powdered sugar mixture.
Dust off any excess powder and your marshmallows are ready to serve.
- Store your homemade marshmallows in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
- The calories listed are for thin 1 ½ inch-square marshmallows made in a 9X13-inch pan.
- Thicker 1 ½-inch marshmallows made in a 9-inch square pan have approximately 69 calories.
This marshmallow recipe was originally published on Hungry Happenings on April 25, 2021.
More candy recipes...
If you want to dip your marshmallows in chocolate, be sure to check out my Chocolate Making Tips page. I share instructions for melting (and tempering) chocolate and give you tips for making delicious homemade chocolates.
If you'd like to learn how to make chocolate truffles or bonbons, gummy bears, gumdrops, and more be sure to check out all of my Homemade Candy Recipes.
If you love these homemade marshmallows, you can swap them out for store-bought marshmallows when making Rice Krispie Treats.
Did you make this recipe or do you have any questions? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Be sure to rate the recipe too! If you love it, please give it 5 stars.
I love making fun food for parties and special occasions and sharing my creative ideas with you.
If you make this recipe and share it online be sure to link back to this post and use #hungryhappenings.
Thanks and have a sweet day! -
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I made these 3 times now!! Love love love how they turned out!! I was afraid it would be intimidating to make but they’re not!! People are always impressed!! Thanks for your recipes!
HI Deedee, that is fabulous! I'm so glad you have had such success with this recipe.
I have been making homemade marshmallows for a year and couldn't get them to make a perfect Rice Krispies treat. They kept turning the cereal soggy. Your recipe is perfect Beth - PERFECT! Thank you for figuring out both the marshmallow and the ultimate cereal treat.
Thanks, Karen! I'm so glad you enjoyed this marshmallow recipe and that it worked great when paired with my rice krispie treat recipe.