Dani Shows You How It's Done: Homemade Marshmallows

photo from figandkindle.com/2010/11/29/marshmallows/
I have been dying to make homemade marshmallows since before Christmas.  I wanted to make them as our little Christmas treat handout to family and friends, but Tim [wisely] pointed out that it was a really dumb idea to make 60 billion batches of sticky, gooey treats.  Smart.

So, a couple weeks ago I got around to making them.  When it comes to marshmallow recipes, there are ones that are more "healthy" (seriously, a HEALTHY marshmallow?) than others; for instance, subbing in egg whites and honey instead of gelatin, corn syrup, and refined sugar.  You can do a Google search if you want a healthier kind--I just wanted to try the simple and foolproof version.

The cool thing about marshmallows is that they're pretty much flavorless, so you can do almost any kind of mix in or flavoring that you want.  I did two batches: chamomile marshmallows and cinnamon marshmallows.

Basic Marshmallows

Makes: 1 9x13 pan of marshmallows (20-30ish, depending on how small you cut them)
Note: You need a stand mixer and a candy thermometer.

3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1/2 c. cold water
2 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

  1. Butter a 9x13" pan and sprinkle powdered sugar all over the inside (just like buttering/flouring a pan for a cake).  
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (You need a stand mixer, NOT  hand mixer.  It said it will most likely burn out your motor), sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 c. cold water.  Let soak for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan.  Insert your candy thermometer into the pan before heating it.  Make sure the thermometer is submerged midway in the mixture without touching the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and continue until the temperature reaches 250°F. If you don't have a candy thermometer, 250°F was a couple minutes after the mixture turned mostly clear and was boiling vigorously...but I take no responsibility if you choose to experiment on temperature. :) 
  4. Pour the boiling syrup mixture into the gelatin and mix at high speed.  Add the salt and beat for 8-12 minutes, or until it looks like the volume is no longer increasing.  Beat the vanilla into the mixture.  If you need to scrape the sides, use a buttered spatula to prevent it from sticking.
  5. Scrape the marshmallows into the pan, leveling out the mixture with an oiled spatula.
  6. Let the marshmallows set for 3 or 4 hours, then if needed, loosen it up from the pan with a knife around the edges.  Flip it out onto a cutting board that has a bit of powdered sugar spread on it.
  7. Slice it into squares.  The easiest way I found to do this was to cut it into strips with a wet pizza cutter.  Run the cutter under water and shake off most of the excess.  Then go fast to keep it from gumming up.  Rinse and shake it off between cuts.  Be careful, because the water can make the marshmallows sticky too.  
  8. Coat the marshmallow squares individually in a bowl of powdered sugar to keep them from sticking, and store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
photo from figandkindle.com/our-sweets/
For chamomile marshmallows, brew chamomile tea that is 2-3 times as strong as the directions say.  Steep for five minutes and chill.  (Don't worry about the deep color--the marshmallows will turn out white.) Replace the 1/2 c. water used to soak the gelatin with the chilled tea.  I didn't replace the 1/4 c. water used for the corn syrup and sugar mixture, but you could flavor that water as well.  In this case, the flavoring was very subtle unless you knew what flavor you were looking for.

For cinnamon marshmallows, add 2-3 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to the mixing bowl when the gelatin is soaking.  Double the vanilla.  When you coat the marshmallows, use a mix of powdered sugar and cinnamon.

* * * * *

Those are the only variations I've done, but you can easily see how you could add flavoring or use fruit juice instead of just plain water.  I know that people have also mixed in fruit bits and whatnot, as well as food coloring.  These marshmallows were a huge hit!  They were heavenly in a s'more, if I do say so myself, and toast really well.  And don't even get me started on hot chocolate...the perfect wintery day food.

I hope that you have fun making marshmallows...and that if you don't, you can at least salivate over mine.  Happy marshmallow-making!


  1. They were delicious! Seriously I loved them. I'm so glad you thought to invite us over to partake of your yummy creation!


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