Homemade Marshmallows

marshmallows | ZoeBakes (2 of 4)

I really, really wanted to start this post by bitching about the weather. Something my poor family has to endure for much of the winter. But, I’ve decided to rise above the whining-chatter in my head and embrace the weather. It is easy today, at a balmy 42°F. A small, but welcome comfort after an epic freeze. Instead of complaining about the cold, I made hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows. It reminds me of being a kid, when I loved winter and playing outside. There is just something magical about the puff of a marshmallow and how it floats on top of hot chocolate, melting just a little to make a layer of sweet fluff. Totally comforting. Nothing beats that, except now I prefer my hot chocolate with a shot of whiskey and my marshmallows scented with a touch of mint or vanilla or even cardamom.

Last week I was gifted cardamom scented marshmallows by Lee, who owns l.c.finn’s Extracts. Homemade marshmallows are a brilliant idea and one I have never shared on the site. I’ve always made marshmallows by whipping egg whites and then suspending them with sugar syrup and gelatin until they are light as air and chewy. I adore the texture, but I can also detect the faintest taste of the egg white. This doesn’t bother me if I am layering the homemade marshmallows with other bold flavors. But, when I am going for an adornment for hot chocolate, I prefer a recipe that has no egg. This recipe for homemade marshmallows is just a combination of sugars and gelatin, simple as that. You can keep the marshmallows pure or play with flavored extracts and fun colors. They store for weeks in a dry spot, which is super easy this time of year in MN. Anytime you come home after braving the cold, just make up some hot cocoa and float a bit of happiness on top.

I am using sheet gelatin in my recipe, but I have also given the instructions for using the powdered variety. You can watch me use both types of gelatin in my instagram video. I got used to using sheets when I worked in restaurants and just find it easier to deal with. The sheets also have less of that kindergarten-glue flavor. You can find the gelatin sheets on Amazon if you want to give them a try.

You can watch me make the marshmallows in my instagram video.

Homemade Marshmallows

1 cup powdered sugar

12 sheets silver gelatin (or 3 packets powdered gelatin) (Kosher Gelatin)

1 3/4 cups (385g) sugar

3/4 cup (255g) light corn syrup

Pinch salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon flavored extract (mint, ginger, cardamom, almond, orange, lemon, or anything you like, but make sure it is an extract and NOT oils)

1+ drops of food coloring (I like to use the paste or gel colors)

To make the homemade marshmallows: Watch me make the marshmallows in my instagram video.

Gelatin sheets submerged in water | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Submerge the gelatin sheets in a large bowl of water. (If you are using the powder gelatin, dissolve the 3 packets in 1/2 cup of water in the bowl of your stand mixer.)

Squeezing excess water out of gelatin sheets | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Once the gelatin has softened, squeeze some of the excess water out.

Soaked gelatin sheets in saucepan | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Place it in a small saucepan. (If using the powdered, just leave it in the bowl of the stand mixer, no need to melt it.)

Melted gelatin in a saucepan | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Melt the sheet gelatin over low heat, stirring once in a while, until totally melted. Turn off the heat and leave in the pan until ready to use.

Saucepan and candy thermometer | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

In a second saucepan cook the sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water,

Boiling saucepan with candy thermometer | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

until it reads 245°F on a candy thermometer. Turn off the heat and quickly

Adding gelatin to mixer | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

pour the melted gelatin sheets into your mixer.

Adding hot sugar syrup to mixer | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Turn the mixer on low-speed and carefully pour in the hot sugar syrup along the side of the bowl, being careful that it doesn’t hit the whip attachment.

Mixer on low speed | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Once you have all the syrup in the bowl, add the salt, turn the speed up to high and let it mix for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Dusting parchment with powdered sugar | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Generously dust a baking sheet, lined with parchment, with powdered sugar.

Marshmallow fluff in mixing bowl with whisk attachment | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

The marshmallow will be light, fluffy and cooled to nearly room temperature. This is when you add the vanilla, extract and food coloring.

Homemade Marshmallows
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
This recipe is just a combination of sugars and gelatin—simple as that. You can keep the marshmallows pure or play with flavored extracts and fun colors. They store for weeks in a dry spot. Anytime you come home after braving the cold, just make up some hot cocoa and float a bit of happiness on top.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 sheets silver gelatin (or 3 packets powdered gelatin)
  • 1¾ cups (385g) sugar
  • ¾ cup (255g) light corn syrup
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon flavored extract (mint, ginger, cardamom, almond, orange, lemon, or anything you like, but make sure it is an extract and NOT oils)
  • 1+ drops of food coloring (I like to use the paste or gel colors)
Instructions
  1. Submerge the gelatin sheets in a large bowl of water. (If you are using the powder gelatin, dissolve the 3 packets in ½ cup of water in the bowl of your stand mixer.) Once the gelatin has softened, squeeze some of the excess water out. Place it in a small saucepan. (If using the powdered, just leave it in the bowl of the stand mixer, no need to melt it.) Melt the sheet gelatin over low heat, stirring once in a while, until totally melted. Turn off the heat and leave in the pan until ready to use.
  2. In a second saucepan cook the sugar, corn syrup and ½ cup water, until it reads 245°F on a candy thermometer. Turn off the heat and quickly pour the melted gelatin sheets into your mixer. Turn the mixer on low-speed and carefully pour in the hot sugar syrup along the side of the bowl, being careful that it doesn't hit the whip attachment.
  3. Once you have all the syrup in the bowl, add the salt, turn the speed up to high and let it mix for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Generously dust a baking sheet, lined with parchment, with powdered sugar.
  5. The marshmallow will be light, fluffy and cooled to nearly room temperature. This is when you add the vanilla, extract and food coloring.
  6. Round Marshmallows: To make round marshmallows I used 2½-inch molds. Line the molds with acetate strips that are cut to fit and really lightly wiped with butter, then dusted with more powdered sugar. This requires a bit more effort than the square or freeform marshmallows. Using a pastry bag (I suggest using disposable, since it is very tough to refill the bags when working with sticky marshmallow) fitted with a large round tip. Pipe the marshmallow evenly into 12 prepared forms. Allow the marshmallows to sit for several hours, or overnight before unmolding them.
  7. Square Marshmallows: If you want to make square marshmallows, just lightly grease a baking dish with butter. Pour the marshmallow into the pan and allow to sit for several hours or overnight. To cut, dust the marshmallows and work surface generously with powdered sugar. Butter the blade of a knife and cut into desired shape. Dust with more sugar to prevent from sticking.
  8. To unmold the set marshmallows: Once the marshmallows are set, simply remove the acetate and roll the marshmallows in powdered sugar. (If they stick to the acetate, dip a paring knife in hot water and run it along the acetate.)
  9. The marshmallows will hold their shape and can be stored in an airtight container for a week. You want to make sure they are well coated with powdered sugar or they will stick together.

 

Round marshmallow molds | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Round Marshmallows: To make round marshmallows I used 2 1/2-inch molds made from PVC pipes. (I had them cut to the size I wanted from a long pipe that you can get at Home Depot. Or, you can buy pastry molds.) Line the molds with acetate strips that are cut to fit and really lightly wiped with butter, then dusted with more powdered sugar. This requires a bit more effort than the square or freeform marshmallows that I’ll talk about in a minute.

Making round marshmallows | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Using a pastry bag (I suggest using disposable, since it is very tough to refill the bags when working with sticky marshmallow) fitted with a large round tip. Pipe the marshmallow evenly into 12 prepared forms.

Round marshmallows | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Allow the marshmallows to sit for several hours, or overnight before unmolding them.

Square marshmallows | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë FrançoisSquare Marshmallows: If you want to make square marshmallows, just lightly grease a baking dish with butter. Pour the marshmallow into the pan and allow to sit for several hours or overnight. To cut, dust the marshmallows and work surface generously with powdered sugar. Butter the blade of a knife and cut into desired shape. Dust with more sugar to prevent from sticking.

 

To unmold the set marshmallows:

Unmolding round marshmallows | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Once the marshmallows are set, simply remove the acetate and roll the marshmallows in powdered sugar. (If they stick to the acetate, dip a paring knife in hot water and run it along the acetate.)

Round marshmallows | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

The marshmallows will hold their shape and can be stored in an airtight container for a week. You want to make sure they are well coated with powdered sugar or they will stick together.

Round marshmallows in hot cocoa | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Make your favorite hot chocolate recipe and float the marshmallows.

Round marshmallows in hot chocolate | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

As they sit in the hot liquid they will begin to melt, that’s the best part!

Round marshmallows in hot chocolate | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

Square marshmallow in mug of hot cocoa | how to make homemade marshmallows | photo by Zoë François

45 thoughts to “Homemade Marshmallows”

  1. These look beautiful! Sheet gelatin seems to come in varying strengths – can you please comment, so we can find the correct kind of sheet gelatin? Thank you!

  2. In place of the corn syrup, I have used Lyle’s Golden Syrup, sorghum syrup, and honey all with success. The sorghum will tint the marshmallows a very light doe brown. Hope that helps!

    1. Thanks Jyll,

      I have used honey to flavor them in the past, but not in place of all the corn syrup. I was thinking Lyle’s would be a great alternative and so tasty. I am going to try it myself!

      Cheers, Zoë

  3. These looks great. I really appreciate the photo tutorial. You make it look so easy. I can’t wait to give them a try. Thanks.

  4. Thanks, Zoe! Can’t wait to make these – enjoying the Minnesota winter along with you and these will be a perfect antidote. 🙂

    1. Hi Karen,

      I will have to write it down next time I make it. I usually just heat up milk, add chopped chocolate, a bit of cocoa powder until it is rich and dark, maybe some sugar if I’ve used a really dark chocolate, then a touch of cream, just because it is awesome! 😉

      Cheers, Zoë

  5. these are just the cutest! i sort of want to have a big hot tub sized cup of hot chocolate and sit on a marshmallow raft.

    and YAY for the (perfect for hot chocolate) weather!!!

  6. Thank you so much! I thought the only way to make homemade marshmallows was with egg whites. I used to make them before I had kids, and always thought it would be so much fun to make them with my future kids — but my kid is allergic to eggs! We will definitely try this together.

  7. Zoe – we (husband and I) have purchased the newest (revised) book you co-authored with Jeff Hertzberg (my husband had purchased the first one before we met).

    I’ve just finished my first try of the basic dough – and baked off a loaf.

    Everything functioned as indicated it would – BUT – the crust look fine but was actually ‘soft’ and not crisp as I expected it to be. All preparations and instructions prior to baking-off were carefully followed but again the crust looked fine but was quite soft.

    Is this the way it is supposed to turn out? because in reading back through the book and instructions nothing is actually mentioned that I could find describing how the crust was supposed to turn out.

    Suggestions? Don’t think another 10 minutes baking time, etc., would have made much different – but if so please advise. Also, I’ve heard that ‘misting’ the top with water just before putting into the oven (and a tray of water was in the oven as the loaf baked) will make the crust turn out more crisp – so if that’s a step that can/should be taken to accomplish the desired crust please also comment.

    Thanks !

    Sharon

  8. THANKS FOR THE RECIPE! WE ALL REMEMBER THE HOT CHOCOLATE WITH MARSHMALLOWS IN IT WHEN COMING IN FROM THE SNOW!!

  9. I just found your website via a Pinterest pin of these beautiful marshmallows…it is beautiful. In exploring I notice you have a Bluestar range…I am about to buy one I think…would you recommend? Am interested to hear thoughts if you don’t mind. Am possibly buying two one for farm kitchen (36″ RCS) and one for home (48″). They look sound/great but not that many here on East coast. Thanks so much.

  10. I’ve made many, many marshmallows in my day (over 1000 for my daughter’s wedding)… but they never looked like these. Yours are beautiful!

  11. I’ve just made marshmallows for the first time and you post was soooooo helpful. I had a recipie from a different site but I managed to mess up my first batch. Your pictures of the steps ensured my next batch was successful. So thanks.

  12. Do you have an alternative suggestion for gelatin? My husband can’t eat it!

    I would love to try this recipe with him.

    1. Hi. I’m sorry I missed this, but did you ask me on instagram? I have never tried them without gelatin, but I know it is possible.

      Thanks, Zoë

        1. Hi. I think the best bet is agar agar, but I am just not sure how much. There are many vegan recipes online, but since I haven’t tried them, I am not sure which to recommend.

          Thanks, Zoë

  13. I feel a new project coming on- how heavy are the rings used for forming- how much weight is needed for the form, was thinking simple form cookie cutters sprayed w/ cooking spray.
    These are very lovely, makes me want hot cocoa 🙂

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