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Homemade Marshmallows

marshmallows on plate

Really, what could be better then a nice big mug of hot cocoa on Christmas Morning? How about a nice big mug of cocoa topped with a homemade marshmallow?

As willing as I am (once a year) to purchase the dollar a piece marshmallows that they sell at some fine retailers, I thought that it might be a bit more practical to make my own. Not to menion more fun.

I am a big fan of marshmallows and don’t need much of an excuse to eat one or two whenever I get the opportunity. They’re sweet, delicious and fat free, all of which are things that you can’t get from just any dessert! When I first set out to look for a recipe, I didn’t know where to start. You see, for the longest time I had assumed that you really needed a machine to “jet puff” the marshmallows and make them fluffy. It turns out that you do need a machine: an electric mixer (preferably a stand mixer). I found this recipe from the French Laundry, made it once and never looked back. Countless batches later, they’re still one of my favorite treats.

The marshamallows can be stored in the freezer if you can’t eat the whole batch at once. Just toss them into a large plastic bag and pull out what you need later. They will compress slightly in the freezer, but will defrost in about 1 minute.

marshmallows and tree

Homemade Marshmallows

.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.
Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add in the vanilla extract beat to incorporate.
Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly (Lightly greasing your hands and the spatula helps a lot here). Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
In a shallow dish, combine equal parts cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Store in an airtight container.

My batch pictured here made 36 big marshmallows. I often cut them down into smaller sizes. Enjoy!

(if you want to see another shot of my marshmallows, check out my post of this recipe at Slashfood!)

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  • nikko
    January 4, 2005

    These look incredible! I’m waiting for a snow day to try them. Can’t wait!!!

  • Engagement Rings
    November 18, 2005

    These marshmallows look delicious. Just right for dipping in chocolate! Thank you for posting the recipe.

  • Rebeccashane
    December 16, 2005

    I was wondering ifyou had a really delicious recomendation for homemade hot chocolate?

  • Nic
    December 16, 2005

    Hi Rebecca. I posted about a hot cocoa mix here.

  • Princess of Everything (and then some)
    December 29, 2005

    They look wonderful! I made some and posted it on my blog. The only thing different I did that was really good was to put toated coconut on the top and bottoms of the marshmallows…..mmmmmmmm…..

    Everyone was so impressed that I could make marshmallows. ~laffin~ and it was really easy!

  • pumpkinpie
    March 11, 2006

    Thanks for the recipe! They made tasty s’mores!

  • pumpkinpie again
    March 24, 2006

    I made yellow marshmallows with caramel extract and cut them out with a duck cookie cutter for a baby shower. This recipe is great– thanks!

  • Rach
    June 16, 2006

    These are great! The oily plastic was fabulous, O’ve done marshmallows before, but in a pan dusted with powdered sugar, and it never worked very well. How long will these keep for? I assume in an airtight container…

  • Nic
    June 16, 2006

    I’m glad you like them! They’ll keep for at least a week or two in an airtight container (unless it’s very hot outside, in which case they may stick together after a while). If you want to keep them for a long time, put them into zip-lock bags and store them in the freezer. Once they come back up to room temperature (about 1 minute) they’ll be as good as new – and they’ll keep almost indefinitely!

  • Lin
    September 18, 2007

    is there any other alternative than to use light corn syrup? golden syrup maybe? since were I live its difficult to get hold of light corn syrup

  • Kristin
    December 20, 2007

    I made these last night for neighbor gifts! They were so fun to make and turned out fantastic! They will be a new regular on my holiday/winter rotation for sure. Thanks for the post.

  • Carol Miranda
    May 11, 2008

    Sadly I want to try out this recipe but wondering if there is a substitute for corn syrup. Yours look ab. divine !

  • Dammit
    June 14, 2008

    Its still incredibly easier to use a meringue.

  • RPO
    June 25, 2008

    I always wondered how marshmallows were made.

  • Sabine
    July 21, 2008

    Yummy, I will try it …thanks for posting :)I am not sure if you will go on with your posts, because your last post was in december,but interested on a link exchange ?

  • melena
    October 2, 2008

    hi. i am impressed with how your marshmellows look. i just tried making my strawberry ones using Dorie Greenspan’s recipe from Laduree. They used egg whites in theirs! And I wonder how you make yours without!

  • rhiannon
    November 30, 2008

    will these work as well with vegetarian gelatine?

  • Margarita Machine
    February 9, 2009

    Homemade marshmallows?can i make use flavored gelatin instead of unflavored and just leave out the extracts?home made marshmallows are softer fluffier and waaaaay better than store bought the lack of resistance when you bite into a homemade ‘mallow is what i love the best….

  • D. Kimball
    July 22, 2009

    I had a horrible time with these. Once I had mixed the
    hot mixture with the gelatin and beat it….it was just
    like taffy….I could hardly get it out of the bowl. It
    stuck to everything. I am leaving it sit for 4 hours now
    but it is very thin in the pan…can’t imagine regular
    size marshmallows. I don’t think I would try it again.

  • Apotekers
    August 24, 2009

    Very interesting blog. I can be sensitive about my huge applicant A joke for you peoples! What is Beethoven doing in his coffin right now? Decomposing.

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  • SueMcManus
    December 17, 2009

    These are just about the easiest thing I’ve ever made -so delicious. After my first batch I decided to change them up a bit by making Peppermint Marshmallows. I added 1 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract to the gelatin water(I felt 1 tbsp might be too strong), then added 5 drops red food coloring to the mixture when I began to beat it. Rolled them in the powdered sugar mix to which I added crushed starburst mints (sorry no exact measurements on this, just kept adding ’til I liked the look). These are delightful. Also tried chocolate (they’re okay but not great) by heating the gelatin water and stirring in 3 heaping spoonfuls of dark cocoa, when the water had cooled I proceeded as with the original recipe then rolled them in a mix of cocoa powder/powdered sugar and cornstarch. The choloclate flavor is almost too subtle, I’ll do it again but make my gelatin base “stronger” or add chocolate extract.

  • Coco
    November 13, 2010

    I make these all the time. Thank you so much for the recipe. People can’t believe they’re homemade!

  • srose
    January 21, 2011

    what a great afternoon escapade!
    just made these, so easy! and i added chocolate chips!
    lets see how they have set after work

    thank you!

  • nikki
    January 20, 2012

    Im getting ready to make these now, and see that salt is listed as an ingredient. But, I don’t see where you add the salt in the directions!!! Help!!!

  • nikki
    January 20, 2012

    never mind!! Don’t post, I see the salt now!! Ill let you know how they come out! Making them for a birthday party tomorrow!

  • Janet
    July 12, 2012

    Tip: I use a pizza cutter to cut my marshmellows. It works great.

  • Meaghan
    July 19, 2012

    These came out AWESOME. They were so easy, and the directions were crystal-clear. I’m grateful for the info on storage and freezing them. My 6-year-old says they are better than “real” (aka store-bought) marshmallows! To win a kid over, that’s big. 🙂 THANK YOU!!!

  • Nichole
    August 7, 2012

    Quick question – I have a stand alone mixer but it has only the regular ends, not a whisk… is this ok?

  • crystal
    November 15, 2012

    OMG….made these tonight with my 4 year old, lets just say we couldn’t wait for them to dry, ended up leaving some in the bowl…making homemade coco and using it on top… the marshmellow “fluff” is amazing, can’t wait for the actual dried marshmellows lol

  • breana
    December 14, 2012

    Will this recipe work with appends or stevia? I have been looking for a sugar free alternative

  • Kelly
    December 28, 2012

    I have the ingredients to make these, but I don’t have a whisk attachment (nor do I have a KitchenAid). I just have a plain hand held mixer. Will that work?

  • Nicole
    December 28, 2012

    Kelly – It should work. Use the highest speed and be prepared to switch arms a few times since your biceps might get a workout!

  • Kelly
    December 31, 2012

    Thanks Nicole. Just made these. They are in the pan cooling. No refrigeration at this point correct? My 10-speed hand mixer worked well. I always forget it is has that power boost setting. I should have used my largest glass bowl though. That stuff started traveling up the blades and then in my enthusiasm to get them in the pan I forgot to grease the spoon and my hands. That is important! All the more for me to “lick” clean though. Tastes just like marshmallows. Let’s see if I can mess up the taking them out of the pan. I’ve been so excited to make these since finding the recipe link on pinterest. Can’t wait for the hot cocoa tonight! Thanks again. And in the words of Miracle on 34th Street, Natalie Woods, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

  • Tab
    January 9, 2013

    I have made 2 batches ot these thus far..I made them to give out in Christmas tins with homemade candies in them..I did do just as the recipe called for with the exception of the cornstarch..I thought I had it in the pantry and didn’t..lol..but I just dipped them in powered sugar, and it done a wonderful job..the normal recipe they were good..but the 2nd batch I used coconut extract and their FANTASTIC..I do highly reccommend!!!!!

  • delilajahnthue
    January 10, 2013

    can a person make these without corn syrup? And use honey instead of sugar?

  • Nicole
    January 10, 2013

    Delila – You cannot substitute honey for the sugar in this particular recipe. You can, however, experiment with using agave syrup instead of the corn syrup. That tends to be a better substitute in many cases than honey.

  • Ruth
    September 24, 2013

    What is corn syrup ?? Sorry, live in Ireland – do we have an equivalent ?

  • LeeAnn
    December 17, 2013

    for those asking what to use in place of corn syrup

    Substitute for Corn Syrup
    For each cup of light corn syrup in a recipe, substitute 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup water. For each cup of dark corn syrup, substitute 1 cup of packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup water.

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