Homemade Marshmallows will absolutely change the way you view marshmallows. These sweet, flavorful, soft candies are infinitely better than what you’d buy at the grocery store. They make a great gift or addition to any s’more or cup of hot cocoa.
If you happened to catch my post yesterday for Citrus Poppy Seed Cake, you may remember me telling you guys that Elle is going through quite the phase with fresh oranges.
Well, she’s also in a serious hot cocoa phase as well – ’tis the season. We’ve even made hot cocoa bombs, which are actually way easier than they may seem. And they’re a great little project on a cold afternoon.
The other day I came downstairs to find Elle in the kitchen filming a tutorial on her iPad so she could “teach people how to make her FAMOUS peppermint hot cocoa.” I mean, the girl was taking it pretty seriously and even pulled out the mallet to crush the candy canes to make her “secret topping” – which is basically candy cane dust.
So what better way to indulge her hot cocoa phase than with a batch of homemade marshmallows?
ARE HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS WORTH IT?
I have been enjoying marshmallows since I’ve been old enough to chew. I’ve never been really picky as to what types of marshmallows I’ll indulge in.
I’m content with them straight out of the bag or melted between two graham crackers. Or between two cookies for salted caramel s’mores.
And I’m pretty much a self-professed Peeps addict – as long as they’re stale. Yep, you read that right. Stale.
When I decided to make my own hot cocoa mix to gift to friends, I thought that homemade vanilla marshmallows were only a natural accompaniment. I mean what’s hot chocolate without the marshmallows, right?
I always anticipated that making marshmallows would result in sticky catastrophe and that I’d end up with less-than-delicious marshmallows. How could it be worth the effort?
However, I can honestly tell you that after having one – or 5 – of these homemade marshmallows, it may be a little difficult going back to the bagged version from the grocery store.
These homemade marshmallows have such a rich and velvety texture. I couldn’t stop making hot chocolate as an excuse to eat more!
HOW TO MAKE MARSHMALLOWS
Making these marshmallows isn’t hard. You just have to know the steps to take.
Any time I make candy, whether it’s Pecan Brittle or these soft bites of heaven, I always measure out all of my ingredients and have them ready to go before I get started:
- 3/4 cup water, divided
- 3 (.25 ounce) packages unflavored gelatin
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Start by lining a 9×9-inch baking dish with plastic wrap and spray it liberally with nonstick cooking spray.
Put ½ cup of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top of the water to soak. Don’t stir it!
While the gelatin is soaking, add the other ¼ cup of water, corn syrup, and granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it boil hard for 1 minute.
Here’s where you need a bit of coordination and a steady hand!
VERY carefully pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture and beat on high speed for 12 minutes. Yes, 12 minutes!
Beat until the mixture is fluffy and forms stiff peaks. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared baking dish and use a greased spatula to smooth the top. The mixture is super, super sticky, so make sure anything you touch it with is greased with the nonstick spray.
Place a piece of greased plastic wrap on top of the candy, pressing it down lightly to seal it to the top of the marshmallow.
And now we wait! Let the candy rest for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Later that evening (or the next day), mix together the cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl. Use oiled scissors, an oiled knife, or even an oiled pizza cutter to cut the marshmallow into strips and then into 1-inch squares.
Dredge the candies lightly in the cornstarch mixture and store in an airtight container.
HOW TO CHANGE UP THIS RECIPE
I love these marshmallows just the way they are. They’re sweet and the vanilla flavor is just perfect.
But because they are a bit of a blank slate, it’s easy to make them your own by adapting the recipe a bit!
Here are some fun ways to change up this recipe:
- Add ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract along with the vanilla extract for a festive touch.
- Add powdered freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries to the cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar dredge for a fruity twist, like in strawberry marshmallows.
- Add a few drops of food coloring for some pretty pastel colors.
- Add in confetti sprinkles with the vanilla to coordinate with any holiday or occasion.
- Use small oiled cookie cutters to cut them into shapes such as hearts or stars.
- Dip them in chocolate for chocolate-covered marshmallows.
WHAT TO DO WITH HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS
So what do you do with homemade marshmallows?
I mean, eating them straight from the container is always an option!
They also make incredible s’mores and would be heavenly on top of a s’mores cheesecake or marshmallow strawberry shortcake.
And they’ll make the best cup of hot chocolate you’ve ever had.
Don’t forget that they’d make a super special holiday gift! Package them up – either on their own or along with the fixings for hot chocolate or s’mores – and ruin all of your friends for marshmallows, too.
Tuesday 14th of March 2023
Hey Jamie I am curious if I wanted to flavor these to strawberry or chocolate how would I go about doing so...? I would love your input
Wednesday 15th of March 2023
Hi Mike – I actually have a recipe for strawberry marshmallows that you can find here: https://www.mybakingaddiction.com/strawberry-marshmallows/ I have not tried making chocolate marshmallows yet, so I can't speak to what you'd need to do for those. Happy baking! Jamie
Tuesday 8th of November 2022
Hello! Do you set these in the fridge, or on the counter top? Thank you!
Wednesday 9th of November 2022
Hi there! You set them on the countertop at room temperature. Hope this helps! Happy baking - Jamie
Tuesday 8th of November 2022
Hi! How long do these keep?! Might be a stupid question, but can you freeze marshmallows? Thanks!
Wednesday 9th of November 2022
Hi there – If you keep them coated in powdered sugar and kept in an airtight container, they should last for a few weeks at least! Definitely keep them out of the fridge or freezer – moisture is the enemy of candies like this. Hope this helps! Happy baking – Jamie
Saturday 22nd of October 2022
Oh my goodness these were wonderful!! I made hot chocolate for a church cookout this evening and decided to try these marshmallows. They were a hit, multiple people wanted the recipe. I heard a couple people say they would never eat bagged marshmallows again. They were so easy to make I can't believe I hadn't done this before. I won't be buying marshmallows at the store anymore.
Tuesday 25th of October 2022
So glad you enjoyed the marshmallows, Cindy! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your feedback. Happy baking! Jamie
Sunday 26th of June 2022
Home made marshmallows are the bomb! We are not above just eating them as is… but I have made home made wagon wheels with them…
I have made marshmallows with maple syrup because we were out of corn syrup. It worked great!
What I am wondering is has anyone used them to make Rice Krispie squares? If a bag of Marshmallows weighs 400g would it stand to reason I could just use the same weight of homemade?
Monday 27th of June 2022
I'm so glad you like making homemade marshmallows, Melissa! I have not used these to make rice krispie treats, but yes, I would probably use equal weights. Let me know if you try it! Happy baking – Jamie