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Homemade marshmallow frosting is so much easier to make than you think! Similar to marshmallow fluff, this glossy, fluffy frosting can be made with just a few ingredients and is perfect for filling and topping so many cakes and cupcakes.

Cupcake topped with marshmallow frosting with the piping bag just over the top of the cupcake.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that there’s a world outside of homemade buttercream frosting. I mean, it’s so good that it tends to be my go-to frosting for nearly everything!

But every now and then I try to encourage myself to branch out and pair a cake or cupcake with something different. Sometimes it’s whipped cream frosting. Sometimes it’s strawberry frosting.

Today, it’s marshmallow frosting!

Maybe it’s because I’m fully in s’mores mode, thanks to my giant s’mores cookies, but this marshmallow frosting is totally making my day right now. It’s made completely from scratch with just a few simple ingredients and is so glossy and fluffy and perfect that it is a total dream.

Don’t be like me and get stuck in a frosting rut. You’ve got to give this one a try – one taste and you’ll understand why! 

Pound cake topped with swirls of marshmallow frosting and toasted to be golden on top.


There are two main types of marshmallow frosting that you can find online these days. One of them is similar to a buttercream frosting but has marshmallow fluff mixed in. 

The other is more like marshmallow fluff and is made over the stove with a few simple ingredients. The final flavor is just like that of a marshmallow, just without the solid texture.

It’s almost like if you make homemade marshmallows and the mixture stayed soft, instead of setting up. That’s what this marshmallow frosting is like.

In fact, if you wanted to use it like marshmallow fluff, you totally could. But I like to use it as a frosting and spread it onto my favorite cakes and cupcakes.

Spatula holding up a big dollop of marshmallow frosting over a bowl of the frosting.


This is one of those recipes that will really impress your friends and family. After all, it’s kind of like making candy, which people are always amazed by.

But I’m going to walk you through the process of making this marshmallow frosting so you can see that it’s actually not hard at all.

Of course, you don’t have to tell anyone that. Go ahead and take all of the credit!

Ingredients for marshmallow frosting arranged on a gray countertop.

Ingredients you’ll need

There are some similarities between the ingredients you need for making this marshmallow frosting and for making homemade marshmallows, but this list is just a little bit different. You will need:

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract

Make sure that you use light corn syrup, not dark corn syrup. You want to use the light stuff so that your frosting comes out nice and white.

That is also why I recommend using clear vanilla extract. You can use pure vanilla extract if you like, just keep in mind that it will very slightly tint your frosting so it won’t be bright white anymore.

Don’t stress about the egg whites in this recipe. We will be cooking the marshmallow frosting over the stove using a double boiler, so the egg whites will cook through by the time it is done.

Ingredients for marshmallow frosting mixed in a metal bowl, ready to be cooked.

Making this frosting

Grab a small to medium-size saucepan and add about an inch or so of water to it. Keep in mind this is NOT the water used in the recipe – this is just for making a double boiler.

Place the pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil.

Find a glass or metal mixing bowl that is big enough to sit over the saucepan without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. Add the sugar, corn syrup, salt, ⅓ cup water, and egg whites to the bowl, but do NOT place it over the saucepan yet.

Hand mixer mixing marshmallow frosting in a metal bowl over boiling water.

Beat the mixture with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute, then place the bowl over the pot with the boiling water.

Keeping the bowl over the boiling water, beat the mixture constantly on high speed with the mixer for about 7 minutes. The mixture should be voluminous and glossy.

Add the vanilla and mix for an additional minute.

You can now use the marshmallow frosting to cover and decorate your cakes and cupcakes as desired!

Spatula stirring homemade marshmallow frosting in a metal mixing bowl.


Of course, using this marshmallow frosting to top your favorite cakes and cupcakes is a pretty obvious way to use it.

Try spreading it onto any chocolate cake, such as eggless chocolate cake, black magic cake, or even easy chocolate bundt cake. Or pipe it onto chocolate cupcakes for s’mores cupcakes!

But don’t stop there. What about using it to top your favorite pan of brownies??

This marshmallow frosting would also make an amazing filling. Follow my instructions for how to fill cupcakes and create a surprising marshmallow center to your favorite cupcake recipes.

Or use it to create cookie sandwiches! Try it with honey peanut butter cookies for a fluffernutter-inspired treat, or pair it with my favorite chocolate chip cookies for that classic marshmallow-and-chocolate combo.

Piping bag filled with marshmallow frosting next to several unfrosted vanilla cupcakes.


How do you store marshmallow frosting?

If you don’t plan to use or serve your marshmallow frosting right away, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days. 

You can also freeze it in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag (be sure to get out as much of the air as possible) for up to 3 months. Let the marshmallow frosting thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

I recommend giving the frosting a good stir before using again.

Why use clear vanilla extract?

I don’t often call for clear vanilla extract in recipes; I really prefer to use pure vanilla extract.

But if you want a pure white frosting, clear vanilla extract is going to be the way to go. Keep in mind that clear vanilla is always artificially flavored, so if that bothers you, you can still use pure vanilla extract – your frosting will just have a slight tint to it.

Piping bag piping marshmallow frosting onto a vanilla cupcake.

Is there a replacement for corn syrup?

I often get readers from the UK wondering what the best replacement for corn syrup would be. According to my research, the closest replacement is golden syrup.

In this recipe, golden syrup will keep your frosting from being pure white. 

I have also heard that you can buy Karo corn syrup online in the UK, so that may be an option if you want to make some of my other favorite recipes, such as pecan bars and hot fudge sauce.

Can you color this marshmallow frosting?

Absolutely! If you want to add food coloring, add it along with the vanilla at the end of the recipe.

Can you pipe this frosting?

Yes and no. Let me explain.

You can absolutely pipe this frosting onto cupcakes and spread it onto cake and it will hold its shape just fine. However, because of the consistency, it won’t hold detailed shapes (like stars or flowers) the way that a buttercream frosting would.

Consider spreading the marshmallow frosting onto a cake and then using an offset spatula to create some beautiful swirls in it! 

Several cupcakes topped with toasted marshmallow frosting.

Can you toast this frosting?

Yes! Who doesn’t love toasted marshmallows?? Well, you can totally get the same flavor with this frosting.

Simply pipe or spread the marshmallow frosting onto your cakes or cupcakes, then use a butane kitchen torch to carefully toast the frosting. It will look beautiful and taste even better! 

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Marshmallow Frosting

By: Jamie
4.50 from 8 ratings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 24
Homemade marshmallow frosting is so much easier to make than you think! Similar to marshmallow fluff, this glossy, fluffy frosting can be made with just a few ingredients and is perfect for filling and topping so many cakes and cupcakes.


  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • teaspoon salt
  • cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract


  • Bring a small to medium saucepan of water to a boil. (This is not the water called for in the recipe ingredients.)
  • Place the sugar, corn syrup, salt, ⅓ cup water, and egg whites in a metal or glass bowl that is big enough to sit over the saucepan without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. Do not place the bowl over the pan yet.
  • Beat the mixture with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Place bowl over boiling water.
  • Beat constantly on high speed with the electric mixer for about 7 minutes, until voluminous and glossy. Beat in vanilla and mix for an additional minute.
  • Pipe or frost onto cake or cupcakes as desired.



Use clear vanilla extract for a white frosting. You may use pure vanilla extract, but keep in mind that it will very slightly tint the frosting.


Calories: 53kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 0.3g, Fat: 0.05g, Sodium: 17mg, Potassium: 5mg, Sugar: 13g, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 0.01mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Bailey Francis says:

    4 stars
    I was baking my son some cupcakes to bring to school for his birthday, went the freezer to grab the unsalted butter for the frosting….nothing there. So frantically searching alternatives brought me to this recipe! I was very intimidated by the divided yolks and whites and the baking the frosting over the stove while mixing it for 7 minutes part, but the only thing was fun and surprisingly simple! Plus it’s delicious and spread really well. The only critique I have is the vanilla extract makes it VERY sweet so I made a not for myself to use less of that next time!

  2. Carol Krupke says:

    Can the cupcakes be frosted the day before serving? For instance could I frost them Saturday morning for a Sunday at 1 pm party?

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Carol-
      I would definitely try to frost them the day of the serving.

  3. Lorna says:

    I’m in the UK, what could I substitute corn syrup for please?

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Lorna – My understanding is that golden syrup can be substituted for corn syrup. Happy baking!

  4. Ann says:

    First of all, it was probably not the best idea to stand over the hot stove at 36 weeks pregnant, right after baking cupcakes at 350! However, I wanted a substitute for cream cheese frosting for carrot cupcakes and this definitely fit the bill. This icing was delicious, basically like homemade marshmallow fluff. If you are looking for something substantial like a buttercream, this is not it, but it was perfect for what I needed!

    1. Jamie says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed the frosting, Ann! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback!