*edited to add additional flavor ideas*

So I decided that all my recipes this month will be cookies and candy because I certainly don’t get enough of those at the holidays. No sir. This week my friend Meghan came over to hang out and she showed me how to make marshmallows. She’s been insisting for years now that it’s super easy, and I thought she was nuts. I mean, you need a candy thermometer. That’s crazy. But…as much as it pains me to admit it…Meghan was right. It’s actually ridiculously easy to make marshmallows. I think I might be making them a LOT this month to give as gifts.

Homemade Marshmallows

you need:

homemade marshmallows

2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract OR 4 tablespoons baking cocoa mixed with 4 tablespoons boiling water
powdered sugar

combine gelatin and water

Combine gelatin and cold water in a mixing bowl. Let it stand for 30 minutes.

combine the sugars

Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup of water in a pan; place over low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.

a watched pot...

Clip on candy thermometer and raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244° F (118° C), then remove the pan from heat.

add syrup to gelatin

We SHOULD have had the mixer going on low speed when we added the hot syrup to the gelatin, but we forgot. It turned out OK, but it’s better to have the mixer going when you pour in the syrup.

mix it up

Turn the mixer up to high speed and let it go for about 15ish minutes, or until the mixture has turned white and tripled in volume.


White and fluffy and yummy!

add flavoring

Reduce mixing speed and add in flavoring IF you want your marshmallows to be all one color. Here I’m adding the vanilla for plain marshmallows. OR…

mix in flavoring by hand

Meghan mixed in the baking cocoa by hand for the chocolate marshmallows, and it was gorgeous and swirly.


Pour your marshmallow mixture into a pan. We lined foil pans with wax paper and then covered the bottom with powdered sugar. We also saw a suggestion to grease the pan and then add powdered sugar. I would probably do that next time, because the marshmallows stuck to the sides of the paper (but came off the bottom just fine).

The hard part! You have to let the marshmallows sit out, uncovered, for 24ish hours so they can dry out. This is like torture.

cut the marshmallows

When it comes time to cut the marshmallows, they SHOULD just slide out of the pan. But mine stuck to the sides of the paper (like I mentioned above) so I just cut them in the pan. I dusted the top of the marshmallows with powdered sugar. Then I rubbed powdered sugar on my pizza cutter, cutting board and hands. Basically, anything that a marshmallow will touch should have powdered sugar because they are STICKY.

lots of sugar

I’m still finding powdered sugar.

roll in sugar

If they are REALLY sticky you can roll them in powdered sugar.

homemade marshmallows

I am drooling just looking at this picture! I didn’t roll the chocolate marshmallows in powdered sugar because I didn’t want to cover their pretty stripes.


Mike dunked his marshmallows in hot chocolate.


They are SO GOOD (and yes, that is a Paul McCartney T-Shirt). Mike has since made s’mores with them…drooooool.

I made Marshmallows for a holiday cookie exchange. I used the chocolate and vanilla recipes above, but with a twist.

S’more Marshmallows

S'more Marshmallows

I rolled the chocolate marshmallows in crushed graham crackers.

Candy Cane Marshmallows

vanilla candy cane marshmallows

I made the vanilla marshmallows, but with two changes. In a separate bowl, I mixed 4 tablespoons powdered sugar with 4 tablespoons boiling water. I then added red food coloring (I used beverage food coloring) until my sugar mixture was very red. Then, I hand-mixed it into my marshmallows so they would have red swirls in them. The white marshmallows dilute the red a bit, so they came out pinker than I expected. After I let my marshmallows sit overnight, I cut them and rolled each cut marshmallow in crushed candy canes.

I know a lot of people make marshmallows, I would LOVE to hear about different flavor ideas!

Homemade Marshmallows
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: dozens
modified from original recipe found on food.com
  • 2½ tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (for plain flavor) OR 4 tablespoons baking cocoa mixed with 4 tablespoons boiling water (for chocolate flavor)
  • powdered sugar
  1. Combine gelatin and ½ cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let it stand 30 minutes.
  2. Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and ½ cup of water in a pan; place over low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Clip on candy thermometer; raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244° F (118° C). Immediately remove pan from heat.
  4. With mixer on low speed, slowly and carefully pour syrup into the gelatin.
  5. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes.
  6. Add flavors, beat or hand-mix to incorporate.
  7. Generously dust an 8x12 inch glass baking pan with confectioners' sugar.
  8. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan.
  9. Let stand over night uncovered, to dry out.
when cutting the marshmallows, use lots of powdered sugar to combat stickiness