How to Make Marshmallow: A Beginner’s Guide

As the weather gets colder and the holiday season approaches, there’s nothing better than snuggling up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and a fluffy marshmallow. But have you ever considered making your own marshmallows from scratch? Not only is it a fun and rewarding experience, but homemade marshmallows taste infinitely better than the store-bought variety. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of how to make marshmallow, explain the science behind the process, and provide some tips and tricks to ensure your marshmallows turn out perfectly every time.

Steps how to make marshmallow

First and foremost, before diving into the steps, it’s important to gather all the necessary equipment: a candy thermometer, a metal stand mixer, a large mixing bowl, a saucepan, and a rubber spatula.

1. Begin by combining 1/2 cup of cold water and 3 packages of gelatin in the mixing bowl, letting it sit while making the sugar syrup.
2. In a saucepan, mix together 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup, and 1/2 cup of cold water. Heat it over medium-high heat and let it boil until it reaches 240°F (116°C).
3. Slowly pour the hot syrup into the mixing bowl with the gelatin mixture while beating it on low speed. Once it’s all poured in, increase the speed to high and continue to mix until it becomes thick and glossy.
4. Add in 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract and continue to mix until it’s well-incorporated.
5. While the mixture is still runny, pour it into a greased 9×13 inch (23x33cm) baking pan. Let it cool to room temperature for several hours or overnight.
6. Once the marshmallow mixture is set, prepare a surface with a layer of powdered sugar. Use a knife or cookie cutters to cut the marshmallow into desired shapes.
7. Roll the marshmallows in powdered sugar and store them in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Step 1: Gelatin and Water

The first step in making marshmallows is to mix together gelatin and water in a large mixing bowl. This step is crucial because gelatin is what gives marshmallows their signature fluffy and chewy texture. By mixing the gelatin with cold water, it becomes hydrated and ready to be whisked together with the sugar syrup in the next step.

Step 2: Sugar Syrup

Making the sugar syrup is the most important step in the marshmallow-making process as it determines the ultimate texture and taste of the finished product. Corn syrup helps to prevent sugar crystallization, while the high heat caramelizes the sugar and creates a deep flavor. Careful temperature monitoring is essential in this step, as overheating can cause the syrup to burn and ruin the entire batch.

Step 3: Mixing and Beating

The combination of the gelatin mixture and sugar syrup is what creates the marshmallow base. Slowly pouring the hot sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture while beating it on low ensures that the mixture doesn’t get too hot too quickly, which can cause the gelatin to break down. Once the syrup is fully incorporated, the mixer speed is increased to high and beaten until the marshmallow becomes thick, glossy, and holds its shape.

Step 4: Adding Flavor

While vanilla extract is the most common flavoring added to marshmallows, any flavor extract or even food coloring can be used to customize the flavor of the marshmallows.

Step 5: Setting the Marshmallow Base

The marshmallow mixture is poured into a greased baking pan and left to cool to room temperature for several hours or overnight. The reason for this step is to allow the marshmallow to set and firm up before it can be cut and rolled in powdered sugar.

Step 6: Shaping and Cutting

Once the marshmallow base is set, it’s removed from the baking pan and placed onto a surface dusted with powdered sugar. Using a knife or cookie cutters, the marshmallows are cut into desired shapes and sizes. The powdered sugar helps to prevent the marshmallows from sticking to each other or the surface they’re on.

Step 7: Storage

Store the marshmallows in an airtight container for up to two weeks. To keep them from sticking together, coat them in more powdered sugar before placing them in the container.

Explanation how to make marshmallow

The process of making marshmallows can be broken down into three main components: a gelatin mixture, a sugar syrup, and aeration. Gelatin is used as a gelling agent to give the marshmallows their airy texture, while the sugar syrup acts as a stabilizer, preventing the gelatin from breaking down. Aeration is created by beating the gelatin mixture and sugar syrup together, incorporating air into the mixture and transforming it into a fluffy and light marshmallow base.

The high heat and caramelization of the sugar syrup provide a depth of flavor and color to the marshmallows. The addition of vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the marshmallows and adds a subtle sweetness. Marshmallows can be flavored with any extract available, as well as any food coloring to create a unique treat.

Cutting the marshmallow base into desired shapes and rolling them in powdered sugar creates a beautifully finished product. The powdered sugar helps to prevent the marshmallows from sticking together and adds a pleasant sweetness to the outside of the marshmallows.

Tips and Tricks how to make marshmallow

1. Use a candy thermometer to ensure the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature of 240°F (116°C).
2. Grease the baking pan with cooking spray or butter to prevent the marshmallow from sticking to it.
3. A metal stand mixer is recommended for making marshmallows as it enables the mixture to be aerated well.
4. Dusting the cutting surface with a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar can add flavor and reduce the amount of sugar needed to coat the marshmallows.
5. If the marshmallow is too sticky to handle, add more powdered sugar to the surface.
6. Homemade marshmallows can be flavored with different extracts, such as almond or peppermint, or with zest from citrus fruits for a more tangy flavor.
7. Try adding chopped nuts, sprinkles, or chocolate chips to the marshmallow mixture before setting it for added texture and flavor.
8. Use cookie cutters for fun and festive shapes.
9. When cutting the marshmallows, use a sharp knife that is coated with powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
10. For a boozy twist, replace the cold water in the gelatin mixture with champagne or rum, or add a tablespoon of your favorite liqueur to the sugar syrup.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Marshmallow


1. Homemade marshmallow tastes much better than store-bought ones, as it is fresher and made with natural ingredients.

2. It allows you to experiment with different flavors, colors and shapes to create unique and personalized treats.

3. Making marshmallow can be a fun and rewarding activity, especially when you involve your friends or family in the process.

4. It can be a cost-effective option if you use basic ingredients and reuse equipment.

5. Homemade marshmallow can make great gifts for special occasions or for people who appreciate handmade goods.

6. Making marshmallow can improve your cooking skills and confidence, as it involves various cooking techniques such as whipping, heating and pouring.

7. It can be a nostalgic and comforting experience, as marshmallow is often associated with childhood memories and traditions.

8. Homemade marshmallow is healthier than commercial ones, as you can control the amount of sugar and additives you use.

9. You can customize the texture of your marshmallow, whether you prefer it soft, fluffy or chewy.

10. Marshmallow-making can be a creative outlet that allows you to express yourself and showcase your talent.


1. Making marshmallow can be a messy and time-consuming process, as it involves several steps and requires precise measurements.

2. It requires specific equipment such as a candy thermometer and a stand mixer, which can be expensive and not easily accessible.

3. Marshmallow-making involves working with boiling sugar syrup, which can be dangerous if mishandled or spilled.

4. Homemade marshmallow has a shorter shelf life than store-bought ones, and it needs to be stored in airtight containers and consumed within a certain timeframe.

5. The texture of homemade marshmallow can be unpredictable, and it may not always turn out as intended.

6. It requires special ingredients such as gelatin or corn syrup, which may not be readily available in some areas or may not fit certain dietary restrictions.

7. Making marshmallow requires a certain level of skill and experience, especially if you want to achieve a certain shape, color or consistency.

8. It can be a calorie-dense and sugary treat, which may not be suitable for people with certain health concerns or dietary requirements.

9. It can be challenging to clean up after making marshmallow, as it involves sticky and gooey substances that can be hard to remove from surfaces and utensils.

10. Marshmallow-making can be a hit or miss experience, where the final product may not meet your expectations or may not be worth the effort you put into it.


1. What ingredients do I need to make marshmallows?

To make marshmallows, you will need sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, salt, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar.

2. Can I use agar instead of gelatin?

No, agar is not a suitable replacement for gelatin as it does not have the same consistency or set.

3. Is it necessary to use a candy thermometer?

While it is not necessary, it is recommended as it ensures the sugar mixture reaches the correct temperature for the marshmallows to set properly.

4. Can I use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer?

Yes, a hand mixer can be used, but it will require more time and effort to reach the desired consistency.

5. How long do I need to let the marshmallows set?

The marshmallows need to set for at least 4 hours but overnight is recommended for best results.

6. Can I use food coloring to color my marshmallows?

Yes, you can add food coloring to the mixture after it has been heated and whisked together.

7. Can I make marshmallows without corn syrup?

While corn syrup is the preferred sweetener for marshmallows, it is possible to use honey or maple syrup as a substitute.

8. Can I use a different flavoring besides vanilla?

Yes, any flavoring extract can be used, such as peppermint or almond extract.

9. What size pan should I use to make marshmallows?

A standard 9×13 inch pan is recommended, but any similar size pan will work.

10. How do I store marshmallows?

Marshmallows should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

11. Can I make marshmallows without a stand mixer?

Yes, you can still make marshmallows using a hand whisk or hand mixer but it will require more time and effort.

12. Can I cut the marshmallows into different shapes?

Yes, the marshmallows can be cut into any desired shape using a sharp knife or cookie cutter.

13. Can I make marshmallows without sugar?

No, sugar is a necessary component for marshmallows as it provides the structure and stability needed for the candy.

Conclusion: How to Make Marshmallow

In conclusion, making marshmallows from scratch is a fun and rewarding experience. While it may be tempting to just purchase a bag of marshmallows from the store, there’s something special about creating your own fluffy marshmallows at home. It may take a bit of time and patience, but the end result is definitely worth it. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what ingredients are going into your marshmallows.

Whether you’re making marshmallows for a special occasion or just for fun, the process can be a bit daunting at first. But don’t let that intimidate you! With the right ingredients, equipment, and technique, you’ll be whipping up perfect marshmallows in no time.

So what are you waiting for? Get out your whisk, grab some gelatin and sugar, and start making your own batch of delicious marshmallows. You won’t regret it!

Closing: How to Make Marshmallow

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on how to make marshmallows. We hope that you found it informative and helpful. Making marshmallows can be a fun and rewarding experience for both novice and experienced cooks alike. Whether you’re making homemade hot chocolate, s’mores, or just want a sweet treat, homemade marshmallows are the way to go.

Remember to be patient and take your time while making marshmallows. The process can be a bit tricky, but with practice, you’ll be a pro in no time. Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors and shapes to make your marshmallows even more fun and unique.

Thanks again for reading, and we hope that you enjoy making your own marshmallows. Until next time, happy cooking!