Here’s a recipe for easy, healthy homemade marshmallows without white sugar or corn syrup! This marshmallow recipe uses honey and organic beef gelatin – a simple pantry food with as little as three ingredients. We included lots of tips and tricks, too!
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How to Make Homemade Marshmallows
I often flop with following the minute details of recipes in the kitchen. However, with marshmallows, it turns out following the details of a recipe helps you achieve desired results.
When you make homemade marshmallows please, please, please follow the instructions to the letter.
What You Need to Make Homemade Marshmallows
Here are a few tools to assemble BEFORE you make homemade marshmallows.
You’re going to need – yes, need – parchment paper. Wax paper might work but don’t try Saran Wrap because the marshmallows will stick. The parchment paper will lie inside the pan into which you pour your marshmallow fluff. It will help you remove the finished marshmallows with ease.
You’ll also need a candy thermometer. Now, my candy thermometers always end up in my candle making box despite the fact that I’ve bought several specifically to stay in the kitchen. I even wrote with Sharpie on one – DO NOT PUT IN CANDLE MAKING BOX. Where is it now? Yeah, covered in wax. Besides, my candle making stuff is packed.
Fortunately for me, after burning 438 batches of cheese, I recently splurged and bought myself a digital kitchen thermometer that beeps when it reaches the desired temperature. That means, I can put it into my cheese vat and go deal with the inevitable crisis with the kids, forget I even have a batch of cheese on the stove and then hear it beep and sing God’s praises that I wont burn anything today!! I somehow hadn’t packed that thermometer yet so we used it and it worked wonderfully.
HOWEVER, I do NOT condone walking away from a pot with boiling sugar in it, regardless of how fancy your thermometer is – that will only end in tears.
You will also need a high quality brand of gelatin. Before I was a whole foodie, I had no idea what you would use gelatin for or what could possibly constitute healthy gelatin.
In order to transfer your marshmallows into a dish in which they will set up and take shape, you’ll need a quality fat with which to cover your hands in order to pat the marshmallows into place.
I like coconut oil but grass fed butter or any healthy fat will work.
You don’t necessarily NEED a standing mixer to make homemade marshmallows, but you will need some kind of mixer as it’s the agitation that takes your goo and changes it into marshmallows. I like my stand mixer because I can turn it on and walk away to tend to bleeding knees or to help with building a fort.
Here’s the one I use:
Though not required, I suggest you enlist a resident taste tester. Like this one.
Other than those items, all you’ll need is:
- some kind of healthy sugar (organic cane sugar, raw sugar, raw honey, maple syrup (although none of this will stay raw since you heat it so high)
Yep, that’s it.
Basic Recipe and Instructions to Make Homemade Marshmallows
Start with these ingredients and these instructions and experiment a few times to find what you like best.
This is a basic recipe sweetened with honey. For those who haven't made their own marshmallows before, this is NOT as hard as it might seem.
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup organic beef gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 cups local honey
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Prepare an 9 x 11 casserole dish one of two ways. You can grease the dish with high quality fat and then dust it (powdered sugar, coconut flour, cocoa are just a few ideas). OR, you can simply place parchment sheet to fit (including up the sides inside the dish.) The parchment paper won't lie down until the marshmallow is weighing it down. However, once they're dry, the paper will just peel off the marshmallows.
Put the gelatin and first 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of your stand mixer bowl (or any bowl). Slightly stir it to make sure all the gelatin is submerged in the water. This will cause the gelatin to "bloom" (or poof up a bit).
Heat the honey, 2nd water and salt in a medium saucepan on medium heat until boiling.
Gently boil honey while constantly stirring, until candy thermometer reaches 225F/107C degrees. The honey should bubble, froth and turn a deeper caramel color.
Once temperature is reached, immediately remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and spice.
Turn your mixer on low/medium (use the whisk attachment) and slowly stir honey mixture into the bloomed gelatin. Drizzle the honey down the inside of the bowl at a slow, steady rate.
Mix to incorporate, stopping to scrape down sides a few times.
Once honey and gelatin are mixed, put the collar on your mixing bowl (if you have one). If you don't, place a towel over the top of the bowl to prevent splashes. Believe me, you do NOT want to scrape marshmallow goo from off your fridge. Or off your toddler.
Turn the mixer to high and watch for it to change into marshmallow cream. The color will lighten and thicken. You'll know the marshmallow mixture is ready to put in the pan when it becomes semi-stiff - a little bit like beaten egg whites, but stickier. This can take anywhere from 8-20 minutes.
Spoon the marshmallow cream into your prepared dish with a greased scraper. Cover them lightly with parchment paper without allowing the paper to touch the marshmallows. Set in a cool, dry place.
For softer marshmallows, let them set up for 4-6 hours. For dryer marshmallows, let them set up for 8-24 hours.
To cut the marshmallows use a greased pizza cutter for streamlined sizing. Or, use greased cookie cutters.
Dust your marshmallows in powdered sugar. Other ideas include cinnamon, cocoa, coconut flour or roll them in chocolate chips, chopped nuts, cookie crumbs. Anything tasty that will hold still long enough will be suitable.
For a brief instructional video, please visit this post and scroll down a bit. This article details how to make Wassail Apple Cider Marshmallows and includes a short video to detail the steps. This will help the visual learners among us.pic
A Few More Things
Here are just a few more things to consider before you make homemade marshmallows. It’s good to decide these things ahead of time because homemade marshmallows go together quickly once the fluff is ready.
We dusted the outside of our homemade marshmallows in cocoa and that was tasty, but any yummy dusty thing would work. Homemade, raw powdered sugar, coconut flour or even coconut flakes, finely ground. Hmm…finely ground coconut flakes….
Small Footprint Family dusts her Homemade Honey Vanilla Marshmallows in arrowroot powder.
You may also garnish or sprinkle your homemade marshmallows with the ingredients with which you made them. For example, cinnamon makes a lovely garnish sprinkled on top. These Herbal Marshmallows from Nitty Gritty Life have rose petals sprinkled over them.
Have some fun!
To make homemade marshmallow Peeps, just use your favorite cookie cutter and smoosh it into your marshmallow tray once its dry. The longer they sit, the drier the marshmallows gets and you’ll want them pretty dry to cut out shapes. I let mine sit overnight if I want to cut shapes.
You can rub butter over your cookie cutter to keep it from sticking to the marshmallows if you need to cut the shape out sooner. The little chicks that trademark Peeps are cute but I encourage you to try any shape that pleases you.
When you’re done cutting, melt some organic chocolate in a double broiler and dip the bottom end of the marshmallow into it. Hello! You’re halfway to a whole foods Mallomar!
Here’s a post from The Provident Homemaker that shows you how to cover your homemade marshmallows in chocolate – that is a very important skill to have, I think.
Take the Time to Make Homemade Marshmallows
That night of campfire and homemade s’mores was the most fun we’ve had in long while of packing, cleaning and remodeling.
That night, after the festivities, as I sat with the baby for a moment before I put her in bed, I just kept thinking to myself how glad I was that we embraced that bit of whimsy on that quiet Sabbath day.
What if I’d said I was too tired, or that we couldn’t unpack something we’ve already packed (I’ve already had to say that about so many things) or that we just didn’t have time. The longer I’m a parent, the more I search out those opportunities to say yes to my children.
YES! Let’s take a walk in the rain. YES! Let’s finger paint in the bathtub. YES! Let’s stay up late to finish reading our family book. YES! Let’s make homemade marshmallows. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a veteran parent say, “Boy, I really should have said no more often when the kids had a fun idea!”
So, I encourage you, especially this Easter season as we celebrate renewal and cycles of healing to find more ways to say yes to the children in your life. Or the good friends. Or the close family members. Whatever.
Just make homemade marshmallows.
Recipes for Homemade Marshmallows
This is more of a technique article – the technique of making homemade marshmallows, with tips and recommendations. I do include a recipe for very basic, honey-sweetened marshmallows. However, the Internet is full of homemade marshmallow recipes using an array of ingredients. You can Google, or continue reading for recipe suggestions.
Here are a few recipes for inspiration: