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, including the equipment needed.
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.
Food Renegade has a great article on the ins and outs of healthy gelatin.
Bottom line, do your own research, buy some and be prepared to make awesome homemade Jellos, marshmallows and ice creams.
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.
Though not required, I suggest you enlist a resident taste tester. Like this one.
What Are the Ingredients in Marshmallows?
Other than the items listed above, all you’ll need to make marshmallows 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.
On an important side note, I was recently chatting with Victoria Pruett of A Modern Homestead and she shared with me that hers was actually the first honey-based marshmallow recipe on the internet. It was back in the early days of blogging and it didn’t occur to her to do much in the way of trademarking what would become a homemade marshmallow sensation!
So, with a huge nod to her, and a suggestion that you go visit her Easy Healthy Paleo Marshmallow Recipe article, off we go!
What is the Best Recipe to Make Homemade Marshmallows?
The following basic recipe for honey-sweetened marshmallows is the best we’ve found. Start with these ingredients and these instructions and experiment a few times to find what you like best.
- Stand or hand mixer
- 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
Do this first so it's ready:
- 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.
Then the bloom:
- 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).
Mix it up:
- 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.
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!
What to Make with Marshmallows?
Homemade marshmallows taste great on homemade hot chocolate, in case you were wondering.
—>>>For a fantastic pumpkin hot chocolate recipe, please visit this link<<<—
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. Here are a few recipes for inspiration:
Homemade Marshmallows Resources
Sensory Eating: Herbal Marshmallows with Rose, Lavender & Peppermint
Homemade Chocolate Recipes for Decadent Herbal Chocolates
Homemade Graham Crackers
Rebecca | LettersFromSunnybrook says
So, after I worked so hard to come up with a solution for having treats besides Peeps, you show me a way to have the Peeps in an allergy safe for me format. *swoon* Now I must make these too! 🙂
Homestead Lady says
Sorry to add one more thing to your list of things to do but they really are so tasty! And not so sweet, which has always been the reason I don’t like marshmallows – gag! These have such a fun texture, too – so sproingy. If that’s a word, which its not. Have fun, Rebecca!
Anna @ NorthernHomestead says
What a great idea to make homemade marshmallows – yummy! You were very optimistic to pack away the Kitchen Aid mixer. I think it would be the last thing I would pack away ;). Hope your family can soon have a new homestead and unpack everything!
Homestead Lady says
I don’t use it nearly as much as I used to since we don’t eat a lot of grain products/treats. Its awesome to have when you need it, though – like making marshmallows! Thank you for the well wishes – we can sure use them!
I had fun just reading this! I only have a small hand mixer. So I have some reservations about trying it, however.
Homestead Lady says
Ah, you can do it, Barbara – you raised how many kids?!! Just mix it sitting down, reading a book – it can take anywhere from about eight to twenty minutes depending on a number of variables.
What a great wonderful idea to make your own marshmallow peeps. This doesn’t sound too hard to do and it certainly has to be worth the work when you know you kids are getting all the toxic chemical ingredients. Thanks for sharing. Shared on google. Visiting from WIldcrafting Wednesdays
Homestead Lady says
Thanks for sharing, Marla! I’m happy to return the favor with your healthy back post – I reaaaaalllly need that right now! We were sleeping on an air mattress for awhile as we’re showing our house while its for sale and I finally realized I’ve crossed some line and am just too old for that nonsense. We finally went and bought a new bed – our first in all our marriage (we were sleeping on an old, less than stellar mattress before). We even have a bed frame – another first! 🙂
Last summer we went camping and I was so frustrated that I couldn’t find any organic or no GMO marshmallows. It never occurred to me to make my own. I can’t wait to give it a try!
Homestead Lady says
We have another post coming up in a few months that talks about outdoor, campfire cooking and we’ll talk about this then, but since you bring it up! With the homemade marshmallows we made, we discovered they melt pretty fast so be quick as you makes s’mores. They were uber-sloppy-gooey-yumness though!
Thanks for sharing your post at the HomeAcre Hop!
What a fun thing to make with the family!
Do you know of any good vegetarian marshmallow recipes? Ones without gelatin ?
Homestead Lady says
I’m sorry, I don’t. You might be able to figure out something with fruit pectin but I have no idea how the two items might be chemically different, which would affect results.
My marshmallows were going great, I got them in the pan and placed them in the oven (turned off) overnight because I didn’t want the cat to make herself a snack. In the morning the marshmallows looked amazing but when I cut into them they were two layers. The top half fluffy and white, the bottom half was the color of the honey syrup and clear. Like the gelatin separated, but when I tasted both parts they were the same taste so I don’t think the gelatin came out. Any idea what happened?
Homestead Lady says
How strange, Heather! I’ve never had that happen but my first thought is somehow the temperature went wonky at some point. I’m not enough of a chemist to begin to guess intelligently but anytime there’s separation in candy making, it’s usually due to temperature being off. Have you tested your thermometer lately to see if it’s still accurate?
The other common problem with marshmallow making is under-whipping the goo, but this usually simply leaves the marshmallows wet and heavy, not separated into layers.
You said both layers tasted the same, so were you able to eat them anyway?
I’m sorry I can’t be more help! Maybe try again?