Using healthy sugars, organic beef gelatin and the sweet-tart flavor of apple cider, you can whip up a batch of these wassail apple cider marshmallows for a holiday treat. Bonus, there’s no corn syrup in this recipe!
Before You Start the Wassail Apple Cider Marshmallows
These marshmallows can be made two ways.
The first way is with the applesauce called for in the recipe. This will produce a smooshy, apple-y marshmallow that tastes a lot like wassail jello after setting up overnight. A little applesauce settles to the bottom and the citrus gives the marshmallows a subtle bite. If you want it to set up more firmly, refrigerate it for at least 24 hours.
The other way to make these wassail apples cider marshmallows is to omit the applesauce. You’ll miss some apple flavor, but the marshmallows will be a bit drier and less dense. Either way is great but be sure to decide before you start making this recipe.
I like them both ways, but with the applesauce is my favorite.
How to Make Marshmallows
I have an entire article on Marshmallow Making Tips – read that here.
Believe me, you want to read that first. Marshmallows aren’t difficult, but you need to get everything set up before you start.
The article covers this but be sure to have a candy thermometer, parchment paper, and a pizza cutter. You’ll also need a really good mixer.
What is Wassail?
The difference between wassail and apple cider is mostly the inclusion of citrus juice and ginger. Apple cider is also traditionally supposed to be a raw beverage, but anything you buy in a store will be pasteurized unless otherwise noted. (Once you boil it for this recipe, the apple cider won’t be raw regardless.) Wassail is a mulled drink – think “slow cooked,” and is not raw.
The word wassail comes from Old English was hál meaning “be you hale” or “be healthy.” Wassail is traditionally drunk as part of the English Christmas drinking ritual called wassailing. Drinking wassail, singing, and goofing off while wassailing was supposed to ensure a good cider apple harvest the following year.
To learn more about holiday traditions, as well as other holiday recipes for celebrations throughout the year, sign up to learn about the release of our newest book, Homestead Holidays. With advice, information, tutorials, crafts, goal-setting and more this book can help you save time, money and sanity as you plan and prepare for holidays around the year. Grow your homestead family with celebrations and fun!
Wassail Apple Cider Marshmallows Recipe
There are several apple cider marshmallow recipes you could follow but this one is a bit different. The inclusion of citrus juice and ginger give these wassail apple cider marshmallows are good enough to stand on their own as a holiday treat.
This recipe calls for caramel applesauce – the recipe is here.
If you have regular applesauce, that will be tasty, too. Remember, you may omit the applesauce altogether, if you prefer.
The recipe also mentions our recipe for Apple Cider Concentrate, which you can read about here. Regular apple cider will work for this recipe, FYI. However, if you can your own apple slices every year, it would be worth it to learn how to make apple cider concentrate from the leftover water in the pot – details in the post!
Here’s a quick tutorial video on how to make these wassail apple cider marshmallows. I suggest you watch it first and then read over the recipe which has more details.
- 1/4 cup Cold water
- 1/4 cup Organic beef gelatin
- 2 cups Apple cider*
- 1 cup Honey
- ½ cup Raw sugar
- 1/4 tsp Sea salt
- 2 Tbsps. Lemon or orange juice**
- 1/2 cup Applesauce Recommended - caramel applesauce (recipe linked in article)
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ginger
- Prepare an 9 x 11 casserole dish by placing parchment paper to fit (including up the sides, inside the dish). The parchment paper won't lie down until the marshmallow is weighing it down.
- Then the bloom:
Put the gelatin and first 1/4 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:
Once gelatin has completely soaked into the water and has bloomed, add the applesauce (if using) and mix thoroughly in a bowl. Add the spices and mix. It will look weird and lumpy, but that means you've done it correctly.
- Heat the cider, honey, sugar, 2nd water and salt in a medium saucepan on medium heat until boiling.
- Gently boil cider mixture while constantly stirring, until the candy thermometer reaches 225F/107C degrees. The honey should bubble, froth and turn a deeper caramel color. Don't allow it to burn; keep stirring.
- Once temperature is reached, immediately remove from heat and slowly stir honey mixture into pumpkin mixture. Turn your mixer on low/medium with the whisk attachment and drizzle the honey down the inside of the bowl and at a slow, steady rate.
- Mix to incorporate, stopping to scrape down sides a few times.
Once the cider and gelatin are mixed, put the collar on your mixing bowl (if you have one) and/or 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 magically transform from slope into marshmallow cream. This can take anywhere from 8-20 minutes. It will start to turn a lighter color and then thicken. Once it has done both, switch the mixer off.
- Spoon the marshmallow cream into your prepared dish with a greased scraper. Level out the marshmallow and place a light covering over the dish.
- For softer marshmallows, let them set up for 6-8 hours in a cool, dry place. For firmer marshmallows, refrigerate them for at least 24 hours.
- Cut with a greased or powdered pizza cutter. Use a metal spatula to remove the marshmallows from the parchment paper. The bottoms will be sticky with apple sugar syrup.
- Dredge in an equal parts mixture of non-GMO cornstarch and powdered sugar. If you've used the applesauce in the recipe, be sure to cut and powder your marshmallows only right before you serve them. See the article for serving suggestions.
* You can mix both lemon and orange but be cautious about going over 2 Tbsps. the first time you make this recipe. You can adjust for taste next time if you feel it needs more citrus.
** If using our recipe for 1 pint of home-canned apple cider concentrate instead of ready-to-drink cider, please omit the ½ cup raw sugar. Directions for making home-canned apple cider concentrate is in the article above this recipe.
Use a greased pizza cutter for streamlined sizing OR you can use greased cookie cutters.
Dust your marshmallows in powdered sugar mixed in equal parts with non-GMO corn starch. 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.
How to Serve Marshmallows
These marshmallows are sweet and rich, so you only need one to three per guest. You can also add these to the side of vanilla ice cream or on top of a mild, flat cookie like:
- Paleo Pizzelle cookies – for the recipe, click here.
- Sesame Benne Wafers – for the recipe, click here.
If you’d like to mix your marshmallows, feel free to serve these alongside pumpkin spice marshmallows. Here’s the recipe