How to Make Marshmallows

Oh, the simple pleasure of a marshmallow. That taste takes you right back to being a kid. No wonder they’re so in vogue in food catalogues and in pastry departments these days. Making them is quite simple, though it’s a bit of a kitchen ballet. Ideally, you’ll have all your ingredients at-the-ready so you can execute the steps in prompt succession. Begin by lining a small pan with parchment paper (the size doesn’t really matter) and giving it a light spritz of cooking spray.

Now put your syrup on the boil over high heat.

When the syrup starts to bubble, get the egg whites whipping in your stand mixer. Whip to the stiff peak stage:

…and turn off the mixer. Once the syrup reaches 235-238 (which should take about 5 minutes) …

…take it off the heat. Pour the two tablespoons of water you have standing by into the powdered gelatin…

…and stir.

Then add the mixture to the hot syrup and, once again, stir.

Turn the mixer back on to medium-high and add the syrup to the whipped egg whites. Don’t worry if some spatters onto the sides, since you can easily scrape it down, back into the main mass.

And whip…and whip…and add your vanilla (or other flavor or color)…and whip…

…for five full minutes or more until you have…well, you can probably guess what you need to have:

Scrape the fluff into the pan, not worrying too much about even distribution. This pan is bigger than I need, however because marshmallow sets up so fast, I can form it up into a fairly even slab without it spreading much.


Now then, having succeeded in executing your marshmallow dance, it’s time to kick back and enjoy a little bit. Remember what I said about the advantages of making marshmallows at home? Little Joan is here to testify:

At this point I usually refrigerate my marshmallows, uncovered, since that helps them set up faster. When ready, simply flip the slab out onto a cutting board which you’ve dusted generously with powdered sugar:

And cut’em up! Does size or uniformity matter? Why, not at all.

3 thoughts on “How to Make Marshmallows”

  1. Hi 🙂 I’ve got a question: can we just melt sugar for the syrup? Do we really need corn syrup?

    1. Hi L!

      You can do sugar syrup but you’ll find that the marshmallows will start to crystallize and stiffen much faster without the corn syrup. It’s those long-chain sugars that the corn syrup contains, they inhibit crystal formation and that’s key to a soft marshmallow. Let me know how they go!

      – Joe

  2. Hooray for marshmallows! Thank you for the recipe — it worked like a dream. One of those good dreams, where wishes come true.

    A couple of things:
    My syrup seems to have boiled faster or my mixer whipped slower, so next time, I’ll start whip the whites before making the syrup.
    Because I didn’t have the timing of my equipment down just right on the first try, my meringue/syrup mixture looked a little runnier than yours–but no matter–once the gelatin set up, the texture was just fine.
    Also, I substituted kosher fish gelatin, and that worked fine too.
    You don’t know how hard it is to find good kosher marshmallows. Being able to make my own is a blessing!
    Thank you Joe!

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