Introduction: Homemade Flavored Marshmallows

Picture of Homemade Flavored Marshmallows

Ah, the lowly marshmallow. What fond memories these gooey little clouds of sugar bring us. Whether it be roasting them on an open camp fire, squeezing them in s'mores, or sipping them down with a cup of hot chocolate, these simple little treats remind many of us of happy times. But why should we rely on mass-produced marshmallows when they are so simple to make from scratch at home. And while we're at it, let boost the flavors to something more festive.

In this instructable, we'll go through the steps of making homemade marshmallows. Starting with a basic recipe, we'll make two variations of the almost endless flavors of marshmallows that can be made. In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, we will make butter-rum marshmallows and chocolate mint marshmallows.

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools

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3 packages of unflavored gelatin (.75 oz total)
1 cup of ice water
1 cup of light corn syrup
1.5 cups of white sugar
a pinch of salt (1/4 teaspoon if you are the measuring type)
1/3 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1/3 cup cornstarch
non-stick cooking spray
extracts and flavors ( for these, I used vanilla extract, rum flavoring, imitation butter, and peppermint extract)
coating chocolate (optional)
food coloring (optional)

Stand Mixer with balloon whisk attachment
Small saucepan with lid
Candy thermometer
13x9 inch baking pan. (I prefer glass, but other materials should work as well)
spatula (the more nonstick, the better)
aluminum foil
small mixing bowl
misc measuring spoons and cups
pizza cutter
a small shaker for dispensing powdered sugar (optional)

Step 2: Get Gellin'

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Pour the three packs of unflavored gelatin into the bowl of the stand mixer. To this, add half a cup of your ice water, and let the gelatin bloom while you work on the next steps.

Quick tip: For the ice water, just add a cube or two of ice to a pre-measured cup of water. When you are ready to add it to the bowl, just fish out the cubes. If necessary, pour off any excess water from the cubes melting.

Step 3: Sweet Napalm

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Pour your remaining 1/2 cup water, corn syrup, sugar and salt into your saucepan. Give it a quick stir to loosely combine the ingredients, then cover and boil on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes.

Remove the lid and clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Make sure that the end of the thermometer is in the hot liquid, but not touching the bottom of the pan. Continue boiling until the mixture comes up to 240 degrees. (This is the upper end of the soft ball stage for you budding candy makers out there.) This should take from 6-9 minutes.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and the thermometer from the pan.

Step 4: Mr. Gelatin, Meet Ms. Sugar

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Lower the whisk of the mixer down into the gelatin, and lock it down. Turn the mixer on its slowest speed, slowly pour the hot sugar mixture down the inside of the bowl to combine it with the gelatin. Be very careful, this liquid is hot and extremely sticky.

Once all of the sugar has been poured into the bowl, turn the mixer on high speed. This is going to beat for 10-15 minutes. It is done when it is nice and thick and the temperature is lukewarm.

Step 5: Pan Preparation

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In a small bowl combine the 1/3 cup of powdered sugar with 1/3 cup of corn starch. If you have one available, add this mixture to a shaker.

Spray your 13x9 inch pan with the nonstick spray and shake in a generous amount of the powder mixture. To get the sides, cover the pan with aluminum foil and roll the pan and shake it. Do this with all 4 sides. (This is where the glass pan comes in handy by allowing you to see how well the pan is coated.) Pour any excess powder from the pan back into the bowl and reserve for later.

Step 6: Flavor Is the Game

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After about 10-12 minutes of beating, the marshmallows should look nice and fluffy, and should still be fairly warm.

Now is the time to add some flavors and colors if desired.

For our first batch this season, we made butter-rum flavored marshmallows. For this, we add 2 teaspoons of imitation butter flavoring, 1 teaspoon of rum flavoring, and a half teaspoon of vanilla extract. This gives a nice, fairly strong butter rum flavor. You can add, more or less to taste. We also added several drops of yellow food coloring to give the treats a nice pale buttery color.

For our second batch we are doing chocolate peppermint. To the mixer, add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of peppermint extract and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract. This gave a nice minty flavor without being over powering. Feel free to add more to boost the minty kick. The chocolate will come later.

Quick Tip: For classic marshmallows like the ones most of us are familiar with, simply add 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

Step 7: Time to Set Up

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When all the flavors are well mixed into the marshmallow, and the mixture has cooled down to lukewarm it is time to pour it into the pan.

Spray down your spatula with the cooking spray. Now pour and scrape your marshmallows into your powder coated dish. Try to push the mixture into all corners of the dish and then flatten the marshmallows out. You don't have to be too exact, part of the beauty of homemade marshmallows is that they don't all look the same.

Sprinkle the top of the marshmallows with more of your sugar/cornstarch mixture. Let this sit uncovered for at least 4 hours.

Now is an excellent time to lick the bowl, spatula and beaters clean.

Step 8: Cutting Work

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Flip the dish out onto a cutting mat or some parchment paper. If you covered your dish properly with the powder, the marshmallows should flop right out without much work.

Using your pizza cutter, cut strips about an inch wide across the width of the marshmallows. Dust the cut edges with more of the powder mixture to stop them from sticking. After cutting long strips, cut the strips into inch-wide pieces. Roll these around in the powdered sugar and knock off any excess.

You now have your very own homemade marshmallows.

Stored in an air-type container, they should last for 2-3 weeks. Each batch makes over 1.5 pounds.


Step 9: But You Forgot About the Chocolate

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We still need to add a finishing touch to the peppermint marshmallows.

We need to melt a small amount of chocolate to add to our marshmallows. If you are using baking chocolate, chop it down to small evenly sized pieces. If you are using chocolate chips, no extra chopping is needed.

Add your chocolate to a small microwavable bowl, and nuke it for 20 seconds. Stir the chocolate, and heat for another 20 seconds. Repeat these steps until your chocolate is a smooth liquid.

Set your marshmallows up in a few long rows. Now, using a spoon slowly pour long lines of chocolate over the tops of your marshmallows. After doing long thick lines, I like like to do thin stripes by shaking the spoon back and forth quickly. The chocolate should set up and harden in just a few minutes.

Quick tip: For more control on your chocolate designs, try piping on the chocolate using a pastry bag or a freezer bag fitted with a pastry tip. You can also try dipping the marshmallows in the chocolate to coat them more thoroughly.

Step 10: More Ideas?

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So now you have the power of the marshmallow, and want to branch out farther and try more exciting ideas? There is an endless number of ideas you could play with. Here are a few more to get you started.

Key Lime Pie Marshmallows: Juice 2 Key Limes, add 3/4 of the juice before boiling. Add the remaining juice, a few drops of green food coloring, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the zest of both limes in the flavoring step. Add graham cracker crumbs (finely crushed) to your powder mix. Cut into the shapes of slices of pie.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Marshmallows: Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of strawberry flavoring and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add 1/3 cup cocoa to the powder mix and pipe on some melted chocolate.

What else?

Cut your marshmallows into mini marshmallows and serve in hot chocolate.
Try some cinnamon and nutmeg flavored marshmallows melted on top of your sweet potato casserole.


Micizzle (author)2011-05-21

Do you have any other recommendations for flavoring? I want to play around with it, but i will be extremely sad if I screw it up :)

willis5 (author)Micizzle2015-12-18

I've done banana, mocha (chic extra t and espresso), peppermint, vanilla, cherry....basically, if there's an extract, you can make it. I think using things like actual juice or fruit might be a disaster, unless it's just added as a glaze/topping

cainunable (author)Micizzle2011-05-21

So far I've done:
Regular vanilla,
Chocolate covered strawberry,
peppermint, (regular and chocolate covered)
butter rum,
key lime rolled in graham cracker crumbs (best the first day)

All of those turned out great. You could also try orange with vanilla to make an orange creamcicle-type flavor.

You can always get a small taste after you work in all the extracts to see if you want to add a little more. Just give it a try.

If you you want, start off with something pretty simple like vanilla or mint, and then add a chocolate drizzle to fancy it up a bit.

VanessaV1 (author)2015-04-11

Have you ever tried flavoring with liquors? Was thinking of making to serve with after dinner coffee or drinks. Maybe, Bailey's or Amaretto?

willis5 (author)VanessaV12015-12-18

Hi- I've used liquors for other things, mainly my "ice cream" pies (just a Graham cracker or chocolate pie crust with flavored whipped cream that's frozen). I've found I have to add flavors as well as the liqueurs, because by the time you add enough liqueurs, the recipe is a mess. So, I imagine you should try a combination or the liquid / alcohol will keep the marshmallows from setting.

cainunable (author)VanessaV12015-04-11

I haven't. You might have better luck with imitation flavors instead of the real thing though. Either the flavors of the real stuff might be too subtle or increased liquid of the alcohol might give you problems with getting the fluff to set.

The amaretto might be worth a try just to see, but I'm not sure how the cream would react in Bailey's.

If you try it, let me know though.

yumnuy (author)2014-11-05

can i use flavored gelatin instead of unflavored gelatin?

cainunable (author)yumnuy2014-11-05

You can, but I prefer the flavors you can get from extracts instead of what is already in the flavored gelatin.

lionspaw2182 (author)2012-10-24

Could you use flavored gelatin to make different flavors or would that change the marshmallows?

cainunable (author)lionspaw21822012-10-24

The recipe is pretty forgiving, so I suspect that flavored gelatin would work fine. Keep in mind however, you aren't using a great deal of gelatin (only .75 oz) so the flavor in flavored gelatin may not be strong enough to come through all that well.

MjPadfoot (author)2008-11-29

ur a guy.....who!!!! and awesome looking marshmallows too...any more of u out there?

RaNDoMLeiGH (author)MjPadfoot2011-02-21

Robert Rodriguez, the film maker, says "not knowing how to cook is like not knowing how to f*ck." My all-time favorite cooking quote.

bajablue (author)RaNDoMLeiGH2011-08-29

LOL... I've never heard that one before!!!

cainunable (author)MjPadfoot2008-11-29

I'm sure there are plenty of other guys out there who cook, probably several are on this site.

MjPadfoot (author)cainunable2008-11-30

not make completely absolutely mouthwatering marshmellows. that im afraid to say i can never make. shameful, my mum would say.

FloridaFoodie (author)2009-10-29


3 cups white sugar (can use vegan sugar without bone particles for filteration)
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Generously coat a 9- x 13-in. dish with vegetable cooking spray. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and water. Heat to between 234 and 240 degress F, or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water and placed on a flat surface. Removed from heat and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, 10 to12 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.
Chill in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight. To cut, loosen edges with a knife. Dust surface with confectioners’ sugar and turn out onto a waxed paper lined surface. Dust with confectioners’ sugar again and cut with a knife.
May flavor with your choice of flavorings for variety!

That's not a marshmallow, it's taffy.

9linus (author)2010-10-24

would it be possible to use maple syrup instead of corn?

tudgeanator (author)2010-05-31

 Awesome 'ible! How do these these toast?

cainunable (author)tudgeanator2010-05-31

They toasted up pretty well when I tried them last year.  I can't remember which flavors we tried, but we did a couple and they were both great.  You might just want to be more selective with what your outer coating is.

mainoah (author)2010-01-30

I really want to try this, but my stand mixer is an older one and doesn't have a balloon whisk. Do you think it will work with the standard mixers, its what I use to whisk egg whites.

cainunable (author)mainoah2010-01-31

You could probably try it, it just may not fluff up quite as much.

craftthefuture (author)2008-11-26

OMG I'm so excited to try this! I'm a vegetarian and I don't eat gelatin, so I'm going to try using either pectin or agar! Yay!!!

Agar? Isn't that the stuff they use on germ culture dishes?

Yep. It comes from seaweed. It's commonly used in vegan & chinese cuisines. I made an amazing sweet potato parfait from a veg magazine with agar....soooo good!

deh260583 (author)craftthefuture2010-01-28

 I think pectin is to soft and agar is to brittle. For a good chewy marshmallow, try using konjac gum or carrageenan.

bengerszewski (author)spasysheep2008-11-26

we used it in biology class for diffusion. we watched HCl diffuse through agar.

funnyfoo0 (author)craftthefuture2009-07-25

a tip don't use vegetarian gelatin it doesn't work

volquete (author)craftthefuture2009-07-10

pectin is made partially of animal fat

craftthefuture (author)volquete2009-07-13

Pretty sure you're thinking of gelatin, which is definitely animal derived. Pectin comes from fruit and other plant sources and is the most common gelling agent in jams and jellies.

volquete (author)craftthefuture2009-07-14

oh ok

kitwah (author)craftthefuture2009-05-30

Hey, any luck with the veggie version?

craftthefuture (author)kitwah2009-07-13

Sadly, this veggie marshmallow project has joined the ranks of the 'never been tried', which also includes vegan doughnuts, vegan tiramisou, and vegan tortellini due to lack of time. : ( I need a personal chef to recreate all these treats ;P

I know that there is vegan non-flavoured 'gelatin' on the market. Would you post how your experiment with the agar turns out for your fellow vegans and veggies?

I do hearby pledge to report back on how it all goes. I'm aiming to try it out sometime before Christmas - it may be my pot luck item in a couple weeks!

I hope one of them works out for you, from what I've read around on the net there are definitely ways to make them vegetarian, but they aren't quite as good as the real thing. Once you perfect it, be sure to create your own Ible to show us how.

ClareBS (author)2010-01-24

This is such a great instructable, would you consider making one on gum drops? I tried once and it was like a disaster in a mad chemist's lab. i must have done something very wrong.
The picture is of my almond marshmallows if it gets uploaded.

cainunable (author)ClareBS2010-01-25

I actually thought about doing gumdrops this past Halloween, but my other projects took too much of my time, so I couldn't perfect my recipe.  I might have to give them another try in the future.

ClareBS (author)2010-01-24

These were fantastic and the instructions were very clear. I didn't have any good flavors so I used almond and fake vanilla but they came out delicious and perfect. Next time I'm going to get some cherry extract and drizzle chocolate on them for valentine's day.

Adalei (author)2008-11-27

I just got done with the cooking part, and the marshmallow goo is -delicious-. I just have to wait for it to set up before I can eat the rest :D

cainunable (author)Adalei2008-11-30

So, how did they turn out? Which flavor did you end up going with?

Adalei (author)cainunable2009-11-19

 I've done both peppermint and vanilla plain, and they've both been DELICIOUS. I took a batch of the peppermint to work and everyone loved it. Some of them constantly ask for more when I bring in other treats :D

jetblackdog (author)2009-07-28

One trick I use for making chocolate look more "splattered" is to dip a fork in the chocolate and flick it over the food. It's messier, but you get a nice random effect.

Gh{O}sT (author)2009-07-19

damn no no-stick cooking spray...

volquete (author)2009-07-10
awesome i cant wait to try >.
8bit (author)2009-02-17

No mallow in marsh mallow?

pyroelfears (author)8bit2009-04-12

gelatin is a substitute for mallow, not that you can find mallow in the grocery store.

KreaKatri (author)2009-02-17

Nice instructable! Is there any reason you can't use a handheld mixer besides the fact that you get tired holding it for so long?

cainunable (author)KreaKatri2009-02-17

You MIGHT be able to do it with a handheld mixer, but it isn't something I will likely ever try. Other than getting tired from holding a handheld mixer for that long period of time, I'm not sure that most handhelds will properly beat enough air into the hot mixture. If you decide to try it, let us know how it turns out. I would bet that if it does work, the beating time may have to be modified a bit.

pyroelfears (author)cainunable2009-04-12

i have one of these old mixers and they work great. but your hand get sore.:-(

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