How to Make Homemade Marshmallows (And Chocolate Covered Marshmallows)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*

Hello, Willy Wonka! Making candy is just delightful.

There’s no two ways about it. And making marshmallows? From scratch? That’s downright magical.

I mean, take a handful of regular old ingredients through a few very simple steps, and…presto!


I’ve done this dozens of times over the years, and it never fails to amaze me.

Homemade gifts with heart

Pack up some homemade marshmallows with a couple of big mugs and a tin of hot chocolate mix, and you’ve got a fabulous gift.

Use molds or cookie cutters to make them into special shapes.

Give a box of chocolate-covered marshmallows to an extra-special person.

To take a gift basket over the top, make your own hot chocolate mix and toss in a bottle of Godiva liqueur, Kahlua, or other yummy, booze-y treat.

How to make homemade marshmallows: The basic technique

This article contains a step-by-step, visual walk-through of how to make marshmallows at home.

Here’s the basic technique:

+Soften unflavored gelatin in water
+Boil a sugar syrup on the stove until it reaches 244 degrees F.
+Pour the boiling syrup into the gelatin
+Beat the mixture for about 25 minutes, until it turns into marshmallow fluff
+Pour the fluff into pans liberally dusted with powdered sugar
+Let the marshmallows set overnight
+Cut the marshmallows and roll in powdered sugar

An important tip for making any candy

Sugar loves water, so don’t make candy on humid days.

The humidity will affect your cooking times, and can even keep candy from setting up properly.

Equipment for making homemade marshmallows

You don’t need a ton of special equipment for making marshmallows. A stand mixer fitted with a splash guard is best.

And a candy thermometer.

The best way to measure powdered gelatin

All gelatin packets were not created equal. Literally.

Like envelopes of instant yeast, each gelatin packet will have a slightly different amount in it, so you really need to measure the gelatin out by hand, and not just assume that each packet contains the same amount.

This time, it took 7 packets of gelatin to yield 5 tablespoons worth.

To get the amount you need, pour the gelatin out into a small bowl, then measure it from there.

That way, if one packet doesn’t exactly equal one tablespoon, like in the following picture, your measurements won’t be off.

Recipe: Homemade Marshmallows

5 Tbls. unflavored gelatin
2 cups cold water (1 cup for the gelatin and 1 cup for the sugar syrup)
3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbls. vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Soften the gelatin

Put 1 cup of cold water in the bowl of your mixer.

Add the gelatin to the water.

It will immediately absorb the water and turn into a kind of sandy mass, like this:

Give it a stir to combine the gelatin and water well.

It will look about like this, and have the consistency of soft, wet sand:

Let the gelatin sit just like this, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, it will have solidified. That’s just fine.

Secure your mixing bowl onto your stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment so it’s ready to go when your sugar is hot.

Homemade Marshmallows: Prep your pans and molds

While the gelatin is resting, prep your pans.

I used 2 heart-shaped silicone pans (hey, Valentine’s day is coming) as well as a 13 inch x 9 inch glass baking pan.

With a strainer, dust your pans with a thick layer powdered sugar.

This will keep the marshmallows from sticking to the bottom.

Set down a few paper towels under your pans. This can make a wee bit of a mess.

Set your pans aside, so they’re ready when your marshmallow fluff is done.

Homemade Marshmallows: Make the sugar syrup

Once your gelatin is ready and your pans are dusted, put 1 cup of water in a medium-sized pot on the stove over high heat.

Use a pot that’s deep enough so that the sugar will have plenty of room to boil, without boiling over. I used a 5-quart pot.

Toss in the sugar and salt.

Pour in the corn syrup.

Whisk the mixture together to combine well and melt the sugar. This will take a minute or two, since the corn syrup is so thick. Keep whisking ’til the mixture is even and easy to stir.

Homemade Marshmallows: Boil the sugar syrup

With any candy making, it’s important to dissolve all the sugar, even the little bits stuck to the side of the pot, like this:

Sugar is pesky, and wants to clump together and re-crystalize when it’s in a supersaturated solution like this. (Which will screw up the consistency of your marshmallow.)

As the mixture is coming up to a boil, wash down the sides of the pot with a brush dipped in cold water.

Keep dipping and brushing ’til you can’t see any sugar crystals.

This won’t take long, but it’s important to do.

Don’t make yourself nuts, but get as many as you can.

Next, clip your candy thermometer onto the side of the pot.

The end of the thermometer should be submerged, but not touching the bottom of the pot.

Keep the heat on high to bring the mixture to a boil. When it boils, it will rise up a few inches rapidly, then stop.

It’s kind of alarming the first time you see it, but if your pot is deep enough, you shouldn’t have any problems.

That said, keep a close eye on your pot and have a pair of potholders handy.

(If it boils over, turn the heat off and fan the surface of the sugar to cool it. It should recede rapidly. Hot sugar is nasty stuff, so keep your hands and face clear. Better to have a mess on your stove than get burned.)

Boil the sugar (keep the heat on high) until it reaches Firm Ball stage at 244 degrees F.

When it does, take the pot off the heat.

Homemade Marshmallows: Whip the sugar into marshmallow fluff

Turn the mixer on low speed.

The whisk will start to chunk up the gelatin. That’s just fine.

With the mixer running on low, slowly (and carefully!!) pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin.

Now, at this point, it’s going to smell kind of awful. (It is just unflavored gelatin and sugar, after all.)

Never fear. That’s just fine.

Unflavored gelatin is kind of stinky business. You’ll fix it with a little vanilla extract at the end. Trust me.

When all the sugar is in the bowl, fit your mixer with a splash guard, if you have one.

Turn the speed up to medium-high (do this slowly if you don’t have a guard on, to avoid splashes) and whip the mixture for 20 minutes.

As you whip the mixture, it will gradually increase in volume and turn an opaque white.

And, voila! After about 20 minutes, you’ll have a bowl of bona fide marshmallow fluff. (Magical, eh?)

After 20 minutes of whipping, pour in the vanilla extract.

Beat to combine for another 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, stop the mixer, and remove the bowl and whisk.

Your marshmallow fluff should be thick, white, and look about like this (give it a taste!!):

Homemade Marshmallows: Pour the fluff into your prepared pans

When your fluff is ready, pour it slowly into your prepared pans.

I used two heart-shaped silicone molds and a 13 inch x 9 inch pan.

Dust the tops of the marshmallow with more powdered sugar.

Leave the pans uncovered on the counter overnight to set up.

Homemade Marshmallows: Unmold and cut the candy

The next day, it’s time to unmold and cut your marshmallows.

Put a cup or two of powdered sugar in a gallon-size zip-top bag. (This is for rolling the cut marshmallows.)

Dip a thin, sharp knife in a glass of hot water, then run the knife around the inside edge of each pan until the marshmallow loosens.

If the knife starts to stick, just dip it back into the hot water.

When the marshmallow is loose, lift it out and set it on a board.

With a large, sharp knife, cut the marshmallow into cubes (or any other shape you like).

Roll the cut marshmallows in the bag of powdered sugar to coat each side.

Knock the excess sugar off and…voila! Marshmallow!

Repeat with the rest of the marshmallows.

Store them in an airtight container or zip-top bag.


For an extra-special treat, make chocolate-covered marshmallows

Melt some chocolate in the top of a double boiler.

Dip each marshmallow into the chocolate.

Refrigerate to set the chocolate.



  1. Jessie, so excited about this! I love your way of showing us the step by step. I truly think I could do this. I do want to give this a try on a "low humidity day" here in Mexico. A recipe I really can find all of the ingredients for. Nice work. Great blog recipe.
  2. I don't know why I've always been too intimidated to make make it look so easy! I can't wait to try this out with some different flavors :)
  3. Have been thinking about making flavored marshmallows. No stand mixer nor candy thermometer though. Obsessive geek abt food, I literally have dreams about flavors once the notion pops into my head. Maybe TMI....
  4. Jessie these look so great, this is something I've been dying to try doing but I've been convinced it'd be a big mess. Your photos and step by step instrux make it look very easy, I can't wait to try these!
  5. Wow, that's definitely the best step-by-step of making marshmallows that I've seen yet. Your pictures are looking fabulous. Nice action shots too! Now I'd like to make some marshmallows!!
  6. Thanks so much, guys! I really do hope you like them if you give it a whirl. (They're a totally different experience than store bought!) Also, if you want to make flavored marshmallows, toss in whatever you choose when you'd add the vanilla extract. Jessie--The silicone molds are part of this year's Valentine's extravaganza at Target. I think they still have them. :D Shannon--I clarified the amount of water...thanks so much! Cheers! +Jessie
  7. Jessie, you did this beautifully! Your directions and photos went hand in hand. I especially loved the heart mold. It made an adorable touch to the marshmallows. Hearts and marshmallow go together! I'm looking forward to seeing more of your creations! Keep up the good work! Donna
  8. Once you know how to make homemade marshmallows, they're so easy to make you'll never buy store-bought marshmallows again. BTW, your photos of this process are fantastic - they totally make the entry.
  9. I didn't know it is SO easy to make marshmallows. I may just give it a try one of these days...but then again, I better don't or else I'd end up eating it ALL by myself. Yum. Just look at the Chocolate covered marshmallows.*drools* ~Foong~
  10. Ok these look nummier than the ones I saw on Alton Brown's Mellow Episode...*now wants some hot cocoa with huge puffy mellows in it* =) I did have one these come out firm enough to make peep like creations out of?!? Because I have some old 3D soap molds I never used and Easter is coming up soon! Also I think this would be great to pipe onto cookies for sandwiches which you could dip into chocolate as well....way cheaper alterative to the store bought lil debbies.
    • Thanks for all the great info! I am going to the store to get everything I need! Just wondering - If I wanted to flavor the marshmallows (let's say - raspberry)- you say to add the flavoring instead of the vanilla by flavoring, do you mean something liked "LORRAN oils"? Thanks!
  11. Hej Jessie, Thanks for a great recipe, i know some girls who are gonna love me when i start to whip up some marshmallows.. Also if you have some extra time, feel free to contribute at my blog..
  12. Wow, the pictures and the descriptions here had me glued to the screen! So much so that hubby and I went out and bought that stand mixer I've been drooling over and we made the marshmallows today:-) They are setting up in the pans right now and I'm dying to cut them and taste them....tomorrow! Thanks for the great tutorial. Now I already want to try different flavours. What other flavours have you tried?
    • Oh wow! Congrats on the mixer! It's definitely an investment, but so worth it. I've had mine for at least 10 years, maybe longer, and I just love it! How did your marshmallows turn out? :D +Jessie
  13. Before the chocolate sets, dip them in graham cracker crumbs for a hand held 'Smore' style treat. I did this once for a party and everyone thought they were so much fun. The smell- yeah, it's terrible.
  14. I use golden syrup instead of corn syrup when I do marshmallows; I have friends with major corn issues. You can also grease/butter glass or metal 13x9 pans for marshmallows. Works like a charm.
    • Wheee! Thanks so much. (And thanks for stopping by!) Yeah, they're a blast to make. There's nothing like a giant bowl of molten marshmallow fluff to make you feel like you're 8 years old again. :D Cheers! +Jessie
  15. Hi, I love your site! I happened on here while looking for some kind of easy birthday treat I can make for a woman in my cycling club; but, I ended up sidetracked by all your gorgeous photography and recipes! So on these marshmallows, is it really 20 minutes in the blender? And second question, can I use a Vita-Mix to blend? or not a good idea? Thanks!
    • Thanks so much! (And thanks for stopping by!) Alrighty. Marshmallows. Yep, it really does take 20 minutes (give or take) to whip the mixture up so that it's nice and thick. About the Vitamix, I think your instincts are right--I would definitely *not* recommend using one to mix these. I think a blender would be too high powered, even on its lowest setting. That sounds like a recipe for disaster when dealing with boiling-hot sugar. If you don't have access to a stand mixer, you *could* try using a handheld mixer, with your hands and lower arms covered by potholders. Even then, I'd still worry about getting burned. Let me know how it goes if you give it a whirl! +Jessie
      • I have tried a different rec. for these with a handheld mixer..was a high quality one, but still all but burned it up doing this.. I most certainly would NOT reccomend that!!
        • Oh yikes, I hope you didn't get hurt! Totally agree with you. I would definitely NOT recommend using a hand-held mixer for this. The sugar mixture is just too hot. (You know my line about hot sugar: It's worse than napalm. It'll take your skin right off.) I wouldn't do it even with a potholder. +Jessie
        • I've made homemade marshmallows for several years using a handheld mixer (since I don't own a stand mixer) and have had no trouble whatsoever. I usually make a slightly smaller recipe (2 c. sugar, 3 envelopes gelatin) which probably makes a difference. And it certainly is a lot more bother than using a stand mixer since you have to hold the mixer for 20-25 minutes. But I've never burned myself with hot syrup and my handheld mixer has survived many years. I've tried a bunch of flavors using oils or concentrated extracts (peppermint and cinnamon are my favorites) and colors using paste colors. I haven't tried molds yet, that sounds like something for my next marshmallow effort!
          • Hi, how much flavoring do you put in for marshmallows other than vanilla? And if I want to make a couple different flavors in the same batch, can I separate them in some way so I can flavor each one or is the mixture too delicate to wait? Thanks!
  16. I love your site! If I want to have fluff for sandwiches, do I just put it in a covered container rather than placing it in the dusted molds for marshmallows? Thank you from a neighbor to the north (NH).
    • Thanks so much, Margaret! (And thanks for stopping by!) Ya know, someone else asked me the exact same question recently. Let me do some digging around and see what I can find. Basically, I think if you put the fluff in a jar, it will solidify, just like if you turned it out into a pan. So you'd have a giant marshmallow in a jar. I have a feeling that either the proportions in the recipe will need to be a little different, or that you might need to add something to it to keep the fluff from setting up. Let me see what I can find out, because now I'm really curious. (And, come on...homemade fluff just sitting in the pantry? Yes, please!) Nice to hear from a neighbor. (Um, can you believe how cold it's been the last few days?) I'll get back to you as soon as I can with more info. Cheers! +Jessie
  17. Hi! I Made these last night and they were perfect!! I have never been successful at making any type of candy, so I was a little scared, but it turned out fine!! Now my mom wont complain about a mess in her kitchen because she will have homemade marshmallows to eat!! Thanks a lot! -Grace
  18. I'm such a visual person, so I really appreciate this entry! I *love* being able to see the food along with each step. As a cook this information is invaluable! I feel much more confident going into this process, thanks for the great post! ~Alicia
  19. We are making these for Christmas! What kind of candy thermometer do you recommend, where can I find one, and is there any way around using one? Thanks!
    • Hey Dina! I have one very similar to this model: Wilton Candy Thermometer You should be able to find one at Target, Walmart, or any kitchen store. Just be sure to get one that clips to the side of your pot. You *can* make them without a thermometer, but it can be a little harder to tell when your sugar is the right temperature. (Candy making is one of those things where precision matters.) If you can, I'd pick up a thermometer. They're relatively inexpensive and a thermometer takes the guesswork out of the process. You can test the sugar syrup by dropping a little bit of it into a cup of cold water. If it forms a firm ball (hence, why they say, "cook to firm-ball stage") when it cools, it's done. Here's a good site for more info on how to do that (there's a video): Let me know how it goes! Good luck! +Jessie
  20. I was just wondering, if you leave the marshmallow mix to set overnight, is it necessary to leave it uncovered? Or can I cover it with a plastic foil (will it ruin the effect?) I don't like to leave uncovered stuff in our small kitchen, as we have a lot of pets in our house that can reach any uncovered food...
    • You can cover it in plastic, but just be sure that the plastic doesn't touch the surface of the marshmallow (it can stick). If there's any way you can put it up out of their reach, that would be best. Good luck! +Jessie
  21. Great recipe! Did it last night and they came out perfectly! I really love the way you used the photos too, very helpful. I just wonder how long they will keep? I am making them for Hanukkah and Christmas gifts and would love to knock it all out at once (rather than multiple batches before each holiday event). Thanks so much!
    • Oh gosh, not silly at all. They'll keep for a long time (like a month or two), but will get a little drier the older they are. If you're going to make 'em for the holidays, I'd do it a week and a half or two weeks ahead. Plenty of time to make 'em and still have 'em be nice a smooshy. Cheers! +Jessie
  22. Hi, I have failed 3 times already. Wonder what I have done wrong. I use a candy thermomenter, and follow the instructions. I used hand-held mixer, and extended the beating times, sometimes by twice as much time but still did not yield the marshmallow consistency. Any suggestion?
    • Oh gosh, hmmm. OK, my gut reaction is either that your thermometer is off somehow (test it by dunking it into boiling water, it should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit/100 degrees Celsius). Or that your hand-held mixer doesn't have enough ooomph to get the job done. I've only ever made these with a stand mixer. If you can get your hands on one at a friend's house, I'd try that next. Let me know how it goes! +Jessie
  23. I never even knew what marshmallows were made of. I could never do this, even as great as your pics and instructions are, but it was great to see it done and to finally know what they are made of.
  24. I had actually found a different recipe for marshmallows and only have a hand held mixter (recipe is for smaller amount) and mine worked out fab. No corn syrup, evaporated milk was the only difference. And the time frame. I flavored mine with orange zest. It was awsome!
  25. I just made these last night. They turned out picture perfect!! I have 6 kids (4 of my own & 2 step-children) & am preparing candy for their Easter baskets. At the request of my 2-yr-old, I dyed them pink. Everyone took a sample this morning & they were a resounding thumbs up!! Thanks so much. This may just become an Easter tradition.
  26. I have made marshmallows many times...the flavor is not to be believed!! I also make many other candies...including caramel. If you make homemade caramel and pour it over the pan of marshmallows...let it set up..cut and dip into chocolate, you have a candy called "Queen Anne's" Delicious!
  27. Hey Jesse, If I want to flavor them like say chocolate or mint chocolate, do I add cocoa or a chocolate flavoring of some sort? I want them chocolate color. And could could you add swirls of fresh stuff like say puried raspberries or strawberries after you pour into pan? Thanks, this is so much better than trying to just read a recipe card. You really do make it look do-able.
  28. Made these the other night, but halved the recipe since I only had 4 packets of gelatin and used dark corn syrup since I didn't have light. I was worried the marshmallows would be brown, but after whipping they really just ended up more of an ecru color. Halving worked fine, except that the mixing times were different. I whipped with my mixer on setting 6, and the fluff was crazy firm at about teh 14 minute mark. Adding the vanilla helped it loosen up a bit, and i whipped for about 19 minutes total. These were dense but very good. Thanks!
  29. hi jessie made these marshmallows just now going to pour in the pan i had failed before as i dint use the correct measurements but now it turned well and i am just ten!!!!
  30. Do you actually use 4 Tbs of vanilla? Just wondering because mine turned out an off-white color. I didn't know if I put in too much? Gotta say though, we're having fun licking the bowl!
  31. Thank you so much, Jessie. I love the recipe and want to keep at it, but mine came out wet. I let them set overnight so that's not the problem. When I touched them to see if they were ready for cutting they felt great, but no matter how much I have rolled them around in powdered sugar, they are wet. I live in MN and it's the dead of winter so humidity isn't them problem. DO you think maybe I didn't whip long enough? Thanks!
  32. thank you so much for the receipe. ive been trying to make marshmallows with agar because i am vegan. the sugar and agar mixture did not fluff the way it shows even after 20 mins of mixing. could it be that i didnt boil the sugar mixture long enough? thanks again!
  33. Wondered if you could use flavored gelatin to make strawberry, lime, orange, etc. Or would need to use an extract and some food coloring. Fantastic idea and I can't wait to try them!!!
  34. These were a huge hit in Easter baskets this year :) thanks!! Inspired by a friend who LOVES marshmallows I made chocolate covered marshmallows with and with out nuts and the peanut butter cups... there wasn't a complaint from anyone! I hope to make the smores bars this weekend for a little friend who just had surgery on his feet. Have you ever substituted homemade fluff for store bought in the smores recipe? either way I expect another home run dessert!!
  35. Oh my word! These are fantastic! My grandson loves marshmallow and I plan to go visit him the day after tomorrow for his Kindergarten graduation.... I decided to make this as a special treat for him. *grinning ear to ear* Our code word is "Spoiled Banana's!" (which means "Spoiled By Nana!" ) He is going to love this! *winks* Thank you! Kat
  36. I made these lastnight and they didn't turn out at all. Yes I have a big pan of marshmallows but they are only about 1/2 an inch thick and they taste so much like the gelatin smelled that I can't eat them. I don't know if I didnt beat them long enough or what happened but I am so bummed. I will try again in a couple weeks and see if I can't do better. Thanks for the great recipe and the wonderful pics :)
  37. I overcooked the sugar syrup - the temp jumped from 230 to about 255 in the few minutes I wasn't looking! The mixture beat up way faster than I expected: opaque and fluffy in 12 minutes. I used one 9x13 pan and made really thick marshmallows. It's humid here this week, so I hope they turned out. Most will get dipped in chocolate, and they will be party favors for my five-year-old's birthday at an indoor /bouncy playground. (Stealing from myself - I did the same for my older son earlier this year. The first time, I used these steps but the recipe from Joy of Cooking.)
    • They are *fantastic*, although the chocolate coating isn't pretty. Oh well. Not the recipe's fault! I used a bit less vanilla this time, 3 - 3 1/2 tbsp instead of 4.
      • Just made them again this weekend, but I ran out of vanilla and ended up using about 2Tbsp. vanilla and 1 Tbsp. almond extract. SO GOOD.
  38. The vanilla flavor in mine turned out a bit strong with 4 Tbsp.-perhaps the brand? Thanks so much for the recipe and step by step instructions with pictures-awesome!
  39. dey luk really yummy....!! i wanna try dem at home... :) but i don hav a stand mixer... neither a candy thermometer... are der any alternatives for these??
  40. Thank you for the perfect instructions and photos. I made these this morning. They are fabulous! I've linked here from my blog, Thanks again! Greetings from north of the Arctic Circle.
  41. Tried this today and everyone loved it! Found it easy to follow thanks to the great pictures and instructions! Couldn't find powder gelatin so I tried with sheets of gelatin and it turned out pretty well! How i did that: I used 2sheets of gelatin for each Tbls. of Gelatin Powder which was 10sheets in total! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! (:
  42. Wonderful post. Too anyone who hasn't made homemade marshmallows, it is easy, but you do need a stand mixer. You will not believe how much better they are than store bought. Now go make some marshmallows! Tip- When you pour the marshmallow into the pan, wet your hands and use them to spread and level the marshmallow. HAPPY MARSHMALLOW MAKING!
  43. I made these yesterday and dipped them in chocolate/graham cracker crumbs for mini-smores, and I also dipped in crushed peppermint left over from making peppermint whoopie pies yesterday. I may make another batch of marshmallows and just do half dipped in chocolate and the other half plain. Mmmm...Thanks for this recipe!
  44. I've made marshmallows many times, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, but I've never been able to make coconut flavored ones. The mallow gets all funky and you could call it ropy or stringy. The flavor is great but they don't whip up correctly and the amount is reduced. They also set up faster. The last time I tried it they set up so fast I couldn't even get them flattened in the pan.
  45. I would love to try this but I don't have a stand mixer nor a hand mixer. Am I completely nuts for wondering if I can attempt this by hand? I'm aware of the 20 minute mixing time. I once hand mixed something for about 15 minutes a few years ago, it wasn't too bad (I switched between arms) but it wasn't for a gelatin based recipe. Not sure if this would get too thick to be possible.
  46. This is great! Ive been dreaming of making homemade marshmallows my whole life! But i dont have a stand mixer. Could i use a blender? Or a food processor with the whipping attachment?
  47. Hi Jessie, I am planning on asking dark chocolate covered peppermint marshmallows. Can I use agave syrup to replace corn syrup? Also if I want a peppermint taste to it, do you recommend adding the extract to marshmallow or to the chocolate mixture? Thanks.
    • I've never done a swap with agave syrup, so I am not sure! Let me know what you do and how it turns out? For the peppermint extract, I would add it to the marshmallow once you whip it up. Happy holidays! Jessie
  48. I happened across this tutorial and you made it seem SO EASY that I made a batch. My family LOVES them and I'm melting chocolate as we speak to complete them. Thank you for posting this. They were so easy and came out so yummy.