Homemade Marshmallows

Homemade Marshmallows

It’s hard to believe that these factory-formed, gluey gobs, destined for flaming twigs, were originally handmade masterworks formed one at a time in the finest confectionery shops of Paris. Fast-forward to present day, more and more people are making their own — and they’re actually quite easy to prepare. Once you have my base recipe down, the possibilities are endless (for example add peppermint oil for a holiday-spin or cocoa for chocolate lovers).



  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water (divided)
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray


  1. Combine the gelatin with 1/2 cup of the cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
  2. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, the granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. When the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
  3. Turn the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.


  1. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
  2. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  3. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel or knife dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Alton Brown's Homemade MarshmallowsMiniature Marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners’ sugar mixture.

When ready, scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.

Cut into 1/2-inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Add yours
  1. 1

    Amazing! Wonderful! Excellent! I watched his Good Eats episode on this first, in which he states 3oz. of gelatin, hence 3 packages, Knox packets are 1oz. each. and it came out perfect. Can’t wait to try different molds and add flavors and such. I added some cocoa powder with the cornstarch & powdered sugar for a little contrast.

  2. 2

    I made these and hot cocoa mix for Christmas, as gifts. They are very tasty, but don’t melt like store bought. When I ran out of these marshmallows and put some store bought minis in my cocoa, there was the familiar melt, but the taste left a lot to be desired. I will be making these again! Also, one commenter said that 3 pkgs of gelatin was vague. I used KNOX brand, as I have never seen another brand. And for those who threw theirs out, you should have mixed the gelatin mix again just before pouring in the hot syrup SLOWLY!
    Read the comments before you try something you’ve never made. You might learn from other people’s mistakes and/or successes.

  3. 3

    I did it without a mess! Nonstick pan, silicon spatula, big plastic bowl, parchment paper to place the spatula/thermometer on. I ran hot water over everything in the sink until the marshmallow cleaned itself.

  4. 4

    The worst recipe that I’ve ever made. Total failure. I could not even get all of the marshmallow mixture out of the bowl. Straight into the trash.

  5. 6
    David Woodall

    Teddy, do you feel like any of the alcohol remained in the finished marshmallows? Since alcohol boils at 173F, it seems like most of it would be gone by the time the syrup hits 240…

  6. 7
    Teddy Zamborsky

    Joana, I recently made Bailey’s marshmallows adapted from this recipe. It took my 3 tries to get them right. You want to replace the water with Bailey’s. But the water in the syrup, not the water you bloom the gelatin in. So for the syrup, add 1/2 cups of Baileys, the sugar, salt, and corn syrup and bring to 240. But you have to be careful, because my syrup wanted to boil over (I think because of the cream) so I had to keep a close eye and whisk it the whole way up to 240. Then mix it normally like the recipe says

  7. 9

    My thermometer did me dirty. Apparently I got all the way to hard crack (300°) and burned it before my thermometer even broke “200°”


  8. 10

    Joanna, I have made boozy marshmallows. You have to add more gelatin, at least 2 additional packets, I think. You want the gelatin to become solid as it does for the non alcoholic marshmallows. Substitute the booze or water, add extra gelatin and everything else is the same

  9. 11
    Beth S

    Bwahahahaha…. tried the mini marshmallows this evening. What.a.mess! They taste good, for sure, but I’ll have more regular marshmallows than minis, I think. Is there a trick to not getting marshmallow all.over.everything? I know my middle name isn’t Grace, but boy, was that messy!

  10. 12

    I followedthis recipe exactly and I got wet gooey marshmallow’s. The only thing I could think of is that I used light (as in low-calorie) light corn syrup. Very sad results for a four hour escapade …But I will try again

  11. 16

    Is there a way to make boozy marshmallows? I’m thinking Bailey’s Irish Cream, but I’m afraid it would cause it to not set properly.

  12. 17

    These are perfect. Follow the recipe as it says and they turn out great. Only thing I did different is I am at a higher elevation so I went up to 245 degrees.

  13. 18

    Linda, this might be too late to be relevant, but the cornstarch and confectioner’s sugar are just for ensuring the marshmallows don’t stick to each other. Confectioner’s suger alone might be fine, or you could substitute some other fine, neutral tasting flour for the cornstarch. Maybe tapioca flower or potato starch?
    As for the corn syrup, it’s mostly just there to make sure the syrup doesn’t crystallize. It is possible to go without this, just substitute in 2/3 cup of granulated sugar, and be very careful with making your sugar syrup (make sure the pan, stirring implement, and thermometer are spotlessly clean before starting, swirl some white vinegar around the pan and dump it out before putting the other ingredients in, don’t stir the syrup/jostle the pan/touch anything between when the syrup starts boiling and when it comes to temperature).
    As for the gelatin, you might be able to substitute agar agar, which is very similar, but you would have to look up exact amounts.

  14. 20

    I am wondering if molasses would work in place of corn syrup, or maybe replacing the white sugar with brown sugar. My brother would like that kind of flavor for his weird sweet potato thing he does. Also need to add that Mr. Brown’s recipes are my first, and more often than not last, stop for recipes, very detailed and informative.

  15. 21
    Linda Howard

    I have more of a question. My daughter in law is allergic to anything with corn products so is there anyway to ake marshmallow without the corn products or gelatin. I know this sounds weird, but she loves marshmallows and every time she eats store bought she gets sick.

  16. 24

    This is my second time making these marshmallows. They came out even better the second time. Can’t wait for the holidays so I can flavor up some cocoa!!! Stay Proper!!

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