Skip to main content

Homemade marshmallows are so much better than store-bought (and easy to make)

This is the marshmallow recipe you need

Hot chocolate season is upon us, and that means marshmallows. Soft and pillowy, bouncy and sweet, tender, chewy marshmallows. Maybe it’s just us, but even with the summertime s’more craze, winter seems to be the true marshmallow season. There’s just something delightfully wintery about a marshmallow’s pure white sweetness, perfectly complimenting so many warm and cozy treats.

Three cups of Aztec hot chocolate with marshmallows and cinnamon sticks on a table.

And sure, you can always buy a bag of one of the store-bought varieties. They’re cheap, convenient, and these days come in a wide variety of flavors, colors, and shapes. But homemade marshmallows are precisely one million times better than any bagged version you can pick up at the store. And chances are, they’re a whole lot easier to make than you think. So this winter season, why not adopt a new kitchen skill and learn to make your own homemade marshmallows? Not only do they taste better, but they’ll last forever in your pantry, and make for perfect holiday gifts. Make a big batch and hand them out to neighbors, coworkers, teachers and your favorite barista this holiday season.

Homemade marshmallow recipe

The Flavor Bender

(From The Flavor Bender)

This fantastic marshmallow recipe from The Flavor Bender is exquisite. These marshmallows are perfectly balanced, sweet-but-not-too-sweet pillows of pure heaven. Their bouncy consistency somehow defies physics and melts away in your mouth. Furthermore, their ability to take on different flavors with a quick swapping of extract gives you an enormous assortment of flavored marshmallows with just this one simple recipe.

Homemade marshmallow tips and tricks

  • When cooking your sugar syrup, it’s important that no sugar crystals remain on the sides of your pot. Use a pastry brush to clean the sides of the pot, and make sure there are no rogue sugar crystals outside of the mixture.
  • A candy thermometer is pretty crucial in making marshmallows, but be sure to secure it to your pot correctly. If touching the bottom of the pot, you’ll get an inaccurate temperature read. Be sure that the probe is in the syrup, but not touching the bottom of the pot.
  • Never rush the gelatin blooming process. Gelatin needs enough time to hydrate thoroughly to prevent undissolved pieces of gelatin from bobbing about in what should be a smooth-textured marshmallow.
  • Obviously, the smaller the pan, the thicker your marshmallows will be. This is entirely your preference; just be sure to grease whatever pan you choose properly. It goes without saying that marshmallows are sticky! It’s also a good idea to grease any utensils that will come in contact with your marshmallows- knives, scissors, cookie cutters, etc.
  • This recipe will give you a perfectly traditional, classic vanilla marshmallow. However, feel free to substitute vanilla extract for any other flavoring you’d like. Peppermint makes for a very festive and delicious holiday treat. But be creative here!
  • Always store your finished marshmallows at room temperature in an air-tight container. If put into the fridge or freezer, they will harden, and their perfectly pillowy texture will be lost forever.

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
How to make kimchi at home so you always have this tasty Korean staple on hand
Kimchi: Making your own version of this popular dish is shockingly simple (we promise)
how to make kimchi

It took Americans a while to come around to kimchi. It's like that with unfamiliar dishes sometimes. Even sushi didn't really get too popular here until the '80s, and now it's in every family's standard weekly rotation. Can you even remember a time when there wasn't an enormous variety of all of the world's most delicious cuisines at our fingertips? I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I'm old enough to remember the first Indian restaurant coming to town and the excitement buzzing around something so excitingly new and delicious. Now, thankfully, these global foods are no longer just exotic treats we get to enjoy when we dine out but instead are staples in our own homes, made without giving a second thought to their newness in our lives.

While kimchi has been around for about 4,000 years in Korea, we in the good ol' US of A have only been enjoying and giving this incredible food the appreciation it deserves for the last decade or so. Thankfully, though, as if to make up for lost time, we've fallen hard. Kimchi is hugely popular right now, and for good reason. But have you ever thought to make your own? It's surprisingly easy and definitely something that you'll want to have around, so listen up.

Read more
Make rich, savory Thanksgiving gravy with this easy trick
With these simple tips and tricks, your gravy will be the star of your Thanksgiving table
A giblet gravy in a gravy boat on a table cloth, surrounded by various dishes.

The condiment of all condiments — Thanksgiving gravy. If you're anything like me, this deliciously savory sauce is for so much more than just the turkey and mashed potatoes. Every single thing on my Thanksgiving plate tends to get an enormously generous slathering of gravy, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.

But perfecting the art of Thanksgiving gravy can be a tricky task. The road is full of many potential pitfalls — drippy and runny consistency, starchy lumps, lack of flavor. We've all experienced these little turkey travesties and they're heartbreaking. Gravy should be nothing short of velvety smooth, rich and savory, packed-with-flavor perfection. So let's learn how to make that happen.

Read more
This cranberry sauce recipe is as easy as opening a can (but tastes much better)
Add homemade cranberry sauce to your Thanksgiving menu this year
easy cranberry sauce recipe creanberry 10 1024x1536

If you grew up in a family like mine, you may have thought (perhaps for an embarrassingly long time) that cranberry sauce naturally came in the perfect shape of a can, metal ring impressions and all. It was one of those weird, gelatinous things that made its annual appearance at the Thanksgiving table, and you never gave it much thought after that. Kind of like Grandma's ambrosia salad. That red jiggly mass never really did much for me so I happily passed it along when it was handed over. And then one year at a friend's house, I tried the real deal. And everything changed.
Cranberry sauce, the way it's meant to be prepared and enjoyed, is a sweet and tangy wonder. It has just the right amount of pucker and adds hugely delicious interest to otherwise tame and mild flavors like turkey. The biggest sin of the canned version's immense popularity is that real, homemade cranberry sauce is ridiculously easy to make. Like, stupid easy. Certainly easier than trying to get that gooey mass out of a can in one piece! So this year, resist the call of the can and make the real stuff. You won't regret it.

Orange maple cranberry sauce recipe

Read more