Homemade vanilla marshmallows

I have always wanted to learn how to make homemade marshmallows, but things requiring candy thermometers turn me off. Plus, they seem the opposite of easy (another turnoff). I decided to give it a try, and boy, was I not sorry. They’re not quite easy, but if you have a candy thermometer, it’s just a matter of close supervision. 

What can you do with homemade marshmallows?

The better question is what can’t you do? One of my favorite things to do is dip them in chocolate and serve them on a cookie/candy platter at a Christmas party. S’mores and Rice Krispie Treats are both a thousand times better with homemade marshmallows. These vanilla marshmallows are also ideal in hot chocolate. They melt into a sweet, creamy froth.

Why not gift a little cellophane bag of these with a jar of hot cocoa mix (either store-bought or homemade) for an easy teacher or neighbor holiday happy?

Tips for Making Homemade Marshmallows

A few tips for making homemade vanilla marshmallows: they are incredibly sticky, so make sure to thoroughly dust the bottom of the pan with powdered sugar and after pouring the marshmallow mixture into the pan, cover it with a thick layer of sifted powdered sugar. Like when I say thoroughly, I mean THOROUGHLY. A quarter inch layer is good.

When you cut them into squares, butter your knife after each cut. I used Ina Garten’s recipe and made few adjustments because honestly, it needs no altering.

homemade vanilla marshmallows in hot chocolate
Homemade vanilla marshmallows
4.13 from 8 votes

Homemade Marshmallows

These homemade marshmallows are infinitely better than the storebought kind. Use them in hot cocoa for a delicious treat.

Course Candy
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade marshmallows, homemade vanilla marshmallows
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 48 marshmallows
Calories 61 kcal
Author Ina Garten


  • 3 packages gelatin unflavored
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup light
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt kosher
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or peppermint extract
  • 1 cup Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in a large bowl.

  2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

  3. Increase the heat to high and boil until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

  4. Remove from the heat.
  5. With a hand mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin.

  6. Whip on high speed about 10-12 minutes. The mixture should increase in volume and become fluffy.

  7. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  8. Sift confectioners sugar generously in a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Sift more confectioners' sugar on top.

  9. Let the marshmallows sit, uncovered, overnight.
  10. Turn the marshmallows onto a board and cut them in squares with a buttered, sharp knife.

  11. Cover them with more confectioners' sugar.

  12. Keep them in an airtight container for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Ina Garten/The Food Network

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Marshmallows
Amount Per Serving
Calories 61 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 20mg1%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 1g2%
Calcium 2mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

One of my favorite things about Christmas is making homemade gifts. There’s just something so much more special about bringing a jar of these marshmallows for your hostess’ hot cocoa, or bringing a tin of lovely cookies. Looking for other fabulous Christmas goodies? Try your hand at these Deep Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, or bake a few loaves of this delicious Stollen to gift to friends and family.

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