Cooking, Sweet treats
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Recipe: Vanilla Marshmallows [how to make them and a recipe breakdown]

Homemade Vanilla Marshmallow

Go to work on an egg. I think today I went to work on six.

Six eggs for breakfast?! Well, not quite, but this week I have been coming up with new variations on the marshmallow, and I find them quite addictive. 3 egg whites produce a large volume of the stuff, and it is so utterly delicious, I could swim in it. Like all things made at home it is simply much better.

It is joyful to make too, and when you understand the recipe, so easy. When I was making it and thinking about all of the building blocks in my head, I realised that – HEY! – marshmallow is all about four things. Four steps and four factors – the structure (provided by sugar), the wobble (provided by gelatine), the fluffiness (provided by the egg white) and the flavour (in this case vanilla).

I wanted to explain this properly so that you could all confidently bound into your kitchens and make this at home. Cooking is only about understanding a recipe and executing it. That’s it. I think this is where my scientific background really leaps out, I have always wanted to know how things work. Once broken down, a recipe is not intimidating, it is just a crib sheet, and in this case, an introduction to the wonderful world of marshmallow.

I bid you come in. The only trouble is – and consider yourself warned – it is impossible to stop eating it.

Coming soon: my raspberry and rose marshmallow made with pure luscious fruit. I thought I would start with a simple one first to explain it.

Notes on the recipe: you will need a sugar thermometer. They’re not very expensive and are very useful to have. This is a lot easier with a mixer or electric whisk.

Homemade Vanilla Marshmallow

Recipe: Vanilla Marshmallow


30g gelatine powder (2 sachets)
150ml water

4 tbsp golden syrup
200g sugar
100ml water

3 large egg whites

1 tbsp vanilla extract

150g icing sugar and 150g cornflour, combined and sieved

1 tray greased with a light layer of oil then dusted with a light layer of the icing sugar and cornflour


Get your wobble on by sprinkling the gelatine in the water and leave to the side.

Bring the sugar, the golden syrup and the water to the hard ball stage – 121 – 130 deg C and while you are waiting for the sugar, whisk your egg whites as you would for meringue, until you get soft peaks and can hold the bowl over your head.

Slowly add the sugar mixture to the eggs, while whisking slowly (this is much easier with a mixer like a Kitchenaid).

When the sugar is added, briefly add the gelatine to the warm pot that the sugar was in, the residual heat will melt the gelatine. Add the gelatine to the egg white mixture with the vanilla slowly while whisking, as you did with the sugar. When added stop mixing and you’re done! You have marshmallow.

Pour your marshmallow mix into the tray and leave for a few hours or over night. Then, with an oiled knife, cut into little squares and then dust them with the icing sugar / cornflour mixture.

Store in an airtight box with the excess icing sugar / cornflour.

Try not to eat it all at once!




  1. Oh.My.Giddy.Aunt. That’s it, my kids will have you to blame for their rotten teeth. Will be making this Saturday, I’ll send you a picture .

  2. Ciara Savage says

    Oooooh, I’ll have to make this soon! I suppose I should share it…?

  3. I only use leaf gelatine, dislike the powdered stuff. I guess the weight of gelatine would be the same?

  4. Have been dying to make some marshmellows since finding beautiful versions in Paris, scented and flavoured with pure fruit flavours, thanks for the excellent instructions. Will try the powdered version of gelatine first and try to convert to leaf gelatine thereafter.

    • I had powdered gelatine so used that. Just as easy to use leaf – soak in water then melt in pot with residual heat then add. Done! Enjoy :)

      Ps – have lots of fruit ones in my repertoire now. Posting a raspberry one soon and the rest will be reserved for other projects :)

  5. This looks amazing.. have been wanting to make marshmallows for ages! But do you think there is anyway possible I could make this without a sugar thermometer??

    • Well you could of course but it is trickier. To check if it is ready drop a spoon of sugar in cold water. If it forms a ball it is done. A thermometer is much easier and you can get them from under £10. No risks then.

      • Hmm, yea I was thinking that! I’ll just have to get myself a thermometer then! Thanks anyway! :)

      • Really useful though. Get one that also functions as a meat probe and you can use it for so much. I use mine as a meat probe, for sweets and for home made dairy.

  6. torihaschka says

    Such a great way to break down a recipe. Really inspired stuff. x

    • Lovely to hear Tori – thank you. I was thinking recently about why people don’t cook and I think the key is confidence and actually understanding what you’re doing. I can definitely help with the second and will aim to :)

  7. nellyscupcakes says

    These look surprisingly easy and yum! I will definitely be giving them a go this weekend, will let you know how they go. :)

  8. After reading I’m already filling my head with different flavours you could use. I’m keeping them all to myself though haha. Great Post Niamh are these the ones you had for breakfast?

  9. realepicurean says

    Love marshmallows but not yet made them myself. Definitely one for the list!

  10. Esther says

    You’re in my twitter feed, but I think this is my first visit to your blog…. Came here via the Kitchn’s link to your Turkish delight recipe.

    I’ve made marshmallows once (a Marth Stewart affair, thin marshmallow using snowflake cutters to make snowflakes for hot chocolate) the recipe turned out fine, but the taste was overwhelmingly of Tate and Lyles finest! It’s not a problem per se, but I was wondering if these (or your raspberry and rose ones) have that golden syrup flavour too? Or if you have any suggestions for what to use instead – that’s available in the UK?

    • Hi Esther. They are very sweet but I don’t get a taste of golden syrup – there is only 4 tbsp in my recipe. They are sweet of course. Give them a try and let me know.

  11. These look great. I started experimenting with making my own marshmallows when I lived in Brussels a few years ago and haven’t looked back. Part of the appeal is my childlike fascination that the sea-through glibber/slime that is eggwhite can be turned into fluffy little pillows of marshmallow thanks to some gelatine and some sugar. After some plain marshmallows, I experimented wih a few different flavours as well, my dad’s favourite are cardamom spiced marshmallows – a perfect accompaniment to an after dinner espresso!

    I haven’t yet experimented with fruit-flavoured marshmallows so would be curious to see some of your other recipes, especially a raspberry version!

    All the best


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  13. Looking forward to the raspberry and rose installation. I’ve never tried marshmallows before, but have been inspired to try them this weekend – torn between rose petal or some mallow flower marshmallow I saw on The Bureau of Taste …. either way I’m PSYCHED!

  14. Beth Abbott says

    I tried to make these last night, but wasn’t sure they were quite right, checked today and they had gone horribly wrong! All I got was cubes of weird vanilla flavoured, slightly wet jelly. I feel like I followed your receipe to the letter, but I obviously went awry somewhere. Any idea where I might have messed up?

    • Hi Beth. Sorry to hear that. It sounds like you had a.problem with your egga. Did you whip them to soft peaks as you would for meringue?

      • Ahh, no, I start to whip them but they probably weren’t fluffiness enough before the sugar mix went it! I’ll give them another go (fab that the ingredients aren’t expensive so it’s not a disaster messing up!)

      • You should be able to turn the bowl upside down over your head :) Then slowly add the sugar while still whisking it. Melt the gelatine in the residual heat of the pot and drizzle that in with the vanilla the same way. Enjoy!

      • Cool, thanks! (I’m sure everyone else probably got that, but it might be worth adding a little side note in the recipe as I wasn’t sure what level of fluffliness was required). Can’t wait to try again now I know!!

  15. Jenny says

    I just tried to make these and they looked and tasted great last night! Then this morning when I went to cut them they had separated – a layer of jelly on the bottom then the egg whites on top! And the had sunk considerably. Any idea what I did wrong? Still the unset batter tasted great!

    • Hi Jenny, any one of the following:

      – you are not whipping the egg white enough – you need to be able to turn the bowl upside down over your head (as for meringue)

      – you are adding the sugar too quickly, you need to add it slowly as you whisk the eggs

      (just checking you are using a thermometer for your sugar too?)


      • Jenny says

        The egg whites were meringue whipped… But perhaps I got over excited with the sugar. It was hard to whisk and drizzle at the same time. I shall try again at my parents next weekend as my Mam has a kenwood mixer which will make that much easier! And yes was using a theometer -but I always need to tip the pan to get a proper reading as it only reads when it’s a certain depth (if that makes sense). Don’t know if that makes any difference.
        I shall persevere! They are my Gran’s favourite sweets so I want to make some for a Christmas gift.
        Thanks for replying

      • Oh to be honest this is really hard to do by hand and super easy with a mixer. Once your eggs are whipped to meringue soft peaks, the sugar is at temperature and you slowly add the sugar and the gelatine while whisking, it will always be fine. But you must add them slowly while whisking or the egg white won’t absorb them.

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  17. hi iv just come across ur recipe it looks fab but quick question have you ever tried it with vegatrian gelatine. and do you think it would work?

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