Nothing beats homemade Marshmallows - soft, fluffy pillows with a hint of vanilla and naturally gluten-free. They are definitely better than what you can buy at the store. Add homemade vanilla marshmallows to a cup of Hot Cocoa, dip them in chocolate and sprinkles, or eat them just as is. They also make the best S'mores you have ever had!
A stand mixer and a digital thermometer are highly recommended for this recipe for Gluten Free Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows. The egg whites are whipped for an extended period of time which is a lot easier with a stand mixer.
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- How to make Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
- How to unmold and cut Homemade Marshmallows
- How to store Vanilla Marshmallows
- Serving Ideas
- Flavor Variations for Homemade Marshmallows
- FAQ for Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Egg Whites: This is a fabulous recipe to use up any leftover egg whites you may have in your fridge. The egg whites give those marshmallows their light and fluffy structure. Make sure the egg whites have no traces of egg yolks in them. (Fat will hinder the egg whites from whipping up light and fluffy)
Gelatin: Gelatin is the setting agent for this recipe - without the gelatin, the marshmallows will stay a liquid mess. I use Kraft unflavored gelatin POWDER which can be found in the baking aisle of your local store. If you would like to use Agar-Agar, please substitute it 1:1 but be aware the texture of the marshmallows will change.
Corn Syrup: I understand many people are not a fan of corn syrup but this ingredient is a must for this recipe for Gluten Free Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows. It prevents the crystallization of the sugar syrup and keeps the marshmallows light and fluffy.
Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract: You can't make Vanilla Marshmallows without adding vanilla. I use Vanilla Paste in the recipe and my homemade Vanilla Extract. You can use one or the other (or both) but do not skip this ingredient.
How to make Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
Making Marshmallows from scratch may seem taunting at first but once you get the hang of it, you can make a batch of delicious homemade marshmallows in less than 30 minutes.
I highly recommend measuring all the ingredients first and preparing the pan you choose to use for your marshmallows. You can use an 8x8 pan for extra thick marshmallows or a 9x13 pan for thinner vanilla marshmallows. You can even just make little clouds of marshmallows and scoop them on a prepared sheet tray with two spoons.
Make Marshmallow Dusting: Before we can prepare our marshmallow pan, we have to make the coating for the marshmallows. You can use cornstarch or potato starch for this and powdered sugar. Sift together the two ingredients.
Prepare your pan: Lightly coat your pan with nonstick spray. I like to use a piece of paper towel to make sure I get every corner. Dust your pan with a generous amount of marshmallow dusting (cornstarch/powdered sugar mixture). This will make sure our gluten-free vanilla marshmallows won't stick to the pan once they are set.
Bloom the Gelatin: To a small, microwave-safe bowl add 115 grams of COLD water. Sprinkle the gelatin into the water and allow for it to 5-10 minutes. The gelatin will start to bloom - you can think of it as absorbing all the water. We will, later on, melt this either on the stovetop or in the microwave to add to our marshmallow mixture.
Start the Sugar Syrup: In a small saucepan combine the granulated white sugar, corn syrup, and 85 grams of water. Cover with a lid and over medium heat allow for it to simmer for 3-4 minutes. The condensation that collects on the lid will help to ensure all the sugar dissolves. You may also brush down the sides of the pot with some additional water instead but the lid method seems easier to me. Make sure you have your digital thermometer close by.
Whip the Egg Whites: In the clean bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and salt. While your sugar syrup is slowly cooking, start frothing your egg whites. Just let the mixer run at a low speed.
Make the Sugar Syrup: after 3-4 minutes of slow cooking, remove the lid of your sugar syrup mixture and check the temperature. Once your syrup reaches around 215F/100C, turn up the speed of your egg whites and beat them until light and fluffy. The sugar mixture must continue to cook until it reaches at least 240F but no higher than 245F.
Combine Sugar Syrup and Egg Whites: When the syrup reaches 240 - 245ºF, with the mixer running at high speed, CAREFULLY and slowly pour the hot syrup into the whipped egg whites. Try to avoid pouring it right onto the whisk attachment or too close to the sides.
Melt Gelatin: Melt the gelatin in the microwave - this should not take longer than 30 seconds. Carefully pour the fully melted gelatin into the egg whites as they are whipping.
Whip your Marshmallow: Once the sugar mixture and gelatin have been added, turn up the speed of your mixture to high and continue to whip for 7-8 minutes until the bottom of the bowl feels cold. Add your vanilla and continue to whip for an additional minute. The marshmallow should look light, fluffy, and shiny.
Transfer to your prepared pan: Using a flexible spatula transfer your marshmallow fluff to your prepared pans. Use a small off-set knife or the back of a spoon to smooth it out evenly. It's okay it's not perfectly flat.
Rest your Marshmallow: Allow the marshmallow to rest UNCOVERED for at least 6hrs in a cool and dry place (like a spare bedroom). DO NOT cover it!
How to unmold and cut Homemade Marshmallows
Once the gluten-free homemade vanilla marshmallows have rested for 6hrs (or overnight), it is time to unmold them and cut it. Generously dust the top of the marshmallow with some Marshmallow dusting and loosen the edges of the pan with your offset or a butter knife. Turn them over on a parchment-lined sheet tray and your gigantic marshmallow "should" come out easily. If it is stuck in the pan, use your offset knife to wiggle it out. (Last Resort Tip: If your marshmallow refuses to get out of the pan at all, carefully - CAREFULLY - heat up the bottom of the pan with your torch. Only like a hot second. You don't want to melt your marshmallow)
Dust the entire marshmallow with additional marshmallow dusting turning it into one gigantic marshmallow.
Using a large, clean knife, cut your marshmallows in your desired size and shape. You can even use a cookie cutter to cut them into seasonal shapes. Cutting the marshmallows is a lot easier if you carefully heat up your knife. I use a torch for this. You can also hold it under hot water but make sure it is completely DRY before cutting your marshmallows.
Toss the vanilla marshmallows in marshmallow dusting.
How to store Vanilla Marshmallows
Homemade marshmallows must be stored in an airtight container, in a dry and cool place. Make sure you add some additional marshmallow dusting to the pan. Homemade marshmallows are the best when enjoyed within a week of making but if stored properly they will be good for up to 2 weeks.
They may become a bit moist after a few days, so make sure to give them a good toss from time to time.
I do not recommend storing homemade marshmallows in the fridge or freezer. They will dry out and become very hard.
Homemade Marshmallows are the best when eaten as is or add them to a cup of hot chocolate. They are also perfect for s'mores. I have not baked with them since they always disappear within days of making them.
Flavor Variations for Homemade Marshmallows
Yes! And you can have fun with it.
- Espresso Marshmallows: Add 2 tablespoons of Instant Espresso to the 115g of water you use to soak the gelatin in.
- Peppermint Marshmallows: Instead of vanilla extract/vanilla paste, add 1.5 teaspoons peppermint extract instead.
- Chocolate Dipped: Dip your cooled, cut Vanilla Bean Marshmallows into tempered chocolate or melted chocolate coating. Sprinkle them with your favorite sprinkles.
- Cocoa Nib Marshmallows: Fold in some candied cocoa nibs into your marshmallow fluff before adding it to the prepared pan.
FAQ for Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
Yes! To make them ahead of time, wrap the uncut whole gigantic marshmallow in plastic wrap and place it in a ziplock bag. When ready to use them, unwrap it, dust them with marshmallow dusting, and cut as directed.
Did you add all the gelatin as stated in the recipe? If Marshmallows do not set up at all, it sounds like the gelatin was not added.
I do not recommend making marshmallows on a hot, humid day or in a very humid climate since they are absorbing all the moisture from the air. Another reason for the marshmallows to be sticky, you may under whipped the marshmallow fluff. Make sure your bowl is completely cold before transferring the fluff to your prepared pan. Don't cover the marshmallow fluff while it is setting up for at least 6hrs or longer.
I have not tested this recipe without eggs or any egg substitutions
Yes, you can substitute Agar-Agar for Gelatin 1:1 but please be aware that the texture will change.
Marshmallows are naturally gluten-free and dairy free. This recipe is not vegan since it does include egg whites.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and very affordable. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
To bloom the Gelatin
- 15 grams powdered, unflavored gelatin
- 115 grams cold water
For the Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
- 220 grams granulated, white sugar
- 110 grams light corn syrup
- 85 grams cold water
- 125 grams egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 grams of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120 grams powdered sugar
- 60 grams cornstarch (or potato starch)
How to prepare your pan
- Sift together the powdered sugar and cornstarch (Marshmallow Dusting) in a small bowl.
- Lightly spray an 8x8 or a 9x13 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. Set pan aside.
How to make Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
- In a small, microwave save bowl sprinkle the gelatin over 115 grams of cold water and allow it to soften.
- In a small saucepan combine 85 grams of water, granulated sugar, and corn syrup. Place over low, cover, and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- In the clean bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and salt. While your sugar syrup is slowly cooking, start frothing your egg whites. Just let the mixer run at a low speed.
- Once your syrup reaches around 215F/100C, turn up the speed of your egg whites and beat them until light and fluffy. The sugar mixture must continue to cook until it reaches at least 240F but no higher than 245F. Use a digital thermometer or candy thermometer for this.
- When the sugar yrup reaches 240 – 245ºF, with the mixer running at high speed, CAREFULLY and slowly pour the hot syrup into the whipped egg whites.
- Quickly melt the gelatin in the microwave and carefully pour the fully melted gelatin into the egg whites as they are whipping.
- Once the sugar mixture and gelatin have been added, turn up the speed of your mixture to high and continue to whip for 7-8 minutes until the bottom of the bowl feels cold. Add your vanilla and continue to whip for an additional minute. The marshmallow should look light, fluffy, and shiny.
- Using a flexible spatula transfer your marshmallow fluff to your prepared pans and smooth out evenly with an offset knife or the back of a spoon.
- Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered at room temperature, for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
How to unmold and cut Homemade Marshmallows
- Generously dust the top of the marshmallow with some Marshmallow dusting and loosen the edges of the pan with your offset or a butter knife. Turn them over on a parchment-lined sheet tray and your gigantic marshmallow “should” come out easily. If it is stuck in the pan, use your offset knife to wiggle it out.
- Dust the entire marshmallow with additional marshmallow dusting turning it into one gigantic marshmallow
- Using a large, clean knife, cut your marshmallows in your desired size and shape. You can even use a cookie cutter to cut them into seasonal shapes. Gently heating up the knife makes cutting them a lot easier.
- Toss the cut vanilla marshmallows in additional marshmallow dusting.
- Store in an airtight container in a dry, cool room up to 3 weeks.
Vanilla: You may also use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean paste.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 46mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 1g