Marshmallows are a beloved treat enjoyed toasted over a campfire, melted in hot chocolate, or eaten straight out of the bag. These fluffy confections are a favorite among children of all ages. Unfortunately, many store-bought marshmallows contain corn syrup, a highly processed sweetener that some prefer to avoid, which is why I created this decadent marshmallow recipe without corn syrup.
Fortunately, making marshmallows from scratch is easier than you might think, and the results are simply delicious. You can create a more wholesome version of this classic treat using an alternative sweetener like maple syrup instead of corn syrup.
Are Homemade Marshmallows Worth It?
Absolutely! Homemade marshmallows have a much better texture than their store-bought counterparts. They are soft and fluffy and have a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth consistency that is hard to replicate with mass-produced marshmallows. In addition, making this marshmallow recipe without corn syrup involves whipping air into the mixture, creating a light and airy texture that is much more enjoyable to eat.
Making gluten-free marshmallows allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor. You can use high-quality ingredients, such as organic sugar and natural flavorings, resulting in a healthier and more delicious treat. You can also experiment with different flavorings, such as peppermint, coffee, or powdered freeze-dried fruit, to create marshmallows that are uniquely your own.
How To Make Gluten-Free Marshmallows
- Soften The Gelatin- Soaking gelatin in cold water softens and fully dissolves it when combined with hot liquid.
- Simmer The Sugars- Bringing the maple syrup and sugar temperature a little past the "soft ball" stage allows the marshmallows to set up and harden.
- Whip It- The key to making fluffy marshmallows is to whip the mixture until it becomes thick and glossy, which creates air pockets that give the marshmallows their characteristic texture.
- Let It Set- The marshmallow fluff will harden within 4-6 hours.
- Peppermint Marshmallows: Add peppermint extract to the mixture near the end of whipping to create a festive marshmallow that is perfect for the holidays.
- Chocolate Marshmallows: To make chocolate marshmallows, add unsweetened cocoa powder to the mixture before whipping. This will give your marshmallows a rich chocolate flavor, perfect for s'mores or hot cocoa.
- Fruit-Flavored Marshmallows: Add fruit puree or extracts, such as strawberry or raspberry, to the mixture before whipping to create a fruity flavor. If you want to make strawberry marshmallows, I already have a corn-syrup-free recipe for those using real strawberry purée!
- Toasted Coconut Marshmallows: Mix coconut flakes into the marshmallow mixture before cooling it. This will give the marshmallows a slightly nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch.
- Coffee Marshmallows: Mix instant coffee granules into the water with gelatin to create a marshmallow with a rich coffee flavor.
- Cinnamon Marshmallows: Add ground cinnamon at the beginning of whipping to create a warm and comforting marshmallow with a hint of spice.
How To Use Marshmallows Without Corn Syrup
Homemade marshmallows are a versatile treat that can be used in a variety of ways. Here are a few ideas on how to use them:
- S'mores: Homemade marshmallows are perfect for making classic campfire s'mores. Sandwich a roasted marshmallow between two gluten-free graham crackers and a piece of chocolate for a delicious treat.
- Hot Chocolate: Melt a few no-corn syrup marshmallows into your hot chocolate (our favorite is this peppermint hot chocolate) for a creamy and decadent drink.
- Rice Krispie Treats: Use marshmallows from scratch to make classic Rice Krispie Treats.
- Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream: Use marshmallows without corn syrup as a topping for ice cream, or mix them into the ice cream for a delicious and creamy treat.
- Fondue: Melt marshmallows into a fondue pot for a fun and interactive dessert. Serve with fruit, pretzels, or other dippable snacks.
- Homemade Candies: Use homemade marshmallows without corn syrup to make homemade candies, such as chocolate-dipped marshmallows or marshmallow pops.
Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows
Chocolate-dipped marshmallows are one of my family's favorite ways to enjoy these corn-free marshmallows. Here's how to make them:
- Place the chocolate-dipped marshmallow on a piece of parchment paper to set. Sometimes I'll pop my marshmallows into the freezer to speed up the chocolate hardening (they only need 5-8 minutes in the freezer).
- Melt your favorite chocolate over a double broiler, and then use a fork to dip the marshmallows into the chocolate. The excess chocolate will dribble through the tines of the fork.
Did you make this recipe? If you did, please give it a star rating and leave a review or comment below! And remember to take a pic and share it on social! Tag @allergyfreeak or #allergyfreealaska on Instagram!
This recipe was originally published in October 2014. Blog post and recipe card updated to include better instructions and notes in May 2023.
- 3 tablespoons unflavored beef gelatin powder
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 2 cups organic cane sugar
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, add ½ cup cold water and sprinkle in the unflavored beef gelatin powder. Set aside so the gelatin can soften for at least 10 minutes. Have the mixer’s whisk attachment out and ready to go.
- Line a 9x13” baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease. Generously dust all sides and the bottom of the pan with 3 tablespoons of arrowroot starch.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining ½ cup cold water, organic cane sugar, pure maple syrup, and sea salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low, or as needed so the syrup remains at a constant simmer. Stir occasionally, use a candy thermometer, and bring the mixture up to a temperature of 245 degrees (F). This should take 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and carefully pour the syrup mixture down the sides of the mixer bowl while mixing on low (it’s hot, so please be careful!).
- Gradually increase speed to high and whisk for 7-10 minutes, or until the marshmallow mixture is glossy, light and fluffy, and nearly triple in volume.
- Immediately place the marshmallow mixture in the baking pan and use a greased spatula to spread it out evenly.
- Dust the top of the marshmallows with the remaining 1 tablespoon of arrowroot starch and let the mixture set for 4-8 hours, or overnight.
- Turn the marshmallows out onto a large cutting board, and use a pizza cutter to cut the marshmallows into 1-2 inch pieces. Roll the sticky edges of the marshmallows in additional arrowroot starch, and store in an airtight container. Consume within 3 weeks.
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