Perfect Homemade Marshmallows {made without corn syrup}

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Springy, Fluffy Homemade Marshmallows (made without corn syrup) are a treat that everyone loves.

These are sweet, fluffy, chewy, marshmallows with flecks of vanilla bean throughout each bite. They’re a nearly snackable marshmallow and my whole family has been enjoying them all week.

Homemade Marshmallows without corn syrup

It is pure decadence and I’ll admit I’ve made more hot chocolate this week than I have in years. I highly recommend stirring together a batch of Peppermint Hot Chocolate to enjoy with your marshmallows.

And if you’re entertaining during the holidays, you’ll want to prep a batch of Crock-Pot Cocoa for the crowd – and a batch of High Octane Hot Chocolate for the adults too!

If you like things a little spicy, try these Mexican Hot Chocolate with chili powder and cayenne pepper. That spicy warmth is irresistible.

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

Homemade marshmallows melt into a mug of hot chocolate like nothing else. The chocolate becomes a foamy, sweet, and frothy drink that is irresistible to me.

Have you ever tasted a homemade marshmallow? They are amazingly different from the store-bought version in the plastic bag.

Homemade Marshmallows melting into hot cocoa

I used to ignore store-bought marshmallows in the cupboard for months (or I’ll admit it might have even been years) at a time. Store-bought marshmallows simply don’t tempt me as these do.

I made marshmallows for the first time over 10 years ago and now it’s our tradition to make them at Christmas.

Gelatin for Homemade Marshmallows

Several years ago, I was determined to figure out a substitute for the corn syrup that is used in most homemade marshmallows.

I had seen a number of recipes that substituted honey, but personally, I don’t want a honey flavor to my marshmallows.

Gelatin for Homemade Marshmallows

Marshmallow Recipe without Corn Syrup

I’m including two different corn syrup-free marshmallow recipes here. You can use brown rice syrup, which I found at our local health food store.

Or, you can make your own substitution for corn syrup by simply combining sugar and water in a 4:1 ratio. I made both versions to test them and both were a success.

Corn Syrup Free Marshmallows

The all sugar marshmallow was sweeter than the rice syrup version. The flavor was exactly like Jet-Puffed marshmallows, but with a better texture than any store-bought marshmallow.

The all sugar version is much stickier when it is removed from the pan, but after the powdered sugar coating, it was comparable to the original homemade version.

Homemade Marshmallows made without corn syrup

Homemade Marshmallows with Brown Rice Syrup

My personal favorite and the ones that I could not stay away from were the marshmallows made with brown rice syrup.

With a milder flavor that was not quite as sugary-sweet as traditional marshmallows, these were tempting me to sneak tastes all weekend, as they were waiting in their jar on top of the counter.

This marshmallow made with brown rice syrup is slightly more of a cream color, and not as bright white as traditional marshmallows.

Marshmallows made without corn syrup

The recipe initially looks like a horribly long process, but it really isn’t as time-consuming as it seems at first glance.

Read the recipe from start to finish a few times before starting and you shouldn’t have any problems with it.

Homemade Marshmallows sliced with a pizza cutter

How To Make Marshmallows without Corn Syrup

Start by softening the gelatin, then make the syrup, pour over the gelatin, and beat until fluffy.

Beat the egg whites separately, combine them with the sugar mixture, and pour into a pan. Refrigerate overnight and then cut, roll in powdered sugar, and enjoy!

I recommend using a pizza cutter to easily slice the marshmallows. (Trust me on this, you really do want to use a pizza cutter!)

Homemade Marshmallows sliced with a pizza cutter

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Corn syrup free Homemade Marshmallows

Perfect Homemade Marshmallows {made without corn syrup}

5 from 5 votes
Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Smitten Kitchen via Gourmet, December 1998
Pin Print Review
Servings: 96 1-inch marshmallows

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin about 3 1/2 envelopes
  • 1 cup cold water divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup (or corn syrup) or an additional 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped or 1 tablespoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Grease the bottom and sides of a square-edge 9×13 rectangular pan with butter or flavorless cooking oil. Generously dust the sides and bottom of the pan with powdered sugar. Set aside. Pour half a cup of cold water into the bowl of a standing mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand to soften.
  • In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, syrup, 1/2 cup cold water, and the salt. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and boil the mixture until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the sugar mixture over the gelatin, stirring until the gelatin has dissolved.
  • Beat this mixture on high speed until thick, white and almost tripled in volume, at least 6 minutes. Grease a second mixing bowl and then transfer the sticky white mixture to the greased bowl. Clean the beaters and used bowl well and then whip two egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and then transfer the fluffy sugar mixture into the beaten egg whites.
  • Beat the egg whites into the sugar mixture, just until combined. Scoop this mixture into the greased and powdered baking pan and spread it out to fill the pan. Sift 1/4 cup powdered sugar evenly over the top of the marshmallows. Chill at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • The brown rice syrup version will be ready to cut between 3-4 hours. The all sugar version requires at least 12 hours in the refrigerator – I typically leave them to chill overnight.
  • Run a knife around the edges of the pan and then invert the pan over a large cutting board. Lift up one corner of the pan and use your fingers to release the marshmallow from the pan and place it on the cutting board. Dust the top again with powdered sugar if it is very sticky. With a pizza cutter, or a large knife, trim the edges of the marshmallows and then cut the marshmallows into approximately 1" cubes.
  • Sift the remaining powdered sugar into the now-empty baking pan. Roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before placing them in an airtight container. They will keep well at cool room temperature for at least 1 week.

Notes

The marshmallows can also be made in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, but it will likely double the times involved.
If you have a standing mixer AND a handheld mixer, you can beat the gelatin mixture on high speed until thick, white, and almost tripled in volume, at least 6 minutes. In a separate bowl, with a second handheld mixer or immersion blender whisk attachment, whip two egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and then transfer the beaten egg whites into the fluffy sugar mixture.
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{originally published 11/29/12 – recipe notes and photos updated 12/9/21}

Corn syrup free Homemade Marshmallows
Homemade Marshmallows

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Magnolia Verandah says

    I have never made marshmallows – I am not a big marshmallow fan probably put off by the synthetic shop bought ones. But these ….my goodness they look good, now I could be tempted especially in hot chocolate.

  2. Tricia @ saving room for dessert says

    Mary – you and I must be working from the same book somewhere – these are on my bucket list and can't wait to make them! I am confused about the corn syrup thing however. I read about a lot of people that don't want to use it but thought that only applied to high-fructose corn syrup used in manufactured products. Is Karo corn syrup the same thing as high-fructose corn syrup? Sorry to be such a dummy on this subject 🙂

    • Mary says

      Karo corn syrup is a slightly less modified version of the same corn product. High fructose corn syrup goes through an additional process to make it sweeter than standard corn syrup. However, because most corn derivatives are made with GMO corn, my family has chosen to avoid it altogether. I've heard mentioned that Karo does now have an organic syrup available, but I have never seen it.

      Because we don't generally purchase products with HFCS in the label, it's easiest for me to just avoid corn syrup in general. Does that help or are you even more confused now? Have a great day, Tricia!

  3. Koni says

    Can you freeze them to make them last longer? Or do you just have to suck it up and eat them all in a week? (which should NOT be a problem). Just wondering!

    • Anonymous says

      HAHA…yes, that is a legitimate question in my mind! 🙂 I'd love to know if they can be refrigerated/frozen to keep longer. It's just two of us at home, and we're being so good about mindless snacking…these look dangerous!
      /s/TiaChocolate

    • Mary says

      YES! You can freeze them, but I only use them straight from the freezer into hot chocolate after they are frozen. I hope that helps!

    • Gramma Sue (former professional cook. says

      The hot syrup cooks the egg whites. No worries about salmonella. The syrup is cooked to 240 degrees and salmonella is killed at 165 degrees. As long as you use the syrup right away and don't allow it to cool, the egg whites will be safe.

    • Jenna Kreisler says

      I just read a new study this week that said that egg that is mixed with sugar…. the sugar binds to the raw egg and creared a barrier for bacteria– so it is much safer than what was once thought.

  4. momentary lapse says

    I just finished putting the mixture into the prepared pan. I chose to do the brown rice version. Everything seemed like it should be except when I added the sugar mix to the egg whites. Now it's lumpy like large pieces of cottage cheese. Is this normal or did I do something wrong?

    Thanks for any help!

  5. Anonymous says

    So .. i tried to make marshmallows from another recipe and it looked like a jelly mix ..that recipe didnt have any egg whites. after beating it it looked the same with no increase in volume :/ .. and then i searched for your recipe and tried to recover it by adding egg whites ..eh it remanined the same . I used up a lot of ingredients and i dont think i can waste them . im kinda hopeless now and i put it in the refridgerator and my mix's all-sugar . i cant really waste this mixture 🙁 so can you please tell me how i can recover it somehow OR i can make something else with this mixture ?Pleaaaase reply .. i really need help.
    Sincerely a 15 year old girl and i love you <3

    • Mary Younkin says

      I'm sorry I can't be of help here. I have no idea what is already in the mix or what might have gone wrong. If you beat it for the recommended time and it didn't work for that recipe, adding the egg whites that I use here probably wouldn't have helped it. I hate wasting ingredients as well, but I can't think of a way to fix it. I hate kitchen disappointments too!
      Mary

  6. Anonymous says

    I just added the hot sugar mixture to the gelatin and now I have a lump of hard candy/gelatin and the rest of the syurp mixture that wont mix in…. what can I do?

    • Mary says

      I've never had that happen. The two mixtures should have dissolved into each other. Was the hot sugar mixture at the correct temperature when you poured it in? and then did you stir (or attempt to stir) it immediately? It still wouldn't combine with the mixer? I'm very sorry it didn't work for you. I don't know what would have caused the gelatin mixture to turn into a hard candy. I haven't heard of that happening before.

  7. Anonymous says

    Try coating the marshmallows in corn starch instead of sugar. They are less sweet, less sticky, and closer to taste to Jet puffed but much better. Thanks for the brown rice syrup suggestion, I had never heard of it and would love to replace the corn syrup.

  8. lovemyqtkids says

    I'd like to make rice krispy treats with these marshmallows. Do you think I can just skip the chilling option and add the cereal? Or should I just make your marshmallows and then use the regular treat recipe. Thanks!

  9. Unknown says

    I've been looking for a good corn-free recipe for marshmallows, and am trying this one this weekend, if I can source the ingredients I need. My younger daughter is allergic to corn but has a negligible reaction to organic corn. So I use powdered sugar with either organic corn starch or one that uses a different starch alltogther, which can be hard to find locally. I do a lot of mail-order for basic ingredients!

  10. Valerie McCarthy says

    I made marshmallows using the option 1 process this morning. They taste amazing and my kids can't wait for us to cut them up into different shapes. Thanks for the detailed info, it's really appreciated!5 stars

  11. emma rogers says

    do you have any further feedback on how long these keep? was thinking about making them for christmas presents but want to be able to tell them, plus be sure they'll last from when i can make them til when i get to gifting back at home!!

    • Mary says

      I've kept them in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. For gifting, I try to make them within a day or two of sending them.

  12. Anonymous says

    it would really be nice if you would put the recipe on Facebook page so we can like it and share it and save it to our wall