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.

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


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin about 3 ½ 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


  • 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, ½ 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 ¼ 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.


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.
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{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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    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Marielaina! I’ve never tried doing that before, but if you decide to try making marshmallow fondant with these marshmallows, please let me know how it turns out! Enjoy, and happy cooking.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Kimberly. Because this is a gelatin-based recipe, I’m not sure how well the substitution would work. That said, if you decide to try making the marshmallows with vanilla bean paste, the typical ratio between extract and paste is 1:1. Either way, I hope you love the marshmallows!