I hate boiling sugar. And I hate having to measure the temperature of sugar. So while I love the idea of making marshmallows, the follow-through usually lacks.
And I know, I know, it’s a really easy thing but I can’t get over the mental hump of it.
So I thought to myself, “I wonder if I can take a standard marshmallow recipe and do it withOUT using a candy thermometer by simply timing how long and how vigorous the sugar boils?” … so that’s what I did! After many batches of delicious marshmallows, it’s safe to say that I won’t be using a thermometer anymore to make these sweet treats.
A word of caution — we’re humans, and there’s no such thing as foolproof so I can’t claim this is a “foolproof” way to make marshmallows since we’re not objectively measuring things (i.e. data like sugar syrup temp)… But it IS super easy and VERY fast.
Homemade Marshmallow Close Up!
Make sure to watch our entire process here — getting the visual of the different stages of marshmallow making is super helpful.
Here’s what you’ll need…
- Saucepan for boiling your sugar (GUYS, ceramic pans are a LIFE CHANGER)
- Stand mixer with a whisk attachment — you are going to have a REALLY BAD TIME with a hand mixer– it is going to give out on you!
- Measuring cups/spoons/food scale
- Rubber spatula — and aside, this set is a KILLER deal
- Whisk or fork for mixing your gelatin into your cold water
- Butter, coconut or non-stick spray to grease your pans and utensils with
- Plastic film
- A pan for your marshmallows to set in — I used THIS ONE here but you can use whatever you have on hand — this recipe will yield enough to fill a 9×13 pan with about 1 inch deep of marshmallow
- 2 cups Granulated Sugar
- 0.75 oz plan, unflavored Gelatin (this is usually 3 standard packets but just please make sure to check the label for weight)
- ⅔ cup Light Corn Syrup
- ½ cup cold water to “bloom” with gelatin
- ¼ cup water to use for sugar syrup
- 1-1.5 tsp flavoring of choice (I used vanilla bean paste)
- 1 tsp Salt
- Food Color
- Place cold water and gelatin in the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk to combine and set aside to let it “bloom” while you make your sugar syrup
- Place your 2 cups of granulated sugar, water and light corn syrup into a sauce pan, mix to combine and let it come to a vigorous boil over med or med high heat
- Allow to boil for 3 minutes DO NOT STIR
- Take off heat immediately and pour it into your stand mixer with the gelatin/water mixture– it’s gonna bubble and grow, it’s gonna be OKAY
- Whisk that on med for 2 min, and switch to high for 8 minutes. Your mixer might get warm, might protest a little because that marshmallow gets sticky and hard to mix after a few minutes, persevere!
- It’s going to triple in volume and get nice, shiny, thick, marshmallow creme-y
- Add food color, salt and flavoring at a little past halfway through– around minute 6 or 7.
- Pour it into a greased pan ASAP when it’s reached the stage shown in the video (after a full 10 min of beating it).
- Grease some plastic wrap and adhere it tightly to the surface of the marshmallow
- Let set, undisturbed at room temp for for 8-16 hours.
- Slice, roll in powdered sugar, squish and enjoy!
In an airtight container at room temp– add a little more powdered sugar to coat your container to prevent sticking and to soak up any leftover moisture. My FAVORITE airtight storage solution set is Rubbermaid Brilliance containers. I use them for my icing, my cookies… anything that needs to be air tight.
- If you don’t want to use light corn syrup, you can also use honey, agave, golden syrup or maple syrup– this is used to prevent crystallization in the sugar syrup and using something different may yield slightly different flavor and texture
- It’s still possible to under or overcook your sugar syrup, especially when doing it this way without a candy thermometer. A good way to test if the stage is at the right one is take out a small amount of sugar and let it drop in a bowl of cold water- the sugar will hold its shape when it’s dropped into the water and when you fish it out, it’s gently pliable with your hands. It should not dissolve, or become rock hard when you drop it into your bowl of cold water.
- Always grease whatever utensils you’ll be using to move your wet marshmallow mixture around– it sticks to everything and this will help it stick a bit less
- Flavor tips: You can use all kids of flavors to make it super fun. Aside from extracts, etc., you can also mix in dried fruit, chocolate chips, and so much more.
Got any questions? Comments? Leave them for us below!