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Homemade Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

Homemade Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

  • Author: Sarah Marx Feldner
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 100 1" squares 1x
  • Category: Candy
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


You will need a candy thermometer to make these marshmallows. If you don't have vanilla bean paste, you can substitute an equal amount of pure vanilla extract. The finished marshmallows won't have the vanilla bean speckles, but will be just as delicious! Note: The marshmallows need to set for about 6 hours (or overnight) before cutting.


  • 3 envelopes (0.25 oz each) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water, divided (240 ml)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400 g)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup (240 ml)
  • 1/4 tsp fine-grain salt (like table or sea salt)
  • 1 TB vanilla bean paste
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
  • cornstarch, for dusting


  1. Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water. Set aside.
  3. In a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Then cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 240F (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.
  4. With the mixer on low and fitted with the whisk attachment, gradually add the sugar syrup to the softened gelatin. Increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is thick, opaque, glossy, doubled in volume, and cooled to a warm room temperature (10-12 minutes).
  5. Turn the mixer to low and add in the vanilla bean paste.
  6. Spread the sticky(!) marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan (I use a silicone spatula for this). Then use damp hands to smooth and flatten evenly. Sprinkle the top with equal parts powdered sugar and cornstarch (I used about 1 TB of each). Let set at room temperature, uncovered, 6 hours or overnight.
  7. When ready to cut, in a large bowl, combine equal parts powdered sugar and cornstarch (I used about 1/4 cup of each). Dust your hands with the mixture and remove the marshmallows onto a cutting board. Using a pizza cutter dusted in the powdered sugar mixture, cut the marshmallows into 1-inch squares, or whatever size you prefer. Place the cut marshmallows in the bowl with the powdered sugar mixture and dust all sides.
  8. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.


  • I just want to state the obvious: Marshmallows are sticky! So just be patient going into this recipe and, most importantly, have fun. They really are easy to make. Promise. (note added 3/3/23)
  • If you haven't used powdered gelatin before, a heads up that once hydrated, it doesn't have the greatest smell. Don't worry! It won't at all affect the marshmallow flavor. (note added 3/3/23)
  • I usually use a glass baking pan. But I see no reason why a ceramic or metal pan wouldn't work, too.
  • It seems dubious, but the marshmallows really do release easily from the greased pan. But if you prefer, you can first line the pan with greased aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • If you prefer, you can coat the pizza cutter (or knife) with cooking spray instead of the powdered sugar mixture.
  • After dusting the cut marshmallows with the powdered sugar mixture, it helps to shake off any excess in a fine-mesh sieve.
  • For those of you that love to play, tweaking the flavor is easy to do. Here are a couple suggestions:
    - Add 1/2 tsp espresso powder at the same time as the vanilla
    - Add sifted cocoa powder at the same time as the vanilla (and add cocoa powder to the powdered sugar-cornstarch mixture, as well)
    - In place of the vanilla, add a few drops of peppermint oil (and/or crushed candy canes: note, this will most likely tint the marshmallows pink - fun!)
    - Make the recipe as stated, then dip the cooled, cut marshmallows in melted chocolate. Sprinkles optional. (note added 3/3/23)

Keywords: homemade marshmallows, food gifts, Christmas candy, vanilla bean paste, gluten free candy