Homemade marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows are such a fun, and surprisingly easy activity to do with kids!
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 24 large marshmallows
Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly


  • gold-grade gelatine I used Equagold 9 leaves (or 3 Tbsp powdered gelatine)
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • cups caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup or glucose syrup
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence or extract
  • coconut oil or neutral oil eg grapeseed to grease
  • cornflour to coat
  • chocolate** desiccated coconut, freeze-dried fruit and fruit powders (I used Fresh As) to decorate


  • Soak leaf gelatine in large bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes or until very soft, then squeeze out most liquid and return to empty bowl. (Or mix powder with ½ cup cold water in large bowl and leave to swell for 5-10 minutes.) Now stir in boiling water to loosen and melt gelatine.
  • Place sugar, syrup and water in a pot and stir gently to mix. Bring to a boil and cook until it reaches the ‘firm ball’ stage – this is 120°C on a sugar thermometer, or if (like me) you don’t have one, you can test it by dropping a very small amount into a glass of cold water. Wait a few seconds, then pinch it under water to see if it comes together in a ball. Bring out of the water and if the ball holds its shape but is still sticky and a bit soft when pressed, it’s ready. Be patient as this may take 8-12 minutes depending on heat and pot size.
  • Stir vanilla into sugar syrup. Now for the magic. While whisking with electric beaters, slowly add syrup to gelatine. Keep beating until mixture is really thick and resembles bubble gum – you’ll be amazed!
  • Grease a square baking tin or brownie pan with coconut oil or neutral oil. Grease your spatula and a spoon too as the marshmallow sticks to everything.
  • Spoon marshmallow into tin, smooth top and sift over a little cornflour. Leave on bench for about 2 hours to firm up.
  • Cut into cubes with a greased knife and lightly toss in cornflour. Dip in or drizzle with melted chocolate and roll or dust in coconut or freeze-dried fruit powder if you wish. Get creative and have fun!

With a twist

  • – To make fruit-flavoured marshmallow, mix 2 tsp freeze-dried fruit powder of your choice into gelatine with the boiling water.
  • ** Check label if eating dairy free


You might want to handle making the sugar syrup yourself, as it will be very hot. Kids can get involved with the electric beater though, that’s the fun part! If your kids are younger, you could make the marshmallows ahead of time and get them to help decorate with melted chocolate, desiccated coconut and freeze-dried fruit powders. The best part is eating your own creation of course!
Homemade marshmallows are a nice way to end a meal when entertaining. Serve them with coffee and tea for a fun treat.
You can get so creative with flavour combos too. How about pineapple flavoured with white chocolate, lime zest and coconut topping, or use beetroot powder to get a deep red colour!
This recipe is from the April/May issue of NADIA magazine.