Homemade Vanilla Bean Marshmallows ~ I feel like I’ve just been initiated into a religious cult!  These plush, pillowy marshmallows are amazing, and so easy to make!

How did I walk around all these years completely unaware of the wonders of homemade marshmallows?  And how could I have been satisfied with those tasteless foamy things squished into bags on the bottom shelf of the supermarket?

I’m so glad my eyes have been opened, especially now that hot chocolate season is in full swing.  I’ve got a lot of lost time to make up for.

Part of what is so much fun about making these is that the texture is unlike any other food, from the gleaming white liquid marshmallow that flows from the beaters to the plush cushiony squares of the finished product.  Even cutting them is an adventure.  If they squish down, they plump right back up, if they stick, a little confectioner’s sugar gives them a unique pillowy finish.  Before these, I wouldn’t have eaten a plain marshmallow on a bet.  But just try to resist as you plunge your knife into row upon row of this vanilla bean bliss.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

This is not a difficult process at all, but here’s a little fair warning—- you do need a thermometer, and it helps a lot if you have a stand mixer.  You can do it with a hand held mixer, but be prepared to stand around beating for 10-15 minutes.  It’s a great project to do with kids, as long as you keep them well away from the hot sugar syrup.

There are a couple of different methods floating around out there, one involves corn syrup, and another uses egg whites in place of the corn syrup.  My friend Mary of Barefeet in the Kitchen has a great version of the egg whites recipe, check it out here.

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

Yield: makes 5 dozen + large marshmallows


  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting


  1. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhanging paper on the ends so you can easily lift out the marshmallows after they've firmed up. Brush the paper with oil so the marshmallows won't stick.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, put 3/4 cup of water. Sprinkle the gelatin over it and let it sit. Add the vanilla bean seeds on top.
  3. In a medium saucepan, put the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Begin heating it, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then stop stirring and let the sugar syrup come up to 238 degrees. It will boil for a while before it gets there.
  4. Then, with the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin. Gradually increase the speed until it is on high. Beat on high for about 12 minutes until the mixture is stiff. Beat in the vanilla.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish, smoothing it out evenly.
  6. Let sit, uncovered, for 3 hours (or overnight)
  7. Turn out the marshmallow block onto a surface covered with confectioner's sugar. Peel off the paper and dust the whole top surface with more confectioner's sugar.
  8. Spice the marshmallows into squares using a sharp, oiled knife or pizza cutter. They will resist a bit, but keep at it. As you cut each strip, turn it to coat the cut ends with sugar, and as you cut each individual marshmallow, do the same. All the sides should be well coated and not sticky. Lay the marshmallows out on a tray.
  9. Store in an airtight container and eat within the week.


For a great gift pile some marshmallows in a pretty mug and wrap it all up in cellophane.   Package it along with some really good cocoa powder.

I’m off to make the perfect cup of hot chocolate…

UPDATE:  I’ve been surprised at how well and how long these marshmallows have kept.  I put one batch in cellophane bags with twist ties and they are still fabulous.  Now that I know this I may make some ahead of time next year and stash them away for last minute gifts.

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34 Responses to Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

  1. Debbie says:

    Hi there, I just found this recipe and would love to try it but i do not have any vanilla beans m how would they turn out without the scraped seeds? I live in a rural area and not feeling like running into town just for these…the marshmallows look delicious!

  2. Frimmy says:

    I realize I’m late to this page but I made these yesterday and they are awesome. They came out perfectly and I used half the batch to make the best Rice Krispie treats ever! This recipe is easy and turns out exactly as promised.

  3. Aamna says:

    Can you tell me you don not add any amount of water to the sugar, corn syrup and salt mixture when boiling it ?

  4. […] versions of classics found in those cellophane, bright colored baskets. Yesterday Bug and I made marshmallow which will replace peeps in our baskets and raw peanut butter cups (click on them to find the […]

  5. Linda says:

    Love the recipe and can’t wait to try it – I have been making
    marshmallows for years as I have a sister-in-law who used
    to ask for the store/catalog version for Christmas every year
    and I couldn’t bear the thought of spending that much on them
    and decided to make them for her (now everyone in the family
    requests them every year!). The best tip I ever got is that they will
    stay fresh in the freezer for months!!! Now, I almost always have a
    batch in the freezer for summertime s’mores or fall/winter hot chocolate.
    It’s great…and yes, dangerous!

  6. Jennifer G says:

    Never made marshmallows before but found your recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a go. They came out perfect!! My life is forever changed! Thanks so much!! :)!

    • Sue says:

      I’m so glad! I know that people often have trouble with marshmallows, but I think this recipe is a good one, I didn’t have any troubles with it at all. I’m counting the days until hot chocolate (aka homemade marshmallow) season is here!

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  9. Oh my, your blog is fabulous! You just got yourself a new follower. :)

  10. oh my goodness: your marshmallows turned out beautifully! i just tried Martha’s Candy Cane Marshmallows, and they were a little bit of a bust: i loved the texture, but the peppermint swirl? Didn’t work out so well (and not nearly the peppermint dreamboats i expected them to be. These look way more up my alley; i’m such a sucker for anything vanilla bean.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Hi Sue and thanks for stopping by Seasons and Suppers. Your marshmallows look beautiful! I have to warn you, you will never be able to eat a store-bought marshmallow again. I make this version, but have always been curious about the egg white version. I might have to try your friends recipe, just to compare. (Btw, I loved your “About Me”. I could have written it. I never know where my next craving is going to take me)

  12. Sue,
    Your vanilla bean marshmallows are so beautiful…i pinned them before I even scrolled all the way down and then I see how you are packaging them. Darling, darling….all in pretty cups and velvet ribbon…and I love the colors that work all year long. Wish I had a cup of that hot cocoa with your marshmallows right now! I’ll be dreaming about these on the train on the way into the city this morning!

  13. Magnolia Verandah says:

    It seems everyone is saying that homemade marshmellows are totally superior to shop bought variety. Probably a bit like homemade pasta. Loving the teacup gift recepticle.

  14. belleau kitchen says:

    i’ve never made marshmellow before… and now you KNOW i’m going to have to give this a go… I need to find a veggie alternative though… such a great idea for Christmas gifts too… beautiful photography, again I am so jealous of your light!

  15. Eleanor says:

    I keep hearing of this homemade marshmellow phenomenon and I think you have finally convinced me to try this recipe!

  16. Yes, they really are different, and just think, you can flavor them in lots of ways, too. I’m going to get to that soon, for sure. Send me your address…I’ll send some along!

  17. thyme Sarah says:

    Really Sue?? Do you mean I might have a lot of time to make up for…too? Are they that different from bagged mashmallows? They look fabulous. They really look so old-fashioned and handmade. The teacup gift bag is too cute. I would just squeal with pure delight to receive a gift like this. Oh, I didn’t mean that as a hint…or…maybe I did!

  18. Aren’t they delicious. I just made Martha’s recipe for these. They are out of this world. My next batch I plan on using a snowflake cookie cutter and posting on it. Gorgeous photos!

  19. What a gorgeous gift! I haven’t joined this group yet (the one that has made homemade marshmallows) but you know I am filling out my membership card now. Your photos and description are amazing. Thanks for another reminder of a must-not-miss recipe!

  20. Gorgeous! I do love homemade marshmallows, I’m just too lazy to make them very often. Perfect gift :)

  21. Mary says:

    I love the idea of wrapping the marshmallows in a pretty cup like this! I am going to do that for a couple of my girlfriends this year. You are going to love the marshmallows in hot chocolate. Your drinking chocolate would be amazing with them, the darker the chocolate the better with the sweet marshmallows!

  22. Two of my favorite things in one: homemade marshmallows AND vanilla beans. Swoon.

    And the beautiful mugs you have. I want this whole post, from the food to the props. Lucky gift recipients in your world. Wow, they have it good :)

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