Homemade Marshmallow Recipe for Hot Cocktails

For cocktails made with hot cocoa or coffee, sometimes a homemade marshmallow makes a terrific garnish. It has a better flavor and texture than store bought.

Once you learn how to make them, you’ll also want to use them for everything from non-alcoholic drinks to Rice Krispie squares and s’mores to our Marshmallow Vodka. You may even end up making them into special new treats.

Homemade marshmallows on white plate on wooden table

Homemade marshmallows often have a fresher, softer texture and a more delicate, vanilla-forward flavor compared to store-bought ones. They lack preservatives, which gives them a shorter shelf life but a cleaner ingredient list.

Their appearance may be less uniform, but many find the slight irregularities charming. Store-bought marshmallows tend to be firmer and more rubbery, with a consistent shape and size, and a longer shelf life due to added preservatives.

Marshmallow Recipe Variations

Another advantage of making marshmallows at home is that you can experiment with different flavors and textures.

  1. Flavored Marshmallows: Infuse the sugar syrup with flavors like mint, lemon, almond, raspberry, or rose water.
  2. Chocolate Marshmallows: Mix in cocoa powder with the sugar and gelatin mixture for a chocolatey twist.
  3. Swirled Marshmallows: Marble with melted chocolate, fruit puree, or food coloring for a swirled effect.
  4. Herbal Marshmallows: Steep herbs like lavender, chamomile, or thyme in the hot water before adding to the gelatin.
  5. Coconut Marshmallows: Add in some coconut cream and coat with toasted coconut flakes.
  6. Coffee Marshmallows: Dissolve instant coffee or espresso powder into the water used for the gelatin.
  7. Spicy Marshmallows: Add cinnamon, nutmeg, or cayenne pepper to the marshmallow mixture for a spicy kick.
  8. Layered Marshmallows: Pour different flavored layers into the pan and allow to set before adding the next layer.
  9. Adult Marshmallows: Incorporate a splash of your favorite liqueur like Baileys, Kahlúa, or amaretto.
  10. Fruity Marshmallows: Fold in small pieces of dried fruit like blueberries, strawberries, or mangoes.

Tips for Success

  • Use a candy thermometer to ensure the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature.
  • Grease your hands and tools with non-stick spray or butter when handling the sticky marshmallow mixture.
  • Experiment with different flavors by adding extracts or food coloring to the mixture.
  • Allow the marshmallows to set at room temperature in a cool, dry place for best results.

Serving Suggestions

Homemade marshmallows are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways:

  • Toasted over an open flame for classic s’mores.
  • Floating on top of hot chocolate for a decadent treat.
  • Paired with graham crackers and chocolate for a gourmet s’mores experience.
  • As a standalone sweet treat for snacking or gifting.

Storing Your Homemade Marshmallows

To keep your marshmallows fresh and fluffy, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Avoid exposing them to moisture or humidity, as this can cause them to become sticky and lose their shape.

Homemade marshmallows on white plate on wooden table

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

Yield: About 48 marshmallows
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

For cocktails made with hot cocoa or coffee, sometimes a homemade marshmallow makes a terrific garnish. It has a better flavor and texture than store bought.


  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the gelatin with 1 cup cold water. Allow it to sit and soften while you prepare the sugar syrup.
  2. In a saucepan, combine granulated sugar and 1 cup water. Stir the mixture over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then, increase the heat and bring the syrup to a boil until it reaches the soft-ball stage.
  3. Once the sugar syrup is ready, slowly pour it into the softened gelatin while mixing at low speed. Gradually increase the speed to high and continue whipping until the mixture becomes thick and holds stiff peaks. Add vanilla extract during this process.
  4. Pour the marshmallow mixture into a prepared pan lined with parchment paper and smooth the top with a spatula. Put it in the fridge to set. This will take several hours, usually around 3.
  5. Once set, cut it into squares or use cookie cutters for fun shapes.


These will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temp.

Follow me on Pinterest for more great recipes!

Or share this post on Pinterest!

Enjoy the post? Why not share it?

Last Updated:

April 8, 2024