Joy the Baker

Honey Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

December 7, 2010


The quickest and easiest way to make a giant mess in the kitchen?

Make marshmallows.

I promise… there will be cornstarch, powdered sugar, hot pans and sticky bowls everywhere.

You might even get lucky and find marshmallow goo in your hair later.




Despite the mess and the marshmallow hair, I’m pretty stoked.

Have you made marshmallows before?


They’re so freaking fluffy!

Way more fun and fluffy than the store bought variety.

Next time I make marshmallows… I’m making a pillow sized version.  For my sleeps.  What could go wrong?


I flavored these little pillows with honey and vanilla bean.

As you can imagine… the vanilla bean is just perfect in fluffy marshmallows.  I also quite enjoy the black specks that fancy vanilla beans provide.


The honey is a subtle addition but totally delicious.

The honey really comes through when the marshmallows are toasted or melted into hot chocolate.


Marshmallows are a good idea.  Totally worth the mess.

And the sticky hair.

And the multiple dirty dishes.

And the powdered sugar hard marks on your jeans.

And the cornstarch all over your kitten.

And the sticky coffee table.


Toasted honey.  That’s nice.


Honey Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

adapted from Epicurious and Smitten Kitchen

makes about 2 dozen marshmallows

Print this Recipe!

1 cup cold water, divided

3 1/4-ounce packages unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup honey

2/3 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

half of a vanilla bean, seeds scraped out and reserved

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and powdered sugar.  Spray a 9x13x2-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and coat with  the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture.  Set both aside.

Pour 1/2 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment.  Pour the three gelatin packs over the cold water and let sit for about 10 minutes.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, honey, corn syrup, salt and the remaining cold water to a boil.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Attach a candy thermometer the the side of the pan and bring mixture up to 240 degrees F.  There’s no need to stir the mixture, just let it get hot hot hot!

When the sugar is heated to 240 degrees F, turn the mixer with the gelatin and water on low speed.  Carefully stream the hot sugar mixture into the bowl and the whisk moves.  Be careful onto to pour into the whisk and spatter the hot sugar all over the sides of the bowl.  Gradually increase the speed of the mixer until you’ve added all of the hot sugar mixture.  Beat on high for several minutes until a thick, fluffy, white marshmallow batter has formed… about 8 minutes.  Pour in the vanilla extract and vanilla bean and beat for another 2 minutes.

Spread the marshmallow mixture into prepared pan and smooth with a clean, wet spatula to prevent sticking.  Top marshmallow with corn starch and powdered sugar mixture and let set and rest for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

When  set, remove marshmallow from the pan and place on a large cutting board coated with cornstarch and powdered sugar,  Use a pizza cutter, coated with non-stick cooking spray to slice marshmallows.  Once sliced, toss the cut marshmallows in the cornstarch and powdered sugar and store in an airtight container for up to one week.


205 Comments Add A Comment

  • Yes! I just made my first “Christmas” batch yesterday. I am sure that they will be gone in a day or two! I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, and added a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste for those lovely little flecks! I live in a remote part of Indonesia, and we can’t get marshmallows here (or a lot of other things for that matter!) so I make my own out of necessity. They sure are delicious, though!

  • Those look fabulous! Your flavor combo is making me drool on my keyboard! I’ve never attempted homemade marshmallows, but these sound like they’re worth the mess!

  • haha! My sister and I made marshmallows as part of gifts last year, so I totally know what you mean by the mess. The pan of them feels so soft! Honey and vanilla bean sounds dreamy.

  • What if I don’t have a stand mixer with a whisk attachment? can I whisk it by hand? I LOVE marshmallows and definitely want to make these!

  • never thought to make then myself

  • Toasted marshmallow = Total bliss…

  • hi joy, i just discovered your blog and i can’t stop reading! your style of writing is so fun and addictive! i like this post so much i read it again and again just for laughs :)

  • I’ve been wanting to make marshmallows ever since I saw Alton Brown make his… Its the main reason I have been begging my boyfriend, mom, dad, brothers, sister and my 1 year old niece for a Kitchen Aide… I’m sure one day I’ll get it so that I can finally make them! Yours look amazing!!!

  • I love the mop or broom leaning against the wall in that last photo… kinda underscores what you said about the mess! I’ve never made marshmallows yet but really want to. The picture of that toasted one is what totally sold me… gelatin is now on my grocery list.

  • Vanilla and honey? That sounds wonderful. I had my first go at making homemade marshmallows the other night at work and was advised to make a 10x batch of this martha stewart recipe. I had a vat of hot sticky sugar, and made somewhere around 400 marshmallows. SCARY.

  • Hello Joy,
    I am a vegetarian and I really really miss marshmallows.
    Do you know of an ingredient that could properly replace the gelatin?
    Thank you :)
    - Seisha

    • Hey Seisha, you could use Agar Flakes, a natural setting agent :)

      Don’t know how easy they are to find, depends on where you are really. Other than that, you can sometimes buy ‘vegetarian’ gellatine . . . don’t know how that works but it does exist!

      P.S Joy – loving the honey addition, i’ll be trying that next time i’m near a kitchen! :)


    • My vegan friend uses agar… I think I said that right. I believe it comes from seaweed (but doesn’t taste like it). She buys hers online – but your grocery store may carry it.. Good luck!

    • Many kosher gelatins are vegetarian. I believe Lieber’s unflavored is vegetarian (may want to read the ingrediants though). You can also use agar-agar (powdered) in the same amounts as gelatin. I can’t remember the rest, but PETA has gelatin alternatives and how to use them on their website.

    • Hi Seisha

      You can buy vegetarian gelatin, but it’s usually around $40 a pop. That’s a heavy price to pay for marshmallows! Peta have a page on gelatin substitutes here, although I’m not sure which would be best for marshmallows – a bit of trial and error may be the way forward.

      Alternatively, there’s a vegan/veggie marshamallow recipe here without vegetarian gelatin which works.

      Hope that helps!

  • I’ve never made marshmallows before but I really need to. The good quality ones at the store are mighty expensive.

  • I agree! The honey and vanilla combination sounds divine! I’m way intimidated by making marshmallows, though. They’re so finicky….

  • Mmmmmm.. Delicous home-made marshmallows! I would totally steal the pillow sized marshmallow from you!

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