Saturday, May 2, 2009

Vegan Marshmallows

Now that I've become fairly adept at making vegan jello, I thought I'd try my hand at vegan marshmallows. Marshmallows are made with gelatin-an animal product, and there is no real exact substitution for gelatin in the vegan world. There are some plant derived ingredients that have similar properties to gelatin. There is agar agar which is made from seaweed, carrageenan which is also made from seaweed, pectin which is made from citrus fruit, and gum arabic and other gums which are made from tree sap.

There are now some jel dessert products available, which can take the place of gelatin in many recipes. The most well known of these is made by Eames and is a kosher product. There were some reports made several years ago that there were in fact some animal ingredients in the Eames jel. I really don't know if this is true or not, but I don't use Eames, and instead use the other brands. A great resource for vegan products is

So, vegan marshmallows are notoriously hard to make. In fact, I think that there is only one company that makes them-Sweet & Sarah. Their marshmallows are really good and taste much like the real thing. You can even use them for s'mores.

There is also a product made from rice which is somewhat of an imitation of marshmallow fluff. It's called ricemellow, and it's pretty good. You can not use it to make marshmallows though.

If you do want to try making vegan marshmallows, here is a very comprehensive recipe. It's from "125 Best Cupcake Recipes" by Julie Hasson-it's one of my favorite baking books. This is the recipe I used. I was fairly happy with how my marshmallows came out, but I need lots more practice to get them right. I found them to be too sweet, but maybe that's just me and they should be that sweet. Also, they were not very spring-y, but this could be because I somehow messed up the recipe. It's a pretty long recipe, and I tend to do several things at once. The recipe will of course make white marshmallows. I added some red food coloring to the mixture because I love pink food. I love pastel food in general. You can now buy natural food colorings made from foods such as beets and berries. Look for them at your natural foods store, or online.

Then here it is...

Vegan Marshmallow Recipe

3 tablespoons Eames Kosher Jel ( I used a different brand)
1/2 cup water

For the syrup:
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Dusting mixture:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cornstarch

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine jel powder and water, stirring just until mixed. Let stand for 30 minutes.

After the jel has been sitting for 25 minutes, beginning preparing the syrup. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Stir until dissoved. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes. Be careful not to let the mixture boil over.

Increase heat to high. Uncover and continue cooking, without stirring, until firm-ball stage (248F). This will happen very quickly. Do not overcook the syrup because it will make the marshmallows tough.

Remove from heat and pour syrup slowly over jel mixture. Using the wire whisk attachment on the stand mixer, beat mixture on high speed for 15 to 20 minutes or until very thick and fluffy, and mixture increases in volume and climbs up the side of the bowl. When mixture is done, beat in vanilla.

Dusting mixture: Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Using a small, flat-bottomed metal measuring cup, pack 1/2 cup of the mixture into the pan. Reserve excess cornstarch mixture.

Scoop marshmallow mixture into prepared pan, smoothing the top as best you can. Coat top with some of the cornstarch mixture. Reserve remaining cornstarch mixture. Let marshmallows stand, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours or until dry and somewhat firm to the touch.

When marshmallow is dry, invert it onto a cutting board dusted with a bit of the cornstarch mixture. Cut marshmallow into squares with kitchen scissors or into desired shapes with a metal cookie cutter dusted with cornstarch. Dust marshmallow pieces with remaining cornstarch mixture to coat. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Before serving, lightly shake off extra cornstarch.

If you're going to attempt vegan marshmallows, I wish you good luck. If you have any questions, please comment, or e-mail me.


  1. Wow, Amazing, oh my goodness, forget about vegetarian marshmallows, here we have vegan marshmallows. I am in total admiration! I miss eating marshmallows, mainly in hot chocolate for the occasional treat on a cold wintery day, we get a lot of those in the UK.

    What did they taste like?

    I have been looking for a vegetarian marshmallow recipe for a long while, as I don't want to buy or order them over the net as the prices are extortionate. Do you have a vegetarian recipe for marshmallows that uses agar agar? Would be most appreciated. For now, I will look at these and know that marshmallows, the soft edible clouds are no longer excluded to vegetarans and vegans alike. Veggie num num - you do live up to your name!

  2. Hi mangocheeks!

    These pretty much just tasted sugar-y to me. Plus, maybe a little bit of vanilla. I never really loved marshmallows, but I like to use them in cooking sometimes. I think they tasted pretty much like regular marshmallows, but I have to work on the consistency.

    I have a recipe that uses agar agar, but it also uses xanthan gum. Is that something you can get there? I think health food stores have it. Or, my friend is a vegan blogger and she made agar agar marshmallows. They were not 100% successful, but she said that they were really good. Here is the link to her recipe:

    If you make these, let me know how they turn out! I am still going to keep experimenting with different recipes.

    Thank you for the sweet comment!

  3. Marisa loves marshmellows so I think she would love these!

  4. I still need to work on these before I can make them for other people. Hopefully, I perfect the recipe and I can make Marisa pink marshmallows!

  5. How cool that you made vegan marshmallows. I can't even make regular ones turn out okay.

  6. I have developed a fantastic agar agar and egg free vegan marshmallow recipe which you can find at

    It uses soy protein isolate to make the fluffy mixture into which the jell mixture is beaten. That is what the commercial makers normally use.

  7. Thanks pinkstripes!

    Jennie- Thank you for sharing your recipe! It looks wonderful. I will have to try making your marshmallows. By the way, I love your web site!

  8. There is now a whole blog and e-cookbook dedicated to vegan marshmallows. Check it out at:

    The basic marshmallow recipe is free and open-source. The ebook has 44 amazing marshmallows recipes and you even get 10% off your order of Genutine vegetarian gelatin if you buy the ebook.

    Vegan marshmallows are back!

  9. Thank you for sharing the link! I love the new blog!!

  10. According to many sources that I have been reading, Emes Kosher Jel is neither kosher nor vegan. They do use animal products.