This homemade vegetarian and vegan marshmallow recipe is easy to make and completely fool proof! They only require 5 ingredients and 25 minutes of hands on time. Perfect, easy gelatin free treat for hot chocolates, s’mores, and vegan Rice Krispie treats!
Why This Recipe Works the Best
There are a lot of marshmallow recipes online that do not use gelatin, but there are NONE as simple or fool proof as this one.
It works EVERY time
Almost every other recipe I saw online for vegan marshmallows uses aquafaba and agar agar. I tried using these ingredients in extensive testing and both of these ingredients are not optimal for marshmallow making. Let me explain why.
When whipped properly, aquafaba does whip into a fluffy texture BUT it is not easy to do this. I know my way around the kitchen and it is difficult for me to whip aquafaba properly.
It can take over 20 minutes to whip aquafaba into stiff peaks in a stand mixer. I saw one recipe that said it will take you 40 minutes to whip aquafaba properly. I think that would burn out the motor in your stand mixer.
Additionally, there are tons of articles troubleshooting why your aquafaba won’t whip. Here is one, for example: 5 Reasons Your Aquafaba Won’t Whip. An ingredient that is difficult even for me to use is not one I want to recommend.
Agar agar is also not a strong enough gelling agent to make marshmallows. I tried making these marshmallows SIX DIFFERENT WAYS with agar agar and it does not firm up enough. Period. It makes a very nice marshmallow fluff, but it does not make a nice marshmallow.
It takes far less time
As discussed earlier, recipes that use aquafaba can take 20+ minutes to whip just the aquafaba alone. Recipes that use gelatin also take 8+ hours to set.
This recipe will take you 25 minutes start to finish and only 3 hours to set.
Follow my instructions and you will have perfect, fuss free marshmallows every single time.
After discovering that aquafaba and agar agar were not going to work, I went back to the drawing board and started researching what commercially made Vegan Dandie’s Marshmallows are made of.
I was led to two products that I believe are very similar to the ingredients in commercially made marshmallows, if not the exact ingredients:
- Versawhip 600k – soy protein that whips up beautifully in 5 minutes
- Druids Grove Vegan Gelatin – the main ingredient in this gelatin is carrageenan which is made from seaweed. It is the same gelling agent used in commercially bought vegan marshmallows.
Both of these ingredients are crucial to making our marshmallows and I have linked to the exact ones I used in the recipe card.
These ingredients are more expensive and unfortunately cannot be substituted, but they work! I also crunched the numbers and these marshmallows are HALF the price of store-bought and much better tasting. They have already been taste-test approved by several non vegans.
They also roast and melt, whereas the store-bought vegan marshmallows DO NOT.
Other Ingredients You Will Need:
- Light Agave Nectar (a healthier, more natural substitute for corn syrup!)
- Tapioca Flour (can substitute arrowroot powder)
- Organic Cane Sugar
Step by Step Instructions
Like mentioned before, making these marshmallows is quicker than any other method I had tested and works every single time. If you follow these simple instructions, you will have excellent results.
- Add half a cup of water along with the cane sugar and light agave to a heavy bottom pot. I really like using my 4 quart Staub Dutch Oven pot. I find the sugar heats very evenly and does not bubble over.
- After the sugar has dissolved and begins to boil, add your candy thermometer to read in the center of the pot. We want to bring this temperature up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit so the sugar reaches the soft ball stage. This means that if we were to pour our sugar into ice water, it would form a soft ball, if you will that is malleable. If we over heat our sugar it will be too hard and therefore create hard marshmallows!
- Once the sugar has reached about 200-210 degrees Fahrenheit, begin whipping the Versawhip mixture. Add the Versawhip, Vegan Gelatin and remaining 1 cup of water to your stand mixing bowl. Make sure to thoroughly mix it so
- After a minute of whipping, you should have a similar texture as the photo (4).
- After 3-4 minutes you will start to see it getting white and fluffy and doubling in size. For the last 30 seconds to a minute, increase the speed to medium high and whip until you have stiff peaks.
- After 4-5 minutes, you will have this beautiful fluffy texture. Now allow to rest in mixer until sugar has reached 240.
- Once your sugar has reached 240 degrees, turn off the heat and transfer it carefully to a pyrex measuring cup. This will allow you to easily pour it into the stand mixer.
- Begin pouring the sugar slowly down the side of the stand mixer as it mixes on low. This will incorporate the sugar with the Versawhip mixture.
- Make sure to pour the sugar slowly and evenly. If we pour it too quickly or pour it directly onto the Versawhip mixture, it could scorch our Versawhip and deflate our mallows!
- Finally after all of the sugar is in the stand mixer, increase the speed to medium, medium-high and mix it for 4-5 minutes. It should triple in size and the fluff will reach the top of the whisk!
- After 4-5 minutes, you will have reached this texture! It will be sticky and thick!
- Now spread the marshmallows evenly into a parchment lined casserole dish. You want to do this quickly as the marshmallows set quickly and are very sticky. Set aside for 3 hours to properly set!
After 3 hours, they are ready to cut and enjoy!
FAQs and Expert Tips
Nothing. That ingredient is very unique and must be used to make these marshmallows. Same goes for the vegan gelatin.
Sure! I only used light agave to make these marshmallows slightly healthier and less processed, but if you have corn syrup, go ahead and use it. I believe maple syrup should also work – your marshmallows just may not be as bright white.
Trader Joe’s and the brand Dandie’s both sell vegan marshmallows. You can find Dandie’s at most grocers and online at Amazon. These homemade marshmallows are much better tasting, though. 🙂
Regular marshmallows contain an ingredient called gelatin that is not vegan or vegetarian. Gelatin is derived from ground up animal body parts and gives marshmallows their stretchy, gummy texture.
Yes! They roast very well, unlike store-bought vegan marshmallows. I recommend coating them in half powdered sugar and half tapioca flour if you intend to roast them. The powdered sugar helps them roast more evenly.
Sorry to be a stickler, but you cannot make these without one. You need the thermometer to reach the exact temperature needed. You will not be able to eye ball it successfully.
My Best Tips for Success
- Have all of your ingredients measured and ready to go before you start. Although making marshmallows is simple, it’s fast paced and you will not have time to measure as you go.
- Grease your spatula before spreading the marshmallows in the casserole dish. This will help prevent the marshmallows from sticking to your spatula and makes spreading easier.
- Use a pizza cutter to slice the marshmallows and coat the pizza cutter in tapioca flour in between each cut.
- Store these marshmallows loosely covered at room temperature. This will help prevent them from becoming soggy.
More Vegan Holiday Recipes
- Vegan White Russian Cocktail
- Healthy Vegan Chai Latte
- Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (1 Bowl!)
- Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha
- 3-Ingredient Vegan Hot Chocolate
The Best Homemade Vegan Marshmallows
Please read: Measure all of your ingredients out ahead of time. You have to do a couple things at once when making these marshmallows and will not have time to measure as you go. Making marshmallows is very precise.
- Line a 9×13 casserole dish with parchment paper. Using a fine mesh sieve, dust the parchment paper with ¼ cup of tapioca flour. If you want taller, large marshmallows (like in photos), use a 8×10 casserole dish.
- Add the cane sugar, light agave, and ½ cup of water to large heavy bottom pot and allow to sit for a couple of minutes so the sugar can begin to dissolve.
- Once partially dissolved, put the pot over medium heat and allow it to begin to boil. Do not mix this at all or use the lid. Just let it boil.
- After the sugar has melted for the most part, add in your candy thermometer so it is reading in the middle of your pot.
- When the candy thermometer hits 200-210 degrees Fahrenheit, it is time to start whipping up your Versawhip 600k.
- To your stand mixer mixing bowl, add the Versawhip 600k, vegan gelatin, and remaining 1 cup of cold water. Mix this well together so no powder gets stuck to the bottom of bowl.
- Begin whipping this Versawhip mixture at medium speed (level 4 on my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer). Make sure to keep an eye on your sugar pot while doing this. We do not want the sugar to exceed a temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit. After 3-4 minutes, increase speed to medium high (level 6 on my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer) for final couple of minutes or until mixture has gotten fluffy and reached stiff peaks texture. Turn off stand mixer and set aside until sugar has reached correct temperature.
- Once sugar mixture has reached 240 degrees Fahrenheit (soft ball stage), turn off heat and allow some of the bubbles to subside.
- Carefully transfer the sugar to a pyrex measuring cup to make pouring the sugar into the stand mixer easier. Alternatively, you can pour directly from pot it is just really heavy.
- Resume mixing Versawhip mixture in stand mixer on low and slowly add the sugar mixture by pouring it down the side of the stand mixing bowl. This will take a couple of minutes. You do not want to add it too quickly as the sugar can scorch the Versawhip mixture.
- After all the sugar has been added in with the Versawhip mixture, increase speed of stand mixer to medium and mix for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes, increase speed of stand mixer to medium high and mix for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute. The marshmallow mixture should be incredibly fluffy and almost to the top of the whisk!
- Once finished, using a greased spatula, quickly pour it from the stand mixing bowl into your parchment lined and dusted casserole dish. Spread it so it is evenly filling the casserole dish. You want to do this as fast as you can. The longer it sits, the harder it will be to spread.
- Dust the top of the marshmallows in casserole dish with ¼ cup tapioca flour. Allow to sit and set properly for a minimum of 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, remove the marshmallows from the casserole dish. Slice the mashmallows into whatever size you like. I find this easiest to do with a pizza cutter I have dusted with tapioca flour.
- Coat each side of marshmallows in remaining tapioca flour. Use more as needed.
- Storage: Store marshmallows at room temperature and loosely covered with parchment paper for up to 5 days. Continue to coat them in tapioca flour as needed to keep fresh. Do not store them in an airtight container – they will get incredibly soft and too moist.
- I am sorry but there is no substitute for the Versawhip 600k or Vegan Gelatin. Please only use the two exact brands recommended. Agar agar does not make firm enough marshmallows. I tried it several times.
- You must use a candy thermometer. It is too difficult to guess if your sugar has reached the right consistency without one.
- I have only made this in a stand mixer but it may work with a hand mixer. Please let me know if you have good results.
- If you are roasting these marshmallows, I would coat them in a mixture of tapioca flour and powdered sugar (about ⅓ cup of each). The powdered sugar will help them roast evenly.
- Do you love this recipe? Try my Homemade Vegan Peeps!
General note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.