Celebrate spring with these homemade vegan peeps! They’re so fluffy, sweet and the perfect recipe to impress guests! Plus, they’re easier to make than you think – all you need is 5 ingredients and a stand mixer!
I always loved peeps as a kid, but I hadn’t had any since going vegan until now! Making them at home takes less than an hour of hands on time and best yet – no gelatin or corn syrup needed!
Why This Recipe Works
- Using vegan gelatin and Versawhip 600k is the secret to making a perfectly firm marshmallow base at home. Hint: Agar agar does NOT make a good vegan marshmallow!
- Dipping the marshmallows in water before coating in the colored sugar helps it stick perfectly!
Ingredients and Substitutions
If you’ve made my Homemade Vegan Marshmallows, you’ll notice the ingredients are almost the exact same, with the addition of vegan food dye gel to color the sugar.
A few notes about each ingredient:
- Versawhip 600k – This is a soy protein product that is higher in protein and helps bind the marshmallows together into the perfect fluff.
- Vegan Gelatin – Imitates the texture of gelatin, without the animal products! There is absolutely no substitute for this – please only use the version I recommend in the recipe card.
- Light Agave – Healthier substitute to corn syrup. You can also substitute in maple syrup, but the lighter color of agave will keep these marshmallows bright white.
- Cane Sugar – Used in both the marshmallow recipe and for coating! I don’t recommend using any other sugar in place of cane sugar. To make sure yours is vegan, buy organic cane sugar!
Step by Step Instructions
To make these marshmallows, follow steps 2-13 of my traditional Homemade Vegan Marshmallows recipe. It has step by step photos and very thorough notes and instructions.
The are only two differences between the preparation of these vegan peeps and my regular vegan marshmallows:
- These vegan peeps call for an additional ½ teaspoon of vegan gelatin (2 ½ teaspoons total). This ensures that they will hold their bunny shape and not soften.
- I spread the marshmallow fluff on an 18×13 baking sheet (a half sheet) instead of a 9×13 casserole dish to make them thinner. You can spread them in a casserole dish if needed, but they will be very thick peeps.
- Spread the marshmallow mixture on a parchment lined and tapioca flour dusted 18×13 half sheet pan. Dust the top with additional tapioca flour and allow to set for 3 hours minimum.
- Using a tapioca flour coated bunny shaped cookie cutter, cut 12-15 bunnies out of your marshmallow slab.
- Set aside the remaining marshmallow scraps and use to make Easy Non Dairy Hot Chocolate or Vegan Rice Krispie Treats!
- Pulse the cane sugar in a food processor until it has reached a finer, sand-like texture, then transfer into individual bowls based on how many colors you would like to make. Then, add 2-5 drops of vegan food dye gel to sugar.
- Using a fork, evenly disperse the food dye gel into the cane sugar until you have a uniform color.
- Dip the bunnies very quickly into the bowl of water and then immediately dunk in the sugar. Note: You want to fully coat the bunnies in water so the sugar will properly stick, but you do not want to leave them in the water as they will get too soft.
- Completely coat in the sugar.
- Return the coated bunnies to the parchment paper to set until completely dry, about 5-10 minutes.
If stored at room temperature in an airtight container, these peeps will last up to three days.
Not that I know of. You can buy regular vegan marshmallows from Trader Joe’s or Dandie’s.
I bought this vegan Nomeca Vibrant Icing Colors Tasteless Edible Food Dye online and it was fairly affordable.
I bought this set of three cookie cutters and used the medium sized shape to make these peeps. You can use any shape you’d like!
Although these peeps are really easy to make, there are a couple of things to make sure you do for the best 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.
- Make sure to pulse the cane sugar in a food processor before coating the marshmallows for the best texture. If you just use cane sugar as is, it is very granular.
- Spread the marshmallows on the cookie sheet with a greased spatula. It is very sticky and a greased spatula makes it the easiest possible.
Homemade Vegan Peeps
Vegan Marshmallow Peeps Ingredients
- 1 ⅓ cups cane sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- vegan food dye gel
Making the marshmallows
- Line a half sheet pan (18×13) with parchment paper (we want these less thick than the traditional marshmallows). Using a fine mesh sieve, dust the parchment paper with ¼ cup of tapioca flour.
- Make the vegan marshmallows by following the thorough step by step instructions in my Homemade Vegan Marshmallows recipe from step 2-13. Note that this vegan peeps recipe calls for a ½ teaspoon more gelatin to make them hold their shape and is spread on a sheet pan to make them less thick, otherwise it is the same ingredients and process.
- Once finished preparing the marshmallows through step 13, using a greased spatula, quickly pour it from the stand mixing bowl onto your parchment lined half sheet pan and spread it so it evenly. You want to do this as fast as you can. The longer it sits, the harder it will be to spread.
Making the peeps
- Once the marshmallows have set for 3 hours, coat your bunny shaped cookie cutters in tapioca flour to prevent sticking and cut out 12-15 bunnies. Remove the marshmallow scraps and save them for hot chocolate or rice krispie treats!
- Next, prepare the colored sugar for coating. Add the cane sugar to a food processor and pulse several times until it is finer in texture, but be sure not to pulse it into a powder.
- Divide the cane sugar between bowls and add 2-5 drops of vegan food dye gel to each bowl. I used 4 bowls (⅓ cup cane sugar each) to make the colors blue, yellow, pink, and purple. You can use as many bowls/colors as you would like.
- Using a fork, mix the food dye gel between the sugar until the gel is completely incorporated.
- Fill a separate shallow bowl with a ⅓ cup of water.
- Next, coat the marshmallows in the colored sugar by first quickly dipping in the water then quickly coating in sugar.
- Repeat process until peeps have been coated.
- Lastly, add eyes and a nose with black food dye gel.
- Make sure to pulse the sugar in a food processor before coating to get a better, fine texture.
- When you coat the peeps in water, do it very quickly. You do not want them to sit in the water for any extended length of time or they will get soggy and fall apart.
- Store these marshmallow peeps in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
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.