Marshmallows: 1 Fail and 1 Success

I’ve wanted to make homemade marshmallows ever since I went to New York City in October and had the most wonderful hot chocolate at City Bakery.  It’s not your usual hot chocolate, but instead melted chocolate with milk and has been rated the best hot chocolate in the country.  For a little extra money you can have a homemade marshmallow on top of it too:

City Bakery Hot Chocolate

(Please note New Yorkers – City Bakery is having a hot chocolate festival in February and is doing a different flavor every day!)

The marshmallow in the hot chocolate was exceptional; my favorite thing to do was spoon the hot chocolate over the marshmallow and then work a little chunk of chocolatey marshmallow off for myself.

So when this month’s Have the Cake challenge turned out to be marshmallows I was quite excited to participate.  Last Thursday I went to the kitchen intending to make a marshmallows from a recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen only to find that I did not have any gelatin in the house.  Disappointed, I hopped on the web to see if I could find any marshmallow recipes that did not have gelatin in them.  Since vegans object to the content of gelatin I was able to find several recipes, one on a gluten-free cooking blog which substituted xanthan gum and cream of tartar for the gelatin.

I happily started in, despite having to convert the recipe from grams to cups, and it all looked good.  The marshmallow formed into a nice fluffy ball in the mixer:

bad marsh in mixer

I poured the marshmallows into the pan, dusted them with powdered sugar, and popped them into the fridge, hopeful that they would turn out great.  Instead, the next day I cut into a thin globby (definitely not fluffy!) mass unlike any commercial marshmallow; and not tasty at all.

bad marshmallows

Seeing them on the pretty pink plate Anna desperately wanted to try one, but this is the face that she made when she got a little bit of it in her mouth:

Anna says yuck!

Anna says yuck!

I tossed the whole pan out in disgust and trounced off to the store to buy gelatin…

Today while we were stuck inside under a blizzard warning I had a chance to try again with the original Smitten Kitchen recipe for marshmallows. While the world outside was quickly covered in fluffy white stuff, I made my own fluffy white stuff in the kitchen:


Again, the marshmallows fluffed up nicely in the mixer and poured into the pan beautifully:

good marsh in pan

I dusted them with powdered sugar, put them in the fridge and waited 3 hours for the results.  I cut into the marshmallows and was overjoyed to find a fluffy square quite comparable to the marshmallows we all know and love.

Good Marshmallows

And fortunately the recipe makes plenty so I have lots to share with friends and family:


I think tonight we’ll be making s’mores using the broiler with our homemade marshmallows while watching the snow fall!

Please leave a comment

  1. Mike Munhall Says:

    These were really good marshmallows. Looking forward to more.

  2. tori Says:

    Yum! Now we just need a way to recreate the hot chocolate and paradise is ours! :-)

  3. Dorrie Says:

    Well I don’t know Tori… If I can recreate the City Bakery hot chocolate there’s one less reason for me to come and visit New York, and I don’t think either of us want that…

  4. Pam Jones Says:

    Had cocoa after a snowy hike in Garden of the Gods last Sunday and really wanted a marshmallow but we don’t use them often enough to warrant an entire batch. Can you freeze them, then vacuum pack them and get out a couple of them at a time?

  5. Michelle Says:

    They look delicious! Congrats!

Leave a Comment