Honey Vanilla Marshmallows

TIMEDecember 9, 2021

This recipe for homemade marshmallows ditches the corn syrup in favor of a combination of honey and sugar. Honey, combined with vanilla, gives the marshmallows a subtle floral flavor. If you prefer a different flavor, you can easily swap the vanilla for another extract, such as lemon or almond, or even a spoonful of rum or brandy. Remember that temperature and timing are both critical in candy making, so keep a candy thermometer handy for this recipe.

Makes about 3 dozen marshmallows

  • Baking spray, for greasing the pan
  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin (about 2 1/2 tablespoons or 21 grams)
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot starch or cornstarch

Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, so that about 1 inch of parchment hangs over each side of the dish. Spray the parchment lightly with baking spray.

Empty the gelatin packets into a bowl, and cover with 1/2 cup water. Allow the gelatin to soften and bloom for about 5 minutes.

Combine the sugar, honey, sea salt, and remaining 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Stir occasionally over medium heat until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, about 8 minutes. Break up the gelatin and whisk it into the hot honey and sugar mixture.

Working very quickly, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Then, drizzle the gelatin mixture into the egg whites while you continue to beat them together until the mixture stiffens, about 8 minutes more. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating the egg white mixture another 2 or 3 minutes, until it’s thick but still slightly warm and pliable.

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and let it sit at room temperature until set, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Whisk the powdered sugar and arrowroot starch together in a bowl, and set it aside. Spray a sharp knife with baking spray, and then gently lift the parchment out of the pan, peeling it away from the set marshmallows.

Cut the marshmallows into squares, and then, working one at a time, toss them into the powdered sugar and starch mixture. Transfer to an airtight container and enjoy right away or store at room temperature up to 1 week.

Jennifer McGruther, NTP, is a nutritional therapy practitioner, herbalist, and the author of three cookbooks, including “Vibrant Botanicals.” She’s also the creator of, a website that celebrates traditional foodways, herbal remedies, and fermentation. She teaches workshops on natural foods and herbalism, and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest.