homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free}

homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrot

It’s a messy job, but totally worth it.

Before I dive into the world of marshmallows, it’s interesting to note that most recipes contain corn syrup and/or raw egg whites (it makes them soft and fluffy). The problem is, I’m not a fan of corn syrup and most people freak out about raw eggs. So, what is one to do?

Use evaporated milk.

homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrot

Yes, it’s true. I’m not exactly sure what kind of magical powers it might posses… All I know is that evaporated milk makes the fluffiest marshmallows ever, without having to add any of the above ingredients. It’s the best kept secret.

Here’s another tip- your cooking tools are just as important as your ingredients. If you’re short on any of them, the process is going to be a little bit tricky. You will need the following (in this order):

  • Patience
  • Clutter free workspace
  • Stand mixer
  • Cooking spray
  • Non-stick 8×8 or 9×13 pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Candy thermometer
  • Rubber spatula
  • Sifter
  • Powdered sugar & cornstarch
  • Sharp knife, pizza wheel or kitchen scissors

And now, kindly prepare yourself for a fleet of snowy white photos with comprehensive instructions at the end of the post (I had to lure you in somehow- this is a long one!) Sunglasses are optional.

homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrot

All of that for homemade marshmallows?!

Yes! They taste way better than store-bought and you have control over the quality of ingredients. Of course they’re a bit messy, and yes your fingers will get sticky- but the truth is, they’re a lot of fun to make. Once you have this basic recipe down you can add different extracts and toppings to make them your own. Follow these tips and you will have beautiful, fluffy marshmallows.

Tips:

  • Space is your friend. If your kitchen lacks counter space, move this project to a clean kitchen table. Position your stand mixer near an outlet, and set up all cooking tools and ingredients before you begin.
  • Prepare your pan right away. Marshmallows set very quickly, so be sure to have your pan prepped and ready to go. All pans need to be generously coated in cooking spray and lined with parchment paper. I recommend using something non-stick, but glass or metal will do.
  • Do I really need a candy thermometer? Yes. In order for your marshmallows to set properly, the milk and sugar must be heated to approximately 250 F. Regular thermometers only go up to 220 F. Don’t chance it.
  • Get to know your rubber spatula. This is the one and only tool that will get the fluff out of the bowl. Keep in mind, because marshmallows are very sticky you will not be able to scrape every last bit out of the bowl. You will not have a perfectly smooth finish to the top as well. This is all OK.
  • Powdered sugar & cornstarch… why both? Even though powdered sugar has a small amount of corn starch in it, additional cornstarch acts as a moisture barrier preventing the marshmallows from becoming sticky. Make sure to sift your mixture before coating the marshmallows (you don’t want any clumps!).

***And last but not least- because evaporated milk is a tan color, your mixture will initially be brown. Do not fret! After 10-15 minutes of mixing on high speed your marshmallows will become a soft, creamy white color. I was skeptical at first but it’s true.

homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrothomemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free} | The Clever Carrot

4.8 from 6 reviews
homemade fluffy marshmallows {corn syrup free}
 
Author:
Ingredients
Ingredients:
  • cooking spray
  • ½ c. water + ¼ c.
  • 3 tablespoons (3 packets) unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 c. sugar
  • ½ c. evaporated milk
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ c. powdered sugar
  • ½ c. cornstarch
Cooking tools:
  • clutter free workspace
  • stand mixer
  • non-stick 8x8 or 9x13 pan*
  • parchment paper
  • candy thermometer*
  • rubber spatula
  • sifter
  • sharp knife, pizza wheel or kitchen scissors
*I recommend using a non-stick pan, but glass or metal will do. For thick marshmallows, use an 8x8 pan. For thinner marshmallows, use a 9x13 pan.
*In order for your marshmallows to set properly, the milk and sugar must be heated to approximately 250 F. Regular thermometers only go up to 220 F.
Instructions
  1. Generously coat the bottom and sides of your pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cut the parchment paper to fit the inside of your pan. You should have about 2 inches of overhang on each side. These will be your 'handles' for easy removal.
  3. Pour ½ cup water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the gelatin and allow to soften, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and ¼ cup water. Whisk over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 247- 250 F, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add the hot syrup to the gelatin mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated.*See important note below.
  7. If using a vanilla bean, slice it in half lengthwise with a pairing knife. Scrape out the seeds using the blade of the knife. Add the seeds (or vanilla extract) to the bowl.
  8. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick, fluffy, and tripled in volume, about 10-15 minutes. Your marshmallows will be a glossy, creamy white color.
  9. Using a rubber spatula, quickly scrape out the mixture into the prepared pan. Lightly coat your spatula with cooking spray and smooth out the surface. Marshmallows set very quickly, so you will need to work fast. Do not worry about getting every last bit of marshmallow out of the bowl or making the top perfectly smooth!
  10. Allow the mixture to set, uncovered (not refrigerated) for at least 8 hours- overnight.
  11. After the marshmallows have set, combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
  12. Spoon some of the mixture into a sifter, and sift over the top of the marshmallows and a cutting board.
  13. Using the parchment handles, remove the marshmallows from the pan and place onto your board.
  14. Dust a large chef's knife, pizza wheel, or kitchen scissors with the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture so that they do not stick to the marshmallows.
  15. Cut the marshmallows into 1-inch squares.
  16. Toss the marshmallows into the mixture to prevent sticking.
  17. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Notes
* Because evaporated milk is a tan color, your mixture will initially be brown. Do not fret- after 10-15 minutes of mixing on high speed, your marshmallows will become a soft, creamy white color.

Comments

    • Emilie says

      Thank you Laura! Replacing the corn syrup with evaporated milk works like a dream. You will never believe how soft and fluffy they are! I hope you enjoy :)

    • Emilie says

      Your kids will LOVE making these! We definitely had a lot of fun with this project. And they are delicious in hot chocolate too! So soft & creamy… and if you can make them with vanilla bean, even better :)

    • Emilie says

      Oh, how funny is that? I guess it’s that time of year ;) If you’ve never made them before, this is a very reliable recipe. Enjoy!

  1. Merryl Chantrell says

    Thanks for the super easy recipe. I cannot tolerate raw egg whites so this recipe is great.
    Looks yummo too.

    • Emilie says

      You are quite welcome Merryl! I know a lot of people who cannot tolerate raw egg whites as well, so that was one of my motivations behind this recipe. The results are very similar, if not the same. Using evaporated milk is a great tip :)

  2. says

    Beautiful! I adore homemade marshmallows. I was on a real kick with them a few years ago, and I remember that even though I thought I had “cleaned up” , as I walked around my kitchen I saw a fine dust of confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch everywhere! I had to laugh… and then I”d eat another marshmallow. One year, I actually did them on my back patio. No kidding. It turned out to be a really good solution.

    I find your use of evaporated milk intriguing. The technique is new to me… I have got to give this method a go. I have always entranced by watching the string of hot syrup as it was absorbed into the egg whites. I love watching as the mixture mushrooms to such a volume that it looks as though it might overflow the mixture bowl.

    Congratulations on a beautifully realized recipe and marvelously done post. Brava! Happy Holidays!

    • Emilie says

      How funny- that powdered sugar mixture sure does get all over the place! Great idea to do it outside. I have this really ugly disposable table cloth that I plan on using next time. I’ll just wrap the whole thing up and throw it in the trash ;)
      I think you will really appreciate the use (and ease) of the evaporated milk. It is so amazing how it transforms these marshmallows into soft, puffy deliciousness. What’s even more amazing, is that the mixture starts out brown and then turns completely white. I was shocked!
      We wrapped these up and gave them away as holiday presents. They are a huge hit with grown-ups and kids alike! I hope you enjoy. Happy holidays Adri xx E

  3. says

    Hi! Not sure how I got here but glad I did. I love making marshmallows when I do have the time and patience. I look for an organic corn syrup but had not heard of using evaporated milk. But will for sure try it for my peppermint marshmallows. Thanks. wendy

    • Emilie says

      You’re welcome Wendy! Using evaporated milk is a great and reliable substitute. I was shocked at how well it works. Your peppermint marshmallows sound fantastic by the way… Have fun with the recipe :)

    • Emilie says

      Ah yes… gone are the days of those dried little things in Swiss Miss packets. Remember those? x

  4. Jennifer says

    Do you think you could use this recipe to make Rice Krispies? Perhaps just cook them and obviously skip the cooling step? Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Jennifer! I don’t see why not… I haven’t done it myself, but it’s worth a shot. Keep in mind, the marshmallows are very, very sticky so it might be a little bit difficult when measuring out the amount you need for your recipe. If you try it, let me know how it turns out. I’m so curious! Thanks :)

  5. yasmeen says

    Hi…sounds cool…can we make this with homemade evaporated milk. .in the place where I live..I dont get evaporated milk..plz reply at the earliest..thank u

      • Emilie says

        Hi Yasmeen! You know, that’s a very good question… I’m pretty sure you can use your own homemade evaporated milk, however I have not experimented with this (sorry I cannot advise!)
        In order for the marshmallows to set properly, the milk and sugar mixture must reach 250 F. So whether you’re using store-bought or homemade evaporated milk, this step is absolutely crucial. Please let me know how it turns out! Good luck :)

  6. says

    Wow, they definitely hands-down beat any supermarket version of marshmallow! Pillowy squares of soft, sweet heaven! I’ve never eaten a homemade marshmallow but I definitely want to give your recipe a try. Thanks, I’m excited!

  7. says

    Oh my gosh, evaporated milk marshmallows, they sound heavenly! I am so pleased that I have stumbled upon your blog, I love it.

    • Emilie says

      Thank you Kate!!! It’s the best secret ingredient! It makes them super moist & fluffy. Who knew, right? ;)

  8. Nina says

    Hi I’m hoping to try these ASAP! I’m in the uk and we have condensed milk which is brown and tastes of caramel and we have evaporated milk which is white and we pour cold onto puddings like cream. Which do you think sounds most like the right one? Sorry for being dim! And also have you ever tried using vegetarian gelatine? All those veggies get a raw deal missing out on these and I wouldn’t mind giving it a try! Thanks!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Nina! No need to apologize- For this recipe you will need evaporated milk, not condensed milk. I’m not sure if you have different varieties of evaporated milk, but you are looking for one that is unsweetened. There is plenty of sugar in these marshmallows already! ;) I’ve heard of vegetarian gelatin but have never used it before. If you try it, do let me know! :)

  9. Maya says

    they looks so yumm and a must try ASAP :) a silly Q here can i use it (skipping the cooling step) as a marshmallow creme? wanna make a marshmallow butter frosting for a cake cant find the creme anywhere here and cant feed babies raw egg as well :( help please

    • Emilie says

      Hi Maya! You know, I’ve never made marshmallow creme before so I’m not really sure if you could just skip the cooling step in this recipe. Common sense tells me no, because these marshmallows set very fast in the pan. You wouldn’t be able to spread it on anything. Have you tired Googling a recipe? That might be a good idea. I’m sorry that I could not be of more help. I hope you find what you are looming for. Good luck! :)

  10. Omotayo says

    Hi, I’m hoping to try this recipe bt do you know if I can use this to make fondant?

    • Emilie says

      Hi there! I’m not really sure if you could use this recipe for fondant… I don’t believe so. I wish I could be of more help! Let me know how it goes if you try it out :)

  11. says

    You are my savior! I wanted to make marshmallows for my blog anniversary, and I just noticed at 9 pm that I didn’t have any corn syrup. Plus I had a can of evaporated milk, which I don’t normally have, so this recipe fit like a glove (though I had to make half because I didn’t have much gelatin :P)
    So thank you! If everything comes out right, they will be posted on my blog tomorrow :)

  12. Abby says

    Hi! I was just wondering what would be the best way to store them, and how long do they keep? Thanks :o)

  13. Anise S. says

    This looks absolutely amazing and the fact that they don’t contain corn syrup makes me feel less guilty about eating marshmallows. However since it does contain dairy, how long can this be kept for? will it go bad?

  14. says

    Yay for this! I was specifically looking for a corn syrup-free marshmallow recipe so that I could make marshmallows with using any ingredients packaged in plastic!

  15. says

    i only have a hand mixer. i have made marshmallows with it before. won’t it work with your recipe?? i do want to try it. my son would be so excited. i say no to marshmallows because they are made with such yuck, but your recipe is perfect for us.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Erika! Although I’ve never made marshmallows with a hand mixer before, if you’ve had success with this method in the past why not give it a go?! Let me know how it turns- I would love to pass along that tip. Enjoy :)

  16. says

    Hi!
    Oh, what a unique recipe! I really abhore using corn syrup. Can you please tell me if you used fat free evaporated milk or low fat?

    Thank you!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Katy! Thank you! If memory serves me correctly, I believe I used Nestle Carnation regular evaporated milk. However, low fat or fat free should work as well. Let me know how they turn out! Have fun!

  17. Dina says

    Hi!
    Thank you for this interesting recepie, but I just wanted to clarify, how much gelatin you use in grams? My gelatine comes in 2g sheets, so I cannot measure it with teaspoon :)

  18. Yvonne says

    Hello,
    How long do these marshmallows stay fresh for? What is the best storage? I have made homemade gummy treats using gelatin and after a couple hours they get sweaty and gooey. Do these do that? Thanks

    • Emilie says

      Hello Yvonne!

      I store the marshmallows in an airtight container. They should last for about 1 week. If you’re making these as gifts, I would make them only couple of days in advance prior to giving them away. This way they will stay fresh (longer) for the recipient.

      With regards to the gelatin, I’ve never had a problem with the texture. It doesn’t ‘sweat’ out as you’ve described, but I understand what you mean. Is is warm by you? The temperature and storage could be a potential factor.

      Hope this helps!

  19. Kellie says

    Hi, I just tried making this and it was a horrible failure! :( the sugar mixture for boiling almost burnt when i tried to let it boil to get to the temperature (i did not have a candy thermometer on hand, but it was only boiling for less than 5 mins!). Maybe it was because of the evaporated milk, i think mine was sweetened. I was looking forward to making this for tmr’s party but looks like i’ll have to come up with another last-minute dessert!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Kellie! So sorry to hear that. I’m happy to help you troubleshoot:

      If you used sweetened evaporated milk, that was most likely the problem (you’re not talking about condensed milk, right?). For best results use unsweetened evaporated milk.

      Also, it is really important to use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. Candy making is a science and the boiling stage is critical. If not done correctly the marshmallows will not set.

      I hope this information helps! Good luck! :)

  20. says

    I have all the ingredients, I will try these out over the weekend! Been planning on making homemade marshmallows for so long…found another one today using corn syrup, don’t have any and didn’t know marshmallows can be made without it till today! Thanks Emilie, btw I love the photos!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Donika! This is a great recipe for marshmallows without the corn syrup. The evaporated milk is amazing. Just a head’s up- I make mention in the recipe/post, but in case you missed it, the evaporated milk turns everything a tan color in the beginning. But after adequate mixing, it turns a beautiful white! Have fun with the recipe! Post a pic on IG! xoxo

      • says

        Yes I did catch that thank you, and what a lovely white colour it turns into, it’s like magic! I don’t have a candy thermometer, but I have a little experience from making Turkish delights I figured I can tell when it’s ready, and it worked out perfectly! I allowed it to simmer for 17 minutes, just in case 15 wasn’t enough, and I whisked it for 13 minutes, and it turned out just perfect! I posted a pic on IG :) Thanks again Emilie xoxo

        • Emilie says

          Excellent! So glad they turned out well! Thanks for sharing your feedback. I’m off to go check it out on IG! xoxo

  21. Christine says

    Hi…. Looking forward to making marshmallows with Carnation Milk. I was wondering, I want to ship these out overseas, it may arrive in about 3 or 4 weeks…. Will these marshmallows last that long, even if I seal the bag with a sealer? Will the Carnation Milk spoil after a while in the Marshmallows? What’s your opinion on this?

    • Emilie says

      Hello Christine!

      To be honest with you, I don’t think these marshmallows will last 3-4 weeks. I’m concerned that the marshmallows will dry out. You mention sealing the bag with a sealer- is it a vacuum sealer? Or just a sealed ziploc bag?

      Last year, I had some leftover past the 2 1/2 week mark (stored in an airtight container). They didn’t look fresh at all. They were slightly discolored and dry-ish. :(

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you need further clarification. Happy Holidays :)

  22. Elizabeth says

    Hi, I just made these for our office holiday hot chocolate party! They were a huge success. My feedback from the process – the sugar took almost 20 minutes to reach 250 degrees. I’m not sure if I used too large of a pot? Ultimately I had to turn it up from a simmer to a boil to get it to move past 220 degrees. The bottom of the pan had dark brown cooked sugar stuck to it, but the rest of the sugar mix was the right temperature. I may have whipped my marshmallows for too long. Your picture has a beautifully coated whisk attachment, but my attachment was FULL of THICK marshmallow cream when I took it off. Actually though, this may have been a good thing. My marshmallows set in about 3 hours. The finished product was perfect for hot chocolate- they melted just a little, but mostly softened into a gooey molten marshmallow, sort of like the perfect roasted marshmallow center!

    • Emilie says

      Hello Elizabeth! Thank you so much for sharing your feedback!

      With regards to the sugar- it’s ok if it took a little longer to reach 250 degrees. This happens. The important part was that you used a candy thermometer to regulate the temperature, and made adjustments as needed. Sorry about the bottom of the pot! I hope it wasn’t too difficult to clean ;) These things happen too, sometimes as a result of the actual make up of the pot (too thin).

      And as long a your marshmallows set properly, it’s a good thing!

      Well done on your first round! I think you nailed it. Thanks again for sharing, Elizabeth. Happy holidays! :)

  23. julie says

    What a yummy recipe! My kids and I really enjoyed them and im sure they will be a regular addition to our treat repertoire!
    To make marshmallow crème or to use for rice crispy treats stop cooking the sugar mixture at a temp of 243-45′.

  24. Erin says

    Hello! I am going to be making marshmallows later this week to give as Christmas gifts. I have a quick question that if you could answer that’d be fantastic.

    I had originally seen Giada’s recipe and could not find a video of her making them ANYWHERE. I wanted to see how thick they ended up in an 8″x8″ pan (which is how I ended up here). Looks like you have used an 8″x8″ pan and they look like they ended up maybe an inch thick?

    I bought a 9″x13″ pan to use and am afraid they’ll be too thin. I am wondering if maybe I should double the recipe so that they’ll be thicker in the bigger pan? Or would that make an insane amount of marshmallow that would be too much for the bowl of my mixer?

    Just a simple question I suppose but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advanced!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Erin! I am happy to help with regards to your question.

      I used an 8×8 inch pan for this recipe. I don’t remember exactly how thick they were, but at least 1 inch (maybe a little more). In the past, I’ve made the marshmallows in a 9×13 inch pan and thought they were too thin. It really wasn’t the end of the world, but I was going for a thick and fluffy look.

      DO NOT double this recipe! You’ll have marshmallows all over the place! This pretty much fills the mixing bowl to the top ;)

      So, if I were you, I’d buy a non-stick 8×8 inch pan if you want thick marshmallows. You could probably find an inexpensive one at Marshall’s or Home Goods. Or, if the thinner version doesn’t bother you go for the 9×13.

      I hope this answers your question! If you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to ask. Good luck! Happy Holidays :)

      • Erin says

        Thank you so much! I’ll go out and get an 8×8 pan. :) I think they’d look a little sad if they weren’t thick and fluffy.

        I definitely won’t double the recipe then. Wouldn’t want marshmallow all over the place, haha.

        You certainly answered my question. Thank you again for your help and Happy Holidays to you as well. :)

  25. Lauren says

    I just finished making these tonight! I made them in the morning and let then set for the full 8 hours. I am so in love with how they turned out! I was worried for my first time trying but they came out perfect and can’t wait to use them! Thank you!

  26. says

    These. Look. AMAZING. I am so intrigued by evaporated milk! And those all-white photos — too dreamy. :) I need to try these ASAP.

  27. Jess says

    I’ve been looking for a corn syrup free marshmallow recipe (as it’s difficult and expensive to find in South Africa)!
    I’ve just made my first batch of delicious homemade marshmallows!!

    Thank you so very much! :)

    • Emilie says

      Excellent! That’s great to hear, Jess! I’m so glad they came out delicious.

      So curious- where are you from in SA? My husband is from there :)

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