What Are Marshmallows Made of?

Quck answer

Marshmallows are made primarily from sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. The process begins by dissolving sugar into hot water. Gelatin is then added to the mixture, followed by corn syrup. This mixture is then heated and whipped to create a fluffy texture. Flavorings, such as vanilla or fruit extracts, can also be added. Once the mixture has cooled and set, it is cut into small squares or molded into various shapes. Marshmallows can be enjoyed on their own, used as a topping for hot chocolate, or incorporated into various desserts.

Do you enjoy going camping? It can be a great experience to sleep in a tent and cook your meals over a campfire. Of course, the most exciting part about starting a campfire is dessert. Graham crackers? Check! Chocolate bars? Check! There is only one more thing you need to make delicious s’mores: marshmallows!

Gooey, melted marshmallows bind the chocolate and graham crackers together into a warm and tasty treat that is unlike any other. What exactly are the ingredients in these marshmallows?

If you were to come up with a recipe for marshmallows, you might expect it to include things like a cup of deliciousness, two tablespoons of pure joy, a pinch of sweetness, and four hairs from a unicorn’s tail. However, the list of ingredients on a package of marshmallows reveals a range of ingredients that you may already be familiar with.

However, this was not always the case. Modern marshmallows can be traced back to the marshmallow plant — Althea officinalis — which the ancient Egyptians used as a medicine to treat sore throats. By crushing the plant’s roots to create a paste from its sap, they boiled it with honey or sugar syrup to create a chewy substance that could be eaten like candy.

In the 19th century, French candy makers took it a step further by whipping the sap of the marshmallow plant into a fluffy candy that closely resembled modern marshmallows. However, it was expensive and time-consuming to extract the sap from marshmallow plants, so clever bakers began looking for alternatives.

Eventually, egg whites and gelatin replaced marshmallow plant sap. This substitution allowed American inventor Alex Doumak to invent a fully-automated process for making marshmallows in 1948. His process resulted in marshmallows with the familiar cylindrical shape that we know today.

While recipes may vary among manufacturers, the most common ingredients in modern marshmallows include gelatin, egg whites, corn syrup, sugar, and flavorings such as vanilla. Marshmallows are often coated with a mixture of powdered sugar and corn starch to prevent them from sticking together.

Today, marshmallows continue to be a popular candy that comes in various shapes, sizes, flavors, and colors. Apart from s’mores, marshmallows are a common addition to many breakfast cereals. They also make a great addition to hot chocolate.

Melted marshmallows transform plain Rice Krispies® cereal into a sweet treat that kids love. They can also be found topping sweet potato casserole and floating in ambrosia salad. If you have a stick and a campfire, a roasted marshmallow is a delicious treat on its own.

Give It a Try

We hope you’re eager for more fun with marshmallows! Make sure to try out the following activities with a friend or family member:

Looking for some marshmallow recipes? We are! Go online and check out Alton Brown’s Homemade Marshmallows recipe. Go to the store with a friend or family member to get the necessary ingredients, and then spend some quality time in the kitchen making your own homemade batch of marshmallows!

S’mores are not the only tasty treat you can make with marshmallows. Explore 13 Treats To Make with a Bag of Marshmallows online to discover some delicious treats you can make at home with friends and family members. Choose one or two recipes to try soon.

Do you have a group of friends and plenty of marshmallows? Sounds like you have everything you need to play a fun game of Chubby Bunny! Just follow the online directions to play this entertaining game that challenges you to shout “chubby bunny!” without spitting out any marshmallows… as you continue to put more and more marshmallows into your mouth during each round. Enjoy!


1. What are marshmallows made of?

Marshmallows are primarily made from sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. These ingredients are mixed together and heated until they form a thick, sticky mixture. Vanilla extract is often added for flavoring. The mixture is then poured into molds and left to cool and set. Once set, the marshmallows are cut into small, pillow-like shapes and coated in powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent sticking.

2. Are marshmallows vegetarian or vegan?

No, most marshmallows are not vegetarian or vegan. The main ingredient in marshmallows, gelatin, is derived from animal collagen, typically from pig or cow bones and skin. However, there are some vegetarian and vegan marshmallow alternatives available on the market that use plant-based ingredients like agar agar or carrageenan as a gelatin substitute.

3. Are marshmallows gluten-free?

Most marshmallows are gluten-free, but it’s important to check the label to be sure. The main ingredients in marshmallows, such as sugar and gelatin, are naturally gluten-free. However, some marshmallow brands may add gluten-containing ingredients or have potential cross-contamination during the manufacturing process. If you have a gluten intolerance or allergy, it’s always best to double-check the packaging or choose marshmallows that are specifically labeled as gluten-free.

4. Can you make marshmallows at home?

Yes, you can make marshmallows at home! Homemade marshmallows require a few ingredients like sugar, gelatin, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. The process involves dissolving the gelatin in water, heating the sugar and corn syrup to create a syrup, and then slowly pouring the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture while whisking. The mixture is then beaten until it becomes thick and fluffy. Once set, the marshmallows can be cut into desired shapes and coated with powdered sugar or a mixture of powdered sugar and cornstarch.

5. How long do marshmallows last?

Marshmallows have a relatively long shelf life and can last for several months if stored properly. It’s best to keep marshmallows in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Exposure to moisture or humidity can cause the marshmallows to become sticky or stale more quickly. If stored correctly, unopened marshmallows can last up to six to eight months. Once opened, marshmallows will stay fresh for a few weeks if stored in an airtight container.

6. Can marshmallows be used for anything other than roasting over a fire?

While roasting marshmallows over a fire is a classic use, marshmallows can be used in a variety of ways. They are a popular ingredient in desserts such as s’mores, hot chocolate, and rice crispy treats. Marshmallows can also be used as a topping for cakes and cupcakes, melted into frosting or fillings, or added to ice cream and milkshakes for extra sweetness and texture. Additionally, some people enjoy using marshmallows in savory dishes like sweet potato casseroles or as a garnish for cocktails.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *