Making homemade marshmallows is such a treat, and these Strawberry Pink Marshmallows are adorable and delicious. As long as you have a candy thermometer and watch the sugar closely, you can absolutely make these marshmallows! These marshmallows are delicious on their own, dipped in chocolate, or roasted for a s'more!
Looking for other dessert recipes? Try these Heart Cookies with Jam, a Dessert Charcuterie Board, or these Biscoff Butter Cookies. And if you'd like another marshmallow option, try these Blackberry Marshmallows.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Homemade marshmallows are light and fluffy, and a delicious sweet treat for any time of year.
- The fresh strawberries give this recipe a summery feel (plus they're pink!) and you can make easy variations with other fruits and berries.
- There are easy substitutions if you'd rather not use gelatin or corn syrup.
- Marshmallows can store for a long time if stored correctly.
- They're great to eat on their own, dip in chocolate, or roast for s'mores!
You only need a few specific ingredients to make Strawberry Pink Marshmallows.
- Cold water: It's important to use cold water for blooming the gelatin.
- Unflavored powdered gelatin: I use Knox Powdered Gelatin. You'll need 3 envelopes or about 7 ½ teaspoons. See below for gelatin substitutions.
- Light corn syrup: This will combine with the granulated sugar to create the bulk of the marshmallow. See below for corn syrup substitutions.
- Strawberries: I used fresh strawberries, but you could also use frozen strawberries. If using fresh, you'll start with diced berries. Either way, make sure to crush the berries a bit as they're simmering to create the compote.
- Confectioner's sugar: Once the marshmallows are set, you will roll them in confectioner's sugar to keep them from sticking together.
See full recipe below for detailed instructions.
The beauty of using a compote in this Strawberry Pink Marshmallows recipe is that you could use any kind. Want to make a raspberry version? Or a blueberry version? That would work! Below are a few easy variations and substitutions:
- Strawberry Rhubarb Marshmallows - When making the compote, use ½ cup strawberries and ½ cup rhubarb.
- Blueberry Marshmallows - When making the compote, use 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries.
- Peach Marshmallows - When making the compote, use 1 cup diced fresh peaches. Since we want to avoid peeling the peaches, a small dice will be best to help the peaches (and peels) break down as the compote simmers.
- Use pre-made jam - If you don't want to make a fresh compote, use ½ cup of your favorite jam instead!
I have not tested this recipe with other variations, but if you do, let us know how it turns out in the comments! I always love to hear how you're adapting these recipes and use those as ideas for future recipes as well!
There are a few easy substitutions you can make with this recipe:
- Instead of gelatin: If you want to make vegan marshmallows, use agar agar as a 1:1 replacement for the gelatin.
- Instead of corn syrup: If you want to avoid using corn syrup, use honey or agave nectar in a 1:1 substitute for the corn syrup.
Occasionally I am asked if this recipe can be made sugar-free. I have not tried to use a sugar substitute (Splenda, for example), but I would be hesitant to do so. I suspect there would be a bit of an odd aftertaste. If you try this and have success, let me know!
How to Make Strawberry Pink Marshmallows
This recipe moves quickly. I recommend having all your equipment and ingredients out and ready to go so you can easily move from one step to the next.
Combine the strawberries, 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar, and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice in a small skillet or pot. Let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and crushing the berries. Transfer to a bowl and let cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Stir together the chilled berry mixture and ½ cup cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let sit to bloom.
Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, ½ cup water, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil.
Boil until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F, swirling the pan occasionally. It's important not to let it go over this temperature!
With the mixer on low, carefully pour the boiling sugar mixture into the stand mixer with the gelatin. Slowly increase the speed of the mixer (so as not to splash) until it's at high speed. Mix for 8-10 minutes until the mixture is stiff and a pale pink color.
Working quickly, pour the marshmallow mixture into a greased 9x9-inch baking pan. Use a spatula to help spread and flatten the marshmallow.
Let rest at room temperature for 4 hours or in the refrigerator for 2 hours to firm. Once firm, remove the marshmallows from the pan and place them on a greased work surface.
Cut into 16 pieces (or as many as you like) with a sharp knife. This will be sticky! Toss the marshmallows in powdered sugar to coat on each side.
Expert Baking Tips
- Cut the berries to a small dice - this will help them break down as you're making the berry compote.
- Make sure to use cold water for blooming the gelatin.
- I highly recommend using a stand mixer. There is so much mixing with this recipe that it would be incredibly challenging to make this with a hand-held mixer.
- Be careful when pouring the hot sugar mixture and increasing the speed of the stand mixer. You do not want this to splash!
- Be patient with whipping the marshmallows. This truly will take around 8-10 minutes.
- Grease your knife with cooking spray to cut the marshmallows. This will prevent the knife from sticking.
- If you have excess cooking spray left on the marshmallows, you can easily dab to remove with a paper towel.
Troubleshooting Marshmallow Issues
Making candy of any kind is challenging as it needs to be precise. There are a few things that will help make this recipe a success:
- Carefully watch the temperature: The melted sugar mixture needs to reach 240 degrees F exactly. If the mixture is under that temperature, the marshmallows won't set properly. If the mixture is over that temperature, the marshmallows will be too tough. A candy thermometer is a necessity for success here.
- Whip the marshmallows long enough: It's crucial to whip the marshmallows long enough to make sure they're aerated correctly and will set firmly. If the marshmallows are under-whipped, they won't set completely and may appear "wet." If the marshmallows are over-whipped, they'll become flat and feel "hard". 8-10 minutes of whipping until stiff peaks form (similar to whipping egg whites) is the key! Your mixing bowl will also feel cool to the touch, rather than warm from when the hot mixture was poured in.
- Give enough setting time: Don't skimp on the setting time! If you're rushing to cut the marshmallows, the marshmallows won't be fully firm yet. If you cut the marshmallows and they seem like they're still "wet" in the middle, let them rest and firm up (ideally overnight) to see if they just needed some extra time.
Marshmallow fluff is delicious to eat, but keep in mind that it will set up and become firm! Below are a few common marshmallow fluff questions:
- Can you eat the marshmallow fluff? Yes, it's delicious!
- Can you pipe the marshmallow fluff onto cupcakes before it sets? Yes, this would work. Keep in mind it will likely be very messy to transfer the marshmallow fluff into a piping bag, and you'll want to work quickly. Also, remember the fluff will set and become a firm marshmallow after sitting.
I highly recommend using a stand mixer to make homemade marshmallows! If you are using a handheld mixer, this will be very challenging! I use a KitchenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer. You'll also need a small skillet or saucepan to make the compote, and a medium saucepan (I like the Saucy from Great Jones) for melting the sugar mixture.
When melting the sugar mixture, use a larger pan than you think you need. You want to have room to easily swirl (instead of stirring) the mixture.
Cleaning your equipment: This recipe is messy, but the good news is that sugar melts in water! To clean your pans or stand mixer, let them soak in warm, soapy water and the sugar will melt away. No need for lots of scrubbing!
Room Temperature Storage: Store Strawberry Pink Marshmallows in an airtight container at room temperature, using a piece of wax paper or parchment paper between layers to keep the marshmallows from sticking together. If you like your marshmallows a little harder and dried out (we've all left those Easter Peeps on the counter before!) you can leave them in the open to harden.
Marshmallows can be kept for up to several weeks if stored properly.
Yes, absolutely! It's very important that the sugar reaches 240 degrees F without going over that temperature. If the mixture is under, the marshmallows won't firm up. If the mixture is over, the marshmallows will be too hard and won't have that signature fluffy feel.
I highly recommend a stand mixer for this recipe, otherwise, you will be holding a hand-held mixer for a long time!
If your marshmallows seem "wet" when you cut into them, it may be the case that they have not rested long enough. Let them sit to firm a bit longer (and overnight, if you have the time). It could also be that they were not whipped long enough and did not get enough aeration to dry and set properly.
Marshmallows should be light and fluffy. If they appear hard and flat, your sugar likely got too hot (over 240 degrees F) and then it will not whip correctly.
Spray your knife with cooking spray to prevent it from sticking to the marshmallows while cutting. You can always dab any excess cooking spray on the marshmallows with a paper towel to remove.
Yes! There are a few ideas for variations in the variations section above. This recipe can easily be made with other berries and even peaches.
Strawberry Pink Marshmallows
For the compote
- 1 cup strawberries diced
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
For the marshmallows
- 1 cup water divided
- 3 envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin about 7 ½ teaspoons
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Make the compote
- In a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat, combine diced strawberries, 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar and lemon juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved. When the mixture boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing up the berries.
- Transfer the compote to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The mixture should be fully cooled before using to make the marshmallows.
Make the marshmallows
- Grease a 9x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together strawberry compote and ½ cup cold water. Sprinkle gelatin on top and let bloom.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup and ½ cup water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture reaches exactly 240°F on a candy thermometer, about 10-12 minutes. Immediately remove from heat.
- With the stand mixer on low speed, slowly and carefully pour the melted sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture. Add the vanilla extract and salt.
- Slowly (to avoid splashes) increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is stiff and pale pink, about 8-10 minutes. When you remove the whisk, stiff peaks should form that take a few seconds until they fall back into the marshmallow mixture. Working quickly, pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and use a spatula to help spread evenly.
- Let the marshmallows sit and firm for at least 4 hours at room temperature or 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Lightly spray your work surface with cooking spray. Use a butter knife to slice around the edges of the pan, then turn the marshmallow out onto the work surface. You may need to pry it out at a corner. Use a sharp knife to cut the marshmallow into 16 pieces. If needed, spray the knife with cooking spray to help prevent sticking. If there is excess cooking spray on your marshmallow, dab with a paper towel to remove.
- Roll each marshmallow in powdered sugar on each side to prevent sticking, then serve.