Easy Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows Recipe 

The Key to Fluffy, Festive Paleo Peppermint Marshmallows

You are truly missing out if you have never tried homemade marshmallows. Homemade marshmallows are such an indulgent treat for the holidays. They are so decadent and fluffy and make the perfect cup of hot cocoa or a great gift. These homemade marshmallows use just a few clean ingredients and hardly take any time. This recipe can also become a year-round family favorite, as homemade marshmallows make the absolute best rice krispie treats.

Marshmallows are traditionally made with marshmallow root. However, regular store-bought marshmallows are usually loaded with corn syrup, sugar, chemicals, and food coloring. Yes, even white marshmallows have blue food coloring in them.

I set out on a mission to craft a healthier version of marshmallows using cleaner ingredients like honey or maple syrup and grass-fed gelatin. The final product is free from any refined sugar. These marshmallows are gluten-free, corn-free, and even paleo-friendly.

Homemade Marshmallows

The holidays always trigger my desire for marshmallows. There is just something about a crackling fire that makes me want to snuggle up with my family with the perfect cup of hot cocoa and homemade marshmallows while playing games, reading books, or watching movies.

If you have never tried homemade marshmallows, you are in for such a treat! These melt right into your hot cocoa, creating the warm, fluffy, and absolutely delicious topping. You have truly never had anything like it!

My family and I like to double or triple this recipe. Sometimes, rather than cut the marshmallows, we even use cookie cutters to create beautiful shapes of the season. There is something so adorable about seeing a marshmallow-shaped Christmas tree melt into your cup of hot cocoa. We can easily eat a batch or two in just our household, but we also found these make the perfect and most thoughtful gifts. So many people have never tried homemade marshmallows, and your recipients will love this unique handcrafted gift.

What are marshmallows made of?

Traditionally, marshmallows are made from marshmallow root. Since that product is not sold in most stores in the United States, homemade paleo marshmallows typically use just four main ingredients: gelatin, honey (or maple syrup), arrowroot, and extract.

For the gelatin, my preferred brand is Further Food Premium Gelatin. This brand is made from grass-fed, pasture-raised, Non-GMO cows. This gelatin is paleo and keto.

Gelatin boasts various health benefits, including support for joint health through essential amino acids like glycine and proline, aiding digestion by promoting a healthier gut lining, enhancing skin, hair, and nail health with its collagen content, and contributing to muscle maintenance with a good source of protein. Additionally, gelatin may improve sleep quality due to the calming effects of glycine, boost metabolism, assist in wound healing, and offer a versatile, natural source of protein without added sugars. However, individual responses vary, and it’s recommended to incorporate gelatin into a balanced diet, especially for those with specific health concerns, seeking advice from healthcare professionals.

The other key ingredient in this recipe is honey. Honey is used in lieu of corn syrup and sugar to provide a healthier and paleo-friendly product. Any honey will work for this recipe, and you can easily swap in maple syrup entirely or use half and half of each and maple syrup.

Regarding the arrowroot, this is to help keep the marshmallows from sticking to the pan while they set or your knife as you cut them into the desired shape. Some recipes call for powdered sugar. You can certainly use that too, or you can use a combination of both powdered sugar and arrowroot powder.

Finally, extract is one of the key ingredients as your choice of extract is what will give your marshmallows their flavor profile. The first time I made these marshmallows, I used two teaspoons of vanilla extract. I absolutely loved this version. However, my kids prefer the recipe below which calls for peppermint extract instead of vanilla. You can get as creative as you like with this recipe, and the flavor combinations are endless.

Keeping marshmallows gluten free

By being mindful of ingredient selection, cross-contamination prevention, and label scrutiny, homemade marshmallows can be created to align with a gluten-free diet. This provides individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease the opportunity to enjoy this sweet treat without compromising their dietary needs. When incorporating additional flavorings or extracts into the marshmallow mixture, check labels to ensure they are gluten-free. Peppermint extract, for example, is typically gluten-free, but it’s essential to verify with individual products.

Homemade marshmallow tips

While homemade marshmallows are so easy to make, I do want to share a few tips to help you attain seemingly effortless and fluffy marshmallows.

It is so important to properly prepare your pan for the marshmallows.  I use either an 8×8 or 9×9 pan or baking dish.  I like to line my pan with parchment paper, with the parchment paper coming up and over the sides of the pan.  These actually end us serving as handles when you remove the marshmallows at the end to cut them.  Also, be sure to sprinkle in the arrowroot powder (or powdered sugar if using), as this will help your marshmallows from sticking and given them the ability to be cut into marshmallow cubes.

Blooming gelatin is crucial in marshmallow-making for a few reasons. First, it ensures the gelatin granules absorb water and swell, becoming fully hydrated. This step activates the gelatin, allowing it to dissolve smoothly when heated later in the process. Second, blooming creates a gel-like consistency, which contributes to the marshmallows’ structure and texture. To bloom gelatin, you typically sprinkle it evenly over a cold liquid (like water or fruit juice) and let it sit for a few minutes until it becomes sponge-like. Once bloomed, gently heat the mixture until the gelatin dissolves completely before incorporating it into your marshmallow recipe. This ensures a stable and fluffy marshmallow texture.

Heating water and honey to 240 degrees Fahrenheit serves a crucial purpose in making paleo marshmallows. This temperature corresponds to the soft-ball stage in candy-making, and it helps create the syrupy consistency necessary for successful marshmallow formation. At this temperature, the honey and water mixture achieves a specific sugar concentration, resulting in a stable sugar syrup that contributes to the structure, texture, and sweetness of the marshmallows. This step is essential for ensuring the right balance of ingredients and achieving the desired fluffy, paleo-friendly marshmallow texture without relying on traditional refined sugars.

When making marshmallows, you should mix until stiff, glossy peaks form, typically for about 7-10 minutes. To avoid overmixing, it’s essential to pay close attention to the texture and appearance of the mixture. Once the marshmallow reaches the stiff peak stage, meaning it holds its shape and looks glossy, stop mixing immediately. Overmixing can lead to a dry and crumbly texture rather than the desired soft and fluffy consistency. To ensure precision, periodically check the mixture’s texture during the mixing process and stop as soon as it reaches the stiff peak stage to achieve the best results.


To store homemade marshmallows, follow these steps for optimal freshness:

  1. Cooling:
    • Allow the marshmallows to cool and set at room temperature for several hours or overnight.
  2. Cutting:
    • Once fully set, cut the marshmallows into your desired shapes and sizes. Dust the cut edges with a mixture of powdered sugar and cornstarch to prevent sticking.
  3. Storage Container:
    • Place the marshmallows in an airtight container. You can layer them with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  4. Cool, Dry Place:
    • Store the container in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposing the marshmallows to heat or humidity, as this can affect their texture.

Shelf Life:

  • Homemade marshmallows generally have a shelf life of about 2-3 weeks when stored correctly. It’s best to consume them within this timeframe for optimal freshness and taste.


  • While not necessary, you can refrigerate marshmallows to extend their shelf life. However, this can affect their texture, making them slightly denser.


  • Marshmallows can be frozen for longer storage. Place them in a freezer-safe container or bag, separating layers with parchment paper. They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

Before serving, bring marshmallows to room temperature for the best texture. Keep in mind that the texture might change slightly after freezing, so it’s recommended to test a small batch before freezing a larger quantity.

I hope you’ll take a crack at crafting your own peppermint marshmallows this season.   These marshmallows are one of my family’s favorite recipes and is a must add to your hot chocolate toppings.  Turn up the holiday music, make multiple batches to gift friends and family then cozy up fireside with your favorite nostalgic novelties. Let me know if you have any other festive flavors you think I should try whipping up next! In the meantime, I’ll be stockpiling these dreamy minty pillows of sweetness to somehow make it until spring.

What you need to make homemade marshmallows:

Gelatin – Any unflavored gelatin product will work for this recipe.  Gelatin is a key component of marshmallows, and fortunately, most gelatin is gluten-free. However, it’s advisable to check the packaging to confirm that it meets gluten-free standards.  Many studies have some than agar is damaging to gut health, so this recipe calls for gelatin instead of an agar mixture, guar gum or xanthan gum used in homemade vegan marshmallow recipes. 

Water – While this is such a simple ingredient, I do want to briefly mention that water quality is so important.  It’s the most consumed ingredient in our home, and I recommend using filtered water when possible even when cooking.

Honey – Instead of hot sugar syrup, this recipe uses honey. Maple syrup is recommended as the sugar substitute for this recipe.  While my family prefers marshmallows made with honey, you can easily substitute maple syrup for the honey in this recipe.  You could also use agave nectar, but studies have shown that honey and maple syrup are cleaner options.

Salt – Just a dash of salt brings out the natural sweetness of the honey (or maple syrup) and the flavor of your chosen extract.

Peppermint – My family’s preferred flavor of marshmallows is peppermint.  However, you can substitute 2 teaspoons of maple syrup instead of the peppermint extract.  You can get as fun and creative with the flavors as you like.  Lavendar, lemon, orange or gingerbread or caramel flavor would be amazing.  

Arrowroot powder – To keep the ingredients list clean, I used arrowroot powder instead of powdered sugar.  This is necessary to keep the marshmallows from sticking to the pan and parchment paper as they set and then later your knife as you cut the marshmallows into your desired size and shape.

How to make homemade marshmallows: 

  • Blooming gelatin: The process starts by blooming gelatin over water to hydrate. Be sure to allow the gelatin long enough to bloom 10-15 minutes is recommended.  This crucial step allows the collagen proteins to absorb liquid, enabling thickening once heated. 
  • Simple syrup: Next, make a simple syrup.  Combine water and honey and water in a medium saucepan.  Bring the honey syrup mixture to a boil over medium to medium-high heat to prevent the mixture from boiling over and creating a mess on your stove.  I also keep a close eye on the boiling mixture and stir occasionally to prevent burning and boiling over.  You’ll want to bring the mixture to exactly 240°F for the right viscosity to dissolve gelatin. Using a candy thermometer removes guesswork, yielding ideal results every batch. Carefully pour the hot syrup mixture over bloomed gelatin, then start mixing immediately to prevent premature setting.
  • Mixing: Here’s where the magic happens. Blend rapidly for 8 to10 minutes to whip tiny air bubbles into the gelatin and syrup. You’ll witness the mixture transform texture through various stages, so don’t stop early. Push through stiff peaks forming to reach a final fluffy white marshmallow base. This step can be achieved using electric hand mixers for smaller batches or the powerful motor of a stand mixer for larger quantities to truly pump air in to get the right texture.  Be sure to scrape down sides of the bowl as you continue to mix.  If you have a kitchen mixer, you will save a lot of time using the stand mixer bowl for this step.  However, this recipe works great using just a regular handheld mixture, and that’s what I used.
  • Salt and extract: Midway through whipping, sprinkle in a pinch of salt to balance sweetness followed by a hit of peppermint extract for holiday flavor. The pure oil will swirl throughout, scenting the whole batch in minutes. When the marshmallow mixture is just starting to form stiff peaks and becomes an almost white color, you’re done.  Be careful not to overmix the marshmallows or the texture will vary from intended.
  • Setting: Then simply spread marshmallow mixture into a parchment-lined baking pan spray with oil and dusted with arrowroot powder to prevent sticking. Smooth the top and leave out on the counter for 6 hours of setting time.  Alternatively, you can leave in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
  • Slicing: Last, invert your homemade marshmallow block onto more arrowroot then slice to desired dimensions. Big squares get skewered for mug cocoas or smaller cubes layered between chocolate and graham crackers. However you choose to devour them, these from-scratch marshmallows deliver on the ultimate peppermint holiday fantasy. They beat the store-bought version by miles in terms of flavor complexity and delicate melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Homemade gelatin marshmallows.

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Homemade paleo marshmallows that are packed with protein and free from any refind sugard.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Setting time 6 hours
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 16 marshmallows


  • 3 TBS gelatin
  • 1 cup water divided
  • 1 cup honey
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp peppermint
  • 2 TBS arrowroot powder divided


  • Candy thermometer


  • Put 3 TBS of gelatin over 1/2 cup of water to bloom.
  • While that blooms, in a sauce pan combine 1/2 cup of water with 1 cup honey. Bring to a vigorous boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. This takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully watch pan to be sure mixture doesn’t boil over. If you’re using a candy thermometer, bring the temperature to 240 degrees F.
  • Add the boiling hot water/honey mixture to the bloomed gelatin in your mixing bowl and immediately start mixing using either a handheld mixer or stand mixer to form the hot sugar mixture.
  • You will mix the ingredients for about 8 to 10 minutes total with a hand mixer. I start at low speed and then slowly increase to a medium speed. You will slowly see the mixture change from a medium brown to a white color as stiff peaks form.
  • Midway through, add pinch of salt and peppermint extract.
  • In an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper, Sprinkle 1 TBS arrowroot powder over the bottom of the dish. This will prevent the marshmallows from sticking. Pour the marshmallow mixture into dish and spread out with the back of a spatula.
  • Allow marshmallows to form on the counter for 6 hours or in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
  • Once the marshmallows have set, remove from dish using the parchment paper as handles. Sprinkle remaining arrowroot over the top.
  • On a cutting board, slice to the desired size of marshmallows. I like big marshmallows for snacking and melting into hot cocoa, but any size will work.
  • Give the marshmallows a quick toss in the arrowroot powder (to prevent from sticking) and then dust off the extra.


Notes, substitutions and alternatives:
Shaping: We typically slice our marshmallows into large cubes.  However, you get extra festive and use Christmas cookie shapes to make adorable shapes for hot cocoa and the like.
Storage: Airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week
Serving Ideas:  Hot chocolate topping, whoopee pies, cake filling and rice crispy treats.  Be sure to check out my recipe for homemade rice crispy treats (link here).
Equipment: Candy thermometer essential for precision   
Troubleshooting tips: Stir constantly, don’t overheat syrup, whip mixture to stiff peaks  
Homemade vegan marshmallows: This type of gelatin-free marshmallows uses agar agar powder and sometimes with water from a can of chickpeas.  I have not personally tried this method, but please do comment below on any other tried and true methods.
Keyword =homemade, gelatin, marshmallow, paleo, peppermint

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