Homemade Paleo Strawberry Marshmallows Recipe

After my peppermint marshmallow recipe went insanely viral with over 7 million views, I decided to try some different flavors of marshmallows.  So far, homemade strawberry marshmallows have been my absolute favorite and such a delightful twist on this paleo treat.  It kind of tastes like strawberry cake and marshmallows got married and had a baby.  The marshmallows are perfectly sweet from the maple syrup with just the right amount of strawberry flavor from the freeze-dried strawberries.

When I first made these strawberry marshmallows, my daughter happened to be having a play date with some of her neighborhood friends, and all of the girls said these were amazing.  It’s always a win when healthy recipes are kid-approved!  

When to Serve?

These pink marshmallows are perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat, and super cute if you use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut marshmallows.   Due to their light and airy texture, they also make the perfect treat after a heavy meal.  If you are having some friends over for a lady’s lunch or a baby shower, I think these would be the perfect addition to the spread along with a bowl of fresh strawberries.  There are countless ways to enjoy this homemade marshmallow recipe.

strawberry marshmallows
strawberry marshmallows

What Are Marshmallows Made Of?

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

For the gelatin, my preferred brand is Further Food Premium Gelatin (affiliate link).  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 maple syrup, which is used instead of corn syrup and sugar to provide a healthier and paleo-friendly product. Any maple syrup (or honey) will work for this recipe, and you can easily swap in honey 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.  To make these strawberry marshmallows, I just greased and lined a pan with parchment paper.  I wanted the marshmallows to be beautiful and naturally pink.  The arrowroot would have covered up the pink from the freeze-dried strawberries.  So, either method works!

Finally, extract is one of the key ingredients.  The first time I made these strawberry marshmallows, I used one teaspoon each of vanilla and strawberry extract.  However, I found the taste to be very artificial tasting.  The second time, I did only vanilla extract and got all of the flavor from the freeze-dried strawberries, and the taste was amazing.  I loved this version. However, you can get as creative as you like with this recipe, and the flavor combinations are endless.  You can find the peppermint marshmallows recipe here, and the strawberry marshmallows recipe is below.

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.

  • Prepare Pan – It is so important to properly prepare your pan for the marshmallows.  I use either a square 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 serve as handles when you remove the marshmallows at the end to cut them.  Also, be sure to either (1) sprinkle in the arrowroot powder (or powdered sugar if using), as this will help your marshmallows from sticking and give them the ability to be cut into marshmallow cubes or (2) generously spray your lined pan with cooking spray to keep the marshmallows from sticking.
  • Blooming Gelatin – 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.
  • Proper Heating – Heating water and maple syrup (or 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 maple syrup (or honey) and water mixture achieve 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.
  • Glossy Peaks – When making marshmallows, you should mix until stiff, glossy peaks form, typically for about 7-10 minutes. To avoid over-mixing, 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. Over-mixing 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.  On the contrary, under-mixing the marshmallows can result in a final product that never fully sets and its too runny.


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

  • Cooling: Allow the marshmallows to cool and set them at room temperature for several hours or overnight.
  • 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.
  • Storage Container: Place the marshmallows in an airtight container. You can layer them with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  • 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.
  • Refrigeration: While not necessary, you can refrigerate marshmallows to extend their shelf life. However, this can affect their texture, making them slightly denser.  If refrigerating, be sure marshmallows are either in an airtight container (recommended method) or in a container that is tightly wrapped with plastic wrap.
  • Freezing: 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.

strawberry marshmallows
strawberry marshmallows

Simple Ingredients

  • Gelatin – Any unflavored gelatin product will work for this recipe, but this is my favorite brand (affiliate link).  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 shown that 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.
  • Maple Syrup – Instead of hot sugar syrup or corn syrup, this recipe uses maple syrup. Honey is a great substitute for 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.
  • Freeze-Dried Strawberries – I taste-tested two batches of strawberry marshmallows to be sure the taste was perfect.  I was surprised to discover that the flavor profile of the marshmallows with just freeze-dried strawberries, not strawberry extract, tasted best.  I purchased a high-quality strawberry extract for this recipe and thought the end result tasted very artificial.
  • Food Coloring – The freeze-dried strawberries will naturally add a beautiful, pink color to the marshmallows.  I think the pale pink color is so sweet, but for a more intense pink, feel free to add in a few drops of red food coloring.  I always recommend using natural food coloring.
  • Vanilla Extract – I found that a little bit of vanilla extract was the perfect complement to the freeze-dried strawberries in this recipe.
  • Cooking spray – I used cooking spray to keep the marshmallows from sticking to the pan.  

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 at least 5 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 maple syrup and water in a medium saucepan.  Bring the maple 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 the guesswork, yielding ideal results for 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. Mix with medium-high speed for 7 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 the sides of the bowl as you continue to mix.  If you have a kitchen mixer, you will save a lot of time using the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk attachment 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 vanilla extract and the crushed freeze-dried strawberries for the strawberry flavor. 
  • Stiff Peaks: When the marshmallow mixture is just starting to form stiff peaks, you’re done.  Be careful not to over-mix the marshmallows or the texture will vary from intended and the result will be very clumpy.
  • Setting: Then simply spread the marshmallow mixture into a parchment-lined baking pan and spray with oil to prevent sticking. Spoon the marshmallow mixture into the bottom of the pan. Smooth the top and leave it out on the counter for 6 hours of setting time.  Alternatively, you can leave it in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
  • Slicing: Using a sharp knife or the desired shape of a cookie cutter, cut marshmallows into desired shape and size.
stack of strawberry marshmallows

Homemade Paleo Strawberry Marshmallows Recipe

Sarah Erickson
These are a delicious and healthier homemade version of the traditional marshmallow! Also check out my viral peppermint marshmallows!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Forming Time 6 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 3 TBS gelatin
  • 1 cup water divided
  • 1 cup maple syrup or honey
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries powder
  • cooking spray


  • Put 3 TBS of gelatin over 1/2 cup of water to bloom.
  • While the gelatin blooms, put freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor and pulse until a powder-like substance is formed. Set aside.
  • While that blooms, in a saucepan 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 the pan to be sure the mixture doesn’t boil over. If you’re using a candy thermometer, bring the temperature to 240 degrees F.
  • 4 Add the boiling water/honey mixture to the gelatin mixture (bloomed gelatin) in your mixing bowl and immediately start mixing using either a handheld mixer or stand mixer to form the hot syrup mixture.
  • You will mix the ingredients for about 8 to 10 minutes total with a hand mixer. I start at a low speed and then slowly increase to a medium speed. You will slowly see the mixture change from a medium brown to a creamy color as stiff peaks form.
  • Midway through, add a pinch of salt, vanilla extract, and freeze-dried strawberry powder.
  • In an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper generously grease with cooking spray. This will prevent the marshmallows from sticking. Pour the marshmallow mixture into dish and spread out the top of the marshmallows 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 been set, remove them from dish using the parchment paper as handles.
  • On a cutting board, slice to the desired size of marshmallows. I like big marshmallows for snacking, but any size or shape will work.


Equipment and affiliate links:
Candy thermometer 
8×8 pan
parchment paper
Keyword =homemade, gelatin, gluten free, marshmallow, paleo, strawberry

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply