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Vegan marshmallows…

So sweet… yet they’ve been a thorn on my side for about 3 years now.

It all started right around this time of year, when my son was about 3 years old. He became obsessed with this one episode of “Everyday Italian” on the Food Network. It was a Halloween special so, of course, it was all about candy and chocolate .He used to watch it over and over again and finally (and I knew it was coming)  he asked me if I could make Giada’s treats for him. And of course, I agreed. I figured it would be a fun way to spend time together in the kitchen, so why not?

Yeah well, little did I know…

The first thing he wanted me to try to make, was her marshmallows. They looked easy enough. Gelatin, sugar, vanilla, lots of whipping… nothing crazy. I thought I would just use vegan “gelatin” instead of regular and done.

So I gave it a try… and ended up with a gooey mess. Then I tried it again the next day, same result. Again a few days later, nothing.  At that point my son got tired of it and wasn’t interested in marshmallows anymore. But I wasn’t about to give up. No way.

I kept trying and trying, but all I ended up with was a whole lot of syrup stuck everywhere and no fingernails left from all the scrubbing I had to do to clean it up. You know what Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well that was me, to a tee. So I finally let it go.

Fast forward 3 years… and here we get a request for a vegan marshmallow recipe. Funny how the universe works. So here I am, back at it again only this time, I’m older, hopefully wiser and I have my sister by my side to help me. So giving up, not an option.

We took the time to do some research, read about gums and seaweed and chemistry… and finally we got it. WE GOT IT!I couldn’t believe it!!

Now with that said, here’s a few things we’ve learned along the way and you should know too if you’re planning on making these:

  1. Vegan marshmallows are much like spoiled little divas: you need to follow the directions and give them time, attention and TLC, or else they’ll have a complete meltdown. Literally.
  2. Don’t expect to get the same stuff you can buy in a bag at the grocery store. We’re talking home made here. And vegan. It’s just not gonna happen.
  3. Here we used orange flavored vegan “jel” for two reasons: one, we thought orange would be appropriate for this time of year. And two, we found that using a flavored “jel” took some of the protein powder taste away. You can use different flavors or unflavored “jel”, as you will see in the ingredients list.
  4. We suggest you use a standing mixer. A hand mixer will do the job, but your arms will get a really good workout and you will need another set of hands to pour the syrup into the bowl while mixing!
  5. For “extra firm” marshmallows, store these in the freezer after you cut them. If you don’t mind a little bit of goo, store them in the fridge.
  6. We found that making these in small batches works better than making a lot of them at once. This recipe yields about 2 dozen medium size marshmallows.

And that’s it! Enjoy them!!


  • Prep time: 35-40 minutes plus refrigeration time
  • Cook time: 6-7 minutes
  • Ingredients (makes approx. 2 dozen medium size marshmallows):
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy protein powder (as pure as possible, at least 90% soy isolate)
  • 1/4 tsp pectin
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp room temperature water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (if using unflavored vegan “gelatin”, increase the amount of sugar by 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-3oz package of orange flavored vegan “Jel” dessert (you can also use unflavored)
  • 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)

You will need:

  • A standing mixer with a whisk attachment (recommended)
  • A candy thermometer
  • Wax or parchment paper
  • A 7″x 5″x 1.5″ pan or glass container
  1. Combine protein powder, pectin, baking powder and 1/3 cup plus one tablespoon of room temperature water in a standing mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment whip all the ingredients at medium-high speed until soft peaks start to form
  2. In the mean time, in a medium sauce pan combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water. Stir, place over medium heat with a candy thermometer until it reaches 240F
  3. Once the syrup has reached 240F, REMOVE FROM HEAT and immediately add orange flavored “jel”, stirring constantly until it dissolves completely. You have to work quickly here, before the mixture thickens too much!
  4. CAREFULLY and while the mixer is still running, pour the syrup quickly into the mixing bowl. Increase the speed to high and whip it for a good 25-30 minutes, until pale and fluffy. At the last minute, add vanilla extract.
  5. In the meantime, mix corn starch and confectioner’s sugar together in a medium bowl. Line a 7″x 5″x 1.5″ pan or glass container with wax or parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray and generously coat with the sugar mixture.
  6. Spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray and spread the marshmallow mixture over the prepared pan. Refrigerate immediately for about 2 hours, then sprinkle more of the sugar/corn starch mixture on top.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 4 more hours of overnight (recommended)
  8. When ready, sprinkle more of the sugar/corn starch mixture on a clean surface. Take the marshmallow block off the mold an cut it using a pizza cutter. Sprinkle more sugar and corn starch so all the sides are covered and refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. For chocolate drizzled marshmallows, place them in the freezer after they’ve been cut while you melt the chocolate chips (in the microwave or double boiler). Pour the melted chocolate into a squeeze bottle or a re-sealable plastic bag (cut the tip to maker a small hole) and drizzle over the marshmallows.
  10. Read Tips 1-6 above the recipe
  11. ENJOY! From May I have that recipe

Whip the protein powder, pectin, baking powder and water until it starts to form soft peaks

Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium sauce pan
Cook over medium heat until it reaches exactly 240F

Make sure to emove the syrup from the heat before adding the “jel” powder!

And stir fast and until completely dissolved, or you’ll end up with grainy marshmallows!

Quickly pour the orange syrup into the protein powder mixture, while the mixer is still running. Turn the speed to high and let it go for a good 25-30 minutes. Seriously, LET IT GO. don’t touch it or stop it or check on it. Just let it do it’s thingYou’ll know it’s ready when pale and fluffy

Make sure to cover your working surface well with confectioner’s sugar and corn starch

This is what the marshmallow mixture looks like after being refrigerated overnight

Use a pizza cutter to cut the marshmallows if possible. Works much better than a knife!

“Dip” the sides in sugar and corn starch as you cut them
Cut the marshmallows into whatever size and shape you like

Sprinkle more confectioner’s sugar and corn starch and they’re done!