Making homemade marshmallows is a rewarding baking project that allows you to customize flavors and impress friends with your delicious creations. Pastry chef Stella Parks of recommends marshmallows as a great starting point for anyone getting into baking due to their versatility and high work-to-reward ratio. Here’s how to make plain, mango, or raspberry marshmallows step by step.

For Plain Marshmallows
3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (about 3 packets)
1 cup cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Powdered sugar, for dusting
For Mango or Raspberry Marshmallows (Flavor Variations)
1/2 cup mango or raspberry puree (strained if needed)
Additional powdered sugar for dusting

1. Prepare the Gelatin
Bloom Gelatin: In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water. Let it sit and bloom while you prepare the syrup.
2. Make the Syrup
Combine Ingredients: In a medium saucepan, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup of water.
Cook Syrup: Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 250°F (121°C) on a candy thermometer (firm ball stage).
3. Mix Marshmallow Base
Pour Syrup: Once the syrup reaches 250°F (121°C), remove it from heat and carefully pour it into the bloomed gelatin mixture in the stand mixer bowl.
Whip: Using the whisk attachment, whip the mixture on medium-high speed until it becomes very thick and fluffy, about 10-12 minutes. Add vanilla extract during the last minute of whipping.
For Flavor Variations (Mango or Raspberry): Fold in mango or raspberry puree gently after whipping until fully incorporated.

4. Shape and Set Marshmallows
Prepare Pan: Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and dust it generously with powdered sugar.
Pour and Smooth: Pour the whipped marshmallow mixture into the prepared dish. Use a spatula lightly greased with oil to smooth the top.
Set: Let the marshmallows sit at room temperature until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
5. Cut and Coat
Cut Marshmallows: Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar. Turn the marshmallow slab out onto the cutting board and dust the top with more powdered sugar. Use a greased knife or pizza cutter to cut into squares or use cookie cutters for fun shapes.

Dust: Roll the cut marshmallows in powdered sugar to coat all sides, shaking off excess.
6. Store and Serve
Store: Store the marshmallows in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Serve: Enjoy plain or use flavored marshmallows in hot chocolate, s’mores, or as a sweet treat on their own.
Tips for Perfect Marshmallows
Temperature Control: Use a candy thermometer to ensure the syrup reaches the correct temperature for fluffy marshmallows.
Flavor Variations: Experiment with different fruit purees or extracts to create unique flavors.
Cutting: Grease your knife or cutter for cleaner cuts through the sticky marshmallow mixture.
Dusting: Powdered sugar prevents the marshmallows from sticking together and adds a nice finish.

Making homemade marshmallows allows you to enjoy fluffy, flavorful treats that surpass store-bought versions. Whether plain, mango, or raspberry, these marshmallows are sure to impress with their soft texture and delightful taste.