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Making Homemade Marshmallows

Can pectin be substituted for gelatin in a marshmallow recipe? Most marshmallow recipes seem to call for gelatin.

I personally don't have a problem with using gelatin but if I am preparing them for others, I am sure I'll come across someone who might object to the use of gelatin and I just want to know if there's a substitute for it that works the same or similar.

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  1. I haven't actually tried it, but from reading, my understanding is that you can't use pectin or agar. I think you can use marsh mallow, but I imagine that isn't too easy to find.

    1. I made home made marshmallows only once in my life.
      I found them very delicious but time consuming and a major effort.

      1. I would do a search for vegan marshmallows. I don't have any experience making them, but I'm sure others do and have written about it.

        1. I've made marshmallows many times and find the process a lot of fun, not to mention tasty! However, I've never used anything but gelatin. But you can definitely use agar flakes as in this recipe...

          or xanthan as in this recipe...http://tastytrifles.blogspot.com/2009...

          1. Looks like that's a softer fluff version. If you look at the picture, they are goey and not like normal homemade marshmallows.

            1. Hi Airo,

              I tried making marshmallows with Agar and with Xanthan Gum and someone tried to make me a present of non-gelatin containing marshmallows that I believe used either pectin or guar gum. That being said, none of them have turned out. The Xanthan Gum recipe (which is vegetarian as it doesn't have gelatin but not vegan as it does have egg whites in it) didn't ever solidify and got less and less solid as it sat, though it was the closest one to a traditional marshmallow (though still very far off). Here is a link to a brief discussion on the topic:


              I've literally looked for years for a vegetarian/vegan marshmallow recipe and can't seem to get one that works. This isn't surprising given that I know of only two commercial vegan marshmallow makers in existence, and no vegetarian marshmallow makers...it must be pretty difficult to make them. The only other newer recipe I've seen is this one, but it requires strange ingredients and seems to have mixed success rates:


              Please report back if you have any luck!

              1. Thanks everyone for the helpful replies. I've never made homemade marshmallows, but I'll be making them this upcoming week to see how they turn out. I'll certainly report back when I do.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Airo

                  Laura D. presented a very similar experience to mine in attempts to recreate a marshmallow without gelatin. What I did find was creating a "fluff" was much easier. If you are looking for traditional square or soft rounds of marshmallows it will be near impossible without the use of gelatin but if you can use the mallow as a spreadable fluff mixture, you have a few more choices.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I've tried to make marshmallows without gelatin twice. Both experiences were bad - much like described above. For one batch, I used something called "Vegan Gelatin" that I found in the "Organic" section of a Wegman's supermarket - I think it was kelp based? - and the marshmallows set up more than when I'd used Xanthan, and I had some high hopes until I tasted them - ick. Maybe if I had flavored them with mint or something...

                    But I do wish you luck making homemade marshmallows. I disagree with Il Divo, and would say that they are pretty easy to do (I use Alton Brown's recipe, which requires that you do very little but your stand mixer does a ton) and the results never fail to impress.

                    1. re: RosemaryHoney

                      Incredibly easy to make. If I had known they were this easy, I would've been making them a lot more! (Mine were made to float around in coffee and hot chocolate, not for show, so please excuse rough edges all over.)