The best marshmallows are made at home and I’m not exaggerating one little bit. These caramel marshmallows are fun to make, actually pretty easy and taste of rich homemade caramel.
Why you’ll love it
These caramel marshmallows are like little soft pillows of sweet, delicious caramel. Rich, sweet, a little salt (or a lot – it’s up to you) and springy, homemade marshmallows are a million times better than any store-bought version I’ve ever tried.
These caramel swirl marshmallows have a distinct caramel flavour with it both mixed into the mallow and rippled throughout it. You can use homemade or store-bought caramel, salted or unsalted and just try to resist eating one after another.
What’s more, making marshmallows at home is so much fun and truly satisfying. They’re perfect for gifting too.
Ingredients you’ll need
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Gelatine: You’ll want powdered gelatine for this recipe. I’ve not tried sheets and since they have different strengths I cannot say which to use.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar or caster sugar (superfine sugar) is all you need.
- Liquid glucose syrup: Liquid glucose or light corn syrup can be used here. It’s added to the sugar syrup to keep it smooth and easy to make.
- Caramel: I use my homemade caramel sauce for these and it works perfectly. I encourage you to use that but if you don’t feel like making it you can use a store-bought version. You don’t want one that’s runny at room temperature but scoopable. Caramel top n fill will works (aka dulce de leche made from a tin of sweetened condensed milk) and the Bonne Maman caramel works too.
- Vanilla: Just a little pure vanilla extract rounds out the flavour.
- Cornflour: You may know this as cornstarch. Cornflour is normally a thickener but here it is used to make a coating for the marshmallows to stop them from being sticky.
- Icing sugar: Also known as powdered sugar or confectioners sugar, icing sugar is one part of the coating that stops the marshmallows from being sticky.
Do marshmallows contain eggs?
These caramel marshmallows do not contain any eggs. Sometimes, egg whites are added to marshmallows which gives them a lighter, fluffier texture. Personally, there isn’t enough difference in texture for me to take the time to add egg whites if I’m just cutting it up into squares like these.
Prepared marshmallow starts setting very quickly though which egg whites can slow, so an egg white marshmallow is more manageable if you’re going to be piping it into shapes. If you want to try a marshmallow with egg whites in it, try this raspberry marshmallow slice.
Tools you’ll need
- A large saucepan to make the syrup.
- A candy thermometer. It’s important to get the syrup to the right temperature.
- A stand mixer is the best way to beat the marshmallow.
- A 9 inch baking pan or similar to set them in.
How to make caramel marshmallows
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make marshmallows from scratch and also how fun it is. Watching the mallow go from a syrup to a thick white, meringue looking mixture is mesmerising.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Soften the gelatine: Start by sprinkling powdered gelatine over water in a stand mixer.
- Make the syrup: Combine water, sugar and glucose (or corn syrup) in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Give it a little stir to start the sugar dissolving then bring it to a boil until it hits 130°C / 265°F on a candy thermometer.
- Add the syrup to the gelatine: With the mixer on low, slowly drizzle the hot syrup into the gelatine mixture. Once it’s all added turn the mixer up to high.Beat it for 10-12 minutes until it’s quadrupled in volume, is thick, glossy and you can see strings pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
- Add the flavour: Now add your caramel and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Layer: Tip half the marshmallow into your buttered pan and spread it out. Drizzle over some more caramel and swirl it with a knife. Repeat the process with the rest of the marshmallow and caramel.
- The dust: Make the marshmallow dust by combining cornflour and icing sugar then sprinkle some over the top of the caramel marshmallow. This will stop it from being sticky to touch. Cover and let it sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight (best).
- Cut: Use a sharp knife (cleaned regularly throughout) to cut the marshmallow into 25 pieces and dust them all over in the marshmallow dust.
Tips and tricks
- Thermometer: Sorry to say, but you really need a thermometer for this recipe. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, a digital meat thermometer will work too just make sure to check it regularly.
- Grease the pan with butter: Softened butter is your best friend here. Grease the pan well with softened butter and you’ll have no trouble removing it.
- Damp hands keeps things tidy: When you’re levelling out the marshmallow in your pan, just dampen your hands a little (not too wet or the water will dissolve the mallow). It amazingly won’t stick to your hands.
- It washes up quick: Marshmallow is sticky business but it is incredibly easy to clean up. Just a little water will dissolve it straight away so washing up is actually a lot easier than you may think.
Can these marshmallows be toasted?
These caramel marshmallows can be toasted or used in anyway you’d normally use marshmallows. For instance, try them on top of this smore’s mug cake or add one to your coffee!
You can also use them in rice krispies treats or coat them in chocolate and set them in the fridge.
How to store marshmallows
These caramel marshmallows are best stored in a cool place, like the pantry, in a tightly sealed container.
Can you refrigerate marshmallows?
Sometimes, storing marshmallows in the fridge can make them sticky but I tested these and they were still perfect after 4 days.
Can you freeze marshmallows?
Marshmallows can be frozen. They won’t freeze solid but it can prolong their life up to 4 months. Just let them thaw and come to room temperature and they’ll be perfectly soft again.
Can marshmallows go bad?
Technically, due to being mostly sugar and water, marshmallows keep very well. With these ones, because of the caramel sauce, I would keep them for no longer than a month. I mean, I’m not sure anyone could resist them that long anyway.
More marshmallow FAQ’s
Many marshmallows, just like my orange marshmallows, are dairy free. These caramel marshmallows are not as the caramel contains cream and butter.
These marshmallows are neither vegan or vegetarian as they contain gelatine. While you could make marshmallows with agar agar, the texture will be different and the amount is not an easy substitute to make.
These marshmallows are egg free.
Made with my caramel sauce, these marshmallows are gluten free however, if you’re buying caramel, make sure to check the packaging to be sure.
More recipes you’ll love
- Orange marshmallows
- Raspberry marshmallow slice
- Easy rocky road
- Marshmallow Easter egg slice
- Chocolate marshmallow cookies
IF YOU TRY THIS caramel marshmallow recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you, and it helps other readers too!
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- If using homemade caramel, make that first. Chill in the fridge while you make the marshmallows and it should be room temperature by the time you need it.
- Grease a 9 inch square baking tin (or similar) with butter and set aside.
- Pour ½ cup of water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, then sprinkle the gelatine over the top and leave it to soften.
- Place the remaining water, sugar and glucose into a stainless steel (preferably heavy based) medium saucepan. Give it a little stir to start the sugar dissolving. Sit a candy thermometer into the pan and place it over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to boil.
- Once it reaches 130C / 260F on the thermometer (after 10-15 minutes), take it off the heat. Let the bubble start to subside.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the sugar syrup into the gelatine mixture, until combined.
- Turn the mixer up to high and beat for 10-12 minutes until white and tripled in volume. It’s done when you can see strings of marshmallow pulling away from the side. See the images in the post for the texture.
- If the caramel is still cold, warm ½ cup in the microwave for 15 seconds.
- Add the vanilla and the ½ cup of caramel to the marshmallow, then beat just enough to combine.
- Scoop / scrape half the marshmallow into the prepared pan, nudging it out to the edges, then use slightly damp (not soaking wet – see notes) hands to gently level it out. It will be beginning to set so work as quickly as you can.
- Drizzle over 1 ½ tablespoons of caramel. Drag a knife through a few times to create a swirl pattern.
- Scrape the remaining marshmallow on top. Spread it out again then drizzle over another 1 ½ tablespoons of caramel and swirl it again with the knife.
- In a small bowl combine the icing sugar and cornflour, then sprinkle a little over the top of the marshmallows reserving the rest in a sealed container for later.
- Allow it to set in a cool place (not the fridge) for at least 8 hours or overnight (better) with a larger pan over the top to keep it sealed. When ready, slice into squares and dust well with the remaining sugar mixture.
- Store in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 1 month.
- Please take a moment to rate this recipe. I helps me to keep creating free recipes and helps other readers too.
- Make your own caramel sauce using this recipe. The caramel solidifies in the fridge – just use the microwave to warm it slightly before using.
- There will be about ½ cup of my homemade caramel leftover. Excess caramel can be stored in a preserving jar, in the fridge, for up to a month.
- When wetting your hands, make sure to shake them off well so they’re just damp. If you add too much moisture, the marshmallow will start to melt.
- You can make these salted caramel marshmallows by simply adding ½ teaspoon of sea salt flakes to the caramel or using a salted caramel to start with.
- I prefer to use butter for greasing as opposed to cooking spray or oil spray as it will stay in place and not bead or run.
- Marshmallows can be frozen too which will prolong their life up to 4 months.
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