Marshmallow Substitutes for Sweet Recipes and Not Only

Marshmallow Substitute

Marshmallows are sweet, fluffy, chewy, soft and mouthwatering candy-type sweets. They are made of corn syrup, water and gelatin. Let’s say marshmallows are foam-like substances stabilized by gelatin. 

While it is not difficult to find this product in stores you may still want to discover diet-friendly or healthier marshmallow substitutes. 

There are colorful marshmallows which look more appealing. Due to this they have become popular decorations for many sweets such as cakes, ice-creams, various coffees and hot desserts. You can either buy them or make them at home without any difficulty.

Best Marshmallow Substitutes for Desserts

Marshmallow Fluff

Just like common marshmallows, marshmallow fluff is used in many sweet recipes as a topping or dressing. It is made of corn syrup, egg whites, sugar, vanila and a pinch of salt. Marshmallow fluff is the best substitute for regular marshmallows. You can use it in the same recipes, and the only difference is that marshmallow fluff tends to melt faster in hot desserts.

This is probably not a good option for vegans and those having allergies from eggs. You can use half a cup of marshmallow fluff instead of 1 cup of marshmallows. 

Marshmallow Cream

Your next choice can be marshmallow cream. It tastes like regular marshmallows but differs in texture because of the ingredients it contains. Marshmallow cream is made of corn syrup, cream of tartar, water, sugar, vanilla and egg whites.  

While you can’t use marshmallow cream in hot desserts as a means of topping, you can still consider it in baked goods. 

Overall it is a cream with a softer, fluffier and lighter texture. It looks like melted marshmallow, therefore it is flexible to use in a variety of ways. Try to make cakes and pies with marshmallow cream and you’ll love its tenderness. 

Zephyr-Russian Marshmallows

Zephyr is the Russian version of marshmallows made of whipping fruit and berry purée, sugar, gelatin and egg whites. It tastes similar to marshmallows and can be a good substitute for it.

You can melt them and use instead of marshmallows in recipes where melted marshmallows are required. Since zephyr usually contains fruit or berry purée, it will taste differently. 

Zephyrs are trendy dessert decorations and look cute especially on cakes. They come in colorful versions too. 

Vegan Marshmallows

Marshmallows made without gelatin, gluten-containing ingredients and fat are considered to be vegan. You can find several brands producing vegan marshmallows and they are sold in common stores right next to regular marshmallows.

However, you can make vegan marshmallows yourself by using the following ingredients: cornstarch, vegan cane sugar, cream of tartar, agar agar powder, water and corn syrup. 

Vanilla Jello

Vanilla jello comes with a similar gummy and sticky texture as marshmallows. Compared with marshmallows, vanilla jello has a denser texture as its main ingredient is gelatin. 

You can use gelatin and vanilla to make this sweet, and substitute it with marshmallows. Vanilla jello is used with many sweets and it is another tasty option to use instead of marshmallows especially as a means of dressing.  

Sugar-Free Marshmallows

If you prefer sweets made without sugar, then you may also like sugar-free marshmallows. Yes, they exist and they are made of the same ingredients as regular marshmallows. 

Sugar is replaced with other sweeteners such as agave syrup, corn syrup or honey. The result is the same and moreover, it is healthier. Of course there are many other artificial and natural alternatives to sugar and the choice is up to you. 

Gelatin-Free Marshmallows

In case you are looking for gelatin-free marshmallows, they also exist. This is good news for vegans and for those who don’t want to use animal products in their recipes. 

Usually, gelatin is used as a “glue” for marshmallow as it makes the rest of ingredients stick together and get the firm form of this confetary. Instead of gelatin you can use agar but it may change the texture of the marshmallow a little bit. Overall, the taste is going to be the same. You can make these marshmallows at home too. 

Pastry Cream

Pastry cream also called creme patissiere is used with baked goods, pudding and other desserts but you can use it on its own too. It’s a thicker version of custard and is a great topping alternative of marshmallows. 

Honey and Peanut Butter 

If you want to make Rice Krispie treats but marshmallows are missing in your ingredients, then you can replace it with a mixture of honey and peanut butter. This works the same way as marshmallows. 

Honey and peanut butter can be mixed in 1:1 ratio and then you can add them with the desired type of crisp rice cereal. 

First, boil the honey for a couple of minutes on low heat, add the butter and a pinch of salt. Blend it all well and use it in the recipe of Rice Krispie treats. If you like, you can also add some chocolate. 

Baked Brie Cubes

Baked brie cubes are made of brie cheese. They are other good substitutes for marshmallows since they have a fluffy texture. When baked, these cubes spread a toasty aroma. 

They are mainly used as appetizers and you can choose between sweet, crunchy, or savory brie cubes. Of course, sweet ones are more suitable to use instead of marshmallows. You can combine them with honey, sugar, fruits and berries. 

Homemade Marshmallows 

If you think that  the tastiest marshmallows are only those sold at stores, then we are here to let you know that you can make them at home quite easily if you have the basic ingredients in your kitchen. 

Actually, they are better than store-bought marshmallows because the texture, taste and flavor is milder, subtler and more pleasant. 

Another big plus is that homemade marshmallows can be made in any size and shape according to your preferences. You can store them in air-tight containers and keep them for a long time. If you try it once, you might never ever again buy marshmallows.

How to Make Marshmallows? 

The ingredients of marshmallows are just 4 and the process of making them at home is effortless. Here is all you need:

  1. Corn syrup
  2. Sugar
  3. Water
  4. Gelatin

Add water to gelatin, mix and set aside. Then melt the sugar and corn syrup with water on low heat until 240 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a candy thermometer. Mix this with gelatin substance and beat until it is thick enough. Then pour into a container and let sit for about 6 hours. After this you can dust with powdered sugar and slice your tasty marshmallows up. 

FAQs on Marshmallows

How can I make homemade marshmallows without corn syrup? 

There are several substitutes for corn syrup in marshmallow recipes. Instead of corn syrup you can use sugar, agave syrup, maple syrup, golden syrup or honey. If you use only sugar instead of corn syrup then you’ll notice absolutely no difference in the taste. 

Some other alternatives will add another flavor but it will be tasty too. Actually, they are healthier than corn syrup.

Are marshmallows vegan?

Since marshmallows contain gelatin, they can’t be considered vegan. However, you can find vegan marshmallows made of vegan-friendly ingredients. 

Can dogs eat marshmallows?

No, dogs can’t eat marshmallows as they contain sugar. 

Can cats eat marshmallows?

The answer is no. Cats can’t eat marshmallows. Moreover, these sweets can become dangerous for their health. 

Do marshmallows have dairy?

No, marshmallows are dairy-free products. The main ingredients are gelatin, sugar and water. 

How can I use marshmallow cream instead of marshmallows?

Since marshmallow cream has a softer texture and reminds of melted marshmallow, you can use it in baking. Many cakes and pies go well with marshmallow cream. You can substitute 1/2 of the 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream with  1 cup of marshmallows.

Final Words

Depending on the recipes that require marshmallows, you can choose one of these marshmallow substitutes for your desserts. However, you’d better make them at home and always have them in hand if you often use marshmallow desserts. Marshmallows are used and served in many ways. Colorful marshmallows make any simple cake or dessert look more beautiful and appealing. 

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