In the time of the Ancient Egyptians, a confection of sap from the marshmallow plant (which is in the same plant family as okra, cotton and hibiscus, and has similar-looking blooms) blended with honey was a delicacy served to the Pharaohs. In 19th century France, a descendant of the modern marshmallow was used as a medicinal treat, calming a persistent cough or settling an upset stomach. The sweet panacea caught on with confectioners and soon lost its medicinal associations to become a favorite treat throughout Europe.

Today, marshmallows are made using gelatin instead of the confection’s namesake plant, but they have otherwise remained unchanged since they enthralled candy lovers in the 1800s. They can now be found in a variety of colors, flavors and shapes, but the simple white puff of goo remains a favorite year 'round.

Step 1

Cornstarch + Confectioners Sugar

Mix 1/3 cup cornstarch and 1/3 cup confectioners sugar together in a small bowl.

Step 2

Prep Pan

Line an 8" x 12" cake pan with foil, spray with nonstick spray and dust with cornstarch/confectioners sugar mix.

Step 3

Dissolve Gelatin

In a small bowl, stir 3 tablespoons gelatin into 1/2 cup cold water and let rest until gelatin fully dissolves (about 5 minutes).

Step 4

Make Peaks

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk 2 egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Step 5

Heat + Dissolve Sugar

Combine 1/2 cup water, 1-3/4 cups sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until dissolved. Stop stirring and continue to cook to a temperature of 240 degrees and remove from heat.

Step 6

Put It All Together

Stir gelatin and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract into sugar syrup.

Step 7

Add Liquid to Eggs

Add sugar/gelatin to egg whites in mixer set to high until marshmallow becomes opaque, firm and fluffy (10-12 minutes).

Step 8

Pour Into Mold

Pour marshmallow into cake pan, smooth the top with a spatula and let rest 5 hours or overnight to set.

Step 9


Turn marshmallow onto a work surface dusted with cornstarch/confectioners sugar.

Step 10

Cut Into Squares

Cut into marshmallow-sized squares and toss in remaining cornstarch/confectioners sugar.