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Homemade Marshmallows: Corn-Free and Egg-Free (and Heidi’s Favorite Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa)

It only took me close to a year to attempt making homemade marshmallows again, but there is no better motivation than being thrust onto the food allergy playground!

I first attempted to make corn-free, gelatin-free marshmallows last January (you can read that post here), but there were egg whites in it.ย  I also used xanthan gum, not realizing that xanthan gum is usually derived from corn (goes to show you how much I knew back then!).ย  Now that my youngest son is allergic to eggs and I am newly allergic to corn, we found ourselves suddenly without this very important component to hot cocoa!ย  Well, we can’t have that now, can we? ๐Ÿ˜€

Luckily for me, someone else had already figured it out, so I only needed to make one small tweak (love it when this happens).ย  I found the recipe for Fluffy Vanilla Marshmallows over at The Kitchn.ย  Emma even addressed the corn syrup issue for me by offering a recipe for homemade cane sugar syrup, to which I changed up slightly by using Beet Sugar instead (I also used my own homemade powdered sugar).

I will share a few photos on how I went about making the marshmallows and you can get the full recipe here: Fluffy Vanilla Marshmallows.

First, I made the Beet Sugar Syrup by simply following this recipe: Cane Sugar Syrup, but subbing beet sugar for the cane sugar.

Note: this syrup will harden somewhat so I don’t plan on making a big batch to store, I will just make it as needed.

Fabulous fluff!

After plopping the marshmallow cream into a 9 x 9 parchment lined pan, I smoothed out the top of the marshmallows with damp fingers.

I reserved some of the marshmallow goo and put it in a pastry bag fitted with a #806 pastry tip and piped out long strips of marshmallow so I could make mini marshmallows too.

Dust marshmallows with corn-free powdered sugar, then allow to cure for several hours before cutting.ย  I used a pizza wheel to cut strips of the thicker marshmallows.

Then I got lazy and grabbed my handy dandy scissors…much quicker! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now, we can have corn-free, dairy-free, dye-free, egg-free hot cocoa!

You can even make shaped marshmallows!

Do you have any idea how much I hate goldfish? ๐Ÿ˜€

Heidi's Favorite Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Hot Cocoa

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6 servings

Heidi's Favorite Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Hot Cocoa


  • 1/2 cup Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Sea Salt (for corn-free, do not use iodized salt)
  • 1/8 tsp. Chili Powder (trust me on this and try it!)
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 4 cups Silk Almond Milk (or use your favorite dairy-free milk)
  • 3/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract


  1. Mix agave nectar, cocoa powder, salt and chili powder in a saucepan then stir in the water.
  2. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Boil for a minute or two, then add the dairy-free milk and heat through. DO NOT BOIL again once you add the milk!
  4. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and enjoy!

I used the random number generator to pick the winner of the Gluten-Free Holiday Giveaway Galore, and that person is:

#157ย  Christi Silbaugh

Congratulations Christi!ย  I will email you for your shipping information. ๐Ÿ˜€


  1. Love it!

    We will have to try your technique! I did a marshmallow recipe with rice syrup, but the color is more yellowy. I will have to try the cane syrup next!

    What is the prep time? I am wondering if we could incorporate it into a club recipe and then have the kids take it home to cure and cut later. Our meetings last about 1- 1 1/2 hrs and we usually do a craft and group activity too. I think it would make a cool recipe for a winter meeting. We've got a very simple cocoa recipe. We don't use vanilla, because commerical brands all use corn glycerin or corn alcohol. I don't want to bring in homemade vanilla. We don't even use non-dairy milk. We just melt enjoy life chocolate chips and add boiled water, cane sugar, and cocoa powder. Thanks for the tip. The pics look fabulous!

    • Caryn,

      BRILLIANT on the "easy" hot cocoa!!! I have been trying all sorts of recipes for homemade hot cocoa mix, and none have been popular with my kiddos. Instead, for quick cocoa, I've just been warming up dairy-free chocolate milk, but it doesn't have that "hot cocoa-y" feel to it, if that makes any sense. I will definitely be trying your version next. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Okay, for prep time, it took about 30 – 40 minutes to get the syrup made (I live at high altitude, so that may make a difference in time), but after that, it took only about 10 minutes more for whipping the marshmallow cream. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Let me clarify…it took 30 – 40 minutes to get the second syrup made, because I had already made the beet sugar syrup the previous day (so you will need to take that into account for time).

      And yes, I used homemade vanilla extract, made from Ciroc vodka, which is distilled from grapes (what alcohol do you use?).

      Also, I take it that you are corn-free too (I'm brand new at this), can you tell me why my corn-allergy food list, that I got from my doctor, says cane sugar is not allowed on a corn-free diet? I can't figure out the connection to corn.



      • Heidi,

        My guess is a possible cross contamination issue? Either that, or the list is referring to fructose? If you look on corn-free websites they list certain brands of cane sugar as corn free. (C and H for example). I always use organic evaporated cane juice around here, although for our Christmas cookies I did use white sugar (makes them look more like sugar cookies). Refined sugar uses sulfur dioxide, and that is problematic for lots of people with digestive issues. My friend with Crohn's has to stay away from refined sugar. I know that fructose is made from corn a majority of the time in the U.S. We don't use it. Honey is also a problem too if it is not organic. Some farmers feed their bees HFCS. We've been corn free for a few years. It is tough but eventually you find your way and get your favorite recipes and products. We use Lukoskowa (sp?)– It is a potato vodka. I am all out of vanilla after the holidays and need to make more! Your kids will love that cocoa. It tastes like cocoa. I just need the marshmallows now! Hee Hee.

      • Heidi, cane sugar is a very close "relative" of corn sugar. therefore that is why it is questionable to use it when you have a corn allergy. Dominos brand Sugar is supposed to be a ok brand if you do want to still try cane sugar. However, it is recommended that beet or some other sugar, coconut etc is used. i have tons of allergies, corn being one of them and my daughter is newly corn allergic. Please go to the corn allergy website,… and print out the list of HIDDEN CORN in products. You will be really surprised. This site is wonderful for ideas also. Also, you can use as much of a split vanilla bean as you would like and just steep it in whatever liquid is needed in your recipie then let cool scrape out the vanilla beans from inside and throw away the outer bean cover and make recipie as usual.

  2. You know I actually have a bottle, well half a bottle of cane syrup. It's something my husband buys once a decade because his grandma used to pour it over biscuits. He'd do the same on occasion until I stopped making him biscuits. Hey, if I can't eat them why should he? Nah, he just gets up way too early. Anyway, I'd been wondering if it'd make marshmallows. Of course, it would be way easier if you'd just mail me yours.???

    Looks like you hit another home run. Keep on batting.

    • You are one cool lady, Ms. Laurel, love your wit! ๐Ÿ˜€

      The cane syrup will work fine, I've used Lyle's Golden Syrup in the past, which is cane syrup.


    • It's easy to make your own marshmallow syrup using cane sugar. I started off with a recipe from Alton Brown (that had corn syrup) then switched to one that is listed in a marshmallow recipe book I bought online

      I like the flavor and texture of the cane sugar syrup better than corn. Granted, I made this switch before I learned that i was allergic to corn two months ago. The only thing still mentioned in her recipes that I avoid is corn starch. Touching it doesn't bother me (to my knowledge). but it could easily be replaced with either corn free flour or possibly potato starch since it is mainly used as a coating to keep the marshmallows from sticking to a pan or to each other when cut.

      since the beginning of the year I have been corn-free (to the extent that I was aware of whether or not something has corn). I've lost 4 lbs.

  3. Lady, you amaze me! You got SKILLS!!! Gluten-free skills, mamma bear skills and even marshmallow skills. Great find on the recipe. I see these "all-natural" marshmallows at Whole Foods and the like, and pick up the package and find they are made with corn syrup, bummer. But not these. Thanks for this one.



  4. Only Heidi would make a goldfish marshmallow!

  5. Heidi, you are amazing for your stick-to-it-iveness and ingenuity! I think you should add another cookie cutter to that goldfish — a star. That's what you are ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I will be trying this soon.Sounds yummy.

  7. This is a recipe I so want to get up the nerve to make! Homemade marshmallows really do taste amazing. Those fishies are so cute!

  8. Oh my goodness, you are goldfish crazy! I love it floating in the chocolate!

  9. Can you do a post titled "A Day in the Life of Queen Glutadoodle"? I would LOVE it! Where do you get the time to do these AMAZING things? Do you sleep? Heehee. Of course you do, you have a tempur now. These look perfectly beautiful. I REALLY want to make marshmallows but I'm such a chicken (free-range of course). xo

    • My Dearest Maggie,

      One, I'm certainly not a queen, but thank you…just seeing it in written word fulfills a long lost childhood fantasy of mine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Two, I don't create recipes from scratch, I just share the recipes I find (and tweak if necessary) hence, saving me a TON of time!

      Three, the only reason I share as many posts as I do is because S & L's school is crazily food-centric and I find myself with new challenges each and every week. It is only because of my people pleasing tendencies that I drop everything else in my life to try and find recipes that will work great for my boys. If someone else can benefit from my madness, then it's just icing on the cake!

      And yes, I'm still in therapy for a reason. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      We should start a Chicago Countdown Calender, don't ya think?

  10. Can I come over? These look SO good. I've made corn-free marshmallows before, but never gelatin-free. How cool.

    • Alta, you are welcome at my house anytime, we could have some serious fun in the kitchen together!

      These marshmallows aren't gelatin-free, but I did try it once using xanthan gum and they were pretty good too. I wonder if they would work with agar powder?? ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Heidi – you are brilliant. Not just a little bit, ALOT brilliant. I love marshmallows, if nothing else than for the nostalgia of having them in my cocoa or in Rice Krispie treats. But I can't bear to eat the commercially prepared ones that have gelatin in them. I love your recipe and can't wait to try it! Plus I've been wanting to make dairy free Rocky Road ice cream – these marshmallows will be perfect for it! Thank you!


    Gluten Free Diva

    • I'm replying to my own comment:). The gelatin is something that I'd want to replace in the original recipe from the kitchn website. I think I'll try making them with agar. What do you think?

      • Hi Ellen!

        Trying this recipe with agar is the next project on my list, my hope is that it will work! If not, last year I successfully made homemade marshmallows that were corn-free and gelatin-free (but they did have egg whites) using xanthan gum in place of the gelatin:

        Not sure if this method will work without the egg whites, but its an avenue worth exploring if agar doesn't work for some reason…there has to be a way!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Heidi! You rock! This looks so good! Did you figure out a substitute for the gelatin?

    You are great, and I agree wholeheartedly with Maggie!


    • Hi Susan! I have not actually experimented on the vegan marshmallows yet, but I have been doing some research on it. I plan on trying to substitute the gelatin with agar powder but apparently, since gelatin is high in protein, I will need to find a substitute for the protein component because that is what helps to make the mixture fluffy.

      I will keep you posted!


  13. Oh! And I have another question! Do you have a dry ingredient vitamix canister? Because I am pretty sure mine is just the liquid one. The guy who sold it to us said to only use liquid ingredients in it, as the plastic can get scratched if we use dry stuff, and start absorbing smells and bacteria. Just curious if you are making your powdered sugar in the blender and having any issues with that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Hello! I am going to make these today, and am sooo excited! I was wondering though, do you think agave would work as the liquid sweetener? Makin the sugar syrup just looks hard, plus id have to make it with plain old cane sugar. Thanks!

    • Hi Claire!

      My hunch is that yes, it will work fine with agave nectar. I've been wanting to try that myself, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Please let me know how the agave works for you!


  15. What corn free vanilla extract do you use? I'm corn allergic and have never been able to find out. I use vanilla bean but I'd love a corn free extract…

  16. This looks intresting but I have a problem, my son is allergic to sugar cane among many other…. So I was wonderins if I could use some diffrent sugar instead. Your pages are awesome. I just found these and already my head is filled with ideas. First I just have to find out what the measurements are in metric system. I think 1 cup = 2,4 desilitres?!

  17. i <3 cooking says

    i followed the coca recipe instead of the marshmallows (i noticed when i put in the milk ) and replaced coca powder for nutella (as i couldn’t find any) its relay good and verry sweet


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