How to Make Vegan Marshmallows – Healthy Vegan Marshmallow Recipe without Gelatin
For a cleaner marshmallow option, give this homemade vegan marshmallow recipe a try! I’ll show you how to make vegan marshmallows without gelatin by using agar agar flakes instead.
They’re light, fluffy, and just as satisfyingly sweet as traditional ‘mallows. But, this vegan marshmallow recipe lets you skip the corn syrup, and relies entirely on plant based ingredients.
Typically, marshmallows get their fluffy, spongy texture from gelatin, which is produced from animal bones. Luckily, we can make completely gelatin free marshmallows using aquafaba and agar agar!
Don’t get me wrong—this vegan marshmallow recipe is still plenty sweet and sugary. But, it’s a far cleaner option than store bought marshmallows—no ultra processed ingredients or ultra refined sweeteners. Perfect for healthy vegan hot chocolate or vegan s’mores—or just enjoying all on their own!
How to Make Vegan Marshmallows without Gelatin
Full disclosure: this homemade vegan marshmallow recipe does take more time to prepare than buying vegan marshmallows at the store. And, the recipe can be a bit finicky. But, just be patient and I promise—they’re well worth the extra effort!
Let’s walk through how to make vegan marshmallows without gelatin and I’ll give you some tips based on what worked for me:
Prepare your Pans
To start, prepare two pans by dusting them with powdered sugar and set aside. I used two 8x8-inch cake pans when I made this recipe, but you’re welcome to use one larger pan if you have one.
Mix Aquafaba Marshmallow Base
To the bowl of a stand mixer, add aquafaba and cream of tartar. If you’re unfamiliar with aquafaba, it’s simply the liquid that’s inside a can of chickpeas. It has a thick, viscous texture that makes it great for vegan-ized treats like marshmallow fluff, as well as other vegan baked goods and desserts. Just drain a can of chickpeas over a measuring cup and use ½ cup for this vegan marshmallow recipe.
Using the whisk attachment, mix on high for about 6 minutes, until it’s nice and fluffy. Then, add vanilla and continue to whip for another 3 minutes until you see stiff peaks form. For a ‘meringue’ like this, the true test that it’s ready is to turn your bowl upside down and see if the mixture stays put! Set aside for a moment while you prepare your agar agar mixture.
Boil Agar Agar & Sugar Mixture
On the stovetop, combine water and agar agar flakes in a small saucepan. Bring that to a boil, and allow to boil for 3 minutes while you stir continuously. Then, add in your sugar and continue to boil over medium-low heat for another 3 minutes or so. It’s important to pay attention here so you don’t let the mixture burn!
Finally, turn off the heat and you’re ready to combine the two vegan marshmallow mixtures.
Combine Aquafaba and Agar Agar Mixtures
Return to your aquafaba mixture that’s in the bowl of your stand mixer and add salt. Then, gradually pour in the hot agar agar syrup mixture as you beat on low for about 2 minutes. When it’s ready, the mixture should look white and shiny.
Transfer Vegan Marshmallow Recipe to Pans
Now, you’re ready to pour the combined mixture into your prepared pans! Distribute evenly and spread it into an even layer in each pan. Next, simply dust the tops of both pans with powdered sugar and allow them to cool for 1-2 hours.
Cut into Squares and Dry In Warm Oven
Near the end of the cooling time, preheat your oven to 150°F (65°C)—or the lowest possible temperature. Then, carefully cut your cooled vegan marshmallow mixture into squares. It will be sticky! Transfer cut marshmallows to baking sheets lined with parchment, dusting them with powdered sugar on all sides.
Once prepared, you can turn the oven off and add the baking sheets to the warm oven for about an hour. You don’t want to cook these vegan marshmallows without gelatin but this step will help to dry dry out! And, if they still feel too wet or sticky after an hour, preheat the oven again, re-dust with powdered sugar, and repeat the drying process once more.