Homemade Marshmallows – Malted Caramel Swirl

homemade marshmallows malted caramel swirl marshmallows (1)

I know what you’re thinking: why go to the trouble of making homemade marshmallows when you can conveniently buy a whole big bag of  ’em at any grocery store. After all, when you get down to it, they’re pretty much just sugar, right? How different can they be? Something seriously magical happens when you personally whip the sugar into fluffy, puffy, pillowy, wonderful, little melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows. So much more than just doctored-up sugar (although they are kind of that too).

I first learned how to make them when I was living in San Francisco. I didn’t know a single soul in the entire city (or the entire state of California for that matter!) and out of utter boredom, I signed up for a plethora of classes – sewing, cake decorating, pottery, you name it. Anything I could find for something to do with my evenings! A local bakery included a lesson on marshmallows as part of another class, and after trying them from scratch, I never looked back!

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Homemade marshmallows are not even very hard or time-consuming, and they’re worth every second. Believe me, I flat-out suck at making candy. Baking – I’ve got that down pretty well. Cooking – not shabby. But candy… it’s tricky business. I’ve had my kitchen fails. The thing is, you usually have to break out the candy thermometer or try to use the water glass method to test whether it’s in the right stage. Well, that’s just a lot of hoopla and I never get it right. Not my thing.

Here you don’t need special gadgetry. Just a timer, and you’ll be fine. This recipe produces bouncy, light, and airy marshmallows in the easiest way possible. They are delightful without any extras, but your options for flavoring are endless. Whatever you fancy for the most part.

homemade marshmallows malted caramel swirl marshmallows (9)

I went with caramel and malted milk powder. There’s something very nostalgic and “1950s diner”-ish about malted marshmallows and I love the subtle malt flavor. Since I had leftover homemade caramel sauce from these, I swirled it in because caramel both tastes good and looks pretty. Not that I care how my food looks as long as it tastes good, but it’s always a nice bonus.

Rich caramel, subtle malt flavor, and puffy marshmallows. A cozy fall treat.

homemade marshmallows malted caramel swirl marshmallows (2)

5.0 from 4 reviews
Homemade Marshmallows - Malted Caramel Swirl
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 36 marshmallows
  • ¼ c. cornstarch
  • ½ c. powdered sugar + more for dusting pan
  • ⅓ c. water
  • 2 - ¼ oz. packets gelatin
  • 1¼ c. granulated sugar
  • ⅔ c. light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅓ c. malted milk powder
  • ½-3/4 c. caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
  1. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan and generously dust the bottom and sides with powdered sugar.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together cornstarch and powdered sugar (or whisk thoroughly), and set aside.
  3. Pour the water in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and allow to stand for 10 minutes, or while following the next steps.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine granulated sugar and corn syrup.
  6. Cook until granulated sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes.
  7. With the mixer on the lowest setting, very slowly drizzle the sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture. It's obviously extremely hot, so you want to make sure the sugar mixture doesn't splash.
  8. Gradually increase the mixer speed to medium for 1 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken.
  9. Then increase the speed to high, and let it beat until the mixture turns very thick, white, and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
  10. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  11. Add the malted milk powder and mix until incorporated.
  12. Spoon the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  13. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the marshmallow mixture, and use a knife to swirl it.
  14. Allow marshmallow to set for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  15. Cut into pieces with a wet knife, and toss in the cornstarch/powdered sugar mixture.
When spreading the marshmallow mixture into the pan, I find it can be helpful to lightly grease my fingers to spread and smooth the marshmallow. It's less of a sticky mess.

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Give them a go. Let me know how you do!


    • says

      Thanks, Kelly! I’m nutty for marshmallows. If you’re not big on them, they make a great holiday gift because they keep well and have a gourmet-ish feel! Thanks for popping by! :)

    • says

      Thanks, Stacey! I reheated the caramel sauce for so many different things this week that it got a little granular, but it didn’t taste any less delicious. Who’s noticing, right? Haha. #reallife. :)

  1. says

    I am drooling. Seriously. These would be perfect in my hot cocoa. I have always wanted to make homemade marshmallows and am pinning this to try! Thank you.

    • says

      I also had hot cocoa on the brain when I was making these! They’d be perfect for that! I keep meaning to do it but it’s still pretty hot in my neck of the woods right now. Soon, hopefully. Haha. Thanks for your kind comment, Elizabeth! :)

    • says

      Haha! Oh, thank you! Woohoo! I successfully made the ‘swirl’ pretty! So glad you like them. Thanks for popping by! Have a wonderful weekend!! :)

  2. says

    I love that you just made the best of life in a new place and started learning new things :) These are so beautiful! I think it would be really fun to make them for a holiday especially! Thanks for linking up and sharing your recipe!
    ~Andrea | MitchaelJourney.com

    • says

      I’m so glad you like them! Yep, my social life was in a sad state when I was living in San Fran. Haha! However, I loved those 2 years for the time I spent cultivating new interests and stuff. That part was great! There were soooo many options out there for things to do! Thank you for stopping by, Andrea! Have a great weekend! :)

  3. says

    Visiting from Saturday Night Live. I love the combination of malt and caramel, these look delicious! I co-host Sweet and Savoury Sunday and would love for you to stop by and share this and other recipes with us. Have a great day!

    • says

      Hi Laura! Thanks for stopping back again! Absolutely – I’ll see you at the party later. I appreciate the invite! :) Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

    • says

      Hi Katherine! Thank you so much! I’ll be back to the party again, for sure. And thank you SO MUCH for the feature – it’s such an honor! Happy Sunday! :)

    • says

      Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you try them sometime. Homemade marshmallows are a lot of fun and so much better than store bought! Have a great day! :)

    • says

      Hahaha! I know, those would be some incredibly delish rice krispie treats! Hmmm… definitely going to have to do that sometime! Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great week! :)

    • says

      Hi Rachel! Thanks again for hosting the party! :) I love any homemade marshmallows but the caramel and malt in these make this version one of my favorites. Have a great week!

  4. says

    Now these look amazing! I bet these would taste wonderful with a cup of coffee in the afternoon. I’m sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Thanks for stopping by and linking up for Scraptastic Saturdays.

    • says

      Yep, it really is easy to do! I am scared of candy too… the whole thermometer thing, and I never get it right. But I’ve made marshmallows many times and never failed! Thanks again for stopping by!

    • says

      Definitely! Give it a try! Marshmallows from scratch are actually really fun and taste a million times better than store-bought, though I don’t turn those down either! :) Thanks for dropping in! Have a great day, Jolena!

  5. says

    What a pretty blog. I have copied your recipe, my girls and I live in Italy in a Gothic building that is 800 years old. I know so romantic but there are no marshmallows here… can you imagine. When we go home to the States we always bring back bags of marshmallows. We can’t get corn syrup either but I have a friend from Maine who brings that back with her and fresh vanilla from Maine too. I think I’ll get this friend to share her goods and I’ll share your recipe.

    • says

      Wow! That sounds incredible, Natalie! Living in Italy in an 800 year old building? That’s amazing! I would miss the marshmallows, for sure, but sounds worth it to live there! I hope you can get the ingredients to try these! Thanks for your kind comment! :)

  6. Suzanne says

    I’ve been making homemade marshmallows for years. Like you, once I tasted them there was no going back to store bought. (except for rice krispie treats). I did Carmel once too, but I never thought of using malted powder which i find odd since I love the malted flavor and always have it on hand. You can bet I will try it this year for Christmas. Thanks!!

    • says

      Hi Suzanne! Oh, you should! The malted flavor is very subtle, but it just adds a nice little essence! I looove homemade marshmallows. Aren’t they the best? Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Griffyn says

    hi; these look yummy! I’m in New Zealand and have not found gelatin sold in the individual amounts you seem to get. I want to use gelatin sheets, so do you know how many sheets I should use?

    • says

      Hi Griffyn! I wish I could help, unfortunately, I’m not really familiar with gelatin sheets. I’m so sorry! Perhaps a little digging around on the internet to see how to substitute them would be helpful?? Thank you so much for visiting all the way from New Zealand! So happy to have you here and for your kind comment! Thanks! :)


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