The holiday season is here, and if you're not vibing with it just yet, you will after making these treats. Get into the holiday spirit (and take a break from preparing for final exams) with this recipe for homemade holiday marshmallows.

Marshmallows are surprisingly easy to make, and the addition of chocolate and candy canes will make them even better. Your next cup of hot chocolate will have you feeling extra festive.

Homemade Holiday Marshmallows

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:1 day
  • Total Time:1 day 30 mins
  • Servings:40
  • Easy


  • 3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 candy canes
  • 3 bars chocolate milk or dark
milk, goody, cake, sweet, cream, candy, chocolate
Photo by Ethan Cappello
  • Step 1

    Mix 3 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin with 1/3 cup of cold water in a small bowl, set aside for 10 minutes to allow it to swell. Meanwhile, dissolve 3 cups of sugar in 1 1/2 cups of water over low heat in a medium or large saucepan, stirring constantly.

    candy, cream, milk, sweet, chocolate, coffee
    Photo by Ethan Cappello
  • Step 2

    After the 10 minutes are up, add the gelatin to the saucepan and stir until everything is dissolved.

    soup, coffee, milk, cream
    Photo by Ethan Cappello
  • Step 3

    Raise the temperature and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to boil steadily (but not like crazy) on medium heat for 15 minutes without any stirring. After 15 minutes, remove the mixture from the stovetop and allow it to cool until lukewarm. Once lukewarm, pour the mixture into a bowl or stand mixer.

    Photo by Ethan Cappello
  • Step 4

    Add the vanilla extract, and beat the mixture until it's very thick and white. This may take 10 minutes, if not more. You'll know your mixture is ready when it has the consistency of marshmallow fluff. It's normal to think your mixture looks a little brown/tan in the beginning before you start. This is just because of the gelatin and the vanilla extract. After a few minutes of mixing, the mixture will turn white.

    batter, egg, cake
    Photo by Ethan Cappello
  • Step 5

    Spray a 9x13 pan (or similar size) with nonstick baking spray and pour your mixture in to allow it to set. Allow your marshmallow mixture to set for 6 hours minimum, or overnight. Just for fun, I used a mini muffin tray I had laying around instead, to make round marshmallows! Feel free to get creative and use other kind of pans too.

    cake, chocolate, cookie, sweet, coffee
    Photo by Ethan Cappello
  • Step 6

    After 6+ hours, use a knife to help you glide around the edges of your pan and pop your marshmallows out onto a clean surface. Use a sharp knife to evenly cut marshmallows into desired shape. If you went the mini muffin pan route, just pop out each individual marshmallow with the help of a spoon.

    sweet, coffee, milk
    Photo by Ethan Cappello
  • Step 7

    Mix 1/3 cup cornstarch and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl. Roll each marshmallow in the mixture so they are lightly covered. Set aside.

    sweet, dough, cream, dairy product, flour, milk
    Photo by Ethan Cappello
  • Step 8

    Take the plastic off five candy canes and place inside of a paper towel or clean kitchen rag. Use a kitchen mallet (or similar object) to smash up your candy canes. When you're done, place your crushed up candy canes in a bowl and set aside.

    rice, cake, sweet
    Photo by Ethan Cappello
  • Step 9

    Cut up your chocolate bars into pieces and place in a microwavable bowl. Heat chocolate in the microwave in 20 second intervals until melted.

    chocolate bar, sweet, milk chocolate, candy, milk, chocolate
    Photo by Ethan Cappello
  • Step 10

    Drizzle each marshmallow with a bit of chocolate using a fork. Follow up by sprinkling some crushed candy cane on top. Allow your decorated marshmallows to set so the chocolate hardens just a bit. Store your marshmallows in a airtight container until you're ready to get cozy with a cup of hot chocolate.

    dairy product, goody, cream, sweet, milk, candy, chocolate
    Photo by Ethan Cappello

While you're making this, it's fair to warn you that the gelatin will smell weird. But, I promise your marshmallows won't. You won't detect the smell later on when they're set.

The candy canes may have Christmas written all over them, but this recipe for homemade marshmallows will be useful all year long for everything from s'mores to homemade Rice Krispies Teats and the matcha version of hot chocolate.