Chocolate Marshmallows

Monday, January 8, 2007

Discussions on eGullet, where I gathered the strawberry marshmallow recipe from, have suggested that the fat content in chocolate marshmallows causes a decrease in their resulting whipped volume.

My recent experimentation with black sesame paste marshmallows gave me the idea to add the chocolate at the end of mixing to minimize disruption of the marshmallow’s volume during whipping.

Here are the results of making two variations of chocolate marshmallows .

Chocolate Marshmallow Tests

Pictured on the left is a basic vanilla marshmallow recipe.

The middle is the basic vanilla marshmallow recipe with the dissolved cocoa added after whipping; swirled in.

The right hand marshmallow is the chocolate variation suggested in the strawberry marshmallow recipe, which takes away 2/3 of the water used to bloom the gelatin and uses it to dissolve an equal amount of cocoa powder (by volume) which is all then added to the gelatin in the mixing bowl before the heated sugar syrup is added. Essentially, the cocoa added before the whipping.

The decrease in marshmallow volume is quite apparent when dissolved cocoa is added at the beginning of the whipping step.

The cocoa flavor of the swirled marshmallow is more acute though both chocolate marshmallows contain the same amount of cocoa.

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows

amounts with in parenthesis denote half quantities


Cocoa Preparation

  • cocoa powder, 4Tbs (2 Tbs)
  • boiling water, 4Tbs (2 Tbs)

Gelatin Preparation

  • gelatin envelopes: unflavored Knox brand, 2 (1)
  • cold water, 1/4 c + 2 Tbs (3 Tbs)
  • vanilla extract, 1 1/2 tsp (3/4 tsp)

Hot Sugar Syrup Preparation

  • sugar, 1 1/2 c (3/4 c)
  • water, 1/4 c +2 Tbs (3 Tbs)
  • corn syrup, 1/2 c + 2T (1/4 c + 1 Tbs)
  • salt, 1/4 tsp (1/8 tsp)

Marshmallow Dusting

  • confectioners sugar
  • rice flour


Line an 8” x 8” pan or a 11″ x 7 ” tin (5″ x 5″ sandwich sized container) with parchment paper. Coat the paper with vegetable oil or non-stick spray.

Stir the cocoa powder with the boiling water in a small bowl and stir thoroughly to dissolve the cocoa. Set aside.

Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. In the mixer bowl combine the cold water with the vanilla extract. Sprinkle the gelatin packet contents over the liquid to bloom (soften and absorb the liquid). If you have a splash guard to attach to the top edge of your mixing bowl, do so at this time.

Add the sugar, salt, corn syrup, and remaining water to a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil with the lid on and without stirring. When this mixture is at a boil, remove the lid and continue to cook without stirring until it reaches the soft-ball stage (234-240 F).

With the mixer at low speed, pour all of the hot syrup slowly down the spout of the splash guard or the side of the bowl into the awaiting gelatin mixture. Be careful as the hot syrup is very liquid and hot at this point and some may splash out of the bowl -a splash guard is highly recommended. When all of the syrup is added, bring the mixer up to medium speed for 1 minute, then bring to full speed.

Whip until the mixture is very fluffy and stiff, 8 minutes at full speed.

Stop mixer and stir in the dissolved cocoa mixture.

Immediately pour the marshmallow cocoa mixture into the parchment-lined pans and smooth with an offset spatula if necessary. Allow the mixture to sit, uncovered at room temp for 10 to 12 hours. Do not refrigerate the marshmallows.

Mix equal parts rice flour and confectioners sugar and sift generously over the rested marshmallow slab. Turn the slab out onto a cutting board, peel off paper and dust with more sugar/starch mixture. Slice with a pizza cutter or oiled knife blade into desired shapes. Dip all cut edges in sugar/starch mixture and shake off excess powder.

Marshmallows will keep several weeks at room temp in an air-tight container.


posted January 8th, 2007 at 2:17 pm

Those are delicious looking marshmallows! Wow! I am so impressed.

- Kristen
posted January 8th, 2007 at 7:59 pm

Plus, the swirled marshmallow just plain looks better.

Yeah- I forgot to stump for that vote!


- LarryB
posted January 8th, 2007 at 8:55 pm

Cocoa powder: regular or dutch? Would it matter?

That swirl looks great!

I used Ah!laska brand Baker’s Cocoa, which is listed as non-alkaline.
I have to go back to my chocolate references to see if it would matter- great question. Word of mouth states it’s the fat content that somehow interferes with the process. It’s not the gelatin part of the set up equation that is obstructed, but the interaction of the soft-ball staged sugar syrup (I believe).


- Marky
posted January 8th, 2007 at 9:46 pm

[...] I’m researching how to make chocolate marshmallows in an effort to be good and do my homework towards writing that marshmallow flavoring guide. A method I’m testing is to heat up cocoa powder with water to make it a non-sweet solution to add to the marshmallows at the end of whipping. [...]

posted January 9th, 2007 at 12:05 pm

I was just wondering if you’ve ever tried making ‘mallows with Agar instead of gelatin for a veg friendly version?
I’d be interested to know how much Agar I’d need to use as a substitue (that is, if it works at all).

Hi Gwen,

I haven’t tried making them with Agar. That’s been mentioned in the eGullet thread referenced as the strawberry marshmallow recipe source. However, I think I have a link around here somewhere of someone having success using a vegan gelatin substitute…


– McAuliflower

- Gwen
posted January 9th, 2007 at 12:56 pm

I have to know. How much gelatin to an envelope? Our powdered gelatin comes in boxes – and I’m just DYING to try…

Ah- was wondering when such would catch up as an issue.
According to the box, one envelope is 7.2 grams.
Think one packet is 1Tbs


- Anne
posted January 11th, 2007 at 2:33 pm


After waiting patiently for my particular sweetie to photograph the marshmallows, I finally got to try them. Oh my crap are they tasty and beautiful! Going to immediately buy cocoa to put the peppermint marshmallows in. You are totally forgiven for spurring the “Year of the Fiery Pig” madness!

:rubbing hands together: Yes! Another initiate of Meat Club! I really do need to expand this issue into a post… the success of gifting Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie instantly palpable.

Glad you got to sink your teeth into the Marshmallow Tasting Kit.


- Leslie
posted January 19th, 2007 at 10:23 am

[...] Chocolate swirl marshmallows sliced on edge provide a wonderful pattern to lay against softened white chocolate in this color inverted smore… a finger licking shot of sticky sweetness with a flush of cocoa. [...]

posted January 21st, 2007 at 7:26 am

Looks delicious. How do you think your homemade marshmallows would compare to some of these gourmet marshmallow sites I have been seeing: and to name a few.


I’ve only tasted Plush Puffs. I like the flavor of the homemade marshmallows better- hence why I keep on playing with the flavors that are possible. Something in the Plush Puff flavoring was off with my taste buds- it seemed the sweetness somehow lingered too long, and got in the way of the other flavors added to the marshmallow. They do have a nice variety of flavor possibilities though!


- steve
posted January 21st, 2007 at 7:49 am

Thanks for the link, I’m sure that will come in handy!

- Gwen
posted January 26th, 2007 at 7:21 pm

thank you for the step by step marshmallow, but do you have a sugar free recipe for marshallows?

Umm… not possible in a non-commerical kitchen. Sorry.


posted February 6th, 2007 at 4:36 pm

I only just made chocomallows this afternoon. WISH TO BITSIES I had seen this post beforehand. The strawberry ones were perfect, fluffy and light. The chocolate were fudgy-ish and dense (though still deeelish)……Live and Learn! Thanks for a great post

- Heather
posted February 18th, 2007 at 6:09 pm

hey, ive made both the vanilla and chocolate swirl marshmallow recipes and they both turned out fabulously! thaks so much for the recipes. i wanted to make root beer flavored ones with rootbeer extract, i was woundering if you had any idea about how much extract i should use and when i should add it. also if i could use almond extract to make almond ones and how much to use. also i have some cinnamon extract too that i would liek to use. and if i made a coconut one with toasted chopped coconut folded in i shoudl add it at then end b/c of the fat content right? thanks so much again!.

For adding extract, add it at the almost end of whipping. Add a small amount (1/2 tsp for the full batch) and then stop the mixer and take a sample. If you want more flavoring add another small increment, whip, and then taste again. It’s also helpful to have someone else help you with the tasting at this step as I’ve found my tastebuds can get ‘overwhelmed’ by a particular flavor. However, I’ve never made a batch of marshmallows with too much flavor in them. It all seems to mellow out over the course of three days or so.

For the coconut (yum!) one, yes: add it in at the very end.


- katrina
posted March 14th, 2007 at 2:26 am

that chocolate looks delisious can you please send me some chocolate to Airedale High School on crewe road please i would do anything


- matty
posted March 19th, 2007 at 5:53 pm

This is why I love the Web in general, and food blogs in particular. Exactly what I need, right when I need it. You rock!

Thanks kitchenmage
I needed a nice pat on the back just about now. Long week and it’s only just started!


posted May 9th, 2007 at 7:56 pm

Why do most of the marshmallow recipes recommend mixing confectioner’s sugar with potato starch or rice flour? I’ve even seen one that says to mix more cornstarch with the confectioner’s sugar, when the sugar already has constarch in it. Why not use just the regular confectioner’s sugar? I want to make sure I have all the right ingredients on hand before I make these. Thanks for the help! :)

Just using confectioners sugar will make them way too sweet- in my opinion. Using just rice flour for a powdery coating that isn’t sweet at all just doesn’t sit right with my tongue.

Your Marshmallow Mileage May Vary


- Cheryl
posted October 21st, 2007 at 2:48 pm

I’m about to make my first batch of homemade marshmallows (finally worked up the courage), but I’ve got a question. I live in Florida, and the humidity’s still incredibly high (in October!). Will that affect the setting-up of the marshmallows? I mean, obviously I’m working indoors in air conditioning, but still…


Yes- humidity will definitely affect your marshmallow making. You will likely end up with a denser, slightly stickier product. However, I don’t think you should let that deter you! Make them anyway and let us know how it turned out for you. I think your air conditioning will help somewhat too.


- Kelly
posted November 21st, 2007 at 2:27 pm

Great looking marshmallows. Marshmallows are a work of art.

- Mal
posted March 10th, 2019 at 2:06 pm

Have just made my 1st batch of homemade vanilla marshmallows with great success. Now I’d like to move on to chocolate.
Would you suggest I make the “swirled” recipe you have posted or adding cocoa powder dissolved in a little water & heated and added at the end? Can chocolate syrup be used at the end instead? How much? What method produces the fluffiest, highest marshmallows?
Thanks for your help!

Hi Pat,

I was hoping the photo would clearly illustrate the fluffy principal: the swirled version yields the tallest chocolate marshmallow.

You can use chocolate syrup too. The reason I didn’t was I wanted to avoid adding any more sugar to this sweet sweet morsel.

I suggest you try the swirled version. I think its a nice entry to considering more flavors/colors you’d like to swirl… lemon curd, raspberry jam, nut butterspretty red food coloring swirls

I think you’ll have fun!


- Pat
posted May 19th, 2019 at 12:03 pm


just wondering, do you have the recipe for the black sesame marshmallows? and how do you make them swirly and nice without overmixing it?

thanks loads… i’m really glad i stumbled into your site! =)

The black sesame marshmallows are the vanilla marshmallow with black sesame paste swirled in- just like this chocolate recipe.

As to not overmixing it, you answered your own question- just don’t over mix it! :)


- val
posted May 20th, 2019 at 7:28 pm

oh okay thanks!

so which recipe do i follow, the basic vanilla one and add black sesame paste, or the chocolate one and swop the cocoa preparation for black sesame?

oh and c=cup, T=tbs, t=tsp? >_<

thanks again!

- val
posted June 17th, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Lovely recipe. The cocoa addition is wonderful, and I rolled the set marshmallows in graham cracker crumbs–s’mores one can take to work without needing a campfire.

- Holly
posted July 29th, 2019 at 10:33 am

I’ve made plain marshmallows before but I’d love to try this swirled method. But instead of chocolate, I’d like to do a fruit puree. So I’ve looked at your strawberry marshmallows recipe and your swirled chocolate marshmallows recipes and I can’t figure out how you would do the swirl with a fruit puree instead of the chocolate. It seems like the fruit puree is part of the marshmallow base, whereas the chocolate isn’t so it can be added in at the end. Is it possible to swirl in the fruit puree at the end, too? Or would I end up with big blobs of fruit puree through my marshmallows?

- digigirl
posted August 29th, 2019 at 6:43 am

Great recipe! But does anyone know, if we can try this with out using any corn syrup? Just gelatin??

There isnt any corn syrup around here, literally. sooooo im looking for a marshmallow recipe that doesnt really need corn syrup but still gives me EXACTLY a marshmallow texture, taste and everything..
:) !

Hi Alla

Use honey instead of corn syrup.


- Alla
posted September 18th, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Can a sugar-free flavored syrup be used instead of corn syrup? I’m a gatric bypass patient and can only have food that uses splenda. I found wonderful sugar-free syrups that are made with splenda–just wondering if they could be substituted.

sorry Amber- there is no way to make marshmallows without sugar. Splenda will not make marshmallows.


posted October 3rd, 2019 at 12:16 pm

I accidentally left the corn syrup out of my marshmallows, but so far, so good. They’re not quite done setting up but I pulled a bit off a corner and they seem just fine (maybe a little less sweet, but that doesn’t bother me). Do you happen to know the science of what the corn syrup does for them?

The corn syrup helps prevent the sugar from crystallizing when heated. It helps keep it a nice free-flowing liquid.


- Heather
posted October 27th, 2019 at 4:53 pm

I cooked the cocoa right in the sugar syrup, making it a fudge syrup. It’s making a nice light marshmallow. I also added just a bit of cocoa to the dusting mixture.

- Shelly
posted November 7th, 2019 at 12:09 am

thanks for the the whole honey replaces corn syrup thing but i was wondering does the honey makes what the corn syrup exactly makes or there will be a diffrence?

- reem
posted December 12th, 2019 at 8:06 am

Just found your page and OMG…Love, love, love the chocolate swirl!!! I think I know what I am giving my kids teachers for Christmas. So good and so cheap to make.

This past summer I made some almond mellows for a camping trip. Too fun. It looked like the kids were toasting tofu over an open flame. Definately a conversation starter. To top it off they do not start on fire like the old jet puff ones.

I can’t wait to see how good this new batch is going to taste toasted.

Thanks for all the ideas.

- Kimberly
posted January 2nd, 2020 at 11:30 am

Every time I make the marshmallows, they get way to sticky to my mixer and bowl and I have a hard time getting them out. They also don’t seem to get to the right volume? Any advice?

Hi Anne,

I need more details to be able to help you:
- how long are you mixing them?
- what are you using for a mixer?
- also are you following the recipe directions (specifically- are you cooking to the right temperature)?

Keeping the time between stopping the mixer and pouring out the marshmallows as short as possible is a must. The step needs to happen as instantly as possible.


- Anne
posted January 7th, 2020 at 1:17 pm

[...] a bit more research I think I’m going to try a chocolate swirl marshmallows from Brownie Point instead of a plain vanilla marshmallow.   Can I say hooray for chocolate!  I love [...]

posted December 15th, 2020 at 2:41 pm

Hi – I’m going to make these as the center filling for some homemade Idaho Spud bars (for my father-in-law, they are his favorite candy). I was going to use an oval/egg shaped mold, but wanted to see if you thought they would still turn out okay if I poured them into a mold instead of an 8×8 pan?
And do you think these marshmallows would hold up shape if I then coated them in dipping chocolate?

Thanks so much! Looks like a wonderful recipe!

- Anissa
posted December 21st, 2020 at 10:37 am

I’ve been making your basic vanilla for awhile now, always to rave reviews. My mother has a standing order; she can’t drink cocoa without them and she’s been waking up in the middle of the night with a need for cocoa and marshmallows. You have created a monster!

I need some more specific direction on swirling, though.
—Do you add the chocolate to the marshmallow and then lower the mixer and beat a bit?
—Or do you remove the marshmallow from the stand and stir in the chocolate with a spatula?
—Or do you pour the marshmallow into the pan, spread the chocolate on top and then use a spoon to marble the marshmallow?

Thanks! These have become very popular in Christmas gifts to friends and family.

- Kirsten
posted September 21st, 2021 at 2:19 pm

Dear McAuliflower,

Thank you for posting this recipe!! It is fantastic!! I have been using one that used egg white. This recipe came out way better. I will be using this recipe alot.
Thanks again,

- Pat
posted November 6th, 2011 at 7:27 am

[...] Swirl Marshmallows via Brownie Points Blog Tags: candy, Chocolate, marshmallow   No [...]

posted November 25th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

[...] a little research, I found that someone had battled the chocolate marshmallow monster before and lived to tell the tale. Based on this advice, I set about developing my own [...]

posted April 27th, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Great to see all these wonderful marshmallow recipes/suggestions! I started making marshmallows a few years ago, so I could leave out the unnecessary commercial ingredients. I later learned that I cannot eat cane sugar, so I have been able to substitute it with beet sugar and they come out great. I will have to try the chocolate or the fruit flavored ones. One suggestion – one of the methods to cut the marshmallows after sitting overnight is to use a pizza cutter. Thanks for all the detailed responses to everyone’s questions!

- Sandy
posted May 30th, 2012 at 12:59 am

Hi there, thanks for the recipe.
i tried making this yesterday afternoon and it still has not firmed up.

I mixed the cocoa into the marshmallow mixture instead of swirling it. could this have been the problem?

Any suggestions on how i can save this batch of marshmallows.

- karen
posted December 4th, 2012 at 10:41 am

The chocolate/water gets so thick that it’s hard to swirl in as prettily as in your picture. Any tips on that? Also, my finished product is not nearly as high as yours. Even the vanilla (without the chocolate swirl) look to be significantly thinner than yours (maybe even only 1/3 as thick?). I used an 8×8 pan. Any ideas?

- Rachel