10 Best Marshmallow Substitutes

Marshmallows are a sugary confectionery made with corn syrup, sugar, gelatin, water, corn starch, colorings, and flavors. There’s never a perfect time for a hot mug of cocoa laden with marshmallows. These are squishy, fluffy, and sweet balls that make the perfect treat and dessert for all occasions.

But you would want other marshmallow substitutes if you are trying to eat healthier or your local grocery store is out of stock.

Some of the best substitutes for marshmallow that you can use include honey and peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, zephyr-Russian marshmallow, marshmallow cream, or opt for healthier or vegan alternatives such as sugar-free marshmallows, and gelatin-free marshmallows.

These are all similar to marshmallows in texture and taste and can be utilized similarly, but the right replacement for you depends on the recipe you are preparing.

What Are Marshmallows?

Marshmallow Substitutes

Marshmallows, the squishy pillow-like treat for people with a sweet tooth, has a unique texture that keeps people perplexed about what they are made of. Marshmallows contain a group of sweetening agents and certain ingredients that gives it that texture. 

These ingredients include:

  • Sugar 
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn starch
  • Gelatin

Sugar and corn syrup are the sweetening agents responsible for the taste of marshmallows. You can also add food coloring and various artificial flavors according to your preference. 

The key ingredient of marshmallows is gelatin. It gives marshmallows their texture and their shape.

Marshmallows have existed for a long time since centuries ago in ancient Egypt, although they used different ingredients back then, and it was much healthier. 

Traditional marshmallows consisted of honey and the nectar of a mallow plant; this gives the treat its name.

Marshmallows nowadays are made with corn syrup, sugar, and water, which are boiled until they reach a certain temperature, then gelatin is added to the mixture and whipped until thick.

Best Marshmallow Substitutes

Here are some marshmallow substitutes, you can use some as a vegan substitute, but they’re generally healthier replacements for marshmallows.

1. Marshmallow Fluff

Marshmallow fluff and marshmallows are similar products, but the former is usually made of sugar, corn syrup, vanillin, a pinch of salt, and egg whites.

Marshmallow fluff can be used as a topping for various desserts and cookies. Replace 1 cup or 8 regular marshmallows with ½  cup of marshmallow fluff. 

If you are vegan or do not want to include eggs in your dish, then you can opt for another marshmallows substitute.

2. Marshmallow Cream

Marshmallow cream consists of corn syrup, sugar, cream of tartar, xanthan gum, and egg whites. Its flavor is quite similar to marshmallows but has a different texture.

Marshmallow cream’s texture is quite stretchy similar to the texture of melted marshmallows. It is a perfect substitute for cakes, pies, cupcakes, and other recipes. You will need about ½  cup of marshmallow cream to replace 1cup or 8 regular marshmallows.

3. Sugar-Free Marshmallows

Sugar-free marshmallows are made from water, gelatin, vanilla, and sweeteners such as isomalt, lactitol, and maltitol.

Their smooth and soft texture makes them excellent for roasting on a stick as they will not melt like regular marshmallows.

4. Gelatin Free Marshmallows

If you are vegan or do not want to consume any animal product, an excellent substitute for regular marshmallows is gelatin-free marshmallows. These marshmallows are made with agar-agar instead of gelatin and can be easily made at home.

Their texture and flavor are quite similar to regular marshmallows, and they can be used the same way you use marshmallows.

5. Zephyr-Russian Marshmallow

Zephyr-Russian marshmallow is a Russian treat with a texture and flavor similar to marshmallows. They are made of egg whites, sugar, apple puree, and agar or gelatin. It has a fluffy texture, which means it can be used similarly to marshmallows.

6. Honey and Peanut Butter

If you are making a Rice Krispie treat, you can mix honey and peanut butter as a replacement for marshmallows.

Place the honey in a pan to boil at low heat; this gets it runny, then you can add the peanut butter and a pinch of salt. Combine the mixture thoroughly, and you can add them to your Rice Krispie treats.

7. Chocolate and Peanut Butter

This is another substitute option that works great as a replacement for marshmallows in Rice Krispie treats.

Chocolate and peanut butter is a combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and honey. Combine the mixture in a microwave, stir consistently, and once it melts together, it is ready to use.

8. Grilled Pineapple and Peaches

Fresh fruit like pineapple and peaches make a healthy alternative to marshmallows when they are grilled.

You can make some tasty but healthy smores treat by the campfire by switching out marshmallows for grilled pineapple and peaches, combined with graham crackers and chocolate. 

You may not get the same sweet flavor and soft texture as you would when using marshmallows, but you get to eat something healthy.

For added sweetness, you can use sweeter peaches and pineapple or add some maple syrup or sugar. They caramelize beautifully and add a beautiful flavor to your treat.

9. Grilled Brie Cheese And Apple

Grilled brie cheese and apple pairs perfectly in dishes. Place a piece of brie cheese and a slice of apple together on the grill and add to your sandwich with graham crackers. It creates a great blend of flavors.

You can intensify the flavor even better by adding a bit of chocolate on top of the roasted cheese. The combination has a sweet-salty flavor that is mixed with the fresh taste of the apple. This gives your roasted smores a unique flavor.

10. Homemade Marshmallows From Scratch

The final option you can use as a substitute for marshmallows is homemade marshmallows you make from scratch. It is surprisingly easy and uses the following ingredients.


  • ¾ cup cold water
  • 40 grams sheet gelatin
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste


Soak gelatin sheets in ¾ cup of cold water for about 5 minutes or until it softens. Melt the gelatin over medium heat and slowly sift in the cornstarch and powdered sugar and mix them thoroughly.

Combine some water with the corn syrup and granulated sugar in a saucepan and boil the mixture. Add some egg whites to a bowl and whip at high speed.

Remove the sugar syrup from heat once it reaches 238°f and add the melted gelatin. Stir the mixture to combine, this creates bubbles, and you should let the foam set before pouring the syrup slowly into the egg whites while beating it at high speed.

Beat the combination until it gets fluffy, then you can add the vanilla bean paste to the mixture and stir to combine.

Use parchment paper to wrap a sheet tray and cover it with a thin layer of the sifted mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Transfer the mixture onto the tray and flatten the surface.

Cover the marshmallow mix with another layer of sifted cornstarch and powdered sugar and let it cool. When it cools down, cut the marshmallow into cubes and toss in the powder sugar and cornstarch mixture. You can go ahead and serve your marshmallows.


If you ran out of marshmallows and you are making a recipe that calls for some, you will need a marshmallow substitute.

Thankfully there are a handful of replacements for marshmallows, and the right option for you depends on the recipe you are preparing.

The best substitutes for marshmallows are marshmallow fluff, marshmallow cream, sugar-free marshmallows, gelatin-free marshmallows, grilled brie cheese, chocolate and peanut butter, and a whole lot of other delicious options.

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