2-Ingredient Homemade Marshmallows: the Recipe for Fluffy Marshmallows Ready in Just a Few Steps!

Total time: 15 min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4-6
By Cookist

Do you crave the light, fluffy sweetness of marshmallows but shy away from complicated recipes with a laundry list of ingredients? Well, get ready for this: a marshmallow recipe with only two ingredients. Yes, you read that right.  These pillows of sugary goodness require just two ingredients: cranberry juice and gelatin. That's it! No corn syrup, no other additives, just pure marshmallow magic in its simplest form. This recipe is perfect for those who want to enjoy the taste of homemade marshmallows without the hassle. It's also a fun and educational activity to do with kids, letting them witness the science behind this sweet treat.  So grab your whisk and get ready to whip up a batch of these incredible two-ingredient marshmallows!

Marshmallows With Only Two Ingredients? Yes, It’s Possible!

Marshmallows can trace their roots back to ancient Egypt, as far back as 2000 BC!  But they weren't exactly the campfire treat we know today. Back then, the Egyptians used the extract of the marshmallow plant (hence the name) for medicinal purposes, soothing coughs and sore throats.

Fast forward to the 19th century:  the French whipped the sap of the marshmallow root with sugar and egg whites, creating an early version of the marshmallow candy.  By the 20th century, with the invention of gelatin and the starch mogul process, lighter and airier marshmallows became commercially available, leading to the beloved treat we enjoy today.

Typically, a marshmallow is a combination of sugar, corn syrup, water, gelatin, and flavorings, whipped into a fluffy mixture and then molded and cut into squares. This recipe takes a shortcut on the traditional ingredient list—ditching the corn syrup and other additives, and using just gelatin and cranberry juice. The cranberry juice adds a lovely pink hue and a subtle tartness that complements the sweetness of the gelatin perfectly!


  • Look for powdered gelatin with good blooming strength for a better chance of setting.
  • When whipping the mixture after heating, aim for at least 5 minutes on medium-high speed. This incorporates air to compensate for the lack of sugar.
  • A touch of vanilla extract or cranberry powder can enhance the flavor.
  • Since gelatin provides the structure, be extra careful with setting times. Allow the marshmallows to set for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator. Dusting with a mixture of powdered sugar and cornstarch will help prevent sticking.

Can I Make Marshmallows With Just Cranberry Juice And Gelatin?

Yes, but the texture might not be exactly like store-bought marshmallows due to the lack of sugar

How Can I Make My Cranberry Marshmallows Taste Better?

You can try adding a touch of vanilla extract, cranberry powder, or another flavoring.

How Long Do These Marshmallows Take To Set?

Since gelatin provides the structure, be extra careful with setting times. Allow them to set for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator.

Do These Marshmallows Need To Be Stored In The Fridge?

Yes, due to the reliance on gelatin for structure, it's recommended to store them in the fridge to prevent melting.

What Can I Use Instead of Gelatin?

Instead of gelatin, you can use agar-agar as a substitute. Agar-agar is a plant-based gelling agent that works well in similar quantities. Simply replace the 8 gelatin sheets with 8 grams of agar-agar powder. Dissolve the agar-agar in the cranberry juice while heating, ensuring it is fully dissolved before proceeding with the rest of the steps.

Can I Use Other Juices For The Marshmallows?

Yes, you can use other juices instead of cranberry juice in this recipe. Feel free to experiment with different flavors like orange, apple, or pomegranate juice. Each type of juice will bring its unique taste and color to the final product, allowing you to customize the treat to your preferences.

More Marshmallow Easy Recipes To Try!

Homemade Marshmallows

Orange Marshmallows

Lemon Marshmallows

Chocolate Marshmallows

Homemade Mallomars

How to Store Homemade Marshmallows

Store the marshmallows in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.


Cranberry juice
320ml (1 ¼ cups)
gelatine sheets

How To Make Homemade Marshmallows

Bloom the gelatin. In a small bowl, cover the gelatin sheets with cold water and let them sit for 5 minutes to soften.

In a saucepan, heat the cranberry juice over medium heat until simmering.

Gently squeeze any excess water from the softened gelatin.

Whisk the gelatin into the warm juice until fully dissolved.

Pour the hot cranberry-gelatin mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Beat on high speed for 5-7 minutes, or until light, airy, and tripled in volume.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the whipped marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan.

Smooth the top with a wet spatula. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until firm.

Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar. Using a knife dipped in hot water between cuts, cut the set marshmallows into squares for serving.

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