Vegetarian Marshmallows

By Oonagh Simms From the book The Marshmallowist
Vegetarian Marshmallows from The Marshmallowist

Making vegetarian marshmallows is notoriously tricky. This is the only recipe I find to be successful with an easily acquired substitute for gelatine. Before you start, make sure that your stand mixer bowl is clean and dry and has no greasy residue (cleaning it with a small dab of white wine vinegar on kitchen paper works perfectly). 


20cm square baking tin

heavy-based saucepan

sugar thermometer

stand mixer

palette knife or spatula


For how many? Makes 36 x 3cm squares


  • 250g icing sugar, mixed with 250g cornflour, for dusting
  • 2 tbsp agar powder
  • 200ml water
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 100g glucose syrup
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp guar gum
  • 1/4 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste


1. Line a 20cm square baking tin with cling film and dust in a small portion of the 50/50 sugar/cornflour mix.

2. Dissolve the agar powder in 120ml of water in a small saucepan and leave to one side.

3. Mix together the sugar, glucose and 80ml of water in a pan and bring to the boil to make your sugar syrup. Cook the mixture until it reaches 120C on a sugar thermometer.

4. Put the agar mixture on the heat, bring to the boil and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.

5. Combine the egg whites, guar gum, cream of tartar and vanilla whip until stiff, usually about 4 minutes. Gently pour the sugar syrup in, keeping your mixture on a medium speed. Increase the speed, and continue to whip for 2 minutes.

6. Add in the cooked agar mix and beat for a further 12-15 minutes at full speed. The marshmallow mixture should be stiff and produce firm ribbons.

7. Pour into the tin and smooth with a damp palette knife. Leave to set overnight at room temperature.

8. Dust a work surface by sifting over a thick layer of the dusting mix. Tip the marshmallow slab out of the tin, using the cling film to give you some lift. Dip a sharp knife in hot water to heat it, trim the edge of the slab neatly, then cut into squares. Roll in dusting mix, then leave to dry for 24 hours before eating. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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