Homemade Marshmallow Creme (Meringue Frosting)

Homemade marshmallow creme comes together quickly and easily with 4 basic ingredients. Made without all the preservatives and high fructose corn syrup of the store-bought version, this extra creamy and sweet frosting will quickly become your new favorite.

homemade marshmallow creme

Have you ever had a fluffernutter sandwich? Eaten marshmallows straight out of the bag? Roast campfire s’mores just to eat the gooey toasted marshmallow? Enjoyed marshmallow fluff right out of the jar? If any of these describe you, continue on.

PS: A fluffernutter sandwich is peanut butter and marshmallow creme on bread. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, trust me.


This is Homemade Fluff (Aka Marshmallow Creme)

Today we’re making homemade fluff aka marshmallow creme. I’ve actually taught you how to make it several times before:

It’s basically Swiss Meringue Buttercream, just without the butter. But don’t let the word “meringue” frighten you. This is an astonishingly simple mixture that you can use as a frosting, filling, or topping on MANY different confections. You only need 4 ingredients, a stovetop, and a mixer. It’s similar to traditional “7 minute frosting”, but doesn’t contain corn syrup or water.

marshmallow creme frosting on chocolate cupcakes

What Does Marshmallow Creme Taste Like?

Marshmallow creme is everything we love about marshmallows, but in semi-liquified form. It’s extra creamy, soft, and sweet and pairs wonderfully with a variety of flavors like chocolate, peanut butter, banana, pumpkin, spice, lemon, etc. When toasted, it tastes like a marshmallow roasted over a campfire!

Unlike store-bought marshmallow fluff, this makes an excellent frosting because it can be piped. (Store-bought isn’t stable enough.) It doesn’t hold any intricate shapes, but pipes beautifully with a large round tip like Ateco 808, pictured above on chocolate cupcakes and below on S’mores Brownie Cupcakes.

smores brownie cupcakes with toasted marshmallow creme frosting

smores brownie cupcakes with toasted marshmallow creme frosting

Just 4 Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make homemade marshmallow creme. Though the written recipe is below, I want to walk through these ingredients so you understand the importance of each.

  1. Egg Whites: Egg whites and sugar form the structure. For best success, I recommend using fresh eggs instead of carton egg whites. (Using an egg separator is really handy!) Here are all my recipes using leftover egg yolks. Success tip: Eggs separate much easier when they’re cold.
  2. Granulated Sugar: Use regular granulated sugar, not confectioners’ sugar.
  3. Cream of Tartar: If you’ve made our French macarons, you’ll remember that cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites and helps the mixture hold its stiff peaks. It does the same job here– certainly an imperative ingredient. Sometimes lemon juice can be used as a substitute, but I don’t recommend it here. For best results, you need cream of tartar.
  4. Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract adds wonderful flavor.

How to Make Homemade Marshmallow Creme & Video Tutorial

While it certainly looks fancy, homemade marshmallow creme couldn’t be easier to make. This is a simple 4 ingredient mixture cooked on the stovetop, then beaten into stiff peaks.

Begin by whisking the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar together in a double boiler or heat-proof bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thinned out. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract, then use your mixer and whip on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form. Whipping is where the magic happens. It’s fun to watch the mixture transform from a thin liquid to voluminous fluff– literally a big puffy cloud.

marshmallow meringue mixture

Marshmallow creme topping

You can toast homemade fluff using a kitchen torch (affiliate link– this is the torch I own and love) like I do in my no-bake s’mores cake, bourbon sweet potato pie, baked brownie Alaska, s’mores brownie cupcakes, and s’mores chocolate mousse.

toasted marshmallow cream

Uses for Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

It’s excellent as a filling for cupcakes, but I find it squishes easily between layers of cake. I don’t recommend using it as a filling for cake, but you could certainly use it to frost the outside of a cake.

Print
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homemade marshmallow creme on a whisk attachment

Homemade Marshmallow Creme (Frosting)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Made without all the preservatives and high fructose corn syrup of the store-bought version, this extra creamy and sweet homemade marshmallow creme will quickly become your new favorite. So many uses!


Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup (200ggranulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with two inches of simmering water. Do not let it touch the water. (You can use a double boiler if you have one.)
  2. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture has thinned out, about 4 minutes. The mixture will be thick and tacky at first, then thin out and appear frothy on top. To test that it’s ready, you can use your finger or an instant read thermometer. Lightly and quickly dip your finger (it’s very hot, be careful) and rub the mixture between your thumb and finger. You shouldn’t feel any sugar granules. If using a thermometer, the temperature should read 160°F (71°C).
  3. Remove from heat. (No need to let it cool down before continuing.) Add the vanilla extract, then using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meringue can be spread, piped, or swirled onto cakes, cupcakes, and other confections. Serve immediately OR torch it with a kitchen torch for a delicious toasted marshmallow topping. (Do not place in the oven under the broiler– it will melt.)
  5. Cover and store leftovers for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Baked goods topped with this marshmallow meringue can be left at room temperature for up to 6-8 hours. After that, it’s best to refrigerate or else the topping will begin to wilt. For best taste, texture, and appearance, I do not recommend freezing this.

Notes

  1. Smaller or larger batch: Recipe may easily be halved, 1.5x, or doubled. Less volume will cook quicker on the stove and beat into stiff peaks quicker. More volume will take a little longer in both steps.
  2. Eggs: For best success, I recommend using fresh eggs instead of carton egg whites. Here are all my recipes using leftover egg yolks. Success tip: Eggs separate much easier when they’re cold.

Keywords: homemade marshmallow cream, homemade fluff

176 Comments

  1. Lotte Driesen says:

    Hi! I want to make baked alaska for christmas, but I can’t find cream of tartar. Can I use tartaric acid instead or would it be better to skip that ingredient? 🙂

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lotte, Unfortunately cream of tartar is an imperative ingredient. Lemon juice can work as a substitution in some recipes, but it doesn’t work as well here.

    2. Cream of tartar is the same as tartaric acid (more specifically the potassium salt of tartaric acid…)

  2. The store is out of marshmallows. Could I use this in Rice Krispie treats?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nancilynn, unfortunately you cannot use this in place of marshmallows. It doesn’t set up the same way that marshmallows do.

  3. Could I use 3/4 cup of sugar instead of 1 cup?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maria, The eggs and sugar form the structure of this recipe so I recommend sticking to the listed amounts. You can try slightly reducing the sugar but keep in mind that the final texture may be different. Let us know what you try!

  4. Hi Sally, huge fan: i am trying to combine my husband’s love of marshmallow cream and white chocolate by using this frosting on the outside of your tuxedo cake; do you think that would work taste-wise, and would the amount outlined here be enough? Thank you so much

    1. Hi Rawan, This meringue frosting would be absolutely delicious with that chocolate cake. It’s enough for the exterior of the layer cake!

      1. Thank you so much for your reply! I was also thinking of putting some more in between the cake layers along with your red wine chocolate ganache (I’m thinking like the s’mores chocolate cake on lifeloveandsugar .com. , but ganache and marshmallow frosting instead of the vanilla ) would doubling both these recipes be enough? So sorry for the trouble

  5. I tried a 1/2 of this recipe and it turned out amazing!!! I used it piped on pecan biscuits and coated with chocolate yum yum!

  6. My 6 year old daughter and I just made this in under 20 minutes. Outstanding flavor and we have some very happy tummys!

  7. Natale Zimmer says:

    Sally, can one add gel coloring to this? My instinct is that it’s possible, but each color would need its own batch? I really want to use this for a half birthday cake, but I have a feeling the color requirements are going to push me to buttercream instead 😉

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Natale, A couple drop of gel food coloring wouldn’t hurt. Add it when you add the vanilla. If you wish to make multiple colors yes, you would want to make separate batches – see recipe notes about cutting the recipe in half if you wish to make smaller batches.

    2. Natale Zimmer says:

      So I made the recipe as above, and then treated it like buttercream, coloring the amounts I needed and then piping. It wasn’t a disaster, but would have been better to make separate batches. What I learned was that the colors I did last held up best, and the colors I mixed less held up better. I think the meringue was more set by the time I got to the later colors, and so it piped better. I will do this again, but I’ll make half batches of primary colors and then mix fthose to make secondary colors, in order to limit the extra mixing, and I’ll probably let it set up a bit in the piping bag before I decorate. This was fun, thanks for the recipe!!

  8. Hi Sally,
    First of all, thanks for all of your incredibly delicious recipes! I love all of the helpful information you provide!
    Secondly, I have to tell you what a
    Beautiful family you have!
    I wanted to ask you about the Marshmallow Icing recipe you have. I see that the eggs are partially cooked over hot water. Is that enough to kill off any salmonella?
    Thanks, Sally

  9. My grandma used to make this for angel food cake (but it was called 7 minute frosting). So delicious!

  10. First time making anything like this and it worked like a dream! I put it on top of your pumpkin cupcakes instead of the marshmallow buttercream and it was v delicious. Can I ask what the difference is in flavour between this and that buttercream? is it the same level of sweetness, but creamier?

    1. Hi Rawan, the buttercream is butter-based, much thicker, and has marshmallow flavor. This meringue frosting is like pure marshmallow. It’s not as thick and can’t hold intricate piping shapes– but it really is like eating melted marshmallows. 🙂

  11. Hi can you add a gelling agent to make this into marsh mallows at all?

    1. Hi Susi, it would be better to use a recipe specifically for making marshmallows. If you have a copy, my recipe for homemade marshmallows is published in one of my cookbooks.

  12. Hi Sally!
    this is a great marshmallow frosting! I have a question though, how long will this last? if i make it on monday and frost it over a chocolate cake, will it last up to friday?
    Thank you?

    1. Hi Mars, for best taste and texture, I recommend frosting the cake no earlier than about 1-2 days prior. See storing instructions. (Last step.)

  13. Hello! I’ll be making Elmo cupcakes for my son’s birthday. I need to pipe the “fur” using a star or grass tip – do you think this recipe would hold up for that type of piping, or should I stick with buttercream?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Krista, This meringue frosting is like pure, melted marshmallow. It’s not as thick and can’t hold intricate piping shapes, so it would be best to stick to buttercream for you needs. Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks! I’ll have to save this one for a future cupcake :-).

  14. I wonder if I can use frozen eggs (of course thawed before using). I have loads left after making a flan last week.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ally, we don’t see why not!

  15. Hi there, whats the expiration date? ( if you use a sterilised jar )

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Yuri, we don’t recommend storing this frosting. Leftovers will keep for a couple days in the refrigerator.

  16. Hi Sally

    Planning to use this as a piped topping on top of chocolate cupcakes.
    If I torch it – how long will the frosting last outside the fridge?

    Thanks so much – you’re awesome!!!!!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ralph, Baked goods topped with this marshmallow meringue can be left at room temperature for up to 6-8 hours. After that, it’s best to refrigerate or else the topping will begin to wilt. Hope this helps!

  17. Hi Sally,

    I am making cupcakes and using this as my frosting, we are having some today and some tomorrow, do I complete everything including the torching today and keep it in the fridge or do I pipe and torch it tomorrow?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Belinda, for best taste and texture, I recommend piping and torching tomorrow before serving.

  18. Question: I am looking for a recipe to use in homemade marshmallow donuts. Do you think this would work?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maryann, this would be excellent filling for a marshmallow creme filled donut. Let us know what you try!

      1. Good to know! Thank you for your help

  19. Hi Sally,

    I’m Australian (huge fan!) and my son wants an iconic 1980’s Australian Women’s Weekly magazine ‘Duck cake’ for his birthday (if you seen the show Bluey in the US you might know what this is!). Duck cake is a simple butter sponge cake that is cut and shaped as a duck with a ‘fluffy’ marshmallow frosting however the eggs are not cooked in the 1980’s recipe which I am not a fan of! What I love about your marshmallow frosting recipe is the fact you cook the eggs first as the first step with your Swiss M cream. Just wanted to say thanks so much for sharing, and hope this can be a tip for other mums wanting to make a duck cake for their kids and want a marshmallow frosting with cooked eggs not raw 🙂

  20. Haseena Aslam says:

    Hi Sally,
    Love your recipes! I was wondering once I pipe it on the cupcakes and toast it…if I have left overs, can I store in the fridge and can it stay out at room temperature for 5-6hrs?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Haseena! Cover and store leftover cupcakes at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

  21. Hi! Made this and turned out great, awesome recipe! , just wondering would it be posible to use it in smores squares? I mean between two layers of cookie dough, and then bake…? We don’t have marshmellow creme here…in Perú… Thanks a lot!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Vanessa! This marshmallow creme should be ok in a recipe like our S’more Cookie Bars. Enjoy!

  22. Hi! I always wonder, if I have small eggs will I have to add more? Is it possible to know the weight that was used? Id like to ask the same thing for your 6inch chocolate cake as well!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kimberly! A large whole egg weighs about 57g (or 50g out of the shell) and a large egg white weighs about 30g. Hope this helps!

  23. Hi can I skip the cream of tartar or replace it with something else?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Gypsy, Unfortunately cream of tartar is an imperative ingredient. Lemon juice can work as a substitution in some recipes, but it doesn’t work as well here.

  24. Hello Sally!
    I’m a HUGE fan of your recipes 😀 you are certainly someone I can trust!
    I have a quick question, do you think this work in a homemade fondant recipe?

    The fondant recipe is
    16 oz mini marshmallows
    32 oz powdered sugar
    4 tablespoons water
    1 tsp. Butter

    If you think it’s worth a shot I was thinking of experimenting a little and seeing if this would work.

    Thank you and once again I’m just such a fan of your recipes

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rebecca, we don’t have any experience with making fondant so can’t say for sure. Would love to hear how it turns out!

  25. Hi! Would this work to bind popcorn balls?

    1. Hi Joe, it doesn’t really solidify (more like a loose frosting) so it wouldn’t be ideal for that. You’d want a homemade candy syrup for popcorn balls.

  26. This recipe is ingenious! The Swiss and Italian meringues are complicated and it’s hard to make multiple batches. Sometimes I just don’t want buttercream frosting so I was searching for an alternative and found this! I decorated our Easter treats with it (tripled the recipe). Turned out great! Has a beautiful glossy shine and batches kept well uncovered as I worked over a long period of time decorating.

  27. Aideen Kelly says:

    Hi,

    I made this at the weekend to top our hot chocolate however I couldn’t get it to pipe, have you any advice? Thanks

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Aideen! Was the marshmallow creme too soft to pipe? This is very soft frosting, but it sounds like your batch could have benefitted from a couple extra minutes of beating. Did it reach stiff peaks?

  28. I’m going to make a baked s’mores bar can this recipe stand being baked in the oven?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christine! Yes, this marshmallow creme should be ok in a recipe like our S’more Cookie Bars. Enjoy!

      1. Cannot wait to try this

  29. this frosting was so easy!! and soooo tasty! this will be a forever frosting at our house

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