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.

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marshmallow creme frosting on chocolate cupcakes

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

215 Comments

  1. Hello, I followed the recipe exact, and I’ve whipped it for close to 10 minutes but it’s just not holding up like it should! Suggestions?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jess! Keep on whipping it. If you cooked the egg whites/sugar/cream of tartar long enough, the mixture will reach stiff peaks eventually. Is it particularly humid where you live?

    2. hi, can this be toasted in the oven? thank you!

      1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Jowee, we don’t recommend placing this in the oven — it will melt. Best to use a kitchen torch to brown / toast this frosting.

  2. Can this or other recipes for homemade marshmallow fluff be used to make fudge that calls for marshmallow creme such as Kraft? Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Chuck, yes! You can use this wherever you would use marshmallow fluff.

  3. Will the 4-cup yield be enough to cover just the outside of a 2 layer, 9-inch cake?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Erin, Yes it should be. Enjoy!

  4. I made this last week, it was perfect. But by morning it was very grainy? Any ideas why?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Noddy, This can happen by day two if the sugar wasn’t completely dissolved in step 2 of the recipe directions. If you have a thermometer and you wish to try it again, heat until the temperature reads 160°F (71°C).

  5. James Richardson says:

    Is the final product stiff enough or have enough substance to hold up against the top half of a standard cake or will it collapse under the weight?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi James, we find it squishes easily between layers of cake. We don’t recommend using it as a filling for cake, but you could certainly use it to frost the outside of a cake.

  6. Have you tried this with a no carb sugar substitute? I have many recipes that use fluff but since my husband became diabetic he can’t have them anymore.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lynne, We’d love to help but we are not trained in baking with sugar substitutes. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a recipe that is specifically formulated for sugar substitutes. Thank you!

  7. Hi Sally, would this tolerate sliced fruit on top – imagine a strawberry shortcake cake but with this instead of the cream?

    Thanks

    Linda

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Linda, that should be just fine. Enjoy!

  8. Angelina Taylor says:

    Hi Sally,
    I am wondering what this would be like if toasted and then chilled? I am thinking of using it as a top layer for a smores type pie I’m creating. When I used regular toasted marshmallow it went like chewy like taffy. Do you think the same would happen ?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Angelina, your pie should stay well with this topping in the fridge for 1-2 days after originally serving. Let us know how you like it!

  9. I’m reading that it will not hold up well between layers of cake but as stated can be a filling between oatmeal cookies.

    Does the cream similarly squish out? Does it need to be refrigerated if kept in a heat sealed package? Will they be stiffer if refrigerated?

  10. Great recipe! Came out better than I thought. I did have to whip it a lot more than the recipe said but it came out great. Also, is there a way that I can turn it into actual marshmallows?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Megi, glad you enjoyed this recipe! It doesn’t set up like marshmallows do, so it would be better to use a recipe specifically for making marshmallows. If you have a copy, Sally’s recipe for homemade marshmallows is published in Sally’s Candy Addiction.

  11. This is such a great recipe! My hubby was super impressed, and is now making a fluffernutter sandwich!

  12. Two tries and I couldn’t get it to reach stiff peaks! I was extra careful about water/yolk/oil and spent a long time whipping…. I’m in a humid climate, could that be the problem?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sara! Absolutely. Humid weather can make whipping egg whites very difficult.

  13. Hi my granddaughter will not eat butter can I layer this onto a cake and sides thank you or is there another recipe without butter.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nano, we find it squishes easily between layers of cake. We don’t recommend using it as a filling for cake, but you could certainly use it to frost the outside of a cake.

  14. Hi Sally, how long would this last in the fridge once blow torched? I just made it to put on a s’mores cheesecake and am planning to give it to someone 3 days from now. Would the marshmallow go bad?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah, we usually recommend leaving it in the fridge no longer than 2 days before consuming. Much longer than that, and it will start to wilt.

  15. Thank you

  16. Unfortunately I couldn’t get this to work. 40 mins of whipping and no peaks, just yummy goo.
    Not humid and used a thermometer to reach appropriate temp.

  17. Hi! Do you think the marshmallow crème would be stable enough to use as the coating for cake pops instead of candy/chocolate? I’m fine with it not setting or hardening perfectly – I just want to try something different for the coating! Or if I were to add a little bit of white chocolate to this recipe to add more stability, would that ruin the meringue?

    1. Hi Shannon, I don’t recommend using this as a coating for anything. It’s thin and gooey like store bought marshmallow creme (“Fluff”). Best as a filling or simple topping for a cupcake. To add stability, I wouldn’t add white chocolate. Instead, you might want to try this Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe.

  18. This recipe worked for me despite the humidity in my area during this time of year. It took quite long to get stiff and beautiful but it was worth it! Although I let my mixture cool completely before whipping it, worked great! I used it as cake topping and blowtorched it for a great effect. High-speed mixer setting and lots of patience did it. Thanks for this!

  19. Hi,
    Just wondering approximately how many cupcakes this recipe will cover. Aiming to make 12 so should the recipe cover that or be halved?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lara, it depends on how high you pipe the meringue, but you should be able to cover about 2 dozen cupcakes. You can halve it for fewer cupcakes if desired.

  20. Hi Sally! I’ve made this frosting multiple times before (and loved it every time!), however this time I was thinking of mixing in some crushed Oreos for cookies and cream cupcakes. Would the frosting be able to hold them? I’m not worried about piping because I have done the same with buttercream, I’m just worried the frosting won’t be able to support the Oreos.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Isabel! We haven’t added Oreos to this frosting but it sounds like a delicious addition. Make sure they are finely crushed up and not overly large chunks of cookie, which should help them to hold up in the piping. We’d love to know how it goes for you!

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