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: Cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites and helps the mixture hold its stiff peaks. It’s an imperative ingredient and I do not recommend skipping it. 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

137 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. 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. 🙂

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