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

186 Comments

  1. Hmmmmmm! Yum! I love making swiss meringue/homemade marshmallow; it tastes so good! 🙂

    1. Can I use this for fruit dip instead of fluff. My store is out where I shop in Germany and it’s not so easy to jump on a train to the next village to see IF they have it. Need tomorrow .

    2. Hi, made this recipe for frosting a cake, was amazing but the next day the frosting “disintegrated “, looked like it was coming apart. What did I do wrong? Thanks!

  2. Jessica K., Germany says:

    Hi Sally! I wanted to ask, can we add color to this? Will it change the structure of the marshmallow?

    1. Hi Jessica! A couple drop of gel food coloring wouldn’t hurt. Add it when you add the vanilla.

  3. Could this be used for rice krispy treats?

    1. No, it doesn’t set up like marshmallows do.

    2. Yum! Would this work for your s’mores squares? I just had a craving for those and realized I don’t have any fluff, and grocery day is a while away!

      1. Hi Laura! Which recipe is that? Should be OK in my s’mores cookie bars.

  4. Is this the same as 7-minute frosting?

    1. It’s similar. It doesn’t contain corn syrup or water though.

    2. Seems pretty much the same to me! My recipe for seven minute frosting does not call for corn syrup, anyway. So the only difference is a little bit of water…and I found when I made this recipe, it got so thick it was hard to whip, so I added a little water – go figure!
      It sure is delicious…SO much tastier than store-bought marshmallow fluff!

      1. Thank you for your response. I haven’t made 7-minute in years, but didn’t recall mine using corn syrup either. 7-min was always a favorite and I could eat mm Fluff right out of tub so I know Sally’s must be phenomenal.

  5. Cathy Chavez says:

    Thank you Sally for tis recipe. Could it be used to make fudge? Thank you for all of your great recipes and especially the easy to follow instructions.

    1. Hi Cathy, I fear fudge wouldn’t set up properly if this homemade version of marshmallow creme was used to replace the store-bought kind. You can try it, but you definitely don’t want to waste a batch!

  6. I love fluff. Especially a PB w/fluff. It reminds me very much of my childhood. Love that is so simple to make at home. Hope you had a great Mother’s Day weekend. Thanks for starting the week off with the most delicious frosting!

    1. So simple to make at home!

  7. How long does this last before it goes bad?

    1. Hi Desiree! See the last step for full details.

  8. Can this be made with brown sugar? It’s what I have on hand right now.

    1. You can definitely try brown sugar. The marshmallow meringue may take a lot longer to whip into stiff peaks from the extra moisture. You’ll also lose that traditional marshmallow flavor.

  9. This looks awesome!
    Could I use lemon juice in place of cream of tartar?

    1. I’m sure you could, but I haven’t tested the best amount to obtain the same results. Let me know if you do!

  10. I’ve used this recipe from you in the past and it is absolutely delicious. My favorite is the s’mores bars.

    Question – have you ever made an actual homemade marshmallow recipe? I couldn’t find one on your blog, but they really take hot chocolate or individual s’mores to the next level. Unflavored gelatin and other obscure ingredients may make it a bit advanced, but I have faith in your readers!

    1. Hi Samantha! Yes, my recipe for homemade marshmallows lives in my cookbook Sally’s Candy Addiction. It’s in the first chapter if you have a copy!

  11. Yum! Perfect timing; I’m planning to make smores cupcakes later today!
    I don’t have a torch, do you think a broiler would work?

    1. Hi Anna! Do not place in the oven under the broiler– it will melt.

  12. What size pot does your mixer bowl fit in? I feel like all of my pots are too shallow and I’m worried my mixer bowl doesn’t sit high enough above the water. I have a 5qt kitchen aid with a tile head so it locks on the bottom of the bowl.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Maggie, the metal mixer bowl fits (but slants a bit) on my 3.5 quart saucepan.

  13. Thanks so much Sally! I’ve been looking for a substitute for Cool Whip forever. After reading the ingredients label, I just can’t bring myself to buy that stuff.

    1. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try! Let me know what you think if you do 🙂

    2. Hi Rosemarina,
      Personally, I find the best substitute for Cool Whip is to just take heavy whipping cream and whip it with a wee bit of sugar and vanilla (I understand you can add a little gelatin to stabilize it but I haven’t tried that.)
      But this recipe is like an amazing homemade fresh version of marshmallow creme.

  14. Would this consistency work as a filler in french macarons?

    1. That shouldn’t be a problem.

  15. 2ManyEggWhites says:

    Hi Sally,

    So I have a ton of egg white cartons to use after a grocery store mixup (thanks panic buying!) What alterations could I make to use those in lieu of fresh eggs in this recipe? Are there other recipes I could use carton egg whites in instead just to make good use of them?

    1. Hi! For best success (and taste!) I strongly recommend fresh eggs in this recipe, but you can try carton egg whites as long as they are 100% egg whites. (Most cartons give equivalents to fresh egg whites.) You can try them in my white cake, confetti cupcakes, or coconut macaroons.

  16. I think I may try to use this to frost the top of your wonderful carrot cake that I like baking in a sheet pan! Should work based on what you said above about this being good for frosting the outside of a cake, yes?

    1. Hope you love it! This is an excellent frosting for cake and carrot cake would pair wonderfully. I just don’t recommend this as a filling for layer cakes.

      1. Perfect! Thank you!

  17. Made this for my son’s 1st birthday last year, so yummy and torching it is really fun!

  18. Lori Young says:

    Hi Sally, as in the 7 minute frosting, there is corn syrup added for a ‘glossy’ look. Would adding a bit ruin the structure of this frosting?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Lori! This marshmallow creme frosting is plenty glossy looking, but feel free to add 1-2 teaspoons of light corn syrup when you add the vanilla extract.

  19. Delicious! I forgot to cover the cake I made before putting it in the fridge and now it seems stale. Is there any way I can save it?

  20. This frosting was delicious on top of the rhubarb cake I made today! But mine took so much longer than 5min to whip up to stiff peaks 🙁 I let it whip on high for around 12 minutes and the structure was changing super slowly so I lost my patience and used it before it got properly stiff. I used 1tsp of lemon juice instead of cream of tartar. Could that have been why? Or perhaps humidity?

    1. Hi Teo, so glad you enjoyed this! I don’t recommend using lemon juice here. For best results, stick with cream of tartar. The humidity could also be the culprit.

  21. I really want to make this but I don’t have cream of tartar. Is there a alternative for cream of tartar?

    1. Hi Joelle, 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.

  22. I see it makes 4 cups but how does that translate to cupcakes? Would this frost 12 or more like 24?

    1. Hi Dorothy! If piping nice and tall as pictured, about 12. If using less frosting on each, about 18-20.

  23. Hi Sally,

    This looks yummy! In the picture above it looks like you placed your KA stand mixer bowl in the pot with hot water, could I do the same? Thanks!

    1. Yes! That’s exactly what I do.

  24. Being diabetic, would it be possible to use Swerve in this and then use the fluff in a fudge recipe?

    1. Hi Carol, I don’t have any experience baking with Swerve but let me know if you try it.

  25. Have you ever tried making this with egg whites that had been frozen? I have a bunch in the freezer and a hankering to try this!

    1. I haven’t, but I don’t see why it would be an issue. Thaw, bring to room temperature, then use in this recipe as written.

  26. Hi Sally, I see you can store leftovers up to 2 days but can you actually make it and ice your baked goods (in this instance a cake) 2 days later? Thanks!!!

    1. Absolutely! But for best taste and texture (and appearance), I strongly recommend making it fresh and using it that same day.

  27. Have you ever tried this on confetti cake? And if so, what did you use for filling since you wouldn’t recommend this?

    1. I haven’t, but any frosting flavor you enjoy with sprinkle cakes and marshmallow would be great– perhaps chocolate buttercream?

  28. Hi Sally
    Just made this to fill your chocolate cupcakes for my New Zealand version if s’mores cupcakes. There is heaps left over. Could I use this on top of my son’s hot chocolate instead of marshmallows?
    Carole

    1. Yes, absolutely! I’ve done that when I make this in the wintertime and have some leftover. It’s unbelievable.

  29. Ruthann McGee says:

    This looks delicious. I think I am going to make it to use in homemade ice cream. I LOVE your blue kitchen aid mixer that is in the video!!!!!! Is it a current color. I think I NEED that!

  30. I’m super excited to make this dairy free frosting! Is the light enough to use in place of the whipped cream suggested in your Angel Food Cupcake recipe?

    1. Hi Candice, It’s not as light as whipped cream but you could use it on top of those cupcakes if you wish. Let me know if you try it!

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