This homemade meringue tastes like marshmallow creme! It 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 topping/frosting will quickly become your new favorite.
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 Meringue, But Tastes Like Homemade Fluff
Today we’re making homemade fluff aka marshmallow creme. I’ve actually taught you how to make it several times before:
- No Bake S’mores Cake
- Brownie Baked Alaska
- S’mores Chocolate Mousse
- Chocolate Mousse Pie
- S’mores Brownie Cupcakes
- Ultimate Birthday Cupcakes
- Chai Pumpkin Meringue Pie
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Granulated Sugar: Use regular granulated sugar, not confectioners’ sugar.
- 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.
- 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.
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, brownie baked Alaska, s’mores brownie cupcakes, and s’mores chocolate mousse.
Uses for Homemade Marshmallow Fluff
- topping for banana cream pie or pumpkin pie
- as a filling for crepes
- frosted on chocolate cupcakes or peanut butter cupcakes
- piped & toasted on coconut cake or red velvet cake
- swirled on pumpkin cupcakes or lemon cupcakes
- between two graham crackers
- spread & toasted on homemade brownies
- as the filling for oatmeal creme pies
- in s’mores cookie bars
- as the filling for cream-filled chocolate cupcakes
- as a completely homemade option for topping pumpkin cupcakes with marshmallow frosting
- wherever you would use 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
Homemade Marshmallow Creme (Frosting)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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!
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 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.)
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Reader Comments & Reviews
Was simple & delicious!!!
Thanks for the note about not using as a cake filling – but I really want to! Do you think it would work if I piped a regular frosting border around the edge of the cake layers and then filled the creme in the middle?
Hi Alyssa, you can certainly try that, but I still have a feeling the marshmallow creme will seep out of the layers when you cut into the cake.
Hi Sally, can you add gelatin to give some structure to the marshmallow cream? Would it hold up as a filling with this as opposed to seeping?
Would you be able to use a microwave rather than the heatproof bowl as I think I only have plastic bowls.
Hi Sally, congratulations on the new bundle of joy!
Do you have a recipe for making whoopie pies using this recipe for the filling?
Hi Rose, You can use this frosting as a filling for these chocolate whoopie pies or even these red velvet whoopie pies or apple cinnamon spice. There is also a pumpkin spice flavor in the Sally’s Cookie Addiction cookbook!
Hi! Do these egg white need to be pasteurized?? Also how long does this last in the fridge for?
Hi Elisheva, We are cooking the egg whites to 160°F (71°C) here so they do not need to be pasteurized. You can over and store leftovers for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
Hi! I’m going to make your smores cookie cake but I don’t have marshmallow fluff at home. Will this work in its place?
Hi Paige, yes! You can use this wherever you would use marshmallow fluff. Happy baking!
This frosting was fabulous! My boys asked for s’mores cupcakes, but I had pretty limited ingredients at home. So, I make some good old chocolate cupcakes and topped them with your frosting! After giving it a little toasting, they were amazing!
Hi! How much more frosting would I have to make to cover a 3 layer, 6 inch cake and have extra left to add a border and some piped decorations?
I halved the recipe-it was delicious! I will never buy store bought marshmallow Creme again!
Hi Sally, can’t wait to try this! Just curious, Can I use this as a substitute for nougat in chocolate bars?
I can’t see why not!
Hello, I gave this recipe a try and all seemed to turn out great…until the end. It ended up really sticky and when I tried to cover it the layer got stuck to the lid and I almost peeled off the topping trying to remove the lid. Any suggestions on making it less sticky??
Hi Kelly, this is essentially homemade marshmallow fluff– super sticky! It will be sticky no matter what. You could try thinning it out with some warm water if you’d like– this would cut some stickiness.
I most often make the recipe as written, but have had good luck reducing the sugar to 3/4 cup for a softer, less sticky fluff. It’s especially nice for dipping sweet potatoes/strawberries/brownie chunks, etc.
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?
Yes, absolutely! I’ve done that when I make this in the wintertime and have some leftover. It’s unbelievable.
Have you ever tried this on confetti cake? And if so, what did you use for filling since you wouldn’t recommend this?
I haven’t, but any frosting flavor you enjoy with sprinkle cakes and marshmallow would be great– perhaps chocolate buttercream?
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!!!
Absolutely! But for best taste and texture (and appearance), I strongly recommend making it fresh and using it that same day.
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!
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.
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!
Yes! That’s exactly what I do.
I see it makes 4 cups but how does that translate to cupcakes? Would this frost 12 or more like 24?
Hi Dorothy! If piping nice and tall as pictured, about 12. If using less frosting on each, about 18-20.
I really want to make this but I don’t have cream of tartar. Is there a alternative for cream of tartar?
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.
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?
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.
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?
Made this for my son’s 1st birthday last year, so yummy and torching it is really fun!
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?
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.
Would this consistency work as a filler in french macarons?
That shouldn’t be a problem.
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.
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.
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.
Hi Maggie, the metal mixer bowl fits (but slants a bit) on my 3.5 quart saucepan.
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?
Hi Anna! Do not place in the oven under the broiler– it will melt.
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!
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!
This looks awesome!
Could I use lemon juice in place of cream of tartar?
I’m sure you could, but I haven’t tested the best amount to obtain the same results. Let me know if you do!
Can this be made with brown sugar? It’s what I have on hand right now.
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.
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.
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!
Hi Sally! I wanted to ask, can we add color to this? Will it change the structure of the marshmallow?
Hi Jessica! A couple drop of gel food coloring wouldn’t hurt. Add it when you add the vanilla.