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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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. 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??

    1. 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.

      1. Hi,

        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.

  2. I halved the recipe-it was delicious! I will never buy store bought marshmallow Creme again!

    1. Hi Sally, can’t wait to try this! Just curious, Can I use this as a substitute for nougat in chocolate bars?

      1. I can’t see why not!

  3. 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?

  4. 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!

  5. 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?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Paige, yes! You can use this wherever you would use marshmallow fluff. Happy baking!

  6. Elisheva Dadoun says:

    Hi! Do these egg white need to be pasteurized?? Also how long does this last in the fridge for?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      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.

  7. Hi Sally, congratulations on the new bundle of joy!
    Do you have a recipe for making whoopie pies using this recipe for the filling?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      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!

  8. Would you be able to use a microwave rather than the heatproof bowl as I think I only have plastic bowls.

  9. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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?

  10. Would this Fluff recipe work if I subbed in coconut extract in place of the vanilla?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      That should work, yes!

  11. Hi Sally, how many regular sized (3oz) cupcakes can it top off? I’m planning to make a cupcake with this type of frosting. Hoping for your reply.

    1. About 1 dozen, but that depends on how much frosting you use on each cupcake!

  12. Was simple & delicious!!!

  13. Just tried this recipe..turned out super yummmm!!!

  14. Isnt this swiss meringue? Where is the marshmellow in the recipe? Or the name comes for how it looks?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laura, This recipe makes homemade marshmallow creme, which is basically Swiss Meringue Buttercream, just without the butter!

  15. Can I use this as cream horn filling?

  16. I just finished making this marshmellow creme and it came out perfect and tasted better then store bought. I love your web site and use it for many recipes. Thank you

  17. Hi Sally! I am planning to make a smore’s cake for a special occasion. I am planning to make a grahm cracker flavored cake filled with chocolate ganache. I really want to use this recipe to cover the outside of this cake and torch it, giving a baked Alaska look. Do you think this would work? Thanks for all the great recipes!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Finley, Yes that definitely works! You can see how it looks with a torch on this Baked Alaska.

  18. Could you use this as a macaron filling?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Sure could!

  19. Help, the flavor is great, but it wouldn’t never stiffen up? Any suggestions?

  20. I am thinking of using this on mini pretzel ice cream pies. I would decorate and then freeze them. Have you ever frozen it, and do you feel it would be too stiff and not thaw before the ice cream melted?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jeffery, For best taste, texture, and appearance, we do not recommend freezing this. You can top your pies right before serving. Enjoy!

  21. Never stiffened up 🙁 any troubleshooting suggestions if that happens? I’m about to start over. It got thick, but not stiff enough to pipe or keep shape.

    1. Hi Holly, keep beating 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?

      1. Thanks for your reply! I live in the midwest. It is cold out so we have the furnace and house humidifier running. It’s 38% humidity inside. I beat it for 9 minutes and it was delicious but too thin to pipe.

        I found a very similar recipe that called for a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and adding the vanilla in for the last 10 seconds of whisking and the result was perfect!

  22. Is it safe to eat raw? Because it has egg whites

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jas, You will be cooking the egg whites with the sugar and cream of tartar until it reaches 160 degrees F.

  23. Hi Sally! Long time reader here (and my go-to blog for any baking recipe). I plan on using this for the filling for my s’mores donuts. Is this type of meringue stable enough to store in a piping bag for a day or two or will it weep/break?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emily, S’mores donuts sound delicious! You can store this for up to 2 days in the refrigerator (see recipe step 5 for storage details).

  24. I would like to use this as frosting on your coconut cake. I ate this in Hawaii years ago and have been trying to duplicate it. After making the frosting, can I add sweet coconut flakes to it? Any other tips?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Diane, We have not tested it but that sounds delicious! You can add coconut extract when you add the vanilla, or yes you could try very gently folding coconut flakes into the frosting. The easiest thing to do would be simply top the frosted cake with coconut flakes (you can even lightly toast them for extra flavor!).

  25. Stephanie, Thank you for your unbelievably quick response! Do you think I should divide the vanilla amount in half, replacing it with the same amount of coconut extract so as not to have too much liquid in the frosting?

  26. How much does this make? I want to use it in a fudge recipe that calls for a 7 Oz jar of marshmallow crepe.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Debbie, This recipe yields about 4 cups.

  27. I was hoping to make this to use as a filling for a swiss roll cake. Do you think it would be too soft or would I be okay? I planned to cover the whole roll in a stiffer chocolate buttercream frosting. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Jenna, I’m just seeing your comment/question now so my apologies on the delay responding to you. This filling is a little too sticky/loose for a cake roll. What may work, however, is halving this recipe then combining it with whipped cream. Whip heavy cream into stiff peaks, then fold into the marshmallow creme. The whipped cream will lighten up the filling in terms of texture, but stiffen the consistency so it will “set” in the cake.

  28. I want to use this in between cookies to make moonpieesque sandwich cookies for our Christmas cookie box. Will it stand up to being left at room temperature for a few days? I was thinking of covering the exposed edges with chocolate to kind of “seal them”. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Jennifer, I usually refrigerate this when I can but in all honesty– it’s just fine at room temperature for a couple days especially if it’s sealed inside a cookie/cake sandwich.

  29. Luciana Misura says:

    I made this marshmallow creme frosting and at first it looked fine, but after an hour or so the piped frosting lost its shape and kind of “melted” on top of the cupcakes. What could be the reason for it? It tasted very good though.

    1. Hi Luciana, 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?

  30. What do you think would happen if I piped these out and then dehydrated them? Do you think they’d be like dehydrated marshmallows? tia!!

    1. Hi Tanya, that’s an interesting idea but I really don’t know the outcome. I assume they would just melt everywhere, but let me know if you try anything.

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