I wouldn’t say that marshmallow creme is exactly a staple in our cupboard, but I do enjoy a dollop on top of a steaming mug of cocoa, and I sometimes use it as a filling for cakes or sandwich cookies. We’ve also had fun making s’mores under the broiler with marshmallow creme in place of marshmallows. But marshmallow creme has always been one of those ingredients where I use half the jar and then the other half sits in my cupboard so long that it becomes hard and unusuable. So, not a favorite in our house (unlike Nutella, but that’s another story!). Lately I’ve seen several recipes online for homemade marshmallow fluff and it looked so deliciously creamy that I decided to try it out and see how it compared to Jet-puffed Marshmallow Creme from a jar. Most of the recipes I looked at made enormous amounts of marshmallow fluff, like several cups of the stuff. I knew we were not going to use nearly that amount so here is my pared down recipe for homemade marshmallow creme:
- 3 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1. Place the egg whites and sugar in a the top of a double boiler, or in a heat-proof mixing bowl set over a pan of water. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat, then turn down the heat to low and cook the egg whites, stirring constantly, until they reach 160ºF.
- 2. Carefully pour the hot egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Alternatively, if a stand mixer is not available, you can put the egg whites into a large, heat-proof mixing bowl and use an electric hand mixer. Whisk the egg whites at high speed until they turn white and double in size, about 8 minutes.
- 3. Use the marshmallow creme as soon as possible, as the sugar will eventually re-crystallize making the creme grainy. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Much like homemade marshmallows, this is a very fun recipe to make. The whisking step is pretty amazing to watch as the soupy, clear egg whites turn into a mountain of white fluff. If you have children, you should definitely get them involved in this recipe! It is also a very simple, fool-proof recipe to whip up. It only takes about 20 minutes of preparation and 2 common ingredients. But even though the preparation is easy and fun, this didn’t turn out to be a super convenient recipe, mainly because it has a very short shelf life. I found that after only 24 hours in the fridge, the sugar in the leftover marshmallow fluff began to crystallize making the fluff grainy. It still tasted pretty good, but it wasn’t smooth and creamy like the kind from a jar.
When it comes to price, however, the homemade marshmallow creme won hands down. While a small jar of Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme (about 2 cups) cost $2.25, the same amount of homemade marshmallow creme only cost 65 cents! I was also disappointed to note that Jet-Puffed brand marshmallow creme contains artificial flavors, coloring and preservatives. The homemade version, on the other hand, couldn’t be simpler with only egg whites and sugar.
Most importantly, the two kinds of marshmallow creme were very close in taste and the homemade was preferred by 3 tasters in a blind taste test. We all liked the smoother, creamier texture of the homemade creme, although one person found the homemade to be too sweet. The store bought creme definitely has a bit of a vanilla flavor and I would like to try and replicate that by adding vanilla to the homemade version.
Bottom Line: Homemade marshmallow creme is fun and easy to whip up in a home kitchen. It also is much cheaper than store bought and contains none of the preservatives or artificial ingredients found in a jar of Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme. On the downside, homemade marshmallow creme does not keep for long as it soon crystallizes and becomes grainy. I will definitely make the homemade version in the future, but will probably only make a small amount since it doesn’t keep well.