If you’re here searching for a really beautiful recipe for perfectly piped homemade peeps, go ahead and exit right now. I’ve been making homemade marshmallows for years, but this year I wanted to try my hand at piping out homemade peeps. Holy crap — don’t do it, or do it, but just be a lot better than me♡)! I ended up making peeps that more closely resemble the poop emoji than little chick peeps. So, I switched to piping out bunny heads instead and then immediately on to “kisses” (marshmallows shaped like a Hershey’s Kiss) because that was the absolute easiest option.
Shape aside, these homemade marshmallows with crunchy sugar coating are delicious! Keep reading to see how you too can turn a failed homemade Peep experiment into really delicious crunchy marshmallows.
What are Peeps?
One of the reasons I wanted to make homemade peeps was so I could use them to make homemade Spring Rice Krispie Treats which I’ll be posting soon. But If you’ve never had a Peep in your life, it’s basically a marshmallow coated in crunchy sugar. And homemade Peeps and marshmallows are a million times better than the store-bought kind — and they’re super easy to make.
Why We Love These Homemade Easter Peeps
- They’re so quick and easy to make
- They taste way better than store-bought peeps
- They’re fun and tasty even if they aren’t in proper peep shapes
- You can make them using powdered gelatin OR sheet gelatin
- They make excellent springtime Rice Krispie Treats
- Sanding sugar gives just the right amount of crunchy contrast to the fluffy middle
- You can make them any color you want (I’ve used all-natural powdered beet coloring)
Peep’ish Homemade Easter Peeps Ingredients
You really only need 5 ingredients to make homemade marshmallows (plus a little cornstarch and powdered sugar to dust them with). Using a pinch of salt is optional of course, but it adds the perfect balance to the sweetness and helps bring out the pure vanilla flavor.
- powdered gelatin or sheet gelatin
- granulated sugar
- Lyle’s Golden Syrup (sub light corn syrup)
- egg whites
- vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- coarse sanding sugar
- all-natural powdered beet food coloring (sub gel food coloring)
- powdered sugar
How to Make Easy Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
You probably have better piping skills than I do and if that’s the case, go ahead and pipe a few chicks or rabbit peeps. However, if you’re like me and struggle with it, just turn the rest of the marshmallow mixture into “kisses”. Alternatively, you can make a pan of marshmallows and use cookie cutters to the peep shapes which will be much easier than trying to pipe them. *See recipe notes for instructions on how to do this.
- Prepare the work surface for piping the marshmallows. Whisk together the cornstarch and powdered sugar for dusting the marshmallows. Dust a baking sheet evenly with the mixture using a sieve or a sifter. Be sure to cover the entire area completely reserving some of the mixture to dust the tops of the marshmallows later on if needed.
- Bloom the gelatin:
- For Powdered Gelatin. In a small bowl, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the water to soften and absorb the liquid.
- For Sheet Gelatin. Add the gelatin sheets to a bowl and cover completely with water. Allow to soften for 4 to 5 minutes, remove the water, squeeze them gently to remove excess water, and add them back to the bowl and set aside.
- Whisk the egg whites. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if using a handheld mixer), add the egg whites and whisk on low speed until frothy. Add the salt and vanilla (or strawberry extract) and continue mixing on low speed while you make the syrup.
- Make the hot syrup. In a small pot fitted with a candy/deep fry thermometer, add the sugar, golden syrup, and water and cook over medium-high heat. When the temperature of the syrup reaches 210°F/99°C, increase the speed of the mixer to high and whisk until visibly thick and fluffy.
- Combine the hot syrup and egg white mixture. When the temperature of the syrup reaches 245ºF/118°C, carefully pour the hot syrup into the mixer in a steady stream down the side while the machine is still running at high speed. Be careful and try to keep the syrup from coming in direct contact with the whisk so it doesn’t splatter. Set a timer for 10 minutes and allow the mixture to continue at high speed.
- Melt the gelatin and add it to the marshmallow mixture. Add the bloomed gelatin plus 1 tablespoon of water to the same pot you cooked the hot syrup in and allow it to melt. It happens quickly from the residual heat. Do not turn on the heat to melt the gelatin. When the gelatin is melted and there are no visible pieces or granules, add it to the mixer while still mixing at high speed. Use a rubber spatula to get all of the gelatin mixture into the stand mixer. Continue mixing on high speed until the outside of the bowl is completely cool to the touch and no longer warm (5 to 8 minutes more). Turn off the mixer and add the powdered food color(if using) to reach the desired color. Turn the mixer back on to combine everything.
- Pipe the peeps or “kisses”. Add the marshmallow mixture to a piping bag with a large hole and pipe shapes directly onto the prepared baking sheet. Dust the peeps with the coarse sanding sugar-food coloring mixture to coat well.
- Let the peeps cure and set up. Allow the marshmallows to cure for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight uncovered at room temperature. These peeps are best eaten the same day, but if you need to store them they may need to be dusted with a little of the remaining powdered sugar mixture to keep them from sticking together. Store them in large sealed containers and enjoy them with your favorite hot cocoa or to perk up your coffee or Easter sundaes, Enjoy!
How To Make Easy Homemade Marshmallow Peeps Step-By-Step Recipe Photos
How to Flavor Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Playing with the flavor of homemade peeps is fun. Use any of the options below to complement or replace the pure vanilla extract in this recipe.
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon natural strawberry extract
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- Add espresso powder, cinnamon, or pumpkin spice to the mixer toward to end
How to Store Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Once the marshmallows have been sugared and cured they’re ready to eat, but if you’re storing them it’s best to do so in a taller airtight container like a 9×13-inch cake saver or Tupperware container so they aren’t touching. However, if all you’ve got is a freezer bag, be sure to dust them with powdered sugar or the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture to prevent sticking (see above photo), they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.
How to Troubleshoot Making Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Making homemade marshmallows is easy, but if you’re not familiar with candy-making it might be intimidating at first. Don’t let it be. Use these helpful tips to make the best-tasting and textured marshmallows you’ve ever had.
If the marshmallows are sticky on the bottoms after the curing (drying) period, it’s most likely because you didn’t whisk the mixture long enough until the outside of the bowl was completely cool to the touch. To fix sticky bottoms, dust with more cornstarch or the cornstarch-powdered sugar mixture until they’re no longer sticky.
If the marshmallows are too soft it may mean that the temperature of the hot syrup mixture didn’t reach the required 245°/118°C which may indicate your thermometer isn’t accurate. Test the thermometer in a pot of boiling water and make sure it reads 212ºF (100ºC) if you’re at sea level.
Make sure you do not have the heat on the burner when you are melting the gelatin, or it may lose its gelling potential. Instead, use the residual heat from the still-hot pot you cooked the syrup mixture in to gently melt it. It melts in a quick couple of seconds.
You may use cornstarch only in place of the powdered sugar-cornstarch mixture or for the sanding sugar mixture to prep the workstation and dust the final marshmallows. I’ve used both and the cornstarch-only mixture is definitely drier, but I do like the addition of the powdered sugar for flavor. It’s up to you. But for making peeps, you really do want to have the crunch from coarse sanding sugar.
Looking For More Easy Easter Recipes to Make This Year?
If you’re looking for a few quick or downright delicious Easter or spring recipes to make, here are a few of our favorites to try.
- Incredibly Moist Carrot Cake (best carrot cake recipe ever)
- Super Fluffy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes for Two (or a Crowd)
- Bakery Style Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Bread (w/Toasted Walnuts)
- How to Make Colomba Pasquale (Sweet Italian Easter Dove Bread)
- Easy Double Biscoff Cheesecake
- All-Natural Strawberry Cheesecake Crostata (100% From Scratch)
- Pecan Tassie Cheesecake with Biscoff Cookie Crust (w/Mini Cheesecake Option)
- White Chocolate Creme Brûlée Cheesecake w/Biscoff Cookie Crust
- Best Ever Classic Banana Bread Bread Cake (Bakery Style)
- Easy Apple Rum Cake with Pecan Crunch
- How to Make 30-Minute Homemade Strawberry Jam (Without Pectin)
- Easy Italian Strawberry Crostata (Crostata di Marmellata di Fragole)
- Crispy + Flaky Southern Fried Cherry Pies (Best Ever)
- Easy Authentic Italian Crostata di Marmellata (Italian Jam Tart)
Let’s get started!Print