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How to Make Homemade Peep’ish Peeps (Without Corn Syrup)

  • Author: biting at the bits
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 Peep-Like Marshmallows 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


If you’re here searching for a really beautiful recipe for perfectly piped homemade peeps, you should probably 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 and then directly on to “kisses” (marshmallows shaped like a Hershey’s Kiss) because that was the easiest option. 

Shape aside, these homemade marshmallows are delicious! Crunchy on the outside and perfectly vanilla-flavored for half and strawberry-flavored for the rest.  Keep reading to witness my failed attempt at making homemade peeps.

**If you’re using powdered gelatin, see the instructions in the recipe notes below.




For Blooming the Sheet Gelatin:

  • 10 grams of gelatin sheets (2 sheets of Mariarosa Gelatine in Foglia)
  • 2 cups cold water (500g)

Hot Syrup Mixture:

  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cold water (40g)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup (50g) *sub light corn syrup

Egg Whites Mixture:

  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature (65g)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (5g)
  • pinch of salt

For Dusting the Piping Surface (Cornstarch-Powdered Sugar Mixture):

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (15g)
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar (50g)

For Dusting the Tops of the Peeps (Coarse Sanding Sugar-Mixture):

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (8g)
  • 6 tablespoons coarse sanding sugar (50g)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon all-natural powdered beet food coloring (sub gel food coloring)

*For the powdered gelatine option see the recipe notes below. 


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!


  • If you want to make classic marshmallows, or if you want to use cookie cutters to cut out the peep shapes simply brush a thin layer of vegetable oil inside a 9×13-inch baking pan (covering the bottom and sides with oil) and use a sieve to dust the entire pan with powdered sugar or use the powdered sugar-cornstarch mixture. Be sure to coat the entire surface well. When the marshmallow mixture is finished, instead of adding it to a piping bag, just pour it into the prepared 9×13-inch dish and spread it out evenly. Dust the top of the marshmallow with powdered sugar (or powdered sugar-cornstarch mixture) and allow it to cure and set up for several hours, or overnight. 


For Blooming the Gelatin:

  • 1 envelope powdered gelatine (2 1/2 teaspoons) (8.5g)
  • 1/4 cup cold water (63g)

Hot Syrup Mixture:

  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cold water (40g)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup (50g) *sub light corn syrup

Egg Whites Mixture:

  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature (65g)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (5g)
  • pinch of salt


  1. When the hot syrup mixture has cooled just enough that most of the bubbles have subsided, add the bloomed gelatine mixture and stir to dissolve the gelatine. When there are no more granules and the gelatine has been fully combined with the hot syrup, pour everything into the egg white mixture while the mixer is running on high speed and follow the rest of the instructions.


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. 

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Candy
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 Peeps

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