If you’re looking for an easy Halloween dessert recipe that’s super cute and delicious, these homemade mini marshmallow ghosts are the perfect treat. They’re fluffy and soft and full of pure vanilla flavor and taste nothing like the store-bought kind — and they take just about 25 minutes to make plus a few more minutes to pipe into their ghostly little shapes. This is a no-corn syrup homemade marshmallow recipe, but you can substitute light corn syrup if that’s what you’ve got on hand. As always, step-by-step recipe photos follow.
Make a hot mug of Halloween Homemade Hot Cocoa and get your graham crackers ready because these ghoulish ghosts are as delicious as they are cute.
Why We Love These Halloween Ghost Marshmallows
- They’re so easy and quick to make
- They taste way better than any store-bought marshmallows
- This is a no-corn syrup marshmallow recipe
- Kiddos and adults love them (I mean, look at them!)
- You can make them using powdered gelatin OR sheet gelatin
- Soft and pillowy and full of pure vanilla flavor
- Fun and easy to decorate
- A great Halloween hot cocoa topper
- Makes the best homemade Spooky S’mores
- Excellent ice cream sundae topper instead of whipped cream
Halloween Ghost Marshmallow 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. I prefer to use Lyle’s Golden Syrup to make the marshmallows but you can definitely use light corn syrup in this recipe instead.
- powdered gelatin or sheet gelatin
- granulated sugar
- Lyle’s Golden Syrup *sub light corn syrup
- egg whites
- vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- corn starch
- powdered sugar
How to Make Easy Ghost Marshmallows
If you’re more of a visual learner, scroll down to see the detailed step-by-step marshmallow-making recipe photos. Or if you’re looking for a good homemade Peeps recipe, click over here to see that post.
- 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.
- 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 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 sheet gelatin plus 1 tablespoon of water to the same pot you cooked the hot syrup in and allow it to melt. It melts 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).
- Pipe the ghosts. Add the marshmallow mixture to a piping bag with a large hole and pipe directly onto the prepared baking sheet. Start by piping a little, take a pause, lift up, pipe a little more, take another pause, lift up, and make the last pipe. Allow the ghosts to rest for at least 2 hours before adding the chocolate faces. *see the video for help piping the ghosts.
- Make the chocolate faces. Melt a little dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Using a toothpick or wooden skewer, make eyeballs and a mouth by dotting the chocolate onto the marshmallows. Get creative and have fun! Allow the marshmallows to cure for at least 4 hours, but even better overnight uncovered at room temperature. Just before storing, dust them with 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 Ghoulish Halloween sundaes, Enjoy!
How To Make Easy Homemade Ghost Marshmallows Step-By-Step Recipe Photos
How to Flavor Homemade Marshmallows
Playing with the flavor of homemade marshmallows is fun. Use any of the options below to complement or replace the pure vanilla extract in the 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 Marshmallows
Once the marshmallows have been cured and dusted to prevent sticking, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week and even longer in a cool dry area of the cupboard.
How to Troubleshoot Making Homemade Marshmallows
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 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.
Looking For More Halloween Treats to Make This Year?
If you’re looking for more Halloween tricks or treats to make this year, here are a few of our favorite pumpkin and pumpkin spice recipes to try.
- Granny’s Perfect Pumpkin Bread w/Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (a Vintage Recipe)
- Bakery Style Pumpkin Spice Blueberry Muffins (No-Mixer Needed)
- Easy Pumpkin Focaccia Bread (Focaccia alla Zucca)
- Halloween Ghostbuster Meringues (Spooky & Delicious)
- Pumpkin Cheesecake w/Chestnut Graham Cracker Layer
- All-Natural Kabocha Pumpkin Pie Tart w/Pecan Crunch (no canned pumpkin)
- Super Fluffy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes for Two (or a Crowd)
- Bakery Style Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Bread (w/Toasted Walnuts)
Let’s get started!Print