Which Vegan Marshmallows Should Be in Your Cupboard?

Which Vegan Marshmallows Should Be in Your Cupboard? A quick run down of the best vegan marshmallows out there.

Marshmallows, which are commonly referred to as little “puffs of paradise,” are a favorite way for many to transform ordinary boring desserts into delicious, mouthwatering morsels that bring out the kid in all of us. I used to eat bags of them at a time when I was a kid (terrible, isn’t it? :) ), but luckily I’ve learned some self-control as an adult and my marshmallow eating has evolved into fancy recipes both kids and adults can enjoy. Whether they’re in S’mores, floating in a cup of hot cocoa or being melted into a gooey and delicious crisp bar, marshmallows are a multi-purpose treat that many bakers have in their kitchen pantry.

But here’s the drawback: conventional marshmallows contain gelatin, an animal product which many individuals stay away from for health, ethical and/or religious reasons. Luckily there are a number of vegan marshmallows out there today, though don’t be fooled — not all marshmallows are the same. Here’s a quick run down of my favorite vegan marshmallow brands, starting with:

Dandies Marshmallows

Dandies air puffed marshmallows are arguably the most popular of the lot since they most closely resemble conventional marshmallows. They’re light, fluffy, and pillowy soft just like real marshmallows, and are lightly dusted with a delicious powder. They are in my opinion the closest thing to the real deal. As a bonus, they’re also made with non-GMO ingredients! (For reference, here are the ingredients: tapioca syrup, non-bone char sugar, tapioca starch and/or potato starch, filtered water, carrageenan, soy protein, natural vanilla flavor). They also come in two sizes — regular and mini, which is quite handy.

There are some potential drawbacks to the Dandies marshmallows, however. For one, they currently only come in a classic vanilla flavor, while other brands have branched out and played around with different flavors. Also, Dandies can sometimes be hard (but not impossible!) to melt for a recipe (I’ve got more to say on the subject and will revisit this topic soon).

{Here are some recipes where I used Dandies: Gluten-Free Vegan Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Tart, Gluten-Free Vegan S’mores Pie, Ooey-Gooey Extra Marshmallow-y Gluten-Free Vegan Rice Krispie Treats, and Gluten-Free Vegan Marshmallow Pops}

Sweet & Sara Marshmallows

This brand of vegan marshmallows is a bit different than usual. Unlike most marshmallows which are light and fluffy, Sweet & Sara’s are square and dense. These marshmallows are a real delight on their own, since they come not only in vanilla flavor, but also in a delightful strawberry flavor and a vanilla flavor that’s coasted in decadent toasted coconut flakes (though the company also sells Rocky Road bark and their own S’Mores for those who may not be interested in baking). Sweet & Sara Marshmallows resemble homemade marshmallows at their finest and they really are a treat! (For reference, here are the ingredients for the vanilla flavor: corn syrup, cane sugar, water, corn dextrose, corn starch, carrageenan, soy protein, acacia, pure vanilla extract, sea salt, locust bean gum, confectioner’s sugar). NOTE: these marshmallows need to be kept refrigerated.

One drawback when using them in baking, however, is that they are quite sticky. One solution I found is to separate and freeze them a bit (for like 10 minutes) for easier handling if using them on something like a rocky road dessert. This is especially useful if you’re going to be cutting them into little pieces.

I’ve also heard some people say that due to their denseness they can make desserts a bit less fluffy. Personally I haven’t found that, but maybe I’m not just a marshmallow snob and am just happy to have a vegan alternative to marshmallows handy ;) . Either way, if you are concerned about fluffiness in a recipe, give the following marshmallow fluff a try:

Ricemellow Creme

Suzanne’s Ricemellow Creme is a wonderful vegan marshmallow fluff for baking. Unlike many marshmallows which are loaded with corn syrup, Ricemellow Creme uses brown rice syrup, soy protein (non-GMO. Yay!), natural flavors and natural gums. The fluff tastes just like conventional marshmallow fluff, has the same consistency, and can be easily be substituted in any conventional baking recipe. The main benefit for me to using this vegan marshmallow fluff is that it’s ready for use and there’s no need to wait around or add any oil to melt my marshmallows (especially handy for frostings, or rice krispie recipes).

The drawback: the price. It can be a bit pricey, though I found some great deals in local health food stores.

{Here’s a decadent recipe using Ricemellow Creme: Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies with Marshmallow Fluff}

Final Notes:

If you’ve been around my site, you probably know that nowadays I tend to go for more wholesome, healthful, nutritions, refined sugar-free recipes that also happen to be gluten-free and vegan. I love exploring paleo recipes and raw recipes, but mainly I’m just trying to avoid using refined sugars as much as possible for health reasons. So, where do marshmallows fit into all this you ask? Since marshmallows pretty much are sugar, my only defense is that I really treat them as a treat or an occasional indulgence. I haven’t yet found an adequate gelatin-free and refined sugar-free marshmallow alternative, though I think I’m pretty close to coming up with a homemade one and as soon as I do you’ll be the first to know ;) .

I’d love to hear if you have experience using any of these or other vegan marshmallows. I’d also love to hear of any homemade vegan marshmallow recipes, especially if they are sugar-free. Leave a comment if you have anything to share or add.

xo Audrey


This post contains affiliate links to Dandies marshmallows and Ricemellow Creme.

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