Recipe: How To Make Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Photo: The Kitchn

Peeps scare me. Sure, they're all cute and adorable lined up in their packaging like sticky little soldiers. But Peeps fall into the "Twinkies" camp for me, meaning I have a hard time eating something that has a better chance of surviving the apocolypse than I do. A natural hesitation, I would think. That's not to say Peeps (or Twinkies, for that matter) aren't delicious, because they are! Sugar-coated, sugar-filled and in some cases, dipped in chocolate... that's practically the definition of delicious.

So when I found The Kitchn's recipe for homemade marshmallow peeps this morning, I jumped on it! The at-home version must be a little more organic, natural and perishable, three things I like in my food. If you've ever made homemade marshmallows during the holiday season, making Peeps at home is nearly the same process except the marshmallows are cut out into seasonal shapes (Bunnies, chicks and tulips, oh my!) and are dipped in colorful, natural sugars. It's an activity that's fun, appropriately messy and perfect for kids. Here's how you make them:

Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Makes about 12 peeps


  • 7 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (I used 3 Knox gelatin envelopes)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Butter for greasing pans (and your fingers)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • Sanding sugars
  • Food coloring
  • Smoked sesame seeds (for eyes of peeps)


  • Stand mixer 
  • Medium–sized pot
  • Candy thermometer (I used this one)
  • 2 standard sized cake pans (or a pie pan or sheet pan would do fine)
  • Cookie cutters

Step-by-Step Directions: 
Photo: The Kitchn
1. Place the contents of the three gelatin envelopes in the bottom of the bowl for the stand mixer. Add 1/2 cup of cold water and set aside while preparing the next part of the recipe.

2. Prepare the candy mixture: In a medium–sized pot, heat the sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla over high heat. When mixture is boiling, put thermometer in and bring the mixture about 240°F. Whisk continually while this mixture cooks. This will take about 7 minutes.

3. Carefully pour the sugar/corn syrup mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer. Add another 1/2 cup of water and use the stand mixer's whisk attachment to beat on high speed for about 12 to 15 minutes total. (This image shows the mixture after 5 minutes of whisking.)

4. After 10 minutes of whisking: The marshmallow is coming together, but not quite there.

5. After just under 15 minutes of whisking: The marshmallow is ready to go (or add food coloring).

Photo: The Kitchn
6. Add food coloring: I divided my marshmallow into two parts, for two colors. It took about 12–15 drops of food coloring to achieve the pale pastel color I wanted.

7. Pat the marshmallow into prepared pans: Lightly grease two pans or one larger one and pour the marshmallow into the pans. Greasing your fingers can help because things get really sticky.

8. Clean up tray: I found it helpful to have one pan dedicated to putting my sticky utensils down on, because this really is a messy, sticky job.

9. Cover the marshmallow sheets for about 4 hours or overnight: Then when you're ready, just turn the marshmallow out onto a flat surface and gather the cookie cutters.

10. Cut out your Peeps: Combine a little cornstarch and powdered sugar and dredge the cookie cutters in between cuts to make things smoother and less sticky.
Photo: The Kitchn

11. Apply the sanding sugar: Dip your finger into a little water and coat the entire marshmallow. Dredge the marshmallow carefully in colorful sanding sugar. Let air dry on a cooling rack.

12. For the eyes: Use a little dab of corn syrup and a few smoked sesame seeds to create eyes on your creatures. I found a tip of a toothpick worked perfectly to apply the corn syrup and sesame seeds.

13. Enjoy your Peeps: Wrap up with cellophane, tie with a ribbon and delight your friends.

1 comment:

  1. Do you place them covered in the fridge for 4 hours , or just leave them out?


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