Homemade rosewater marshmallows, light as air (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

We used to make marshmallows at home when we were very young. I’m not sure which recipe we used, but I’m almost convinced it was whisked egg whites & gelatine – a cheat’s way of making real marshmallows.

I’ve seen many different recipes on how to make beautifully fluffy marshmallows, most of them stating that you need a sugar thermometer and lots of patience. But there’s another way of making marshmallows: an easier way. All you need is a stand mixer with whisk attachment (well, an electrical hand whisk will also do) and your stove top.

I love to flavour my marshmallows with a touch of rosewater – not too much, because it can so easily become overpowering. A dash of vanilla extract is also a winner as an alternative, or add whichever essence you prefer. These are fabulous for kids parties, but I have to say I can certainly also serve these at a beautiful tea party. Don’t dust them too long in advance, as the powdered sugar (icing sugar) will start to melt after a few hours in an airtight container. Rather cut them in blocks just before you want to enjoy them, then toss with icing sugar or desiccated coconut and serve.

Once you’ve made these, you’ll marvel at the absolute lightness of the texture. They are little pieces of heaven on your tongue. Enjoy!


  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 30 ml powdered gelatine
  • 185 ml (3/4 cup) water
  • 500 g caster sugar (superfine)
  • a few drops red food colouring (or the colour of your choice)
  •  2.5 ml rosewater (or 5 ml vanilla extract or the essence/flavour of your choice)


  1. Spray a large rectangular dish with non-stick cooking spray (mine is 25 x 35 cm) – or use 2 medium sized dishes.
  2. Mix 125 ml water and the gelatine in a cup, then leave to sponge for 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a small sauce pan, heat 185 ml water to boiling point, then add the sponged gelatine and stir over low heat until the gelatine has dissolved completely. Remove from the heat.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the caster sugar. Now add the warm gelatine mixture from the stove all at once. Whisk on high speed for 7 minutes, then add your colouring and rosewater or extract and whisk for another 1 minute. The mixture should be very thick and glossy.
  5. Working quickly, transfer the mixture with a spatula into the rectangular prepared dish, then use a spatula to edge it into the corners and to smooth the top. The mixture should be about 3 cm deep. Cover with cling film and let it set on your counter for 1 hour.
  6. When ready to serve, use a sharp knife to cut into blocks, then carefully remove the blocks and toss in powdered confectioner’s sugar on all sides (icing sugar).

Note: when storing these marshmallows, the outside dusting of icing sugar will start to melt after a few hours. Don’t be alarmed, they’ll still be very much edible and very tasty!


This recipe was originally written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Recipe, food preparation and text: Ilse van der Merwe.

Photography: Tasha Seccombe.

Styling: Nicola Pretorius & Tasha Seccombe.

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  1. They are looking so decadent and sweet – can just imagine the melt in your mouth deliciousness! Stunning recipe!

  2. I MUST try this! Delicious and simple 🙂 xx

    1. Thanks Tami! I’m sure your kids will also love these. 🙂

  3. Hi Ilse
    I am embarrassed to say that have spent literally all afternoon devouring your blog – i found it whilst doing “research” as i fondly call it. Your recipes are stunning & Tasha’s pics bring your recipes to life. Thank you both.
    Your blog is consistently inspiring and beautiful – i chuckled at some of your descriptions & comments like food “contaminating” others & the music etc – i grew up in your era too – i enjoy your quirky humour and clearly your palate too – many thanks for your efforts – food made with love. my philosophy!!

  4. Funny, my daughter and I saw some marshmallows at the weekend and said we must make them and now I see yours which look which look perfect and delicious – it is a sign.

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