Kahlua Marshmallows

I’ve never been the biggest fan of marshmallows — sure, melt them down with some chocolate and graham crackers and I’m sold, but on their own I find them quite boring. However, after seeing so many homemade marshmallow recipes online and reading all of the reviews about how they’re nothing like the Jet-Puffed variety, I thought I’d give it a shot. Plus, I was extremely intrigued to find out and experience how one makes a marshmallow anyway. So I did some research, gathered tips to prevent a gooey mess, and came up with these:

These babies are some of the coolest treats I’ve made so far — they were just so fun to make! One minute you have a clear, brownish liquid and after a few whips around the good ol’ KitchenAid, you’re staring at a mass of white fluff. I don’t know all the chemistry involved, but it definitely felt like I was watching some sort of science experiment. But instead of getting a bunch of noxious fumes in the end, we get delicious, airy marshmallows. I must admit the process was messy and sticky at times, but I embarked on this task knowing it wouldn’t be neat.

All of those other bloggers were right — these taste very different from the store-bought kind. Less rubbery, more airy, and because you can add any kind of flavoring you’d like, more tasty. I chose Kahlua because I’m a huge fan of anything coffee-flavored and had a big bottle on hand. But you can add almost any kind of extract you like — peppermint, almond, chocolate. The flavor wasn’t as intense as I had hoped after the marshmallows had set, so I dusted them in some confectioners sugar mixed with espresso powder to pump up the flavor. The espresso powder is what gives my marshmallows those brown specks you see in the photos — just a little reminder that these aren’t your average ‘mallows. And if you really want to feature your marshmallows in a delicious way, bake them up into these cookies, you won’ be sorry!

Kahlua Marshmallows
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Confectioners sugar for dusting (about 1 cup)
3-1/2 envelopes (2 tbsp + 2-1/2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup Kahlua (or any coffee-flavored liqueur)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg whites
1 tbsp vanilla
1-1/2 tbsp espresso powder

– Spread oil on the bottom and sides of a 13×9 inch metal baking pan, and dust with confectioners’ sugar
– In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water and let stand
– In a 3 quart heavy saucepan, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, Kahlua, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved
– Increase heat and boil mixture, without stirring until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees (Deb says this should take about 12 minutes, but it took much less for me)
– Remove pan from heat and pour over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved
– Beat mixture on high speed for about 6 minutes, or until mixture becomes white and almost tripled in volume
– In a separate bowl beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined
– Pour mixture into pan and dust with confectioners’ sugar
– Chill mixture, uncovered, until firm at least 3 hours, and up to 1 day
– To remove marshmallows, butter a knife and run it around the edges of the pan, then invert the pan onto a large cutting board
– Continue to butter the knife and cut into cubes
– Toss cut marshmallows into a mixture of 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1-1/2 tbsp espresso powder, making sure all 6 sides of each marshmallow gets dusted

To flavor your marshmallows with a different extract, replace the 1/2 cup of Kahlua with water and the 1 tbsp vanilla with whatever flavor you desire.

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9 Responses to “Kahlua Marshmallows”

  1. #
    oneordinaryday — July 20, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

    I loved making homemade marshmallows. I was just in awe of how it happened too. : ) I never thought about using Kahlua, but what a great idea for adding to hot chocolate!

  2. #
    Joanne — July 21, 2010 @ 1:11 am

    I’ve heard really good things about homemade marshmallows…but have yet to attempt them! And I think the messy sticky part is a prerequisite…if you don’t get at least a little bit sticky then you’re not doing it right!

  3. #
    Raina — July 21, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

    Boy do those look great:) I have never tried making them. I love your idea of adding Kaluha. They must taste wonderful.

  4. #
    Amanda — July 22, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

    Wow, these sound delicious. I’ve been wanting to try making marshmallows but am too nervous to attempt it. Maybe some day soon I’ll give it a whirl. Great job!

  5. #
    Cyndy — July 31, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

    Fantastic looking marshmallows! I too had experimented and came up with some good flavors. I was nervous the first time, but if you have everything ready, it’s a snap!
    Beautiful photos. I think I’ll have to try your idea. Thanks

  6. #
    Kristin — March 16, 2013 @ 1:31 am

    To all those afraid to make marshmallows: They are so easy and really fool proof. You will wonder why you hadn’t done this before. We use ours for s/mores around the campfire. The s’mores are so much better with homemade marshmallows. Love the kahlua idea. I make my own kahlua too. Off to make those marshmallows!

  7. #
    Angie — January 9, 2014 @ 7:45 pm

    Try switching the cold water and Kahlua – put the Kahlua in with the gelatin and the cold water in with the sugar syrup. I bet the marshmallows will have a stronger flavor of Kahlua!! Works great with Bailey’s, whiskey, beer….!! YUM!

  8. #
    Lelsie — November 20, 2014 @ 5:12 pm

    I was planning on making this with an old family recipe for Baileys (involving heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk). Do you know if it will still work, or does it rely on the preservatives from the store-bought Baileys to hold consistency? Also, since I will be mailing these as gifts, I was brainstorming on how to keep them: best idea so far being to vacuum seal and freeze. Will this ruin them?


    • Erica — November 20th, 2014 @ 9:42 pm

      Hi Lelsie! I think your recipe for Baileys will still work. No preservatives needed, the Kahlua was just added for flavor. In terms of storing them, I think as long as you store them in an airtight container they should ship well. I’m not sure what vacuum sealing and freezing does for marshmallows. Good luck!

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