Bourbon Marshmallows

Add delectable Bourbon Marshmallows to your hot chocolate or use them to make s’mores. These soft and pillowy homemade marshmallows offer a hint of whiskey flavor.

Bourbon marshmallows melting in a mug of hot chocolate.

Homemade Bourbon Marshmallows recipe

Do you know the best way to dress up your hot chocolate?

Real chocolate, yes. Milk, yes. But it doesn’t stop there.

Fresh, homemade marshmallows are the meltiest, most lovely addition to hot cocoa. Store-bought marshmallows just don’t hold a candle to homemade!

You can also use them for s’mores or — my favorite — just eat them plain! The texture is so much softer and fluffier than regular marshmallows.

Bourbon marshmallows have a hint of whiskey added for flavor.

A gold cocktail jigger sits in the middle of scattered homemade marshmallows with a glass of amber liquid in the background.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Bourbon marshmallows are going to be your new favorite thing, and here’s a few reasons why:

  • They’re an instant upgrade for everything from s’mores to hot cocoa.
  • Homemade marshmallows are much simpler to make than you’d think! They are made with simple and easy to find ingredients.
  • The addition of bourbon makes for an adult version of that favorite childhood snack.

You can enjoy them year-round. Add a few of these marshmallows to a tray of treats for the Kentucky Derby, for campfires in the summertime or for a hot chocolate party in the fall or winter.

They make great holiday gifts too, especially when paired with hot cocoa bombs or a jar of hot cocoa mix.

DIY white fluffy marshmallow squares sit in rows on a white background

Ingredients

Here’s what you will need to grab from the grocery store to make these pillowy, fluffy marshmallows:

  • cooking spray
  • powdered sugar
  • cold water
  • unflavored gelatin
  • granulated sugar
  • light corn syrup
  • salt (I use sea salt)
  • vanilla extract
  • bourbon whiskey

This recipe uses gelatin. You can use kosher gelatin or try another recipe that uses agar, which is a vegan option, and then add a splash of bourbon when you’d add the vanilla.

A glass of bourbon with a decorative gold pattern sits behind homemade Bourbon Marshmallows stacked on top of one another.

Best bourbon for homemade marshmallows

You can use any type of whiskey for this recipe. If you have a favorite, use that. Check out my crash course on this spirit, Whiskey 101, for more about this amazing, versatile spirit.

Bourbon brings its sweet, oaky, vanilla flavor to this caramel whiskey, and it’s a perfect match. You can use just about any bourbon you can find.

I like trying different whiskeys, but my favorites for baked goods are Maker’s Mark, Bulleit and Woodford Reserve.

Save the super expensive stuff for sipping after dinner and use a mid-range priced bottle. And if you have some left over, use it in some of these whiskey cocktails!

Feel free to substitute the bourbon for rye whiskey or Canadian whiskey instead of bourbon. They’d also be good with spiced rum or amaretto.

The mixture for homemade marshmallows rests in a baking dish.

How to make Bourbon Marshmallows

Line a 9×13-inch baking sheet with foil, letting about 2 inches of hang over the edge of the dish. Place another sheet of foil crosswise, letting about 2 inches of foil hang over the edge of the dish. (This makes it easy to lift out the marshmallows later on.) You can also use parchment paper but foil is a little easier.

Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and add a generous dusting of powdered sugar.

Pour ½ cup cold water into a large mixing bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle gelatin on top of the water. Let sit until the gelatin softens and absorbs water, 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the syrup for the marshmallows. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and the remaining ½ cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring consistently, until sugar and syrup are completely dissolved. Brush the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar granules from burning on the sides of the pan.

Secure a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Increase to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Without stirring, boil until the mixture reaches 240°F, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat immediately.

a mixer with the whisk attachment in a bowl of fluffy finished marshmallow mixture

With mixer on low speed and fitted with the whisk attachment, carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture in a slow stream. Gradually increase the mixer speed every so often. Once the mixer is on high-speed, beat until very thick and stiff, about 15 minutes. The side of the bowl should no longer be warm to the touch. Add vanilla extract and bourbon and continue beating until just blended, about 30 seconds.

Spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray and use it to scrape the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let rest at room temperature until firm, about 4 hours.

Onto a clean, dry cutting board, sprinkle a generous amount of powdered sugar. Lift the marshmallow slab out of the pan with the foil and turn out onto the the board. Peel off the foil and discard. Sprinkle more powdered sugar on top.

Spray a large, sharp knife or pizza cutter with non-stick cooking spray. Trim off edges, then cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares.

Fill a large bowl with powdered sugar and add the cut marshmallows. Toss to coat. Place in an airtight container. Store at room temperature and use within 1 week.

Close up view of a fluffy DIY marshmallow made with bourbon.

Tips & Tricks

Brush the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar granules from burning on the sides of the pan.

Make sure your cutting board is clean and dry. Sprinkle the board and the marshmallows generously with powdered sugar. They will be sticky and the powdered sugar keeps them from sticking together when stored.

Spray your knife with cooking spray to cut the marshmallows with ease. Otherwise they will stick to the knife.

You can also use a pizza cutter or a cookie cutter to cut the marshmallows into shapes. Snowflake shapes are especially cute for hot cocoa!

Use a ruler to help you cut even squares.

A shiny gold mug of hot cocoa contains two large square bourbon marshmallows. Additional marshmallows are scattered around the mug on a white surface.

Uses for Bourbon Marshmallows

Whiskey marshmallows are so good to just munch on plain! But you can also use them in other recipes.

Try adding one to a mug of hot chocolate. They are so rich and will melt beautifully.

Toast them over a fire pit (or with a blow torch) to make an upgraded, scrumptious s’more with some really fine chocolate. Or cut them up into mini marshmallows to embellish s’mores treats like these s’mores rice krispie treats.

Marshmallows make for show-stopping cocktail garnishes too. Try them in a s’mores white russian or this s’mores old-fashioned.

Feel free to add them to cakes, snack mixes or whatever your heart desires! They also make great gifts. Add a few to a cellophane bag to give out. They’d go great with a nice hot chocolate mix, peppermint hot cocoa bombs or a s’mores kit of chocolate and graham crackers!

And you could technically use them to make marshmallow vodka, but I wouldn’t. These marshmallows are so fluffy and delicious and hard work. The store-bought kind will work well here!

More bourbon desserts

DIY white fluffy marshmallow squares sit in rows on a white background

Bourbon Marshmallows

Yield: 24 (2-inch) marshmallows
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
With just a hint of whiskey flavor, Bourbon Marshmallows put a fun adult twist on the childhood treat.
4.67 from 3 votes
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ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • 1 cup cold water divided
  • 3 ¼ ounces unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • cup corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon whiskey

instructions

  • Line a 9×13-inch baking dish (see note) with foil, letting about 2 inches of hang over the edge of the dish. Place another sheet of foil crosswise, letting about 2 inches of foil hang over the edge of the dish. (This makes it easy to lift out the marshmallows later on.)
  • Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and add a generous dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Pour ½ cup cold water into a large mixing bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle gelatin on top of the water. Let sit until the gelatin softens and absorbs water, 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the syrup for the marshmallows. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and the remaining ½ cup cold water. Cook over medium heat, stirring consistently, until sugar and syrup are completely dissolved. Brush the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar granules from burning on the sides of the pan.
  • Secure a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Without stirring, boil until the mixture reaches 240°F, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat immediately.
  • With mixer on low speed, carefully pour hot syrup into gelatin in a slow stream. Gradually increase the mixer speed every so often. Once the mixer is on high-speed, beat until very thick and stiff, about 15 minutes. The mixing bowl should no longer be warm to the touch. Add vanilla extract and bourbon and continue beating until just blended, about 30 seconds.
  • Spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray and use it to scrape the mixture into the foil-lined pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let rest at room temperature until firm, about 4 hours.
  • Onto a clean, dry cutting board, sprinkle a generous amount of powdered sugar. Lift the marshmallow slab out of the pan with the foil and turn out onto the the board. Peel off the foil and discard. Sprinkle more powdered sugar on top.
  • Spray a large, sharp knife with non-stick cooking spray. Trim off edges, then cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares.
  • Fill a large bowl with powdered sugar and add the cut marshmallows. Toss to coat. Place in an airtight container. Store at room temperature and use within 1 week.

notes

For thicker marshmallows, use an 8×8-inch pan. This makes about 16 (2-inch) marshmallows.

Tips

Brush the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar granules from burning on the sides of the pan.
Make sure your cutting board is clean and dry. Sprinkle the board and the marshmallows generously with powdered sugar. They will be sticky and the powdered sugar keeps them from sticking together when stored.
Spray your knife with cooking spray to cut the marshmallows with ease. Otherwise they will stick to the knife.
Use a ruler to help you cut even squares.
Recipe adapted from Winter Cocktails by Maria Del Mar Sacasa

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nutrition information

Yield: 24 (2-inch) marshmallows

amount per serving:

Serving: 1marshmallow Calories: 106kcal Carbohydrates: 24g Protein: 3g Fat: 0.1g Saturated Fat: 0.003g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003g Sodium: 38mg Potassium: 2mg Sugar: 24g Calcium: 4mg Iron: 0.1mg
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