Skip to content

Do Marshmallows Have Gelatin? Find Out Here!

Do Marshmallows Have Gelatin?

Yes, marshmallows do contain gelatin. Originally, candy companies used sap taken from the marshmallow plant to make the treats but then they switched over to gelatin in order to speed up the production process and reduce labor costs from the extraction of sap.

Although this made it so that most marshmallows are not vegan-friendly, some brands have gone above and beyond to make sure their marshmallows are free of animal-based ingredients.

Additionally, you’re also able to find a variety of recipes for vegan marshmallows if you’d like to create your own at home.

Are Marshmallows Vegan?

Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward of an answer as you may think. In general, traditional marshmallows contain gelatin, which is made from animal products. This means that those looking for a purely plant-based option would have to look elsewhere.

Fortunately, there are several popular brands of marshmallows out there that offer delicious vegan-friendly marshmallows! These companies have gone the extra mile to appeal to those who want to enjoy a yummy treat without using dairy products.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can even attempt to make your own milky candy at home! There are all kinds of inventive vegan marshmallow recipes available online that provide substitutions and steps on how to recreate this sweet treat without the use of gelatin or any other animal product.

What Exactly Are Marshmallows?

Marshmallows are those indulgently sweet treats that have been around for a really long time, making appearances in different cultures across the world. So what exactly are marshmallows?

Essentially they are chewy, airy, and stretchy confections that are light, fluffy, and made of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, and other ingredients to give them their distinct elastic structure.

While they may be related to gummy bears and Jell-O, modern marshmallows have benefited significantly from food science to form the spongy sweets we all know and love today.

To make it more exciting, marshmallow production technically dates back to Ancient Egypt when sugar was converted into honeyed cakes.

However, these humble roots don’t stop us from devouring more than 90 million pounds of marshmallows every year!

Ingredients In Marshmallows

Marshmallows are made with just four simple ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, and air. While the other ingredients all help contribute to a marshmallow’s distinctive flavor and texture.

It’s the gelatin that gives it its elasticity, stretchiness, puffiness, and bounce. Furthermore, gelatin melts slightly above body temperature which makes it melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Not many people know this but gelatin is actually a protein product derived from animal connective tissue and bones of cow or pig bones. This means that for vegans or vegetarians marshmallows are off the menu.

But fear not vegan friends! It is entirely possible to make vegan or vegetarian-friendly substitutes of gelatin with similar properties for those who need to avoid animal products and still enjoy marshmallow treats.

The Process Of Making Marshmallows

Making marshmallows is a surprisingly complex process. It starts with softening the gelatin in warm water, which unravels its protein strands to form a base. After that, the air is whipped in and corn and sugar syrup are added.

As the gelatin cools, some of the protein strands wind back together, while others remain loose and floppy, creating the iconic fluffy texture of a marshmallow.

Finally, emulsifiers such as starch may be added for improved texture. All these steps shape the final product we know and love – soft, sweet marshmallows with an amazing mouthfeel!

The production of marshmallows has stayed relatively unchanged throughout the 80 years since Alex Doumakes invented extrusion technology which allowed them to be mass-produced at low cost.

Why Aren’t Marshmallows Vegan?

It’s no wonder why many vegans avoid marshmallows since they’re not exactly vegan-friendly. Marshmallows have gelatin, which is a combination of peptides and proteins derived from the partial hydrolysis of collagen in the tissue, skin, and bones of domesticated animals.

Think about it, gelatin is made up of leftovers from the meat industry including pork skin, horns, and cattle bones. The inclusion of beef gelatin in marshmallows gives them a fluffy, squishy, and elastic texture while also allowing them to have a long shelf life.

As a result, vegans are often unable to find marshmallow treats that fit their lifestyle requirements so they’re forced to give up one of childhood’s favorite sweet treats.

Vegan Marshmallow Brands

If you’re looking for guilt-free sweet treats that are completely vegan, we’ve got the perfect brands for you! While it can sometimes be difficult to tell if standard marshmallows are vegan or not, there is now a selection of delicious and friendly marshmallows that are.

They are not only animal cruelty-free but also non-GMO and made with organic ingredients. So whether you love s’mores, snack mix or just munching on mini sweet flavor of marshmallows, these popular vegan-friendly marshmallow brands have something for everyone.

Dandies Marshmallow Mini

Dandies Marshmallow Mini is one of the best vegan marshmallow brands, made by a Chicago-based company known as Dandies. They use carrageenan, which is derived from dried seaweed and is completely vegan, making their commercial marshmallows an ideal snack for those following a vegan lifestyle.

On top of that, Dandies are all natural and free from common allergens such as nuts, so everyone can enjoy them knowing they’re safe. Just like regular marshmallows – only better.

The mini size makes them perfect for smores or other snacks, but with none of the guilt associated with real marshmallows. So go ahead and treat yourself to a pack of Dandies Marshmallow Minis today!

Trader Joe’s Mini Marshmallows

Trader Joe’s Mini Marshmallows are a vegan-friendly alternative to traditional marshmallows. They are both gelatin and gluten-free, made with soy protein, natural vanilla flavor, carrageenan, tapioca starch, tapioca syrup, cane sugar, and filtered water.

Interestingly enough, the ingredients for Trader Joe’s are in the same order as Dandies’ vegan marshmallows! Whether this is an intentional coincidence or not remains to be seen.

But what you can be sure of is that these mini normal marshmallows from Trader Joe’s contain no animal products and are all-natural. Enjoy them as part of your favorite hot chocolate recipe or simply snack on them when you’re in need of a sweet treat!

Homemade Vegan Marshmallows

Creating your own homemade vegan marshmallows is totally doable and easier than you think! With just a few simple vegan ingredients, you can easily whip up some tasty and airy treats without having to worry about any animal-derived products.

The process is easy to follow so that even novice cooks can enjoy making these sweet vegan snacks from the comfort of their own homes.

These homemade marshmallows are ideal for those special occasions when you want something light, fluffy, and plant-based to serve at a get-together or as an indulgent treat for yourself.

Enjoying homemade vegan marshmallows allows you to enjoy a delicious snack while still respecting popular choices for vegans. So why not try whipping up some of your own fresh marshmallows today?


Making homemade vegan marshmallows is a surprisingly easy task, and all you need to get started is some simple vegetarian marshmallow ingredients. The chickpea water is what adds the fluffiness, while the cream of tartar acts as an emulsifying agent.

You’ll also need some vanilla extract and agar powder (not flakes). To sweeten everything up, you’ll need equal parts of sugar and powdered sugar.

Aside from the ingredients for the bouncy marshmallow mixture, you’ll also need a few tools to help in their preparation including parchment paper, an 8×8 baking pan or dish with an air-tight lid, aluminum foil, and a standing mixer. With these items handy, your homemade natural marshmallow dreams will become true.


Making homemade vegan marshmallows is easy! Start by lining a baking pan with parchment paper and generously dusting the parchment with powdered sugar.

In a large bowl, combine chickpea water and cream of tartar. Mix on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until fluffy and white, forming stiff peaks. Add in vanilla extract and mix for another 4 minutes until blended. Set aside for now.

Next, combine agar powder and water in a small pot over medium-high heat, mixing constantly to prevent the agar from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Allow it to lightly boil for 3 minutes before adding sugar to the mixture and boiling for an additional 3 minutes until the sugar dissolves completely.

Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own!
On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *