Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

I always visit the seasonal section at Target to see what kind of baking supplies they have. It’s usually a lot of sprinkles and baking mixes I don’t need, but there’s always some special pan I end up coveting. At Valentine’s Day, it was a heart shaped doughnut pan that I got for 50% the day after the holiday. This time, I found an adorable silicone bunny mold that I couldn’t wait until after Easter to buy:

After my bunny cupcake disaster, I still wanted to make something bunny shaped. When I saw this mold, I thought of a bunch of things I could make – cake pops, candy, marshmallows. I made homemade Peeps 2 years ago when I first started blogging but I haven’t made them since. This time, I used a recipe that didn’t require corn syrup and sets up immediately, so you don’t have to let them sit for several hours or overnight. I like a little instant gratification, don’t you?

The homemade Peeps turned out great – imagine biting into a fluffy cloud of marshmallow, with a little crunch from the sprinkles. Store bought Peeps don’t even compare!

Plus, I incorporated them into a special cupcake – see the Peepcakes here!

What other candy should I try making from scratch?

Here’s how you make homemade marshmallow Peeps:

Cook water and sugar to 235-238°F

Combine gelatin and water

Add sugar syrup to gelatin and mix on medium-high speed for 8-10 mins until it becomes thick and white 

Pour marshmallow into a lightly greased silicone mold (or a small baking dish)

Coat marshmallows with colored sugar

Mix cocoa powder and water together to make a paste. Use a toothpick and make the eyes and nose.


Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes around 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/3 cup cold water, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Colored sugar (or make your own with food coloring and sugar)
  • Cocoa powder and water (optional; for eyes and nose)

Lightly coat a silicone mold or small pan with non-stick spray.

In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup cold water and sugar. Whisk together over medium heat. Once sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and cook until mixture reaches softball stage (between 235-240°F).

While sugar mixture is boiling, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 C cold water in a large, deep heatproof bowl (a stand mixer bowl is perfect for this). Let stand for about 1 minute, until it softens.

Once the syrup reaches softball stage, remove from heat. Turn mixer on low and carefully pour hot syrup into into gelatin, avoiding the beaters and sides of the bowl. Increase to medium-high speed and beat for 8-10 minutes, until mixture thickens, turns white and can hold soft peaks. Immediately and quickly spoon into prepared mold or pan (the mixture will set quickly so don’t wait long).

If you used a pan, cut desired shapes out of marshmallow with lightly greased cookie cutters. If you used a mold, wait a few minutes and then pop them out of the mold.

Drop marshmallows onto a plate covered with colored sugar and move them around to coat each side.

To make eyes and nose, sprinkle some cocoa powder on a clean plate. Dip a toothpick in water and then dip wet tip into cocoa. Dab dots onto sugar covered marshmallow.

Interested in more recipes like this? Check out all my “homemade junk food” recipes

54 Comments on Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

    • Stephanie
      March 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm (10 years ago)

      @justcooknyc – thanks! I love how they turned out.

  1. Tamara @jemofthesouth
    March 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm (10 years ago)

    These are so adorable. You can’t beat a good homemade marshmallow; especially a cute little bunny marshmallow. 🙂
    Tamara @jemofthesouth recently posted International Waffle Day

    • Stephanie
      March 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm (10 years ago)

      @Tamara – I agree! Also, it’s International Waffle Day?! I’m heading to your blog to check it out…

    • Stephanie
      March 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm (10 years ago)

      @Stef – thanks! I’m excited to see your Krispy Kreme doughnut cupcakes!

    • Stephanie
      March 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm (10 years ago)

      @Melissa – thanks! I’ve made a lot of “homemade junk food” (Hostess cupcakes, chocolate syrup, Goldfish crackers, etc.) – I love finding ways to make things people assume you have to buy from scratch! Plus, you can avoid a lot of preservatives and other icky ingredients that way.

  2. Janna M
    March 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm (10 years ago)

    Wow!!! Those are awesome.
    Janna M recently posted Vanilla Pudding

    • Stephanie
      March 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm (10 years ago)

      @Janna – thank you! 🙂

  3. Sues
    March 26, 2012 at 11:23 am (10 years ago)

    These are perfection!! I need to get my hand on that mold, though I have to say I’m very surprised by how nicely the marshmallow came out (I would imagine a sticky mess on my hands!). Very impressive and pretty 🙂
    Sues recently posted Quinoa Granola with Dark Chocolate Pomegranate

    • Stephanie
      March 26, 2012 at 11:25 am (10 years ago)

      @Sues – thanks! They were a bit sticky, but that was remedied as soon as I coated them in sprinkles.

    • Stephanie
      March 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm (10 years ago)

      @Jenn and Seth – I hope you enjoy them! They were fun to decorate and even more fun to eat 🙂

  4. Kari
    March 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm (10 years ago)

    These are so cute. I bought that same heart-shaped donut pan after Valentine’s day. I already forgot I had it. Have you used yours yet?

  5. Cheryl in France
    March 27, 2012 at 12:48 am (10 years ago)

    I live in France and we can only get gelatin in sheets- can you tell me the conversion (how many sheets per tsp)? Thanks!

  6. Kristin
    March 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm (10 years ago)

    I am SO making this and SO sharing it with your readers!

  7. Marybeth Mank
    March 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm (10 years ago)

    I just saw a picture of these on Pinterst – so cute and adorable! I also like that you have a recipe that doesn’t use corn syrup. I made some homemade peppermint marshmallows on New Year’s Eve – didn’t realize how long they had to set up…oops! my bad for NOT reading the recipe all the way through. 😉 They were mighty tasty though. Can’t wait to try this one.

  8. Michelle
    March 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm (10 years ago)

    Oh my goodness – these were SO EASY!! I just made a batch in all of 20 minutes from start to finish. Now to go find a bunny pan!! The only “complaint” I have received from the peep eaters in the family is that they are “too creamy”…. lol… It just goes to show how accustomed to stale processed foods we are.

  9. April
    March 28, 2012 at 10:42 am (10 years ago)

    I made these last year and poured in a 8×8 pan and (using lots of p. Sugar) cut out using small metal cookie cutters. Came out so yummy!

  10. Samara
    March 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm (10 years ago)

    How did you get your marshmallows to look so fluffy? I made then one time and they were super dense. Is the secret no corn syrup?

  11. shelley
    April 3, 2012 at 11:12 pm (10 years ago)

    can stevia be substitued for sugar

  12. Kitty
    April 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm (10 years ago)

    Can I use regular sugar instead of colored sugar?

    • Stephanie
      April 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm (10 years ago)

      @Kitty – sure, or powdered sugar if you don’t want the crunchy texture.

  13. Meg S.
    August 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm (10 years ago)

    Wow! Genius idea! I made my own “peeps” once, but I used a cookie cutter to cut out shapes from a sheet of marshmallow. Yours are totally cute!

    • Stephanie
      August 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm (10 years ago)

      @Meg S. – thanks! I’ve made them using cookie cutters too. Both ways work but using a mold made perfect shapes.

  14. Christy
    March 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm (9 years ago)

    We stay away from artificial dyes, so I was looking for a homemade peep recipe to make with naturally colored sugar. These look amazing and simple! Thanks!
    Christy recently posted Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

  15. Dana
    March 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm (9 years ago)

    I just made a batch, but when I poured them into the bunny molds, I made a huge mess of the top. I had to use a spatula to try and scrape away at the edges. Did I cook too long? Mix too long? …or are you just much neater?? (p.s. I’m at a higher altitude in a very arid climate, if that helps)


    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      March 23, 2013 at 9:30 pm (9 years ago)

      Dana, I’m not sure if higher altitude would affect these or not. I very carefully spooned the marshmallow into each mold, so if you poured yours in that may be the difference.

  16. Patti
    March 23, 2013 at 9:25 am (9 years ago)

    How far in advance can these be made? Simply store in air-tight container?

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      March 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm (9 years ago)

      Patti, I’m not sure exactly how long, but my guess is they will last 2-3 weeks. I’d make them up to 1 week in advance to be safe. Yes, store in an air-tight container at room temp.

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      March 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm (9 years ago)

      Deanne, I haven’t tried it. My only concern would be the addition of more sugar from a flavored gelatin, but I think it would work. Let me know if you try it!

    • Christy
      April 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm (7 years ago)

      I make my own to avoid the artificial dyes and flavors, so I was happy to discover that you can use freeze-dried fruit, like strawberries, bananas, etc. Just pulverize them into powder in your blender first, then add the powder after pouring the hot sugar solution into the gelatin and before turning to high.

  17. Kerri
    April 16, 2014 at 7:50 pm (8 years ago)

    Mine came out kind of goopy and gummy not sure what I did wrong.

  18. lisa
    April 17, 2014 at 10:30 am (8 years ago)

    my son has a serious food protein allergy condition (FPIES) so i LOVE that this has very few ingredients. we recently added beef so gelatin should be safe for him – he may actually get to have candy in his basket this year!!!

  19. Sarah
    May 13, 2014 at 11:57 am (8 years ago)

    I made these using coconut sugar and they turned out a pretty light chocolate color. Tasted yummy too!

  20. Doreen
    March 13, 2015 at 9:33 pm (7 years ago)

    thanks for the great recipe. I made marshmallows with my son yesterday and they turned out great. Just wondering how long these marshmallows can be stored or kept? 1 week or longer. Thanks once again.

  21. Sarah
    March 31, 2021 at 4:39 pm (1 year ago)

    Do you know if flavoring extract or vanilla bean paste can be added or do you think it will that keep the marshmallows from setting?


8Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

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