Candy Desserts

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

February 11, 2011

I watched Ina Garten make these Toasted Coconut Marshmallows on her show years ago, and they’ve been in the back of my mind to make ever since. My mom’s birthday was last Monday and I wanted to make something really special for her. The marshmallows were the first thing to come to mind! Marshmallows seem to be gaining popularity these days, especially with The Bang Candy Company in Nashville. I’ve also noticed a lot of food bloggers posting marshmallow recipes for Valentine’s Day. They are such a perfect gift!

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

So, how’s it taste?

Incredibly good. Way, way better than the manufactured puffs you buy in the store. Soft, fluffy, full of vanilla flavor and that coconutty crunch! They are awesome! Make sure you use really good pure vanilla extract since that’s the flavor that shines through. I like to use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. It has the vanilla bean seeds in it and they make the marshmallows look very gourmet. I use this paste in pretty much all of my recipes that call for vanilla extract. It’s amazing. I buy mine at The Fresh Market grocery store.

I found these marshmallows very easy to make, but very messy, in a be-a-kid-again fun way though! One thing to note: when you add the hot syrup to the gelatin it will smell bad, make that horrible, like cat urine horrible. I thought I had messed up the recipe at first, but thanks to the power of Twitter and my friend Erin, I found out that is normal and it goes away. I promise your marshmallows will not taste like that smell! Another tip from Erin was to use a pizza cutter sprayed with cooking spray to cut your marshmallows. Worked like a charm!

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows


7 oz. sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


1. Toast the coconut by spreading in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to make sure that the coconut browns evenly. Set aside to cool.

2. Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.

3. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.

4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

5. Sprinkle half the toasted coconut in an 8 by 12-inch nonmetal pan. Pour in the marshmallow batter and smooth the top of the mixture with damp hands. Sprinkle on the remaining toasted coconut. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight.

6. Remove the marshmallows from the pan and cut into squares. Roll the sides of each piece carefully in confectioners' sugar. Store uncovered at room temperature.

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  • Danielle February 11, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I’ve been seeing marshmallow recipes everywhere lately and have been curious to try it myself. These look great!

    • Leah February 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

      I know, they’ve popped up like crazy! I want to try other flavors with them. They seem really versatile and taste so decadent!

  • ErinsFoodFiles February 13, 2011 at 11:45 am

    LOOOOVE homemade marshmallows! Ever since you tweeted about it, I’ve been craving them!

    • Leah February 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      I understand why. They are soooo good!

  • iga February 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    i just made my first homemade marshmallows and they are completely different from the store-bought stuff!! i love this coconut variety…this will def be next on the list!!

  • ebru March 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    i like marshmallows, i am trying to find to make for my little daughter birthday some homemade ones. but i want to make them in shape of animals. i want to use silicone animal molds.
    i tried at ones : melt the marsmallows and poured them into the mold, even i put some butter (to make the silicone mold oily) before poured the melted marshmallows. i could’t able to take them out. they all sticked to the mold. ha ha what a pity.

    do you think your receipe work for the silicone mold?

    • Leah March 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Ebru! Probably not. These are really really sticky so I think once you pulled them out of the mold, they wouldn’t hold their shape. Your best bet I think would be to use a cookie cutter lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Hope it works!

  • Max G April 24, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Hi i have a bad smell, gelatin smell in my marshmallows. When i cut it i notice it, is that normal ? i used a 260 bloom , unflavored gelatin.

    • Leah April 25, 2011 at 8:23 am

      I know the smell is pretty bad when you’re making the marshmallows, but it should go away in the final product. I’m not sure what went wrong. Maybe the gelatin was expired?

  • Jenniffer White July 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    We labeled the smell as “doggie breath” but it totally goes away and does not leave a flavor at all. We have poured half of the mixture in the pan and then flavored the other half orange or cherry and then pot them on top of the vanilla. It’s pretty and yummy!

  • Christina June 7, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing that the smell is awful! I thought I had made a mistake and was wondering if I should waste the rest of the ingredients before finishing this recipe.

    • Leah Short June 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Ha ha, you’re welcome! The first time I made them I was thinking “Oh good grief, what did I just do!” Funny how something that starts out smelling so bad can end up tasting so good.