Sweet and spicy join forces to make these vanilla bean black pepper marshmallows a treat that you’ll never forget! Perfect for dunking in hot chocolate or sandwiching in-between graham crackers for some grown-up s’mores.
vanilla bean black pepper marshmallows

We are covering so much ground today!

The candy thermometers are coming out, the sugar is going to be boiled, and hey! We might not even have a giggle meltdown in the middle of our kitchens when our simple syrup reaches soft ball stage.

But don’t count on it.


Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a marshmallow that was made from totally pronounceable ingredients.


Oh boy. We have a lot of work to do. But the good news is, you guys are in for such a treat! Homemade marshmallows are the bomb dot com and really can’t even compare to the chalky chewy rubbery nonsense you can buy in the grocery store.

For one, they have FLAVOR. And they’re somehow soft and fluffy all at the same time. You’re going to REALLY want to make enough to use as an edible mattress, but I would advise against it. That could get sticky.


The other day, I was perusing the menus of restaurants I’ve never been to, as I am wont to do in my spare time (<–I’m so fun!!), when I read the phrase “sea salt and black pepper marshmallows”.

Wham bam thank you ma’am. I actually don’t even particularly like marshmallows, but I needed those.

And now that I’ve made them and actually tasted them and reveled in their sweet spiciness, I feel confident in saying that you need them too.

You need them in your hot chocolate and on your s’mores and topping your sweet potato casserole. But mostly you need a few in each first, ready and waiting to be catapulted into your mouth at a moment’s notice. No judgment.


And before I’m accused of trying to mislead the public, YES these have gelatin and NO they are technically not vegetarian. I know many vegetarians have different thresholds for eating or not eating gelatin. Personally, I will usually go out of my way to not eat it and will often buy vegan marshmallows for recipes, but when making them from scratch, I’ve never had much luck with agar agar or carrageenan derivatives, so gelatin it is. I hope the vegetarian police will forgive me.


I didn’t want to keep ALL of the marshmallows to myself (and the.boy said they were “too spicy” for him…what else is new), so I shipped half of them off to my Leftovers Club partner this month – Angela from Mind Over Batter! We actually met in person last year when we were both baking for a charity event, and have seen each other around NYC a few times since. She is such a sweetheart and QUITE the baking goddess, so I can’t wait to see what she sent me!

To see what else got swapped for the Leftovers Club this month, check out these:

Vanilla Bean Black Pepper Marshmallows
Sweet and spicy join forces to make these vanilla bean black pepper marshmallows a treat that you'll never forget! Perfect for dunking in hot chocolate or sandwiching in-between graham crackers for some grown-up s'mores.
Yield: 24 marshmallows
  • 4½ tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup, divided
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
For the Classic Coating
  • 1½ cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch or potato starch
  1. Coat an 8x8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the gelatin and cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, stir together the sugar, ¼ cup corn syrup, water, and salt in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240F. While the sugar heats, microwave the gelatin mixture until melted, about 30 seconds. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment along with the corn syrup. Put the mixer on low speed and let it run continuously.
  4. When the sugar syrup reaches 240F, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl while it is still running. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 5 minutes. Beat on the highest speed for 1-2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla bean paste and black pepper. The marshmallow batter should now be a glossy, shiny white that has tripled in volume. Pour into the prepared pan, using an offset spatula to smooth it.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar and cornstarch. Sprinkle about ½ cup of this coating over the marshmallows. Let set for at least 6 hours in a cool dry place.
  6. Using a knife, loosen the marshmallows from the pan and invert onto a coating-dusted surface. Dust with more coating. Cut into squares. Dip the sticky edges into more of the coating.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 marshmallow


For more marshmallow deliciousness, check out these:

marshmallow smore sticks

Marshmallow S’more Sticks

sweet potato and ginger layer cake with toasted marshmallow filling and brown sugar cinnamon swiss meringue buttercream

Sweet Potato Ginger Layer Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling and Brown Sugar Frosting

smashed sweet potatoes and butternut squash with five spice marshmallows

Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash with Five Spice Marshmallows

From Around the Web:

Funfetti Marshmallows from Raspberri Cupcakes

Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Marshmallows from Sugarhero!

Blueberry Marshmallows from Club Narwhal

Lemon Meringue Marshmallows from Snixy Kitchen

Coffee Marshmallows from A Cozy Kitchen


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51 Responses to Vanilla Bean Black Pepper Marshmallows

  1. I still haven’t tried making my own at home and NEED to! This black pepper version is so fun. Love!

  2. I so want to make sugar free marshmallows and this has inspired me to try 🙂

  3. Joanne, oh my gawd, I seriously love these marshmallows so much!!! So intrigued by the black pepper, I love it!! A couple of years ago, my oldest Phoebe asked for marshmallow cupcakes for her birthday and these were also the cupcakes I made for her class (for the birthday party thing in her class). anyway, like 2 days ago, from my marshmallow cupcakes post a couple of years ago, I got the meanest comment about not making homemade marshmallows (yes, I am guilty. I used store bought) and how could I feed that crap to the kids. I mean come on. It was for her birthday but yeah I guess there was some validity to the comment. Well, needless to say I felt horrible and was going to look into making homemade ones for future stuff. Thank you for this post, yo. oh and I think her comment went into spam. 😛

  4. I was JUST looking at a marshmallow recipe, deciding if I want to make it. Because I really, really do. I have never made them before, and I am DYING to try!
    Also, the vegetarian police are probably more bothered by those people who claim to be vegetarian and eat fish. So I think you’re in the clear.

  5. bellini says:

    I have of course never made my own marshmallows but this may soon change. I see a special C-word treat coming on.

  6. I love love love homemade marshmallows! Once I made them for the first time, it was really hard to ever go back to store-bought. And now, we’ve had vanilla, pumpkin spice and chocolate malt. But vanilla bean black pepper? That’s a combo I absolutely MUST try! These would also make such great holiday gifts.

  7. I love making homemade marshmallows and you’re so right: The rubbery storebought stuff just ain’t cutting it anymore. 😉 Love the addition of black pepper in these little guys!

  8. Ok, this post seals it for me – I’m pretty sure we’re long-lost twinsies separated at birth. First of all, I’m a total menu peruser (if that were a word) in my spare time too. And I’m with you on marshmallows – they’re usually not my thing, but I think that’s just because I’ve never had these!!! I’m seriously considering clearing my day and making them (I am totally serious!).

  9. These sound incredible! Love the black pepper here. So unique. I’ve never made marshmallows before and it’s on my list for this December. I think THESE will be the ones I make. And I love reading over restaurant menus…it’s great inspiration.

  10. Homemade marshmallows are on my holiday baking list! I love these …black pepper is such a great addition!!

  11. Joanne – these sound WONDERFUL! My mom used to make Homemade marshmallows when I was a kid – I am not a huge fan of store bought ones and have not perfected Homemade marshmallows myself – I cannot wait to give this recipe a try – thank you so very much for posting this! Your LOC member is lucky indeed!

  12. How cool is this!! I’ve never tried to make my own marshmallows, I always buy the vegan ones that can be a little tough and I’m always unhappy! Makes me want hot chocolate 🙂

  13. Monica says:

    I was just randomly talking to my husband about homemade marshmallows last night (forgot how it came up). I always considered myself a non-marshmallow lover but I’ve had to re-evaluate that and I keep thinking homemade ones will really make the difference. These look terrific – the black pepper is great surprise.

  14. Sues says:

    Are you even kidding me with these?? I’m in love. <3

  15. Homemade marshmallows has never been on any of my lists (to make) until NOW! This, I must try!! Awesome recipe!

  16. Meg says:

    What a cool and creative combination — love it! And totally agree on homemade marshmallows. Though I’ll confess to never having attempted it myself, I bought a batch from a local baker last year and totally savored each one.

  17. Everyone loves sweet and salty… but I’m much more of a sweet and spicy guy. I once had black pepper ice cream and it totally blew my mind. These marshmallows look so pillowy! Seeing that making marshmallows kind of terrifies me, I applaud you for your bravery!

  18. Pam says:

    My kids would love to make these! I wonder if they would notice the black pepper in there?

  19. This sounds so freaking amazing. I just know I’d be all over these marshmallows ;). And they look beyond perfect as well. Thank you so much for sharing – can’t wait to whip up a batch of these myself!!

  20. sara says:

    Wowee…these marshmallows look insanely good!!!!!

  21. Whoa. This is crazy creative, Joanne!!! Yummy…

  22. I’m totally digging all the flavors that are going on in these marshmallows! That black pepper is SO intriguing! I’ve never tried making them myself though. Need to give these a try!

  23. One of the first things I’m going to make when I get a KA stand mixer are homemade marshmallows! These look so beautiful and I’m super intrigued by the pepper

  24. Danguole says:

    I had a revelation the first time I made homemade marshmallows too! Love the flavor combo here. SOPHISTICATED!

  25. Foodiewife says:

    The first time I made marshmallows, I was thrilled. The texture is soooooooooooo much better. Pepper in a marshmallow? I trust you, because I thought pepper in pumpkin pie sounded strange, and it turned out to be good. I’m on it!

  26. Homemade marshmallows, so delicious and I love making them. I too, read menus online, Joanne!

  27. Shaina says:

    I usually opt out of that sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, but if these were the marshmallows used, I would totally dig in.

  28. p.s. Have you seen the movie Chocolat with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche? (It’s one of my favorites) – Her secret to magic hot chocolate was a tiny pinch of cayenne – couldn’t help but think of a tiny pinch of cayenne as a riff on these marshmallows!

    p.s.s. I’ll be thinking about these all day. 😉

  29. Kelly says:

    I have wanted to make homemade marshmallows for the longest time, yours are totally inspiring me to for the holidays! They look simply perfect!

  30. These would be PERFECT in my chai cocoa!!

  31. cheri says:

    I have several different recipes floating around the house here for marshmallows but I still have not made them. These look perfect!

  32. Megan says:

    I never thought I’d just eat marshmallows plain until I had a homemade marshmallow. They are just so much better! The flavor of these sounds awesome. I used to make five-spice marshmallows at Flour and loved them.

  33. Amanda says:

    These look amazing, love the addition of pepper!

  34. Sarah says:

    I have to try making my own marshmallows! I really enjoy eating marshmallows (the white ones that come from grocery stores, and those Easter ones too) so I’m sure these homemade marshmallows will be infinitely better! Pinning!

  35. Isadora says:

    I never knew how much I loved marshmallows until I tasted my first homemade marshmallows and they were amazing! I’m kind of scared of candy thermometers and the words “soft ball stage”, so maybe you can just send me some of these!!

  36. These look perfect and I really love the add of black pepper!

  37. Add these to my bucket list of things a la Joanne! I made meringues today. What to trade?

  38. Kathryn says:

    Homemade marshmallows are the best and this flavour combination sounds totally epic.

  39. These were THE BEST!! They were spicy, in a good way – And the texture was the bom dot com. We ate them all. ALL!! I love making my own marshmallows. These will be floating in my hot chocolate soon. Soon!

  40. I still haven’t made my own marshmallows, and these ones are seeeeriously tempting me!

  41. Ginger Stark says:

    Ok, fellow leftovers club member and I have to start following you. Quirky food is my middle name.

  42. Johanna GGG says:

    I can’t bring myself to use gelatin but I do eat marshmallows with it in it because yep it is hard to find vegetarian marshmallows and even harder to find a recipe without gelatin. These look very soft and pillowy and sound amazing.

  43. SO EXCITING! I adore vegan marshmallows but don’t love their long ingredient lists and the cost. I’ve made them from scratch once with a packet mix, but that was full of unpronouncable things too. These look amazing and I can understand all of the ingredients 😀 I love the vanilla and black pepper spin too.

  44. Kinsey says:

    I love black pepper in desserts so this looks incredible. I also love to look at restaurants menus online, which is sometimes a strange habit to explain to other college freshmen! These would be so good toasted on top of ice cream or with some peppermint hot cocoa–I can’t wait until I’m back in my home kitchen and can experiment a little more!

  45. Teffy says:

    I was never a big fan of marshmellows, which is probably because I’ve never made my own!
    Need to give it a go to add to my hot chocolate!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  46. Elizabeth @ Food Ramblings says:

    Amazing- I have always wanted to make marshmallows!

  47. Katy says:

    I’ve been really into adding spices to sweet desserts lately, it gives so much more depth to each dish. What a cool idea to add pepper to marshmallows, these would make such a good homemade xmas gift!

  48. Ariana says:

    I have never tried to make marshmallows at home, but I will try, does not seem very hard to do. thanks

  49. […] Vanilla Bean Black Pepper Marshmallows – Eats Well with Others […]

  50. Dude! Pepper in your marshmallows??? This is crazy unique! My boy would be ALL OVER THESE. He tried to put pepper in his miso soup once (which I forbade) so if I offered him up these mallows he’d be in heaven. Thanks for linking to my lemon marshmallows:) xox0

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