Soft, pillow like marshmallows made with fresh apple cider dusted in cinnamon sugar. Made with honey (no corn starch!) and brown sugar to add notes of caramel. You only need a pot, a thermometer and a machine mixer to get these just right.
These must be the most autumny marshmallows ever; soft as the softest pillow you can imagine and can be put in hot apple cider or coffee or tea and they leave this super yummy foam on top that tastes like heaven! Or try them in hot cocoa for some extra pizzaz. Or you know, just gobble them up straight from the bag like m&ms because they are that good.
Fresh Apple Cider For Cider Marshmallows
Found at most American grocery stores in all of Fall and Winter, fresh cider is essentially unfiltered apple juice. It is not the regular ‘apple juice’ which you find year round – that juice has been filtered and has pasteurized for an extra long shelf life. There are a few recipes online, like this one, which show you how to make it at home should you not have access. The best cider to get? Directly from an apple farm/orchard or a farmer’s market.
Using Apple Cider in Baking
This was my first apple cider recipe on the blog (woot!) but since then I have added a bunch more, and likely many more to come. It’s wonderful as a juice (such as in cake recipes where you’d normally find orange juice or in this wonderful cider meringue) or you can boil it down into a syrup for a deeper more concentrated flavor. We won’t do that here (we’ll use the juice as is) but here are some other cider recipes you might be into: apple cider caramel ice cream, apple cider caramel shortbread cookies, and this towering apple cider cheesecake.
How to make homemade apple cider marshmallows
I used to be super intimidated about making anything ‘candy’ related at home. Until I realized that the only thing you need is a thermometer! And ok, a watchful eye. Here’s how to make marshmallows: boil together sugars and liquid (in our case, cider) until they reach the ‘candy’ stage, add the gelatin and whip until you have a giant meringue. The last stage is absolutely beautiful and I would likely make mallows just to get to see, feel and taste that even if they didn’t set!
Once you have reached the right stage for the fluff, you pour it into (or plop, it’s thick!) an oiled pan and smooth it out. The fluff sets into a giant marshmallow which you’ll then slice into cubes or shapes of your choice.
Why make apple cider marshmallows?
Unlike most marshmallow recipes you’ll find online, this one has absolutely no corn syrup in it at all, we’ll use honey! And to add depth to the flavor we use brown sugar because, yummy molasses. Also, we are not going to ruin our hard work dusting these babies in cornstarch which doesn’t melt on the tongue. Nope, nope. We’ll use organic powdered sugar and cinnamon. And after about 30 minutes of work, a few hours of rest, some chop chop and dust dust, you’ll take a bite, and suddenly you are transported, into all. things. fall.
Use a deep pot. Because we are using honey, the sugar boils up high and to avoid any spills (and sugar burns) a deep pot is necessary.
The candy thermometer should reach 250 F – no less and no more! A lot of marshmallow recipes tell you to get to 240 or 245, but the recipe that inspired this one (Stella Parks, from BraveTart) states 250 F for the ideal texture once set.
The gelatin mix will stiffen as it sets. Once the sugar has reached candy stage, transfer it to the stand mixer bowl. In a microwave, heat the gelatin mix for less than 10 seconds, just enough for it to become liquid again.
A stand mixer is ideal for whipping: the marshmallow fluff needs about 10 minutes to whip on medium to high speed.
Prep the pan the mallow fluff will set in: I do this by spraying canola oil generously on the pan. If you don’t have the spray, use a flavorless oil to rub with your fingers all over the pan. While you are at it, oil the spatula you’ll use to transfer the fluff to the pan too!
The marshmallows will set at room temperature over about 4-6 hours, sometimes quicker depending on the temperature of your kitchen. In the fridge, they will set in two.
Please, please use organic powdered sugar to dust the mallows with. Conventional powdered sugar contains cornstarch which does not melt unless it has been exposed to high heat. Tapioca starch, which is used in most organic varieties (check the ingredient list) melts on the tongue.
Speaking of powdered sugar, be liberal with it! Make sure to get it on every side of the marshmallow and use it as you work to slice them to keep them from sticking to surfaces or each other.
Caramelized White Chocolate Apple Cider Marshmallows
Like I do in these brown sugar marshmallows, I sometimes like to swirl in some chocolate into my apple cider fluff right before it sets. You get this snappy chocolate that has toasty notes of caramel and it complements the tart cider so well. I love these two flavors in this apple cider ice cream too!
To make the swirl you’ll chop up some white chocolate set it on a clean baking sheet and toast it in the oven at 250 F, stirring every ten minutes. Process it in a food processor to smooth it out and let it set overnight (covered, at room temperature). For more detailed instructions on how to make caramelized white chocolate check out this post where I have detailed instructions and photos.
For the mallows, you’ll melt the chocolate and layer and swirl it into the cider mallow fluff as you pour it into the pan to set.
Recipe for Apple Cider Marshmallows
Apple Cider Marshmallows
Supersoft homemade marshmallows made with fresh cider, honey and brown sugar.
320gfresh apple cider, preferably spiceddivided in half (one half for the gelatin, one for the sugar)
185g honey or maple syrup
450gbrown sugarlight or dark
1/2teaspoonfine sea salt
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1-2teaspoonscinnamon user lesser amount if using spiced cider
1/2 cuppowdered sugarsifted, for coating the marshmallows
Lightly grease a sheet cake pan (13" long).
In a small, microwave-safe bowl dissolve gelatin into half of the apple cider, mix with a fork to combine and set aside to bloom.
In a deep pot, combine sugar, honey, other half of apple cider and salt on medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and then turn up heat to medium high and let boil – without stirring – until the temperature reaches 250 F.
Pour hot syrup into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment (if you are using a hand mixer, use a heat-safe bowl). Let cool for just a few minutes while you microwave the gelatin for about 10 seconds, until it is liquid. Once your sugar mix has a bit, add the gelatin mix to it and begin whisking on medium high.
Let it whisk for about 10 minutes. While it's whisking you can add the cinnamon and vanilla. The mallow fluff will be silky and smooth once done and pull away from the sides.
Be ready with the greased pan and a rubber spatula.
Once the marshmallow fluff is done, pour or scoop (it is very thick, and really not cooperative) it into the pan. A lot will stick to the sides, do your best to get as much out as you can.
Smooth down the fluff with an oiled offset spatula or the back of a spoon, very briefly as soon as you get it all in (it will begin to set as soon as it gets in the pan.)
Let set at room temperature over night or in the fridge for a few hours.
Sift some of the powdered sugar onto a large clean surface and pull out what is now one giant marshmallow, and place on top of the sugar to coat. Use your fingers to gently smooth more sugar all over the sides of the marshmallow.
Use an oiled knife to cut (it is more like pushing the knife through than sawing) marshmallows to any size of your liking and just ensure that every side is dusted and rubbed with cinnamon sugar so they aren’t sticky.
Store in an airtight container. Marshmallows keep at room temperature for about 2 weeks.