Filed under: Candy
December 8, 2021

Dark Chocolate Marshmallows

Perfectly squishy and chocolate marshmallows made with dark cocoa for a dark chocolate taste and a look that will make a true chocolate lover’s heart sing. 

5 from 13 votes
Yield: 40 marshmallows
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chocolate marshmallows

I’ve been chasing the perfect chocolate marshmallow for what feels like forever (4 years, but still!); by adding cocoa in varying amounts. When I added cocoa they either didn’t taste very chocolaty or they were dry and lost their bounce, when I folded in melted chocolate it made them overly dense. After a while, I gave up and said it couldn’t be done.

But last month I had this idea to make an ‘edible coal’ for Christmas stockings by using black cocoa and the urge came over me to try again. A little digging and researching took me to try out blooming the cocoa for the mallow base (thank you The Flavor Bender!) It worked, the perfect charm! Blooming the cocoa not only draws out the cocoa’s flavor but the paste balances out the cocoa so that it won’t dry out the marshmallow. The marshmallows are bouncy and light, and actually taste chocolatey!

Recipe Ingredients

Cocoa: Use a very good quality brand. I used black cocoa in mine for that ‘coal’ look but any dutch process cocoa will work.

Gelatin: I use the knox powdered gelatin packets, four or one box for this recipe. They clock in at 1 oz total.

Sugar: Fine granulated.

Honey or Corn syrup: Use light, organic or non organic. You can also use maple syrup or golden syrup. Use a very dip pot as it will boil up, keep in mind also that the flavor may come through the chocolate depending on how strong tasting your honey is.

Salt: Fine sea salt. Use less if using table salt as table salt is saltier.

Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract. If you’re feeling fancy scrape up a vanilla bean but since chocolate is our goal it’s probably not necessary.

Powdered sugar: I’m going to stress this one very hard, use organic powdered sugar made with tapioca starch (NOT cornstarch). If you’ve made mallows before you probably used a mix of powdered sugar and more cornstarch and it’s not very nice. Cornstarch doesn’t melt on the tongue and your mallows will taste chalky.

Oil spray: this is to grease the pan and rubber spatula. Use something flavorless –  not coconut oil which is solid at room temperature and will make removing the mallow from the pan very difficult.

How to make chocolate marshmallows

Bloom the gelatin 

Whisk cold water and gelatin powder together until the gelatin dissolves. Set it aside to firm up.

Bloom the cocoa 

If the cocoa powder is lumpy, sift it into a bowl. Boil some water and then add it, while still very hot and boiling, to the cocoa. Whisk it together – it will become a thick paste. Set aside.

Candy the sugar 

In a pot, add the sugar, salt, honey and water. Set it over medium heat and begin to boil.

Keep a candy thermometer clipped to the pan or an instant read thermometer or a laser thermometer nearby. The sugar mixture will take awhile to candy; it will get up to about 230 F fairly quickly and then take at least 5 minutes to reach 250 F. Keep an eye on it!

Whip the Marshmallow Fluff

Pour the hot sugar syrup into the bottom of a stand mixer bowl, scraping the pan to get all the sugar, and let it cool in the bowl for a couple of minutes. Then add in the bloomed gelatin and cocoa paste.

Affix the whisk attachment and start whipping the marshmallow mixture. It will take at least 10 minutes for it to thicken, lighten in color and begin to pull from the sides. Start on low speed and work up to high.

While this is whipping, grease a large square pan or a large baking pan with canola or any flavorless oil. Grease a rubber spatula too.

When the marshmallow fluff begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and looks sufficiently thickened, pour it into the prepared pan. Use the greased spatula to scrape all the fluff into the pan. Smooth it over into an even layer and cover the pan with foil.

Let the marshmallows set

You have the option to leave the pan on the counter at room temperature for about 4-6 hours, or you can set it in the fridge for 3 hours.

When it’s ready to be sliced, whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa. This will be the marshmallow coating.

Spread some of it over the marshmallow then remove from the pan.

Use an oiled chef’s knife to slice the marshmallows. Dust each mallow in the cocoa and sugar mixture to coat it so it won’t be sticky.

Store the mallows in an airtight container.

Can I halve this chocolate marshmallow recipe? 

Just use half of all the ingredients listed. You can set them into a loaf pan if you still want tall mallows.

Do these chocolate marshmallows travel well? 

Exceptionally well actually, simply put them in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.

Tips to make the most perfect homemade chocolate marshmallows

  • Use a scale: for better accuracy in measuring the sugar and syrup.
  • Use a candy thermometer: This one is necessary, you want the mallows to reach 250 no less because we want a mallow that can take the cocoa paste we’re adding in later so we need to ‘candy’ the sugar right.
  • Use good quality cocoa: This is your main flavor ingredient so choose well!
  • Whip as long as necessary: Don’t rush this, the mallow fluff needs to whip for at least 10 minutes, until it’s very stringy. If you whip less the marshmallows will be wet and dense.

Recipe for Black Cocoa Hot Chocolate

If you’ve dug around my marshmallow corner on this site you may have run into a recipe for ‘hot cocoa’ made with caramelized white chocolate. Couldn’t help myself this year either, it definitely seemed like the year of the black cocoa and so I came up with a recipe for black cocoa hot cocoa, here’s how to make enough to serve 2-3 people:

You’ll need: 65g milk chocolate, 2 tablespoons black cocoa, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 ¼ cups whole milk. Pour all the ingredients into a pot and cook on medium low, whisking as needed until the chocolate is fully melted and the cocoa is all dissolved.

chocolate marshmallows

Dark Chocolate Marshmallows

Perfectly squishy and chocolate marshmallows made with dark cocoa for a dark chocolate taste and a look that will make a true chocolate lover’s heart sing.
chocolate marshmallows
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 40 marshmallows
5 from 13 votes


  • 28g or 4 packets of gelatin powder
  • 160g or ⅔ cup cool water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 60g or ¼ cup boiling water
  • 25g or ¼ cup black or dutch process cocoa or a mix of both (you can go up to 1/3 cup or 35g cocoa)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 160g or ⅔ cup cool water
  • 450g or 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 185 g honey or light corn syrup golden syrup or maple syrup will work too
  • 1/3 cup organic powdered sugar made with tapioca starch
  • 1/3 cup black or dutch cocoa if you want darker more intense mallows, use more cocoa in the coating


  • Grease a 13×9” or 9×9” square baking pan with canola oil (or any flavorless oil). Whisk together the water and gelatin in a bowl and set aside to firm up.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the boiling water, cocoa and vanilla until it’s smooth and creamy, like a ganache. Set aside.
  • Weigh the sugar and corn syrup in a deep pot and add the water and salt and stir. Clip a candy thermometer to the pot and set it over medium heat. Cook until the temperature reaches 250 F (it really should get to 250, not 245!).
  • Pour the hot sugar into the stand mixer bowl and let it cool for about a minute.
  • Add the firm gelatin and cocoa paste and turn the mixture on low, working it up to high speed (6 on a kitchenaid).
  • Let whip for about 10 minutes, until the marshmallow fluff gets stringy and begins to pull away from the bowl. Transfer to the prepared cake pan and smooth into one layer. Cover with foil and leave overnight at room temperature or set in the fridge for 3 hours to firm up.
  • Whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa into a large bowl and dust the countertop with some of it. Transfer the marshmallow to the counter and using an oiled chef’s knife, slice into cubes. Toss the cubes in the bowl so you can coat all the edges.
  • Store marshmallows at room temperature in an airtight container. They’ll last about 3 weeks.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. Question regarding gelatin; I have beef gelatin (unflavored) will that work sufficiently in this recipe? Can’t wait to try but prefer to use what I have!

    • I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. In theory they are very similar (unlike plant based ‘gelatin’ for example), so it could be fine as a direct swap. But then I read articles like this and I’m not confident until I experiment. Maybe make a small batch at first to see if it works?

  2. In the chocolate marshmallow post, you reference black cocoa hot cocoa but I am unable to find it on your site. Would you help me locate it ? Thank you. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    i made these with black cocoa as “coal” for christmas and they were a hit! super easy and the best texture. they look extremely cool when melting into hot chocolate and your hot chocolate will be much richer in flavor. amazing recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is a treat! It’s like putting the hot cocoa right into the marshmallow. I was nervous about adding the chocolate paste so early in the whipping stage but it worked well. The texture of these is not too firm, and they melt well in hot drinks into a delicious chocolate foam. I wish everything was measured in grams, but I know that can be a touchy subject on recipe blogs, so I’ll just say thanks for sharing this tasty treat with us!

  5. These look gorgeous! I do my chocolate marshmallows similarly, blooming the cocoa. I do a little cheat, I use fresh brewed strong coffee for the boiling water. I just wanted to share with you. ☺

  6. 5 stars
    Thanks for your reply re: black cocoa! I made them using half dutched and half black cocoa and got a slightly ashy brown product, then tried all dutched cocoa and the results were a lighter but acceptably brown and still very delicious, distinctly chocolate flavored marshmallow. I will be brave and dive in with all black cocoa next time, as I will DEFINITELY be making these for holiday packages- a lovely recipe! Easy, fast, and again, very yummy ❤️ My adult testers approved as enthusiastically as the kid versions.

  7. I’m confused by this recipe in that the pictures don’t look as if the product was made with black cocoa as referenced in the commentary. It’s an expensive ingredient; I don’t want the “coal” effect I want the gorgeous deep brown marshmallows pictured… and I’m reluctant to experiment to figure it out as the dark cocoa is a precious resource lol. So my question is, do I need to use the black cocoa to get the pictured effect or would I get those marshmallows by simply using (and blooming) a good quality dutched cocoa powder? Thanks for clarifying! I would love to see a pic of the coal, though 🙂

    • Totally understand that feeling about black cocoa, it’s precious (expensive) stuff! The photographed marshmallows are made with black cocoa. It’s lighter than black cocoa because of all the marshmallow fluff that goes into the recipe (which is big, fluffy & white). If you use a dutch cocoa it will be a light brown (a bit warmer in hue).

  8. 5 stars
    I just made these and I LOVED THEM!! Definitely making them again and can’t wait to pair it up with your hot chocolate

  9. 5 stars
    I haven’t made these as standalone marshmallows yet but I plan to. I made a half recipe and put it on top of the s’mores brownie recipe she also has and it was fantastic. I made a fluffernutter sandwich with the mallow fluff remnants in the mixing bowl after I topped the brownies. And if you like chocolate and pb together I highly recommend. I might have to top pb blondies with these marshmallow next.

  10. 5 stars
    This was the second marshmallow recipe from your website I have used, after having good luck with the brown sugar and chocolate marshmallows. I appreciate the clear instructions and got compliments from friends about how well these pair with hot chocolate in the middle of winter.

  11. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! So far we have enjoyed these as tasty snacks and on hot coffee. I ended up having to whip them for about fifteen minutes in our kitchen conditions but that worked just fine. Also, the cocoa I got was so black that I chose to toss them in regular dark cocoa powder to make them look a little more chocolaty. Very delicious, we love all of your marshmallow recipes!

  12. 5 stars
    So… this is my favorite marshmallows recipe! I was actually going to make the brown sugar chocolate marshmallow recipe which I had made before, but this recipe came up! I love dark chocolate, so I just had to try it! And man it tastes so so good! So much chocolate taste and I used a really cheap cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark), since that’s all I have. I can’t imagine how much chocolatier this would taste with better quality cocoa powder! I will be making this for the third time this month. The first two batches I gave out for the holidays. The third, I naught give more out… or just eat them all myself.

    Thank you Sam once again for making yumminess we can all follow!
    It is so easy to make and smells so chocolatey when I open up my container I store these in.

    On another note, I added melted dark chocolate and swirled it after I poured the marshmallow onto the pan to add even more chocolate flavor and crunch and I’ll do this from now on!

  13. Just made the brown sugar chocolate mallows yesterday and looks like I’ll be pulling out the mixer again today to make these! One question…in this step “Begin whisking the gelatin mixture on low and slowly pour in the hot sugar with the mixer on.” should we heat the gelatin mixture back up so it’s liquid, like we do in the brown sugar mallow recipe?

    Your marshmallow recipes are the only ones I’ve had success with…thank you for all the effort developing them!

    • You can do that step, or you can let the sugar mix cool a bit in the pan for a minute before adding it to the cold gelatin. I’ve done both and it seems to work out fine either way.