Vanilla Marshmallows with Lyle's Golden Syrup (Corn Free)

I really love Lyle's.  Funny, I don't remember having it when I visited England about 20 years ago.  But it's become my go to corn syrup replacement and I love that golden syrup is more widely available now right here in the US than it was even a couple years ago.  I can find it in just about all our local grocery stores now.  Usually in with the pancake and corn syrups.  It is cane sugar derived and has a unique caramely flavor like a light hint of brown sugar.

Now I've mentioned the book, Marshmallows: Homemade Gourmet Treats before many times.
It's my single most favorite cookbook over the past two years.  It solved my corn syrup dilemma for marshmallows for my kiddo.  And I used the homemade invert syrup in the book for other confections in the place of corn syrup as well.  It gives a wonderful clean flavor that really is just whatever flavor you want the confection to be because it has no flavor of its own.  But sometimes I get lazy don't really need the special quality of the syrup or don't have time for the extra step of making it.  Like needing marshmallows for a special camping trip with the grandparents.  It was one of many specialty items I needed to send with them to have safe food options for R.  So with a week of baking and special trips to the store for the best hotdogs ever* (one of only two brands that are corn free), among other sundry items, it was nice to be able to take just a half hour to throw together some marshmallows instead of one and a half for the two steps otherwise required.  Really, less than half an hour.  Maybe five minutes to measure out ingredients and prepare the pan, ten or less to boil and reach temperature.  Ten to twelve minutes to beat the batter to good marshmallow stiffness and another couple to spread it in the pan.  Yes, they must cure for a few hours or overnight before cutting, but getting them to the pan takes less than 30 minutes.  This batch was made for camping s'mores.  R enjoyed helping coat them the next morning and put in the bag for the trip.  These marshmallows have a slightly richer flavor from the caramel notes of the Lyle's.   I'll bet they would work fabulously for the dulce de leche variation!  (Pour out half batter, drizzle softened dulce on top, swirl with knife, pour other half batter, drizzle, swirl.)

Marshmallows freeze wonderfully by the way.  Just be generous with the coating so they don't get sticky while thawing.  They will last for months in the freezer and thaw just as good as new.  Or just take a few out at a time for hot cocoa!

Remember to calibrate your thermometer!

Recipe may be halved.

Vanilla Marshmallows with Lyle's Golden Syrup
makes a 9x13" pan of candy

For the bloom:
½ cup + 2 tbsp water
1½ tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp unflavored gelatin

For the base:
¾ cup water
1¼ cups Lyle's Golden Syrup (Update: it is possible to make these with 1 cup syrup and they still turn out fine and plenty sweet if reduced sugar is desired.)
pinch salt
1½ cups granulated cane sugar
Coating mixture**

Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and wipe it lightly with a paper towel, leaving only a thin film of oil.  Set up a stand mixer with whisk attachment in place.

Make the bloom:  Measure the cold water into a measuring cup and add the vanilla.  Place the gelatin into a small bowl and pour the water mixture over it, stirring until there are no lumps.  Set the bowl near the stove.

Make the base:  Place the ¾ cup water, the golden syrup, salt, and sugar, in that order, into a 4-quart pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cover the pan with a lid and allow it to boil for 2 minutes to wash down the sugar crystals on the sides.

Remove the lid, place a candy thermometer in the pan, and continue boiling until the syrup is 250ºF 240-245ºF.  Once the lid is removed, do not stir the mixture!  Remove the thermometer and gently stir in the bloomed gelatin.

Update: I have found that having the syrup too hot can result in a somewhat gooey or stringy texture in the finished marshmallows because the high temperature degrades the gelatin.  Best to let the syrup cool to around 212º before adding to the gelatin.

Pour the batter into the bowl of the stand mixer. Beat it on high for 10 to 12 minutes. At first the batter will look very watery, but as it beats, it will become thick, white and glossy and will increase in volume by two- or threefold.

Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth the top with a spatula.  Let the pan sit uncovered at room temperature for at least 4 hours or overnight.
**For the coating:  Sift together ¾ cups powdered sugar (Whole Foods carries powdered sugar made with tapioca starch instead of cornstarch if corn is an issue) and ¼ cup arrowroot or tapioca starch.  Lightly sprinkle a work surface with the mixture.  Ease the marshmallows away from the sides of the pan and flip the pan over, releasing the marshmallows onto the cutting surface.  (Flip again - it is easier to get clean lines while cutting if cutting down through the outer cured side first.)  Cut the marshmallows into squares, or use cookie cutters to cut fancy shapes.  Toss the cut marshmallows in the powdered sugar mixture, shaking off any excess.

Place the coated marshmallows in an airtight container, with waxed paper between the layers, and leave a corner of the lid slightly ajar.  They will keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.  They will also freeze for months.

* If you are fortunate enough to live in Washington or a couple parts of Oregon and Idaho, you can find Hempler's products.  Their bacon is the absolute best.  And their Uncured franks are totally awesome and corn free.  Only the uncured ones though, the cured have corn syrup in them.  They are huge, fat, ballpark sized dogs and seriously tasty.  Nana remarked that she had never had hotdogs that good before and happily absconded with the extra package I had hidden in the freezer.  (They live in Oregon not near a distributor.)


  1. Cool! I was just about to post my review of the recipe you recommended. Perfect timing! I want to try this one next, but now have a half jar of sugar syrup to use up:)

  2. p.s. I found plain old Powdered Sugar without anything added at Puget Consumer's Co-op, a Seattle area Co-op.

  3. @ Holli - Oh I'm glad you found a good local option! I used to order glazing sugar from King Arthur (just plain powdered sugar with no starch) before I found the sugar with tapioca starch option.

  4. This post just made my day!!! I am so excited to use this for the holidays. We have eliminated all corn syrup related foods from our house over the past year and it's been bittersweet to think about not making my own marshmallows this Christmas. I am giddy to have a better option! Thank you so much for the introduction to Lyle's syrup. :)

    P.S. Your marshmallows are beautiful, by the way.

  5. @Barefeet - I'm so glad you saw them then! And thanks! If you love to make marshmallows and confections for the holidays, I highly recommend either Lyle's or the marshmallow syrup in the book as a great substitute. I've had fabulous results with both for everything from candy corn to caramels to fudge. The book is gorgeous and all corn free, see if your local library has it available. The cinnamon mocha marshmallows are to die for! And here is a link to the full vanilla recipe including the marshmallow syrup:

  6. Hi - Can you tell me which gelatin you used that's corn free? I'm so happy to hear these free bcuz I'm the only corn free person in the family and it'll take me awhile to make my way thru a pan I'm sure! ...Well, maybe not! :)

  7. Hi Amy,
    I use just plain old Knox unflavored gelatin. It's just one ingredient - gelatin derived from beef, though when I run out of the huge box I have, I may switch to Bernard Jensen's brand as I understand it has less odor and better taste. (Not that there is any off odor or flavor in the finished marshmallows with the Knox.) Whatever brand of plain unflavored gelatin that's available in your area should work fine. You can always make a half batch if you want them just for you, works just fine. ;) But remember, homemade marshmallows freeze very well for a long time. Just be generous with the coating, stick an extra spoonful in the freezer bag and shake well. Then only take out what you want to use; they thaw fairly quickly. These are great marshmallows though, I don't think you'll be short on volunteers to eat them just because they are corn free. :D

  8. hi, i was wondering if you could help me! i made this recipe a few weeks ago, and were the best marshmallows ever!! but the past 2 times i made it, it has turned out really weird. like, a chewing gum stringy weirdness, and it doesn't even double in size. what am i doing wrong?

  9. I have had that happen once, where they were a bit too chewy and stiff. For me, it was because I let the syrup get a few degrees too hot. Also make sure not to stir the syrup after you take the lid off, until you stir in the gelatin. I would try calibrating your thermometer to make sure of your readings. (It should read 212º for sea level boiling water.) Have you changed anything from the first batch? (Glad that one turned out for you!) Temperature will be more touchy for a half batch. A heavy bottom pot helps too. I would say try 240-245º for your next batch and if that corrects the problem, it is definitely temperature. I think I may adjust the post since the original temp was designed for the marshmallow syrup and golden syrup may be more sensitive. Thanks for the feedback and I hope you get your first results again!

  10. Excellent blog very nice and unique information related to Lyles Golden Syrup
    . Thanks for sharing this information.

  11. I am trying to make these however I am a vegetarian therefore I am using the Dr Oetker Vege-Gel and the marshmallow just isn't whipping up and turning into marshmallow, instead it is turning into what seems like spreadable fudge which is delightful haha but not what I am going for. Could you please help me and advise me on what to change?

    Thank You

  12. Hi Laura,
    I have never tried using a vegetarian gelatin so I am going to refer you to another recipe. Since you are using a Dr. Oetker product, would I be right in assuming you are across the pond? My suggestion would be to try to find some powdered agar or try the following recipe with your vege-gel:
    They look like proper marshmallows to me and there are no bad for you ingredients like soy protein isolate.
    If you want to try with the gel you have, you may need to use more than the recipe calls for, maybe up to twice as much from what I can guess in the difference in gelling agents.
    Good luck with your marshmallow making endeavor! :)


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