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How Do I Choose the Best Marshmallow Substitute?

Kristeen Moore
Kristeen Moore

Marshmallows are a common type of light treat that are added to certain types of desserts. If you are an avid dessert maker, you might consider having a marshmallow substitute on hand because such products are more convenient and can cost less in the long-run. A plain flavor substitute in the form of cream or fluff works best if you are specifically replacing a certain amount of marshmallows in a given recipe. If you have the freedom to add extra flavors, then you might consider using a fruity marshmallow substitute. Vegan cooking will require you to look for a product that is free of any dairy and egg products.

Making desserts on a regular basis calls for chefs to have appropriate ingredients on hand at all times. Marshmallows can spoil after a short period of time, so these might not be the best tools to keep on hand. A marshmallow substitute is relatively inexpensive, and it tends to keep much longer than the traditional versions.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Substituting marshmallows is relatively easy, so long as you find the correct product for the recipe that you want to make. A plain marshmallow substitute generally tastes like the traditional dessert confection, and it is usually made from egg whites, corn syrup, and vanilla extracts. These cooking tools come in the form of either a cream or a fluff, so choosing the correct one depends largely on your recipe. Cream versions tend to mix well with other ingredients in a marshmallow dessert, while fluffs are most commonly used as toppings.

For added variety, you might consider purchasing a marshmallow cream or fluff that also contains fruity flavors. These are best designed for sweet recipes such as fruit salads, dips, and ambrosia. When choosing flavors, you should stick with like fruits so that you do not cause any flavor clashes. For example, if there are strawberries in your recipe, then you can use the same flavor of marshmallow substitute to complement it.

Vegans have to look for specific types of marshmallow products that fit into their lifestyles. Whole marshmallows themselves contain gelatin, a product that is derived directly from animals. A naturally gelatin-free marshmallow substitute seems to be a more appropriate food choice for the vegan diet, but you must read all product labels carefully to be certain. Most marshmallow creams and fluffs contain egg whites and milk, which are two items that are restricted on a vegan diet. Instead, you can find an alternative product from a natural foods store that specifically states that it is free of all animal products.

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Discussion Comments


@turquoise-- I use vegan marshmallow fluff and it's just as good as the real thing! You should definitely try vegan marshmallow substitutes. How can you go without a delicious fluffenutter sandwich? Just make sure that the label says vegan because the ones labeled "kosher," "gluten-free," or "dairy free," may have egg whites in them.

My vegan marshmallow substitute is made with brown rice syrup and soy. I was so happy when I found it. It was difficult to believe that something could taste so good and still be healthy!


Has anyone here tried a vegan or vegetarian marshmallow substitute? I saw a marshmallow substitute labeled vegan at the health food store the other day. I wanted to try it but I was worried that it wouldn't taste like real marshmallow creme.


I love making desserts and baked goods with marshmallows like marshmallow pie, marshmallow brownies and marshmallow cereal bars. Sometimes I use regular marshmallows, other times I use a marshmallow substitute like marshmallow creme or fluff depending on the recipe. For example, marshmallow fluff works great for marshmallow pie, whereas marshmallow creme works well for marshmallow dip for fresh fruit.

The good thing about using a substitute is that it saves a lot of time. It can take quite a while to melt marshmallows on the stove and prepare marshmallow cream from scratch. When I'm using a substitute, I just have to open the jar. It makes things much easier for me.

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