The Sweet Revolution: Vegan Marshmallows for All - Root Kitchen UK

The Sweet Revolution: Vegan Marshmallows for All

David Beaver

Marshmallows – those fluffy, gooey pillows of sweetness – have long been a staple of bonfires, hot chocolates, and confectionery delights. Yet, for vegans, these sweet treats have been off-limits due to their gelatin content, a substance derived from animal bones and connective tissues. But fear not, the culinary wizards have waved their magic wands, and vegan marshmallows have burst onto the scene, transforming the landscape of sweet indulgence.

A New Era of Marshmallows

In recent years, veganism has surged in popularity, driven by concerns for animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and personal health. This shift has spurred innovation across the food industry, with vegan alternatives for almost every product imaginable. Marshmallows, with their quintessentially nostalgic charm, have not been left behind. The result? Vegan marshmallows that are every bit as delightful as their traditional counterparts, if not more so.

What Makes a Marshmallow Vegan?

Traditional marshmallows owe their structure to gelatin, which gives them their characteristic chewy texture. Vegan marshmallows, however, replace gelatin with plant-based gelling agents. The most common alternatives include agar-agar, derived from seaweed, and carrageenan, extracted from red seaweed. These ingredients not only replicate the texture of gelatin but also align perfectly with the vegan ethos.

The use of these plant-based gelling agents ensures that vegan marshmallows remain fluffy and bouncy. Combined with the classic ingredients of sugar, water, and air, they create a product that is indistinguishable from non-vegan marshmallows in taste and texture.

The Appeal of Vegan Marshmallows

1. Ethical Indulgence

One of the primary appeals of vegan marshmallows is their ethical standing. Traditional marshmallows contribute to the demand for gelatin, perpetuating the cycle of animal exploitation. By choosing vegan marshmallows, consumers can indulge in their sweet tooth without compromising their values.

2. Allergy-Friendly

Vegan marshmallows are often free from common allergens, making them a safer choice for those with dietary restrictions. Many brands are not only gelatin-free but also soy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free. This inclusivity ensures that more people can enjoy the simple pleasure of a marshmallow-topped hot chocolate or a gooey s'more.

3. Eco-Conscious Choices

Plant-based products generally have a lower environmental footprint compared to their animal-derived counterparts. The production of vegan marshmallows, therefore, aligns with efforts to reduce environmental impact. For the eco-conscious consumer, this makes vegan marshmallows a sweet treat with a greener footprint.

How to Enjoy Vegan Marshmallows

The versatility of vegan marshmallows opens up a world of culinary possibilities. Here are some delightful ways to enjoy them:

1. Classic S'mores

Nothing beats the nostalgia of a s'more – a perfectly roasted marshmallow sandwiched between chocolate and graham crackers. Vegan marshmallows toast beautifully over an open flame, melting just right to ooze between the crackers and chocolate. It's the perfect treat for camping trips or cosy nights by the fire.

2. Hot Chocolate Toppers

Vegan marshmallows are the ideal companions for a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Their light, fluffy texture contrasts beautifully with the rich, creamy drink, creating a luxurious experience. Add a dash of cinnamon or a hint of peppermint for a festive twist.

3. Baking Delights

Incorporate vegan marshmallows into your baking for a touch of whimsy. Whether it's rocky road brownies, marshmallow-studded cookies, or a gooey marshmallow layer cake, these treats add an element of fun and nostalgia to your desserts.

4. Straight from the Bag

Sometimes, simplicity is best. Enjoy vegan marshmallows straight from the bag for a quick and satisfying snack. Their light, airy texture and sweet flavour make them irresistibly munchable.

The Best Vegan Marshmallow Brands

The market for vegan marshmallows has expanded rapidly, with several brands leading the charge. Here are a few to look out for:

1. Dandies

Dandies have become a household name in the world of vegan marshmallows. Known for their fluffy texture and delicious taste, Dandies are perfect for roasting, baking, or snacking. They are also free from artificial flavours and colours, making them a healthier choice.

2. Freedom Mallows

Freedom Mallows hail from the UK and are renowned for their light, fluffy texture. They offer a range of flavours, including vanilla, strawberry, and mini marshmallows. Freedom Mallows are also free from the top 14 allergens, making them suitable for almost everyone.

3. Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's vegan marshmallows are a budget-friendly option without compromising on quality. These marshmallows are known for their excellent taste and perfect roasting qualities. They are also gluten-free, making them a versatile option for various dietary needs.

4. Sweet & Sara

Sweet & Sara offers artisanal vegan marshmallows that are handcrafted with care. Their products include traditional marshmallows as well as innovative flavours like toasted coconut. Sweet & Sara's marshmallows are perfect for those seeking a gourmet experience.

Making Your Own Vegan Marshmallows

For those who enjoy a bit of kitchen experimentation, making your own vegan marshmallows is a rewarding project. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:


  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon agar-agar powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, for dusting
  • ½ cup cornflour, for dusting


  1. Prepare the Gelatin Substitute: In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup of water and the agar-agar powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the agar is fully dissolved.

  2. Create the Sugar Syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ½ cup of water, granulated sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil without stirring until the mixture reaches 115°C (240°F) on a candy thermometer.

  3. Combine and Whip: Pour the agar mixture into a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the hot sugar syrup while mixing on low speed. Once combined, increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and tripled in volume. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.

  4. Set the Marshmallows: Quickly transfer the mixture to a prepared 9x9 inch (23x23 cm) baking pan lined with parchment paper and dusted with a mixture of powdered sugar and cornflour. Spread evenly and dust the top with more powdered sugar and cornflour. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or until set.

  5. Cut and Enjoy: Once set, turn the marshmallow slab onto a cutting board and cut into squares. Dust each piece with the powdered sugar and cornflour mixture to prevent sticking. Enjoy your homemade vegan marshmallows!

The Future of Vegan Confectionery

The success of vegan marshmallows is a testament to the growing demand for plant-based alternatives and the ingenuity of food innovators. As more consumers embrace veganism, the variety and quality of vegan confectionery are set to expand even further. We can look forward to an array of creative flavours, innovative textures, and new ways to enjoy our favourite sweets.

Vegan marshmallows are just the beginning. The confectionery world is ripe for transformation, with vegan chocolates, candies, and baked goods making waves. The focus on quality ingredients, ethical production, and environmental sustainability is redefining the industry, offering consumers better choices without compromise.


Alongside vegan ready meals, the rise of vegan marshmallows is a sweet victory for those seeking ethical, allergy-friendly, and eco-conscious treats. With their delightful texture and versatile uses, these marshmallows have firmly established themselves as a favourite among vegans and non-vegans alike. Whether you're roasting them over a campfire, melting them into a hot drink, or enjoying them straight from the bag, vegan marshmallows offer a guilt-free indulgence that aligns with modern values.

So, next time you're in need of a sugary pick-me-up, reach for a bag of vegan marshmallows. Embrace the revolution and let your taste buds revel in the fluffy, sweet goodness that only a marshmallow can provide – cruelty-free, allergen-free, and utterly delicious. Cheers to the sweet life, the vegan way!

Add a comment

* Comments must be approved before being displayed.