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This is an easy homemade Marshmallow Frosting recipe by a professional pastry chef. Just 4 ingredients whisked together produce a light, glossy frosting perfect for cakes, cupcakes, pies, and more!

dramatic marshmallow frosting swooshes.

This marshmallow frosting is light, airy and is beautiful both toasted or untoasted. Try it on these chocolate cupcakes, piped on lemon blondies, or for a dramatic carrot cake! This recipe does not use any corn syrup and still produces that perfect shiny frosting! 

Unlike Italian meringue buttercream or Swiss meringue buttercream, this easy frosting recipe doesn’t use any butter! It is similar to an old fashioned marshmallow frosting or “7 minute frosting.”  It sets, stays glossy, and tastes like pillows of vanilla bean marshmallows!

Why This is the Best Marshmallow Frosting

  • Tested & perfected in a professional kitchen. This very recipe is the basis for many of my iconic restaurant desserts. That means that it is foolproof, I know everything there is to know about it, both it’s limitations and everything that can go wrong. Find all my tips throughout this post.
  • Delicious & beautiful toasted or untoasted. You can either torch this frosting like I did with these sweet potato cupcakes or leave it a brilliant white like on these coconut cupcakes.
  • Easy recipe made with ingredients you have on hand. This is a fully homemade recipe without any store-bought marshmallow fluff or marshmallows.
  • Light, airy and the perfect pair for any flavor. This recipe is delicious on devil’s food cake, classic white cake, or as an easy topping for lemon bars! I would be hard pressed to find something it isn’t good on!
toasted marshmallow frosting on cupcakes on marble.
Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream Closeup Featured
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Professional Tips for Making Marshmallow Frosting

  • For the most consistent results use an instant read thermometer. You can heat the meringue just until the sugar granules dissolve but that is less reliable then using a thermometer. If the meringue is heated too hot then it will separate or weep faster than if heated to 120°F.
  • Heating the Swiss meringue to 120°F rather than the standard 130°F. If you know me professionally, you know that this tip right here was a closely guarded secret until now! Heating the meringue to a slightly lower temperature makes the resulting frosting shinier, more voluminous and more stable.
  • Toasting the meringue will help the frosting hold longer. In my experience a toasted marshmallow frosting will begin to weep (break-down) after 3 days in the refrigerator whereas untoasted, it will begin to weep after 24 hours. If you want a longer-lasting frosting, try using my marshmallow fluff instead.
  • Start with cold egg whites. I’m giving you all the good stuff today! Starting with cold egg whites gives you just the right amount of whipping the whites over the simmering water for the most stable meringue. Starting with room temperature whites means the meringue will get to temperature before you’ve had a chance to beat it enough and the resulting frosting will be less stable. It will begin to weep twice as fast.

What is Marshmallow Frosting?

  • This marshmallow frosting is just a Swiss meringue, which is made by whisking together egg whites, sugar, and a pinch of salt over a pot of simmering water until it reaches 130°F. It is removed from the heat and whipped to stiff peaks.
  • You can use marshmallow frosting like you would any buttercream: to ice cakes, cupcake and cheesecakes; to cover pies; to fill cupcakes; to top brownies or blondies; and so much more! You can also use it how you would use marshmallow fluff. I love to swirl it in ice cream because it has the same texture frozen as it does refrigerated!
layered s'mores dessert.
plated s'mores dessert on black plate.

Ingredients Needed

  • Egg Whites: As I’ve mentioned, freshly separated egg whites will produce a silkier, shinier, more stable marshmallow frosting. You can use pasteurized whites from a carton but the resulting meringue will be less stable, weep sooner, and the texture will be less satiny.
  • Sugar
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is critical in this recipe for 2 reasons: it heightens the flavor and dampens the sweetness, and it stabilizes the meringue.
  • Vanilla Extract: Add the vanilla extract after the meringue is at stiff peaks to preserve the flavor and allow the meringue to reach its full volume potential.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Homemade Marshmallow Frosting

Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Place about an inch of water in the bottom of a saucepan that will fit your stand mixer bowl without having the bowl touch the water. It might be smaller than you think. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Congrats! You’ve created a bain marie. You can also use the bottom of a double boiler.

Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt. I don’t like to do this step until my water is ready or you will whip too much air into the meringue while heating. This makes the resulting meringue less stable. Place over the simmering water and whisk constantly until the egg white mixture reaches a temperature of 120°F.

Don’t stop whisking. This is the cardinal rule of Swiss meringue and this frosting.

whisking swiss meringue over pot.
checking temperature of whipping swiss meringue.

You can see in the Step 2: Temperature photo above that I am whisking and taking the temperature. This is a pro-move. If you look closely you can see I am holding both the thermometer and the bowl with my left hand. This keeps the bowl stable.

Step 3: Remove the mixer bowl from the heat and place in your stand mixer base fitted with the whisk attachment. Do this step as quickly as possible!

Step 4: Turn the mixer on high and beat the meringue until it reaches stiff peaks.

Step 5: Add the vanilla extract and beat it in. At this point, the frosting should be around body temperature or feel just a little warm. That is perfect!

whipping meringue in stand mixer.
perfect peaks on meringue.

Step 6: Spread over your baked goods or transfer to a piping bag fitted with your favorite piping tip! Get frosting!

piped marshmallow frosting.

How to toast marshmallow frosting: 

Pipe or spread the frosting on your baked goods as desired. You can either use a kitchen torch or the broiler to toast the meringue. A torch is a faster, more reliable option. You can move it closer or further away to highlight details.

toasted swooshes of meringue.

Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip

The ideal temperature to use this frosting is at body temperature or just slightly warmer. This will maintain the shiniest appearance and silkiest texture. It will set as it cools and piping or spreading after that point will disturb the structure creating a less shiny meringue. It will be completely fine, but just not quite as pretty! 

How to store Marshmallow Frosting?

  • I would not recommend storing at room temperature for longer than 2 hours prior to serving. A cake or pie with this frosting will have the cleanest slices if sliced straight from the refrigerator.
  • Store refrigerated for up to 3 days before the frosting begins to weep (separate). Toasted meringue will keep longer without weeping because it creates a protective barrier around the meringue and shields it from air exposure.
  • Frosting can be stored frozen either toasted or un-toasted for up to 1 month. I recommend storing it in a freezer that does not get opened and closed often, because the variations in temperature will cause it to prematurely weep.

How to use Marshmallow Frosting?

whiskey smores pie on black plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between marshmallow fluff and frosting?

The difference between marshmallow fluff and frosting is in the preparation technique. This marshmallow frosting is a Swiss meringue whereas marshmallow fluff is an Italian meringue! The taste and texture are the same – both pillowy soft, shiny and taste like homemade marshmallows.

The difference is in the stability. Since Italian meringue is more stable, and ever so slightly more dense, it will keep without weeping for a week in the refrigerator and over 2 months frozen.

Is homemade marshmallow frosting safe to eat because of the raw egg whites?

You should know that Swiss meringue is not heated hot enough to cook the egg whites. Eggs need to be cooked to 160°F according to the FDA or eggs need to be held at 134°F for 3.5 minutes to be considered completely safe.

Can I make marshmallow frosting using pasteurized egg whites?

You can make this frosting using pasteurized egg whites from the carton, but the end results are not the same. They resulting meringue will be less stable and the texture will not be as silky.

Troubleshooting Swiss meringues that won’t stiffen.

Meringues aren’t as finicky as people will have you believe, so don’t stress too much about this. If a little yolk gets in the whites, try to fish it out, then move on. That being said, if your meringue isn’t whipping up to stiff peaks and it has cooled completely, you have a problem. I recommend adding cream of tartar a pinch at a time to see if it will allow it to whip.

The worst thing that could happen is that you add so much cream of tartar that it affects the flavor and you have to throw it out and start over. However, if you had to add that much cream of tartar to get your meringue to stiff peaks, you would have had to throw it out anyways. You get bonus points for trying to save it!

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

toasted swooshes of meringue.
4.50 from 2 ratings

Marshmallow Frosting

This is an easy homemade Marshmallow Frosting recipe by a professional pastry chef. Just 4 ingredients whisked together produce a light, glossy frosting perfect for cakes, cupcakes, pies, and more!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 20 people


For the Marshmallow Frosting:


Make the Marshmallow Frosting:

  • Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a pot. In the bowl of your stand mixer add egg whites, sugar and salt, whisk to combine. Place bowl over the simmering water making sure that the bowl fits tightly but the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  • Heat the sugar mixture, whisking frequently, until a candy thermometer reads 120° F or they are hot to the touch. Remove bowl from heat and place in the base of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  • Beat the mixture until cool and glossy. Add the vanilla and cinnamon (if desired), and beat to incorporate.
  • Spoon into a large piping bag fitted with your favorite tip or just mound it on like the cheesecake pictured!



Yield – 4 cups (1 Quart) or generously frost 16 cupcakes.
Presentation – Toast or leave it un toasted. It will store longer without weeping (separating) if toasted
Technique – Just don’t stop whisking and you’ll be fine!
Storage – Store 3 days refrigerated or 1 month frozen.


Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 10mg | Sugar: 10g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.01mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 42
Like this? Leave a comment below!
Homemade Marshmallow Frosting Smores Sticks | An easy, gelatin-free, recipe for marshmallow frosting and adorable, bite-sized S'mores snacks!
Homemade Marshmallow Frosting Smores Sticks | An easy, gelatin-free, recipe for marshmallow frosting and adorable, bite-sized S'mores snacks!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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Recipe Rating


  1. These are the cutest S’mores I have ever seen! I think I’ll have to get myself a little blow torch so I can make these adorable marshmallows. I’d imagine it is much more fun that using the broiler.

  2. Love these! Is it weird that I really like that campfire smell in my clothes? It brings back memories 🙂

  3. I want some. I haven’t had a s’mores in forever. Campfire s’mores are the best. It has been even longer since I’ve had those. And btw, there is a scene in my book that takes place in front of a campfire (very romantic lol) where the characters are making s’mores. It had me craving s’mores as I was writing it.

    1. oooo a romantic smores campfire scene….can’t wait! Fortunately you can just go make these little smores sticks…all the fun without the mess and campfire.

  4. I LOVE that they’re finger food – sometimes smores get so messy, but this sounds like the perfect solution! You never cease to amaze me with your seriously creative (and delicious!) ideas!

  5. Ummm…holy cripes, Lindsey! These look amazing. I love how you took a classic s’more and turned it into a work of art. That marshmallow frosting is perfectly torched! Now you have totally inspired me to get some s’mores going…maybe it will help me forget that it’s cold outside. I’ll just put on some Jimmy Buffett, toast up some of these s’mores and pretend that it’s mid-July. Pinned!

    1. HAHA! Thanks, David. How do you always know the most perfect thing to say? Bring out the torch and get some smores going!!! Thanks for the pin!

  6. These look amazing Lindsey! And your trip sounds ssssoooo fun! It made me feel like I was there with you (not in a creepy way, of course!), but I can definitely smell the s’mores! I can totally taste them dipped in that glorious chocolate ganache, smooshed together for the perfect s’more sandwich. Sistah, you totally know these are pinned, pinned & pinned. I’m saying, these are multiple boards worthy! xoxo!