Tastes of the Season: Candy Cane Marshmallows

The days of going to Starbucks for your mint mochas every morning are over. These Christmas delights are great in any warm beverage on a cold winter day or even on their own. Candy Cane marshmallows literally melt in your mouth and will make you feel like you got them straight out of the Jet-Puffed factory.

Photo by Pamela Landrum

Recipe originated by Martha Stewart, Revised by Pamela Landrum


  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 4 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring


  1. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Coat the parchment with cooking spray (spray under the paper for it to stick to the pan).
  2. Pour sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved (should take about 15 minutes). Stop stirring; let mixture come to a boil. Raise heat to medium-high; cook until mixture registers 260 degrees on a candy thermometer. Note: Be extremely careful not to let the mixture stick to the bottom of the pan – it will make a huge mess and cause your candy not to cook properly.
  3. Remove pan from heat.
  4. Sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl (glass works great). Let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in peppermint extract; set aside.
  5. Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form (takes about 10 minutes on speed eight on a Kitchen Aid mixer). Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture; with mixer running, gradually add to egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick, 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. Pour mixture into lined pan. Working quickly, drop dots of red food coloring across surface of marshmallow. Using a toothpick, swirl food coloring into marshmallow to create a marbleized effect.
  7. Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm – this takes about three hours.

I’ll have to admit, when I first made these, I was completely terrified at the thought of making candy. It’s not as easy as it looks on the cooking channel.

After reading the recipe plenty of times and a few minutes changing the ingredients and the process, these marshmallows have become one of the easiest holiday treats I have ever made.