Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Easy marshmallow icing recipe

by: Jo

Easy marshmallow icing recipe
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One of my favorite ways to ice cupcakes is with marshmallow icing. It’s so simple to make and I always have the ingredients on hand. This “recipe” was my grandmother’s favorite icing and hence, a family favorite now as well.

Marshmallow Icing Recipe

  • 2 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp Cream of Tartar

Marshmallow icing recipe

Put the egg whites, salt, and Cream of Tartar into your mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form.

Marshmallow icing recipe

Add water and sugar to a pan and heat to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly!

Marshmallow icing recipe

Turn mixer to medium speed and slowly drip the sugar mixture down the side of the bowl. Continue to whisk until soft, fluffy peaks form.


When I ice these cupcakes, I like to slice the tops off and add some extra marshmallow icing there. I tend to like lots of icing and the marshmallow doesn’t pile up like a buttercream does. And, I also think it looks cute!

Marshmallow icing recipe

I usually make this icing up the morning of the party because it tastes best when freshly made.  Luckily, this isn’t a problem since it is such a quick and simple recipe.

Marshmallow icing recipe

And one more tip…use an icing bag or pipe from a Ziploc where you cut the tip off. If you try to spread this icing, it will pick up all sorts of cake bits and look like a hot mess!

Marshmallow icing recipe

Easy marshmallow icing recipe
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58 comments so far:

  • 1
    Mama King 07/21/2009 at 9:23 am

    Wow! The first method is great for us – I love how easy it is! My daughter is allergic to dairy and eggs. What a great and fun alternative to the confectioner sugar glaze we normally do! She’ll be excited. Thanks :-)

  • 2
    Teresa 10/27/2009 at 2:07 am

    Another good one is to beat marshmallow fluff with powdered (confectioner’s) sugar til you get a stiff dough…add a bit of paste food coloring and you have an inexpensive (and much better tasting) fondant. You can roll it out, cut it into shapes with cookie cutters, shape it like play dough or decorate them with sprinkles, then lay on top of the cupcakes. Store in an airtight container til youare ready to eat them…and you can do them the night before. My kids’ teachers have loved these because the “frosting” doesnt make a mess in the classroom!

  • 3
    Jo 10/27/2009 at 6:22 am

    Teresa, I will have to try this technique, it sounds yummy and fun!

  • 4
    Samantha Sakkit 02/11/2010 at 4:50 pm

    I tried the marshmallow on top of cupcakes both little ones (cut marshmallow in half) and the regular size ones and the little ones were great(i did not mash them down) but the regular size ones when i tried to mash down the marshmallow stuck on the spoon …..
    But this marshmallow icing saved me cuz i thought that i had the stuff to make butter icing …. but i did not,so thank you so much

  • 5
    Julia 05/12/2010 at 6:09 pm

    The #1 marshmallow icing recipe is so easy and awesome! The second recipe it is a very basic Meringue recipe, the rule of thumb is 2 tablespoons of sugar per egg white (i.e, 2 egg white = 4 tb of sugar).
    Hope it helps!

  • 6
    Jo 05/12/2010 at 11:07 pm

    Thanks for the tip!

  • 7
    sari 08/06/2010 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but I tried the first version and I swear there was more of it on me than on the cupcakes. It kept sticking to the spoon and then I would try to get it off and it would stick to my fingers more. Any tips?

  • 8
    Jo 08/06/2010 at 11:16 pm

    Sari, so sorry you had troubles! Try coating the back of your spoon with a little powdered sugar so it isn’t so sticky. If it is still sticky, try corn starch on the back of the spoon. Maybe your marshmallows were extra sticky from the intense summer humidity right now? Let me know if these tips work for you.

  • 9
    sari 08/07/2010 at 10:26 am

    Thanks! That probably was the problem. I live in Arizona and actually the marshmallows should probably be kept in the fridge (which they weren’t). They do taste good even thought they are not the prettiest of cupcakes. :-)

  • 10
    karen kriek 09/29/2010 at 2:59 pm

    do you think teresa’s icing will make points? I dont want smooth icing, i want pointy ones.
    i am going to try annyway.

  • 11
    Chica 09/30/2010 at 9:44 am

    Karen, the recipe Teresa shared with us was for fondant, not icing, so I’m not sure if it will work for what you want. Let us know how it comes out.

  • 12
    jackie 12/23/2010 at 7:40 pm

    I tried the #1 marshmallow icing method.But when I tried to press it down,the marshmallow kept on sliding.Any advice?

  • 13
    gena 01/04/2011 at 1:09 am

    i’m not good at cooking. Can i use the microwave for the first recipe? thanks!

  • 14
    Jo 01/04/2011 at 9:54 am

    Gena, I suppose the microwave would work but I have never tried it.

  • 15
    Lanie 01/12/2011 at 9:49 pm

    Do you think a very light brush of butter on the back of the spoon before pressing on the 1st recipe will ruin it? I’m thinking of giving this a try, but don’t want to be covered in marshmallow, which tends to happen anyway.

  • 16
    Clair 01/13/2011 at 1:58 am

    I tried it out but I didn’t toast the mallows much in the first batch of cupcakes because my cupcakes were practically done when I remembered to put the marshmallows on top. Because the marshmallow had a colorful design, it still showed up. I have a picture and the rest of the details on my food blog.

  • 17
    Jo 01/13/2011 at 9:42 am

    Lanie, I don’t think it would ruin it. Let us know how it works!

  • 18
    Lanie 01/18/2011 at 2:35 am

    I used the first recipe both in the oven and in the microwave. In the oven, rather than using butter on a spoon, I used a silicon spatula, and it worked out great. In the microwave, I had more trouble with the marshmallow rolling off my cupcakes. By the time I could keep them pressed, the marshmallow had melted too much and was sticking to the spatula. I’ll use the oven method again…often. Thanks!

  • 19
    chinagirl 02/18/2011 at 10:46 pm

    what an awesome site you have. i will have to try the recipe for cupcakes. you can check out my blog i just got started. here i have a recipe for cranberry cookies. thanks again

  • 20
    andrea 04/25/2011 at 8:43 am

    hi!may i ask, what kind of sugar to be used when making icing?thanks!

  • 21
    Jo 04/25/2011 at 9:06 am

    Andrea, I used regular white cane sugar.

  • 22
    Liz 06/06/2011 at 11:36 pm

    Thank you so much! I knew there must be some way to make frosting out of the package of marshmallows I had, but it did not occur to me to just melt them on top! Brilliant idea, and so simple! Genius award!

  • 23
    Amanda 09/10/2011 at 9:48 am

    This is amazing! I used half a marshmallow per vanilla cupcake and it tasted great. The only problem was when I turned it on broil, probably because it was too close to the heat, the marshmallows bubbled in less than 3 seconds. Next time I won’t toast them, as they look so cute and fluffy.

  • 24
    Joni 10/18/2011 at 5:20 pm

    I will try this today.
    Have you tried to make smore’s in a microwave.
    I use a plain round cookie, spread it with a chocolate hazelnut spread, and top with a half a marshmallow.
    Then I microwave them for 15-20 seconds, this is long enough for the marshmallows to begin melting but not too long to soften the cookie. At this point you can either top it off with another cookie or eat the way it is.

  • 25
    Chica 10/18/2011 at 7:17 pm

    I have made smores in the microwave before, Joni. They’re not as good as over the fire, of course, but sometimes you need a quick snack and that does the trick!

  • 26
    Ari 10/21/2011 at 6:47 pm

    the first method, with all the tips sounds great. Question… What about on a cake instead of cupcakes? Will it still work out?

  • 27
    Chica 10/23/2011 at 9:35 am

    I don’t see why not, Ari!

  • 28
    timmy c 11/19/2011 at 1:35 am

    i have used everyones tips about the mashmallow sticking to the spoon when pushing down flat.. it STILL sticks! :(

  • 29
    Chica 11/19/2011 at 12:03 pm

    Timmy, maybe try coating the spoon with a light spray of Pam or some other cooking spray?

  • 30
    carolina 11/24/2011 at 4:59 pm

    wow this really worked i did without the boiler it is more easier in cupcakes but they are delicious

  • 31
    anonimous 01/21/2012 at 8:06 pm

    i will try this one day they both sound so yummy and i know a lot of people who would love to try them to!!!


  • 32
    anonimous 01/21/2012 at 8:07 pm


  • 33
    Jane 01/30/2012 at 7:07 pm

    I made the icing to top my peanut butter chiffon cupcakes … “Fluffernutter cupcakes”. So easy to make and so tasty!

  • 34
    Zita 03/19/2012 at 6:17 am

    I have made #2 twice now. I cannot believe how easy it is and how delicious it tastes!!!

    I LOVE IT!!!

  • 35
    Chica 03/19/2012 at 7:07 am

    So glad to hear it, Zita! Isn’t it great when something is easy AND tasty? :)

  • 36
    tina 03/30/2012 at 7:23 am

    In regards to the marshmallow melted on top of the cupcake method, can anyone tell me if I make the cupcakes the day before, are they as good the next day? Having a childs b/day party & want to prepare the cupcakes the night before & possibly store them in the fridge. Any advice is appreciated.

  • 37
    nadine 03/31/2012 at 12:21 am

    hi, i would like to know how much simmering water i would use?

  • 38
    Chica 03/31/2012 at 7:55 pm

    Nadine, the simmering water is in the bottom of your double boiler, so it really doesn’t matter how much you use, as long as there’s room for it! Just be sure not to use too much or it’ll boil over.

  • 39
    nadine 04/12/2012 at 10:01 am

    oh, thank you.

  • 40
    cindy 04/16/2012 at 6:02 pm

    I’m having the same question as Tina, will the marshmallow icing still be good to eat if I aldready baked the cupcakes the a day earlier?
    For how many days it will stay yummy?
    Will it become sponge-like again like the original marhmallows?Yup, I’m talking about the melted marshmallow toppinh, the one mention first in your post :)

  • 41
    Chica 04/17/2012 at 1:05 pm

    Tina and Cindy, we’ve never had the cupcakes last long enough to know how well they keep. They’re usually gone within hours of being made!

  • 42
    Jo 04/18/2012 at 2:48 pm

    Cindy, you could probably still toast the marshmallow on top of the baked cupcakes without harming the cupcake. I think that would work!

  • 43
    lk 04/27/2012 at 10:25 pm

    If I used mini marshmallows instead of the regular size one, how many would you put and would i have to adjust the baking time?

  • 44
    Chica 04/28/2012 at 9:30 am

    lk, I think you might have a hard time getting mini marshmallows to stay on the cupcakes, but if you try it out, let us know.

  • 45
    patty terzoni 05/18/2012 at 3:42 pm

    Oh please tell me cupcakes made the day before, I can use marshmellow melted on them.

  • 46
    Chica 05/18/2012 at 8:19 pm

    Patty, we haven’t tried putting the marshmallows back on cooled cupcakes and putting them back into the oven, but it seems like it would work fine. If you try it, please let us know!

  • 47
    Gill 07/13/2012 at 5:09 am

    With method #2, when whisking the mix over the double boiler do you use a hand whisk or an electric whisk??

  • 48
    Jo 07/13/2012 at 6:53 am

    Gill, the step over the double boiler is done with a hand whisk.

  • 49
    Pam 07/25/2012 at 5:02 pm

    Loved recipe #2!! Very easy and looked and tasted great. I warmed it up in the microwave on 40% power, even with the vanilla and worked fine.

  • 50
    Melissa 09/09/2012 at 4:44 pm

    I am trying to use the 2nd method. I boiled it and then put it in another bowl to start beating however it will not fluff up. It just stays a liquid. What have I done wrong?

  • 51
    Jo 09/17/2012 at 4:05 pm

    Try adding some Cream of Tartar to it.

  • 52
    Hershey 11/20/2012 at 4:09 am

    I tried the 1st method & I was amazed how easy to do it!! I dont like too much sweet on my marshmallow frosting & it’s perfect for me tnxs for the tips! : )

  • 53
    Leah 12/07/2012 at 8:34 pm

    I have used #2 several times. It is a great and simple recipe. The only thing I have found is adding about 1/4 C of Karo syrup makes it a little fluffier and sweeter. I add it after I start using the hand mixer. It is perfect.

  • 54
    Nan 03/09/2013 at 6:29 pm

    Love frosting #2. I have been looking for this recipe for eons! It is delish. I used it to frost a Key Lime Cake. It called for a c ream cheese icing and this paired up soooooo much better. Can you add a liquor or chocolate to it? If so when would you add it?

  • 55
    Emily 04/04/2013 at 3:17 pm

    wow, what a fantastic icing recipe. I tried both and perfered the marshmallow on top one.


  • 56
    stephanie 08/08/2013 at 3:26 pm

    Wow! So easy! Used recipe 1 to top a cake. Worked great.


  • 57
    shireen 10/07/2013 at 9:18 am

    hi, i tried #2 but doesnt want to fluff or stiffen. i tried doing it with the mixture warm and cooling it down. please help, im loving this recipe

  • 58
    Lisa 11/25/2013 at 10:29 am

    Absolutely wonderful!

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