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   Easy marshmallow icing recipes Posted by Jo 
July 21, 2009 

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.  I would like to share two methods with you on making marshmallow icing.  The first method is one that Chica read about and recommended to me because she knows how much I love marshmallow icing.  The second method is something my grandmother has been whipping up for as long as I can remember.

Marshmallow icing method #1

This is too easy for words!

  1. Bake some cupcakes using the instructions on the box until they are almost done.
  2. Remove them from the oven about four minutes before the end time suggested.
  3. Take a marshmallow and place it on top of each cupcake.  You can use any flavor marshmallow you like, I used strawberry.
  4. Place the cupcakes back in the oven.  After about a minute or so, use the flat side of a spoon to mash down on the marshmallows.  This will help them spread evenly on top of the cupcake.
  5. After about 3 minutes, turn your oven to broil for about a minute.  This will finish melting the marshmallows and provide a nice brown crust to the top.
  6. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.

I had to try one right as they came out of the oven and enjoyed it immensely.  I was told that they were also tasty when served at the party later that day.

marshmallow cupcakes marshmallow cupcakes

marshmallow cupcakesmarshmallow cupcakes

Marshmallow icing method #2

This “recipe” was my grandmother’s favorite icing and hence, a family favorite now as well.  As with most handed down recipes:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 Cup ordinary sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Put all ingredients except the vanilla  into a double boiler.

Whisk the egg white mixture constantly over simmering water until the sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes).

Pour the mixture into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and continue beating until fluffy.

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

    marshmallow cupcakesmarshmallow cupcakes

    marshmallow cupcakes

    58 comments so far:

    1. Mama King said: (July 21st, 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 said: (October 27th, 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 said: (October 27th, 2009 at 6:22 am)

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

    4. Samantha Sakkit said: (February 11th, 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 said: (May 12th, 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 said: (May 12th, 2010 at 11:07 pm)

      Thanks for the tip!

    7. sari said: (August 6th, 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 said: (August 6th, 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 said: (August 7th, 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 said: (September 29th, 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 said: (September 30th, 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 said: (December 23rd, 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 said: (January 4th, 2011 at 1:09 am)

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

    14. Jo said: (January 4th, 2011 at 9:54 am)

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

    15. Lanie said: (January 12th, 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 said: (January 13th, 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 said: (January 13th, 2011 at 9:42 am)

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

    18. Lanie said: (January 18th, 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 said: (February 18th, 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 said: (April 25th, 2011 at 8:43 am)

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

    21. Jo said: (April 25th, 2011 at 9:06 am)

      Andrea, I used regular white cane sugar.

    22. Liz said: (June 6th, 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 said: (September 10th, 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 said: (October 18th, 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 said: (October 18th, 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 said: (October 21st, 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 said: (October 23rd, 2011 at 9:35 am)

      I don’t see why not, Ari!

    28. timmy c said: (November 19th, 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 said: (November 19th, 2011 at 12:03 pm)

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

    30. carolina said: (November 24th, 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 said: (January 21st, 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!!!

      I’M HAPPY

    32. anonimous said: (January 21st, 2012 at 8:07 pm)


    33. Jane said: (January 30th, 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 said: (March 19th, 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 said: (March 19th, 2012 at 7:07 am)

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

    36. tina said: (March 30th, 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 said: (March 31st, 2012 at 12:21 am)

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

    38. Chica said: (March 31st, 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 said: (April 12th, 2012 at 10:01 am)

      oh, thank you.

    40. cindy said: (April 16th, 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 said: (April 17th, 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 said: (April 18th, 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 said: (April 27th, 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 said: (April 28th, 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 said: (May 18th, 2012 at 3:42 pm)

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

    46. Chica said: (May 18th, 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 said: (July 13th, 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 said: (July 13th, 2012 at 6:53 am)

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

    49. Pam said: (July 25th, 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 said: (September 9th, 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 said: (September 17th, 2012 at 4:05 pm)

      Try adding some Cream of Tartar to it.

    52. Hershey said: (November 20th, 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 said: (December 7th, 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 said: (March 9th, 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 said: (April 4th, 2013 at 3:17 pm)

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


    56. stephanie said: (August 8th, 2013 at 3:26 pm)

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


    57. shireen said: (October 7th, 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 said: (November 25th, 2013 at 10:29 am)

      Absolutely wonderful!

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