Grapefruit Marshmallows

I’m back! I know, you probably didn’t miss me (…or notice I was gone? Sniff) but I missed you! Our friendship is unequal like that, and I don’t mind. Last week I took a mini blogging break and visited a friend in San Francisco, read a book, ate all the things, and remembered why I love sleep so much. It was fantastic.

Grapefruit Marshmallows |

The best part, though is that I came back totally recharged and ready to jump back into the kitchen! Last week I attempted a version of these grapefruit marshmallows (one of several kitchen failures) and they were so disappointing. The texture was great, but the grapefruit flavor was so light, it was practically absent. They tasted like bland sugar, mediocrity, and broken dreams. I wanted my marshmallows to have the distinct sweet-tart taste of a fresh ruby red grapefruit, and those sad little squares were not cutting it.

Grapefruit Marshmallows |


So this week brought attempt #2, and this time the marshmallows turned out perfectly. My big change was to reduce the grapefruit juice used in the recipe. I boiled it down until it was half of its original volume, yielding a sticky, potent syrup that condensed the essence of grapefruit into one small but powerful package. I also added a bit of fresh grapefruit zest, and a pinch of citric acid to boost the sour factor. (Optional but lovely!) This batch of marshmallows is wonderful—pillowy, soft, with a sour citrus tang tempered by a bit of sweetness.

Grapefruit Marshmallows |

These marshmallows are so good and addicting on their own, I considered leaving them plain for the blog post. I also flirted with the idea of toasting them and making some kind of citrus-white chocolate s’more, which is probably going to happen in my kitchen in about 2 minutes now that I’ve typed it out. But in the end, I decided to pair marshmallows with their natural soulmate, chocolate.

Grapefruit Marshmallows |

Why chocolate-covered marshmallows? There are few things more perfect than biting through a crisp semi-sweet chocolate shell and finding a soft, puffy marshmallow inside. The bitterness of the chocolate and the sour marshmallow somehow work together to make this candy sweeter than either element would be on its own. And finally, flowery prose aside, big squares of chocolate-dipped marshmallow just look rad with a few decorative garnishes arranged on top!

Grapefruit Marshmallows |

I finished these beauties with a sliver of candied grapefruit rind (homemade) a bit of candied ginger (storebought) and a sprig of sugared rosemary (also homemade). I’d considered adding some candied ginger or powdered ginger to the marshmallow itself, but ginger can be such an overpowering flavor, I think the hint of it on top of the marshmallow is the perfect amount. I got the idea to add rosemary after a back and forth with Stella from Bravetart on Twitter, and it added a lovely woodsy, herbal undertone. You are, of course, free to omit any or all of the garnishes, and top your chocolate-covered marshmallows with sprinkles, nuts, coconut, or nothing at all!

Grapefruit Marshmallows |

If you’ve never made homemade marshmallows before, you are going to be shocked at how different—and how much better—they are from their storebought cousins, and you might also be a little mad you’ve been wasting your time with the packaged kind for all of these years. Release the anger, move on, and be glad that you now have fluffy, sweet-tart grapefruit marshmallows in your life.

Grapefruit Marshmallows
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Candy
  • 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice, from 2-3 medium grapefruit
  • 1 cup cold water, divided use
  • 3 envelopes (1/4 oz each) unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • Pink and orange gel food coloring, optional
  • ¼ – ½ tsp powdered citric acid, optional
  • 1 tbsp fresh grapefruit zest
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • 1½ lbs semi-sweet chocolate for dipping, optional
  • Garnishes like candied citrus rind, candied ginger, and sugared rosemary (optional, see below)
  1. Spray a 9x13-inch pan lightly with nonstick spray, and press cling wrap into the pan, overlapping two sheets if necessary so that the bottom and sides of the pan are covered. Smooth the cling wrap down, then spray it with a light coating of nonstick spray. Set aside for now.
  2. Pour the grapefruit juice into a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and let it slowly bubble until it is reduced by half and you have ½ cup of grapefruit juice. This might take 10-20 minutes, depending on your stove and pan.
  3. While you wait for the grapefruit juice to reduce, combine ¾ cup of water and the powdered gelatin in a bowl and whisk them together. Set them aside so the gelatin can bloom. Pour the room temperature egg whites into the clean bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  4. When your grapefruit juice is reduced to ½ cup, combine it with the remaining ¼ cup water, the sugar, the corn syrup, and the salt in a medium saucepan. It will bubble quite a bit as it cooks, so make sure the pan you choose will let it triple in size. Place the pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil, then stop stirring and insert a candy thermometer.
  5. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches 260 degrees F.This process will take awhile, so move on to the next steps while the sugar syrup cooks, but be sure to check the sugar syrup frequently so that it does not go above 260 degrees.
  6. Microwave the gelatin for 25 seconds, until it liquefies. When the sugar syrup nears 245 degrees, begin to beat the egg whites on medium-high speed. Beat them until they hold firm peaks, but do not overbeat or they will be crumbly. If the egg whites are ready before the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature, stop the mixer until the sugar syrup is ready.
  7. When the sugar syrup is at 260 F, carefully whisk the liquefied gelatin into the sugar syrup. Turn the mixer to low, and gradually pour the sugar syrup into the beaten egg whites in a thin stream. If your saucepan has a spout you can pour it from the saucepan, but if it does not, I recommend pouring the syrup into a large measuring cup or pitcher so that it is easier to pour. The sugar syrup is very hot and it can cause painful burns if it accidentally spills or splatters.
  8. Gradually increase the speed until the mixer is running on high, and beat until the marshmallow mixture is shiny, thick, holds its shape, and is completely opaque, about 10 minutes. If you want to intensify the color, add a drop or two of pink and orange food coloring. Finally, add the grapefruit zest and citric acid, and gently stir them in by hand.
  9. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top flat with an offset spatula. Let the marshmallow set overnight, uncovered, at room temperature. Once the marshmallow has set, dust your workstation with a generous layer of powdered sugar, and dust the top of the marshmallow with more sugar.
  10. Lift the marshmallow from the pan using the plastic wrap as a handle, and flip it facedown on the prepared surface. Peel the plastic off the top of the marshmallow, and dust the top of the candy with more sugar. Cut the marshmallow into small squares using a sharp chef’s knife.
  11. If desired, melt or temper the chocolate. (I recommend tempering—see why, and learn how, at this blog post.) Dip the marshmallows into the chocolate, and while it’s still wet, top them with your decorations of choice.
  12. Undipped marshmallows are best soon after they are made, but if your environment is not too humid, you can store them up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature. You may need to roll them in powdered sugar again before serving. Chocolate-dipped marshmallows will last a little longer and are good for up to two weeks.
Citric acid is optional, but it adds a nice tart flavor to these marshmallows. It can be purchased online or is often found in cake and candy supply stores, or in the bulk spices or canning section of some supermarkets. To make sugared rosemary, beat 1 egg white with a teaspoon of sugar. Cut your rosemary into small sprigs, and dip them in the egg white, then dip them in granulated sugar. Let them dry before using them.


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51 Responses to Grapefruit Marshmallows
  1. Norma says:

    Oh my goodness Elizabeth, you never cease to amaze me. I didn’t care much for marshmallows but I’m a fan of these. You make marshmallows elegant.

    BTW, I’m drooling.

  2. Johlene says:

    Yay you’re back! We missed you! I’m not a fan of grapefruit but just because you made them I’m willing to give them a try ;-)
    Glad you had a great time in SF, we all need some R&R sometimes specially when you have little children.. Have a gr8888 week! Xoxo

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Johlene! I can’t believe you’re not a grapefruit fan–I’m obsessed! You can try it with oranges instead if you’d like. And YES to a little getaway without the munchkin! Love him but a few days away was just what the doctor ordered. :) Have an awesome weekend!

      • Johlene says:

        I do like grapefruit when paired with another fruit etc but for some reason I can stand the taste of it alone.. You know what I love: half a glass of freshly squeezed watermelon juice (with the pulp) + semi sweet champagne for a Brunch accompanied by bacon,eggs, the whole shebang!! :-)

  3. Laura x says:

    Wow these look and sound great. Cantt wait to try. thanks for the recipe

  4. Of course you were missed! Grapefruit marshmallow=Love love love and it’s sirta weird that on tge day you post something grapefruity I just made somwthing grapefruity

  5. I have never made my own marshies! TO THE KITCHEN.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I will love you forever if you actually call them marshies in real life. I know Aussies are fans of abbreviating everything (abbreving?) so I hope that this is true. To the kitchie!

  6. Danguole says:

    OF COURSE we missed you, but since I got to keep up with you on Instagram it’s like you weren’t even gone! (I’m needy.)

    These sound so, so good. That last photo–ugh. I want all the fluffy goodness and the “snap” of firm dark chocolate in my belly!

    And no, I haven’t made homemade marshmallows and you’re right, I’m probably subconsciously angry about it and need to get on it? For my mental health?

    • Elizabeth says:

      I know, instagram is becoming my fave because I can stalk–er, keep up with–people outside of their blogs! And YES, get thee to the marshmallow lab! I feel like you could do some wicked things with marshmallows and booze and make a lot of dreams come true.

  7. Citrushero! I want the whole batch. And heck yes, we missed you.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha, I think I’m sleep deprived because Citrushero took me a minute to get. (d’oh!) I’ll happily take the title, though! Thanks Annie. :)

  8. Medeja says:

    You were missed! And your treats were also missed :) these marshmallows are sooo.. beautiful!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Medeja! I ate about a million desserts in SF, so here’s to hoping they provide me with some upcoming blog content. :)

  9. I love these marshmallows :-) And chocolate dipped is such a great idea!

  10. So glad you’re back. I DID, in fact, A)notice your absence, and B)miss your presence! These look delicious. You know what’s NOT delicious?? When you add amoxacillin (or however you spell it) to orange juice in an attempt to trick your ear-infected three year old into taking her meds. THAT tastes like nasty strong grapefruit juice. Who knew, right? I’ll take the marshmallows please. ;)

    • Elizabeth says:

      HA! My guy is the king of ear infections and we have tried all the tricks. I don’t know why medicine hasn’t come farther in making antibiotics actually taste good, but force-feeding him the stuff is the worst part of illness, for sure. Good luck mama, you have my sympathies!

  11. Liz says:

    Hmm, I wonder what these would be like toasted over a campfire! And then stacked between chocolate and graham cracker cookies! I bet they would be amazing :) P.S. I missed you!

  12. I hate the taste of broken dreams too :–( Good thing you finally got these right, because, girl, they do sound lovely! I love that chocolate outshell – it makes them look so darn pretty!
    And by the way, I did miss you here! But glad you had a lovely trip : )

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha, let’s never make broken dream-flavored desserts again. :) Thanks Consuelo–missed catching up with your blog! I’m tragically behind on blog reading but am going to jump back in this weekend.

  13. You always post great stuff. I have never had a homemade marshmallow. These look amazing!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you Jett! Marshmallows are SO different when you make them at home vs buy them–definitely something to try when you’re looking for a fun culinary project!

  14. Alexis says:

    Dude, know that I want these in my face. Immediately.

  15. stephanie says:

    Yes. These.

  16. Breaks are definitely a necessity! These marshmallows are so so pretty. They’re exactly what I’d see in gourmet candy shops and how cool to be able to do it at home. :)

  17. This was definitely a fun post to read! My favorite sentence: “They tasted like bland sugar, mediocrity, and broken dreams.” Very snazzy, interesting food styling too. I’ve never candied rosemary, but why not? Sounds fun. Someday I will venture down the road of homemade marshmallows. I’ve always wanted to. Perhaps it’s time I take the plunge.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Meggan! Why not candy rosemary, indeed? I’ll take the credit when it becomes the next big culinary trend (move over, bacon!) Definitely time to take the plunge–holla if you have questions!

  18. What a combination! I love grapefruit and these look wonderful. So glad you had a good getaway. I was following you via instagram and taking notes for out upcoming road trip :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Jackie! Oh my gosh, San Francisco is the BEST eating city! Go hungry and leave stuffed. :) And let me know if you need any suggestions! I am especially familiar with the dessert options, hah.

  19. I’ve never tasted grapefruit marshmallows, and now I want to make them so I can! I like how you coated them in chocolate; the marriage of citrus and chocolate is delectable!

  20. Oh goodness, I would eat so many of these marshmallows. They’d be dangerous around me!

  21. You definitely win the award for fanciest marshmallows ever. And I totally noticed your absence and missed your posts!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Natasha! I’ve missed catching up on my friend’s blogs too–can’t wait to see what shenanigans you’ve been up to. :)

  22. Ummm, wrong. I missed you and totally noticed that you were gone! But I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I came over just now. Both that you are back and created a fabulous recipe!! I’ve never made marshmallows before and always wanted to and now that you’ve added such a great flavor and covered them in chocolate. I can’t wait much longer. Looks ah-mazing. Pinning now!!

  23. As of late I have been MAJORLY craving all things grapefruit…so I need this in my life right now. I still need to attempt making marshmallows at home, but when I do you can guarantee it’ll be these little beauties! :)

  24. “They tasted like bland sugar, mediocrity, and broken dreams.”

    Hahaha, I know this feel all too well.

    The marshmallows look fantastic! The garnishes add a great touch, not just for presentation but for flavor I’m sure. Sugared rosemary?? Hells effing yeah!!

    I wish I wasn’t so lazy, I’d totally make these.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha, enjoy the relaxation, and have your kids fetch you some snacks from the kitchen. No shame in that game. ;)

  25. I may have mentioned once or twice how much I love citrus. So. Just fyi, I’m totally stealing this idea. ;-)

    And I love the garnishes you used. I usually just dip them in chocolate and call it a day.

    You know, I’ve never made the marshmallows with egg whites before. How do you find they compare to the sugar-only versions? I’m assuming you’ve made the sugar-only ones – you’ve made everything, right??

    • Elizabeth says:

      Steal it, Laurel! I only ask a 50% share of any profits. :)

      Good question about the marshmallow differences! It sort of depends on the individual recipe, but in general I find that the ones with egg whites are lighter and fluffier, while the gelatin-only ones are a bit denser and chewier. I also think the gelatin-only ones handle inclusions a little better, so I tend to use those if I want to add a lot of fruit puree or other mix-ins. Plus they’re a little easier to make, no futzing with egg whites! But if I had to pick only one I’d stick with whites, because the texture is so lovely.

      ….and there’s a novel about marshmallows! Hope that helps a bit. :)

      • laurel says:

        But if I eat them all, there won’t be any profits… Oops.

        And now you’ve convinced me to try the egg white ones. You’re right, the reason I haven’t tried them is that the gelatin version is more straightforward. But they sound awfully tempting.

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