Are Marshmallows Gluten-Free?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on September 24th, 2023

Celiac disease is a medical condition that affects nearly 1% of children and is occasionally diagnosed in adults. While relatively rare, it causes severe discomfort and health issues in those who have it. Similar to celiac disease, gluten intolerance manifests with symptoms that can dramatically impact your daily life. Given the seriousness of these conditions, it’s crucial to know which foods you can safely consume. If you suspect you might be gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease, don’t self-diagnose; consult a healthcare provider for accurate testing and advice.

Wondering if marshmallows are safe to include in a gluten-free diet? This article offers a thorough examination of marshmallows and their compatibility with gluten-free living.

white and brown heart shaped ornament

The Origins of Marshmallows

The confection we know today as the marshmallow has an interesting history that dates back to ancient times. Originating in Egypt and Greece, the first marshmallows were crafted by combining pureed fruits or berries with egg yolk and thickening agents like pectin. Legend has it that the name “marshmallow” was inspired by the deity Zephyr, who purportedly shared the secret recipe with humans. Initially, these treats were made from the mallow root in the 19th century, which was thought to have medicinal properties to cure sore throats. To this day, the subtle white or pale pink colors of marshmallows are a nod to the mallow flowers originally used.

Gluten-Free Status of Marshmallows

Marshmallows are generally gluten-free because they’re traditionally made from fruit or berry purée, egg white, sugar, and a gelling agent like gelatin or agar. Does this mean those diagnosed with celiac disease can freely consume store-bought marshmallows? Not necessarily. The cross-contamination risk is real, as many confectionery factories produce a range of products, including those containing gluten. Additionally, some marshmallows are coated with chocolate or other toppings that may contain allergens.

Hidden Gluten Ingredients in Marshmallows

It’s crucial to carefully read the ingredient list when buying marshmallows. Keep an eye out for these common sources of gluten:

  • Wheat
  • Wheat starch
  • Wheat flour
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Bran
  • Malt

Also, be wary of vague terms like “natural flavors,” “artificial flavor,” and “hydrolyzed vegetable protein,” which could contain gluten.

Verifying the Gluten-Free Status of Your Marshmallows

Before adding a pack of marshmallows to your shopping cart, examine the nutritional label for obvious gluten-containing elements. Look for a “gluten-free” label, which indicates the food item contains 20 ppm of gluten or less, making it safe for most people with gluten sensitivity. Additionally, some brands carry a “Certified Gluten-Free” seal, meaning the product has been verified by third-party organizations like the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.

Culinary Uses for Gluten-Free Marshmallows

Marshmallows are incredibly versatile in the culinary world. From adding them to hot chocolate to using them as cake garnishments, the possibilities are endless. Their unique consistency allows them to slowly melt when heated, adding a rich, creamy texture to various dishes.

Brands to Consider

When seeking gluten-free marshmallows, consider these reliable brands:

  • Dandies Vanilla Marshmallows
  • Trader Joe’s Marshmallows
  • Doumak’s Campfire Marshmallows

Remember that while these brands are generally gluten-free, always check the packaging for the most current information.

How to Make Gluten-Free Marshmallows at Home

If you prefer homemade treats, you can make your gluten-free marshmallows using the following ingredients:


  • 1 kg of apples
  • 6-7 egg whites
  • 2 tsp Gelatin
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 200 g sugar
  • Lemon acid

Cooking Instructions:

  • Preparation of Gelatin: Allow the gelatin to dissolve in cold water for 90 minutes.
  • Baking the Apples: Cut the apples in half and bake for about 30 minutes at 180°C.
  • Pureeing and Cooking: Remove the skin from the baked apples and puree the pulp. Add sugar and citric acid, and simmer until thick.
  • Mixing Ingredients: Add the dissolved gelatin to the apple mixture.
  • Incorporating Egg Whites: Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold into the apple mixture.
  • Setting: Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Cooling: Refrigerate for at least 4 hours until firm.
  • Final Touch: Dust with powdered sugar.

Storing Gluten-Free Marshmallows

Storing your gluten-free marshmallows is easy. Place them in an airtight, freezer-safe bag and freeze. When you’re ready to use them, simply thaw them at room temperature. Proper storage will keep your marshmallows fresh for three to four months.

By being vigilant about ingredient lists and cross-contamination risks, you can safely enjoy marshmallows even if you’re on a gluten-free diet. Whether you prefer store-bought options or homemade versions, this treat is more accessible than you might think.


Editorial Staff

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