Hands holding a mug of hot chocolate with Kahlua marshmallows melting and marshmallows sprinkled on the table in the background

Kahlua Marshmallows

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8x8 pan 1x


Fresh fluffy homemade marshmallows spiked with Kahlua are the perfect addition to a warm mug of hot chocolate

Adapted from Alton Brown



  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin
  • ½ c ice cold water
  • ½ c cold Kahlua liquor
  • 1 ½ c granulated sugar
  • 1 c agave nectar (or corn syrup)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ tsp espresso powder
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ c cornstarch
  • Unsalted butter (at room temperature) or non-stick spray


  1.  Whisk together the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the Kahlua and gelatin. Attach the whisk attachment.
  3. In a medium saucepan (preferably 2 quart), combine the cold water, granulated sugar, salt, and agave.
  4. Place the saucepan over medium high heat. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Uncover and click a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Note: make sure the thermometer is submerged in the sugar, but not touching the bottom of the pan.
  6. Lower the heat to medium low. Cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees. This can take up to 20 minutes. Note: lowering the heat to medium low will help to prevent the mixture from boiling over. Monitor the mixture closely, and if you see it beginning to bubble up, lower the heat slightly.
  7. Once the syrup reaches 240 degrees, remove from the heat.
  8. Turn the mixer to low speed. With the mixer running, slowly poor in the syrup, making sure to aim for the side of the bowl and not the gelatin. Note: pouring the syrup directly onto the gelatin could scorch the gelatin.
  9. Increase the speed to high once all the syrup is added. Whip the mixture for 13-16 minutes. The mixture will become very thick. Combine the espresso powdered and vanilla in a separate small bowl. Add to the marshmallow mixture during the last minute of whipping. Note: I whipped my marshmallows for 15 minutes, added the vanilla, and whipped for another minute.
  10. While the marshmallows are mixing, grease an 8×8 baking pan with unsalted butter or spray with non-stick spray. Generously sprinkle the sugar/cornstarch mixture around the pan. Grease or spray the utensil you will use to scrap the marshmallow into the pan. Note: you can also use a 9×13 baking pan, but your marshmallows will be flatter.
  11. Once the mixture has finished whipping, transfer to the baking pan. Sprinkle the top generously with the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Let sit at room temperature, uncovered for a minimum of 6 hours. Allowing them to sit overnight is better.
  12. Once ready, grease or spray a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Sprinkle the knife or pizza cutter with the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board. Cut the marshmallow evenly into squares, recoating the knife as needed. Sprinkle the cut marshmallows with the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Note: you can cut the marshmallows to whatever size you desire. I prefer smaller ones, so I started by cutting large strips. Cutting those strips in half lengthwise, then turning them on their side and cutting in half lengthwise again. From 1 large strip I ended with 4 smaller strips. I would then cut that with a pizza cutter into small cubes.


  • Coat all utensils with unsalted butter or non-stick spray prior to using them to make marshmallows.
  • Coat your baking pan with unsalted butter or non-stick spray prior to coating with the sugar/cornstarch mix. Sprinkle more sugar/cornstarch mix than you think you need.
  • Most recipes call for corn syrup. Personally I just don’t like cooking with corn syrup, so I switch it out for agave nectar. Both will work fine.
  • Pay very close attention when your sugar syrup is cooking. If it looks like it might boil over, turn down the heat or turn the heat off completely until you have it under control.
  • Don’t skip using a candy thermometer.
  • Mix your espresso powder and vanilla in a small bowl prior to adding during the last minute of whipping. This will ensure the espresso dissolves and doesn’t leave granules in the finished marshmallow.
  • If the consistency of the marshmallow looks too thin after whipping for a while, then whip longer. The conditions of your kitchen may require a shorter or longer whip time.
  • Don’t cut the marshmallows before allowing them to rest for a minimum of 6 hours. It will result in a sticky mess.
  • Category: Dessert

Keywords: marshmallow, sugar, hot chocolate, agave, sticky, kahlua, espresso, coffee flavor, dessert