Cake Batter Marshmallows

Sometimes, life becomes repetitive. Life falls into a lull as everyday's actions become ones that are repeated from day to day, week to week, month to month. The same classes, the same homework, the same food…it seems like everything is staying the same even if it's all constantly changing. I feel like I've fallen into a lull of sorts. My weeks follow a schedule, and they stay pretty close to that schedule. I go to class, I tutor, I do homework, I help out with the clubs I'm involved in, and I attend sorority events. None of it's bad, just repeated. It used to be my baking that kept me out of the lull. With each repeated class, I would create a new, original recipe. My baking kept me from falling into a solemn, repetitive existence.

At school, though, baking's tough. A constantly dirty kitchen that's wildly unappealing to work in, along with having to lug my things down to the kitchen whenever I want to bake, along with a lack of dishwasher creates for rather unsavory conditions. Baking is my thing, and here, without it…I became subject to the lull. Today, while I was driving in Tacoma with the rain beating down in steady droplets, as it typically does here in Western Washington, I made a decision. No, I will not become that person. I'm young, full of passion and motivation, and I'm going to go after what I want. I refuse to be a person who cycles through life, going through each motion that's expected of an 18-year-old college student. Now now, I'm not saying I'm going to go off the map and move to Antartica to join an iceberg climbing team (mostly cause I don't think that exists), but I do want to do new things.

I want to go to new places. I have a car, why not go explore Washington? I want to take classes that have nothing to do with my major, just to see if I like it. I want to get all dolled up to go class, just because it makes me feel good. I want to make friends with someone I didn't think I would ever be friends with. I want to be that person who randomly starts talking to you in the line at the grocery store. I want to do the things I've been scared to do, go to places I've never heard of, and do the things I've never even considered doing. I want to honor my commitments, maintain my GPA and continue to be active in the community, but I also want to branch out. And I will. And as for baking? Obviously I'll never abandon that post. Bakings here to stay, and I promise, when it comes to baking, I'll always take risks. You may have noticed I like making marshmallows. Excuse me, love making marshmallows. I haven't posted a lot of the ones I've made just because I feel like I'm in the minority of marshmallow making love. Most people find it an unnecessary hassle of something you can buy at the store.

Don't even get me started on the homemade vs. store bought marshmallow debate…but besides that, where have you ever seen cake batter flavored marshmallows? Where?! Nowhere. However…you can make them yourself. And that is something I highly encourage. I was terrified these wouldn't turn out right, just because adding powder to marshmallow batter seemed a little weird, but it worked perfectly! The flavor was dead on, and the consistency remained light, fluffy, delicious, and way better than anything you can buy at the grocery store. Plus, it has sprinkles. Sprinkles make everything better!

So, my advice for the day? Throw caution into the wind, and try something new, like making cake batter mar

shmallows. It's not nearly as hard as it seems, and the results are so rewarding. Cake Batter Marshmallows

  • 12 sheets gelatin*
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup rainbow colored sprinkles
  • Gel or powdered food color, optional
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting

Grease an 9×13-inch pan with shortening, using a paper towel to rub it lightly and evenly onto the bottom, sides and edges of the pan. Set aside.

Put the gelatin sheets into a medium microwave-safe bowl and fill it with very cold water, adding a few ice cubes to keep it cold. Let the sheets soak for about 10 minutes.

Place the sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan and stir together. Clip a candy thermometer onto the pan, and place it over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil, stirring the mixture frequently–you are looking for it to eventually hit a temperature of 235-240 degrees (soft ball stage).

Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1/2 cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. By this point, the gelatin sheets should be very soft–drain them well and give them a quick wringing out, and place them back in the microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until the gelatin is completely melted, about 30 seconds. Turn the mixer on low, and very slowly pour the melted gelatin into the corn syrup. Keep the mixer running while you check the sugar syrup.

Once the syrup reaches 235-240 degrees, pull it from the heat. Carefully transfer the syrup to a large, heatproof measuring cup or a similar vessel with a spout for easy pouring. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture. When all the syrup has been added, crank the speed up to medium-high and let it go for about 6 to 7 minutes–the mixture should turn white and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, as much food coloring as desired (if using. I used “Rose” gel food coloring by Wilton, about an 1/8 teaspoon), and salt and increase the speed to its highest setting for 1 more minute. Sift in half of the cake mix, and turn the mixer on low to let it combine. Once incorporated, sift in the other half and mix in. Add in about half of the sprinkles and combine. Don't stir too much – you don't want the colors of the sprinkles to streak.

Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula spritzed with a bit of cooking spray to nudge it into the corners and smooth the top. Usually, they settle themselves pretty well and I don’t have to spread them much. Tap the pan on the counter a few time to get rid of air bubbles. Sprinkle the rest of the sprinkles evenly over the top of the marshmallow. Sift confectioners’ sugar evenly generously over the top. Let sit for about 6 hours or until firm.

Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan and invert it onto a confectioners’ sugar-dusted work surface. Dust the marshmallow slab with more confectioner’s sugar and cut into whatever size pieces you wish (a pizza cutter works great here). Dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in more confectioners’ sugar, patting off the excess. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

*This recipe calls for gelatin sheets, and I strongly recommend them for best results, but you can use unflavored powdered gelatin instead. I’ve definitely used it quite a few times in this recipe! Great resources for converting the gelatin amounts from sheets to powder in recipes can be found here and here.

Yields 4-6 dozen marshmallows, depending on how you cut them.

Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

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Comments

  1. i agree with dcon! best post!

  2. I’ve never heard of cake batter marshmallows, but they look absolutely gorgeous and I love the sprinkle topping. Sprinkles do make everything better :D

  3. these look awesome! i love the sprinkles :)

  4. Rachel, I’m so glad you visited my blog, because small world that it is, it looks like we went (well, you go) to the same school! I snooped around a bit here (after the tip off from this post talking about being a student in Tacoma) and was happy to see that you go to UPS. I was part of the class of 2009 (though I ended up transferring to go to culinary school in San Francisco, where I now live) and am feeling quite nostalgic after reading a few of your posts. I can definitely commiserate with the frustration of cooking in the dorms! What dorm do you live in? Is the pesto cheese bread in the Cellar still fantastic? Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying your time there.

    PS I love the creativity here with making a cake batter flavored marshmallow. I think a lot of people get unnecessarily nervous when it comes to candy making, but as long as you have a good candy thermometer and a little patience it can be so rewarding. Also, I haven’t checked out this book yet (though it’s lingering on my amazon wishlist) but it seems like it’d be right up your alley: http://www.amazon.com/Marshmallow-Madness-Dozens-Puffalicious-Recipes/dp/1594745722 !

    • Wow! That’s so funny, what a small world. I live in Todd/Phibbs, and yes the pesto cheese sticks are still amazing! That’s always what I get there, haha. That book looks amazing…definitely checking it out. I’d love to talk to you more about your experience at UPS and culinary school!

  5. It’s definitely so easy to become jaded and apathetic but I love that you’re renewing your vigor for life and adventure! I’ve only made homemade marshmallows once but dang were they good. My next batch is so going to have to be adorably pink and cake batter flavored. Yum!

  6. Wow, pink marshmallows, they are so cute. :)

  7. My friend and I just made these for an adventurous birthday activity, and absolutely bulldozed through all the steps we didn’t quite get. We still somehow ended up with a completely successful batch of marshmallows, though decided not to make anymore pink ones since ours sort of looked like salami with rainbow bits, oops! Thanks so much for the recipe, it was a lot of fun.

  8. OMG. I’m in love. Definitely making these for DH’s upcoming birthday.

  9. Sara Grace Lewis says:

    Holy cow! These look AMAZING!
    adventuresofdutchandme.blogspot.com

  10. These would definitely be something new to me! I’ve never made marshmallows…it seems like such a challenging thing, but I really want to tackle it soon!

  11. Love these! They’re so pretty and fun.

  12. I really enjoyed reading your post. :) I never thought of baking as a method of getting out of the lull….but I guess that’s how it works out for me as well. No wonder I love baking so much! hahaha….thanks for pointing that out. I guess I’m another minority who LOVES to make marshmallows! ;) Yup, nothing from the store can compare to homemade ones. I strongly believed whoever tried a homemade one will never go back to the store bought version. I love your creation, especially the final touch of sprinkles on top of your mallows! Just lovely.

  13. Oh wow, this looks incredible!! I’m pinning it to my Delicious board :)

  14. Melissa says:

    I really enjoy your writing and hope that you’ll stick with this. I’m amazed at how young you are and have so very much respect. Keep shaking it up, chica!! :)

  15. I love the writing in this post, and the first picture, its so cute :) I completely feel the same way about baking, and how it helps break the constant cycle of life.

  16. Sofia canton says:

    Hi!! All your stuff looks so good! Me and my mom wanna try to make something for a lil party we have to go to. Ok wel if you see this tell my sister I say hi and I LOVE her!! By the way this is Sofia canton