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A close up image of stacked homemade coconut marshmallows.

Coconut Marshmallows (Paleo Option) + Video

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Rest Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 25 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Enjoy these Homemade Coconut Marshmallows at this summer’s BBQ s’mores or in a mug of hot chocolate, now made nut-free, dairy-free, allergy-friendly, kid-friendly, and of course without any corn syrup! Paleo and additional flavor options included.


  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (plus some for extra topping)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch or potato starch (see notes for subs)
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar or sugar substitute 
  • 1 cup cold water (divided)
  • 3 Tablespoons quality gelatin powder (unflavored)
  • 1 cup raw sugar or coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place coconut shreds on parchment paper on a baking tray.
  2. Bake for about 5 minutes or until golden brown and “toasted.”
  3. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Line a casserole dish or baking dish with parchment paper and coat with oil or non-stick spray. Be sure to get the sides and bottom. 
  5. Place the coconut, starch, and powdered sugar in a bowl and whisk together.
  6. Spread half the coconut mixture on the bottom of the pan, evenly. Set aside.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the gelatin with 1/2 cup of water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to soften (bloom).
  8. While gelatin is sitting, prepare the candied sugar.
  9. Add the remaining 1/2 cup water, coconut sugar, honey, and salt to a small pot with a candy thermometer. Heat on medium-high, stirring to combine ingredients. Once combined, stop stirring, but keep watch that it doesn’t boil over. 
  10. Cook uncovered on medium to medium-high heat until it comes to a soft boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes.
  11. Continue to cook for about 5-7 more minutes until the sugar/water mixture reaches 240-242F (soft-ball stage). Use a candy thermometer to measure temperature at end of cooking.  If you don’t have a candy thermometer you can use a digital thermometer, but be careful not to get the hot sugar on your hand.  Note, don’t let the temperature go past firm ball stage (245 F or 118 C) See notes if cooking at altitude.
  12. Immediately remove from heat.
  13. Next, turn the stand mixer on low. Once it starts mixing with the gelatin, gently and slowly pour in the hot sugar mixture onto the side of the mixer, not directly. Do not add the sugar mixture too fast, otherwise, the sugar syrup will be too hot when it hits the gelatin.
  14. Turn the mixer on high and whip until a thick marshmallow texture is formed (about 5-8 min). Add in the vanilla extract the last few minutes of mixing.
  15. Turn off the mixer then quickly transfer marshmallow “fluff” into the prepared baking dish. Spread the marshmallow mixture around evenly with a spatula.
  16. Top with the rest of the coconut mixture and any other additional toppings you like. 
  17. Let it sit uncovered for about 6 to 24 hours. 24 hours is recommended if the marshmallows will be used for roasting/s’mores. 
  18. Gently flip the pan of marshmallows over onto a large cutting board or wax paper.
  19. If marshmallows are a bit sticky on top, add more starch/sugar, then cut into desired size (squares).
  20. Store in a closed container or ziplock bag.


  • For a paleo option omit the powdered sugar and use coconut palm sugar
  • For roasting marshmallows, dry out marshmallows for at least 24 hrs.
  • If you don’t have potato or arrowroot starch, non-GMO corn starch may be used. Corn starch is not paleo-friendly if you are following a paleo diet, but it is naturally gluten-free. 
  • High altitude adjustment: Subtract 1 degree C (2 degrees F) for every 1,000 feet above sea level.
  • Vegan option – While I have not tried it, agar-agar “could” be substituted for the gelatin. The texture will vary.
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: stove
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: marshmallow, homemade marshmallow, dessert, coconut dessert, dairy free dessert, paleo marshmallow, kid-friendly, gluten free dessert


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