Vegan Marshmallows Made From Chickpeas? Here's The Secret Recipe

They may just be another item on the candy aisle today but marshmallows have a long and interesting history that spans many cultures and countries. Originally made from the sap of the marshmallow plant, marshmallows have been enjoyed for thousands of years. However, modern-day marshmallows are a far cry from their ancient counterparts. 

Ancient Egyptians were said to have used the sap from the marshmallow plant to make a sweet treat, while the French were known to use the root of the plant to make a medicinal concoction. In the 19th century, marshmallows, as we know them today, were created when the sap was replaced with gelatin and other ingredients were added. 

Today, they are usually made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, and other additives. Marshmallows had earlier been off-limits to vegans due to the use of gelatin, which is made from animal collagen. But thanks to the creativity of vegan chefs and foodies, vegan marshmallows are now widely available. In fact, many popular brands of marshmallows now offer vegan versions made with plant-based ingredients. And one of the most interesting vegan marshmallows is made from an unlikely ingredient: chickpeas.

The secret to turning chickpeas into marshmallows all comes down to Aquafaba, the liquid that comes from a can of chickpeas or other legumes. It is rich in protein and starch and has a texture similar to egg whites. The science behind aquafaba is fascinating, as it turns out that the proteins and starches in the liquid form a matrix when whipped, creating a foam that can be used in a variety of ways from vegan eggs to baking. 

Here, aquafaba is the key to unlocking delicious, soft and spongy marshmallows that are just as good as the originals.


  • 200ml aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp agar powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Drain a can of chickpeas, reserving the liquid (aquafaba) in a mixing bowl. Discard the chickpeas or save them for another recipe.
  • In a small saucepan, mix together the agar powder and 100ml of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the agar powder has dissolved.
  • While the agar mixture is cooking, add the granulated sugar and remaining 100ml of water to a separate medium-sized saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat and bring the sugar mixture to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the saucepan and cook until the sugar syrup reaches 120°C.
  • While the sugar syrup is cooking, use an electric whisk or stand mixer to beat the aquafaba on high speed until stiff peaks form. This can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
  • When the sugar syrup reaches 120°C, remove it from the heat and slowly pour it into the bowl with the aquafaba while continuing to whisk on high speed.
  • Add the vanilla extract to the mixing bowl and continue to whisk for another 10-15 minutes, until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  • Grease a square baking dish and pour in the marshmallow mixture. Let it set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Once the marshmallows have set, use a knife or cookie cutter to cut them into squares or shapes. 
  • Dust them in a mixture of icing sugar and cornstarch to prevent them from sticking together.