Marshmallows are a classic sweet treat that can be enjoyed in many ways. A popular dessert is making s’mores by roasting marshmallows over a campfire.
But what if you want that gooey, toasted marshmallow flavor without lighting a fire? Many people wonder if you can use a microwave to achieve the same effect.
How Do Marshmallows React in the Microwave?
Marshmallows contain sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. When you microwave marshmallows, the microwave energy causes the water molecules in the marshmallow to vibrate rapidly, producing heat through friction.
This heats the marshmallow from the inside out. The sugar also caramelizes, giving the marshmallows their signature golden brown exterior and soft interior when toasted.
So yes, you can absolutely put marshmallows in the microwave to heat them up and create that melted, toasted effect. The key is microwaving them correctly so they warm through without scorching.
Tips for Microwaving Marshmallows
Follow these tips for perfectly warmed marshmallows every time:
- Use fresh marshmallows. Old, stale marshmallows will dry out instead of melting nicely.
- Arrange in a single layer. Spread marshmallows out on a microwave-safe plate so they have room to expand as they heat. Overcrowding can cause uneven cooking.
- Start with 30-second intervals. Begin by heating marshmallows for just 30 seconds at a time. They puff up quickly!
- Rotate halfway through: Open the microwave and gently turn the marshmallows over about halfway during heating. This prevents hot spots.
- Stop before overcooking – It’s easy to go from hot and melted to burnt in seconds. Heat just until softened, not browned.
How Long to Microwave Marshmallows
Microwaving times can vary based on your appliance’s wattage, the amount of marshmallows, and your preferences. On average, fresh marshmallows take about 1 minute of total cooking time in 30-second intervals. Watch closely near the end to avoid overcooking.
Here are general microwave times for marshmallows:
- 12 large marshmallows: Heat for 30 seconds, stir or flip, and heat for 30 more seconds.
- 1 cup mini marshmallows: Heat for 20–30 seconds, stir, then 10–20 seconds more.
- Marshmallow treats or Peeps: Heat 10–20 seconds at a time, watching shape retention.
- For s’mores, Heat graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow stacks for 15-20 seconds to melt.
Go by look and feel, not time. Marshmallows should be puffed and softened throughout when ready.
Microwave Marshmallow Recipe Ideas
Once you realize how easy it is to microwave marshmallows, you can add them to all kinds of fun recipes.
- S’mores in a Mug: Layer crushed graham crackers, chocolate bar chunks, and marshmallows in a mug. Heat until gooey.
- Spiked hot cocoa: Stir microwaved mini marshmallows into warm mugs of cocoa, coffee, or chai. Add a shot of liqueur for adults.
- Rice Krispie Treats: Melt marshmallows with a little butter to bind together Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. Press into a pan to cut bite-size bars.
- Marshmallow Fondue: Melt marshmallows and chocolate chips together for a decadent fruit and cake dip.
- Sweet potato casserole: mix microwaved marshmallows into the top of the candied yam casserole before broiling to finish.
So break out the marshmallows next time you need a quick sweet snack! With just a microwave and these handy tips, you can enjoy that melty marshmallow taste anytime.
Frequently Asked Questions About Microwaving Marshmallows
Still have questions about the best way to microwave marshmallows? Here are answers to some common marshmallow microwave FAQs:
Can you microwave regular-sized marshmallows?
Yes, regular, full-sized marshmallows can absolutely be microwaved. Make sure to arrange them in a single layer and microwave for just 30 seconds at a time until puffed and softened throughout.
How long does it take to microwave Peeps?
The small, sugar-coated marshmallow Peeps take less time to melt than regular marshmallows. Heat Peeps for 10–20 seconds at a time, watching closely to maintain their shape.
What happens if you microwave marshmallows for too long?
Marshmallows can burn and dry out quickly if overheated. Stop microwaving as soon as they are warm and puffy but not yet browned. Burnt microwave marshmallows will be hard instead of melting.
Can you microwave jumbo marshmallows?
Yes, jumbo marshmallows work well microwaved, but their larger size means they take a little longer to heat through. Microwave jumbo marshmallows for 45 seconds at a time, flipping halfway for even cooking.
Is it safe to eat raw marshmallows from the bag?
Marshmallows are technically edible right out of the package, but they have a better taste and texture when lightly toasted. For food safety, it’s still best to briefly heat any marshmallows you plan to eat.
What happens if marshmallows get hard in the microwave?
If a marshmallow dries out and becomes hard in the microwave, you likely overcooked it. Try again with fresh marshmallows and heat for less time, checking frequently for doneness. Undercooking is better than burning marshmallows.
Microwaving marshmallows is a fast and easy way to make these puffy treats warm and gooey. Follow the tips and guidelines above for perfect results. Soon you’ll be enjoying s’mores, marshmallow treats, and other sweet creations—no campfire required!
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.