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Do your kids love Easter Candy? Instead of heading to the store, try making these easy Homemade Peeps this year! Your kids will love them and you’ll love the ingredients list!
I’m not sure what it is about those brightly colored marshmallow treats that come out every Easter, but kids seem to love them. Honestly, they make me cringe a little. All of the added ingredients and dyes. Yuck! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good treat now and then, but those seem excessive. So I decided to make my own version with just 3 simple ingredients that my kids can enjoy instead. It tastes like the store version, only better!
If you’ve ever made candy before, you know that one of the most important things you can do while making this recipe is to give it all your attention. Things tend to burn fast and get to hard quickly. If you don’t do anything else while making it, you will feel like a homemaking superstar.
—New to candy making? Here’s another easy recipe to try- Maple Syrup Candy. For these, you only need 1 ingredient!
Homemade Peeps Ingredients
What you need:
- Gelatin. This is unflavored gelatin that you can get at most grocery stores in the small packets. You can also buy a good brand like Vital Proteins online.
- Sugar. Just plain white cane sugar in this recipe, no corn syrup!
- Cold water.
You will also need a mixer for this recipe; a hand mixer or a machine will work, and a candy thermometer.
Variations to the Homemade Peeps
My version in this blog post is of a simple white Marshmallow Bunny Peep, but there are many things you can do with these! Here are some ideas.
- Make colored sugar by mixing natural food coloring with white sugar. Sprinkle this over the finished product.
- Dip part or all of the homemade Peeps in melted chocolate (jut melt chocolate chips) after they’ve firmed up for a chocolate-covered peep.
- Add a bit of vanilla extract in the mixture after you remove it from heat to add a little more flavor.
- Coat with shredded coconut while the marshmallow is still wet for a fuzzy bunny look.
- Add a bit of lemon extract for lemon-flavored marshmallows.
- Add in a pinch of salt to boost the flavor.
Instructions for Making Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Mix 1/3 cup of water and the packet of gelatin in a large bowl. Set aside.
Add 1/4 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan. (I used raw sugar this particular time and my family couldn’t tell the difference.)
You want to boil the sugar syrup mixture, stirring it constantly so it does not burn. Using a Candy Thermometer, watch the temperature closely as you stir out any sugar lumps. When it gets to 238F, (soft ball stage) remove the pan from the heat. 238F – That’s the magic number! A candy thermometer is required for this recipe. Your marshmallow will not turn out correctly without it!
Once you’ve removed the mixture from the heat, pour it into the gelatin mixture. You want to whip the mixture together using your mixer’s whipping or whisk attachment. I used all 800 watts of power on my Bosch mixer to whip this together. It was amazing. Now I think I know what the hubby feels when he hears an awesome car start-up.
After several minutes of whipping in a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, it should look puffy. Very much like homemade marshmallow cream (because that’s what it is!)
–Learn how to make homemade marshmallows with this Maple Marshmallows recipe. YOu could also make those and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter!
Scoop the mixture into a large piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a ziplock baggie as I did. Scoop the mixture in and seal it up. When you are ready to pipe them out, cut the small tip off the corner of the bag.
Here’s where I messed up. If you want to make traditional Peeps, you will want to lay down a layer of sugar on your wax paper first. I wanted to make chocolate-covered peeps. If I piped them onto wax paper, I figured they would come right off, and I could easily dip them in chocolate. Boy, was I wrong.
Put down a sprinkle of sanding sugar first!!
So, either pipe the marshmallow mixture onto a sugar coasted surface OR first brush a layer of chocolate into a candy mold and then pipe the marshmallow cream into the mold. You could also sprinkle arrowroot powder on the parchment paper first and then more over the top. **Highly recommended**
Aren’t they cute, though? You could do the traditional Peeps shape or change it up and do a simpler form, like these sweet spring bunnies. They were very easy to do and the kids loved them! Have fun!
Print this Simple Homemade Peeps Recipe to add to your Recipe Binder below:
Homemade Peeps Recipe
How to make your own marshmallow bunnies!
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cold water
In a bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of water and the packet of gelatin. Set aside.
In a saucepan, add 1/4 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar.
You want to cook the sugar-water mixture, stirring it constantly, so it does not burn. Using a Candy Thermometer, watch the temperature closely as you stir. When it gets to 240F, remove the pan from the heat.
Once you've removed the mixture from the heat, pour it into the gelatin mixture. Using your mixer's whipping attachment, you want to whip the mixture together.
After several minutes of whipping it should look very puffy, like marshmallow cream. Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag.
Pipe the marshmallow mixture onto a sugar coasted surface OR first brush a layer of chocolate into a candy mold and then pipe the marshmallow cream into the mold.
Let sit and then enjoy!
How to Store Leftover Homemade Peeps
Once you have decorated your peeps (sugar, chocolate, coconut, etc), place them in an airtight container on the countertop. Do not let them get damp or you will have a runny messy on your hands.
You can also freeze homemade marshmallow peeps by putting them in a freezer bag, although I would recommend doing this without any toppings except for arrowroot powder.
Can You Make Homemade Peeps Without Gelatin?
You could try using Agar Agar instead of the gelatin but it’s not something I’ve tried yet so I’m not sure of the exact amounts needed.
More Easter Recipes
- 10 Simple Hard Boiled Egg Recipes
- Fresh Green Bean Recipes
- Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe
- Quick Pull-Apart Rolls Recipe
Have you ever made Homemade Peeps? What shapes do you like to make?
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Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm and ministry on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.
This Homemade Peeps Recipe was originally published on Little House Living in April 2011. It has been updated as of March 2023.