Marshmallow Fudge Bars

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

And to celebrate the upcoming holiday, I did something really out of character and baked.

Marshmallow Bar

This fudgy multi-textured bar cookie is adapted from Greg Patent’s Baking in America. I’ve had this recipe for ages, but it wasn’t until today that I noticed it was a little different than most. I liked how it called for large, halved marshmallows instead of marshmallow crème or minis, and I also liked the looks of the icing recipe which called for brown sugar.

Because my plans for the weekend include even more baking, I went ahead and made a half batch of these using an 8 inch pan. The full recipe is double this, baked in a 13×9 inch pan with a baking time that is more or less the same.

These were very good and I liked how neatly they sliced, unlike some marshmallow bars that fall apart. Also, the icing was definitely worth waiting for. I could have lived without the pecans in the batter, but they did cut the sweetness a little and added loads of nutrition. These are practically health food, right?

Marshmallow Fudge Bars

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, Dutch process
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans
12 large marshmallows snipped in half

1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons room temperature butter, cut up
3/4 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1-3 tablespoons room temperature heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line inside of an 8 inch metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray or rub with butter and dust with cocoa.

Beat the butter until with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat butter and sugar for 3 or 4 minutes or until very light, scraping sides of bowl often. Beat in the vanilla, then beat in the egg.

Thoroughly mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. By hand (no mixer, that is), gradually add the flour mixture to the batter, stirring until incorporated. Stir in the pecans. Drop spoonfuls of the batter all over the bottom of the foil-lined pan, then gently smooth them together with a spoon so that you have a very thin layer of batter covering the pan.

Bake cake for 13-15 minutes. I baked mine for 15 and that worked out okay, but 13 probably would have worked too. Pull from oven. Arrange marshmallow halves across top fitting them in the best you can. Return to oven and bake for 3 minutes. Pull from oven and let cool completely.

Make frosting (you can start this before the bars are completely cool because the frosting requires some cooling as well).

Combine the sugar, chocolate and hot water in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat or whatever heat you need to get to a gentle boil. When mixture starts to boil, stir constantly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter. Stir until butter melts, then add the vanilla. Let cool to room temperature (See my note about this part). When cool, beat in the powdered sugar. At this point the icing will appear grainy and possibly ruined. It’s not! Beat in the heavy whipping cream one tablespoon at a time until the icing becomes glossy and fairly pourable.

Pour over the marshmallows, tilt pan to spread, then use a spoon to completely spread across marshmallows.

Let set – this should take about an hour. Lift foil from pan, set on a cutting board, cut into squares or bars.

Makes an 8 inch pan.

Note: I let my chocolate mixture cool a little, but I got impatient and beat in the powdered sugar while it was still warm. The icing looked good, but was still warm when I put it on the marshmallows and as a result, they melted and lost some volume.


  1. Tory says

    Do you think it would be alright to use mini’s in the recipe or were the large marshmallows key? Thanks!

  2. Michelle says

    When I was growing up my grandmother used to bake a very similar recipe that she called “Mississippi Mud.” She used a 13×9 inch pan and a jar of marshmallow creme instead of plain marshmallows for the center.

  3. says

    I wish I had an excuse to make these. They look great. I made some CCC’s today that I don’t like! I only baked off a few and will bake the rest tomorrow… maybe. It wasn’t one of your recipes. 🙂

  4. says

    You are too funny. So out of character for you to bake–at least something that isn’t cupcakes, right! 😉
    Health food indeed, pecans are full of protein and good fat–eat up!

  5. says

    Tory, small marshmallows would be fine. If I were using small ones, I’d do a double layer.

    I think the only problem with these is waiting around for everything to cool and set. They taste even better hours later.

  6. Janet says

    You have such a wonderful sense of humor!! These look decadent…thanks for the tempting recipe for our Labor Day weekend.

  7. T. Martin says

    Thanks Anna, I will be trying this recipe tomorrow to take to the nurses at the hospital on Sunday.

  8. Linda says

    Anna, do you or any of your readers have any ideas on substitutions for marshmallows in a recipe like this? I’m a vegetarian, and although it was harder to give up marshmallows than steak, I did because they have gelatin in them. Is there any way to make marshmallows or a reasonable facsimile without using gelatin? One reader mentioned that these bars looked like they had a layer of jam…that might work as a substitution. Sorry for all the questions and ramblings in one reply!

  9. says

    Linda, you can find vegan marshmallows, but they are ridiculously expensive. The alternative is marshmallow creme. It’s not vegan, but it’s vegetarian (made with eggs and corn syrup) and should work in recipes like these. You’ll have to adjust the baking time slightly, but I think you could just spread it over the fully baked bars and then top with the icing as directed.

  10. Linda says

    Thanks, Anna. I never thought to look at the ingredients of the marshmallow creme – just assumed it had gelatin.

  11. says

    These look awesome! They kinda remind me of another type of bar. Instead of just a chocolate frosting there’s a rice krispie chocolate mixture on top! I wonder how these would taste with a graham cracker crust!?

  12. Becky says

    These bars are delicious! Mine were very soft though, more like cake. I have them in the refrig and will see how they firm up. I used mini marshmallows since that’s what I had on hand and they worked great (didn’t have to cut the big ones!). Definitely a keeper recipe!!

  13. says

    Hi Becky,

    Thanks so much for posting your results! I kept mine in the refrigerator for a while, and then at some point I pulled them out and just let them sit on the counter in a covered container. They stayed fresh and I felt they were actually better on Day 2. The topping firms ups quite nicely. The bottom part is soft, but it was firm enough to slice and I felt the soft cake was kind of a good contrast to the firm topping. Yours will probably firm up a little too.

  14. Cakelaw says

    These look amazing! If I didn’t love marshmallows so much on their own that I eat them all way before making anything else with them, these would be tempting.

  15. Rachel B says

    Does anybody have the recipe for a chocolate-peanut butter version of these? I had a little square at church today, and it was fantastic (which is saying something, since I’m morning sick right now!).

  16. Rachel B says

    Oops, I’m a doofus. The kind I had looked almost identical to these bars, but with the significant difference of having Rice Krispies in the topping. So perhaps a different bar entirely . . .

  17. Joanne says

    This was a Pillsbury Bake-off Winner (maybe a runner-up) in the 1950s. They were my mom’s go-to recipe; we had them at all slumber parties.

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