Nougat vs Marshmallow

Nougat and Marshmallow. You may have already tried them. Perhaps you are considering one or the other and are not sure which one to try. Or use in a recipe.

Perhaps you just want to know how they compare, how they differ, or what attributes they share.

Regardless of why you are here, you’ve come to the right place. 

Today, I’ll be breaking down these popular confections so that by the end, you will know exactly how to tell the difference.

What Is Nougat?

Nougat is a chewy confection made from sugar, honey, roasted nuts (like almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts), and sometimes dried fruit. It comes in two main types, soft and chewy (white nougat) and harder, crunchier (brown nougat or nougatine), and is often found in candy bars or as a standalone treat.

What Is Marshmallow?

Marshmallow is a sweet, fluffy confection made by whipping together sugar, water, gelatin, and air. With its light, spongy texture, marshmallow is often used in desserts, as a topping for hot cocoa, or roasted over a campfire to create the classic treat, s’mores.

Learn more: Are Marshmallows Considered Candy? • Surely Not?! •

Is Nougat Made From Marshmallow?

No, nougat is not made from marshmallow. They are separate confections with distinct ingredients and production processes. 

Nougat is a chewy mixture of sugar, honey, and roasted nuts, while marshmallow is a fluffy, spongy confection made by whipping sugar, water, gelatin, and air together.

What Is the Difference Between Nougat and Marshmallow?

Origins and History

Nougat and marshmallow have different origins and histories. Nougat dates back to ancient times and is believed to have originated in the Middle East or Mediterranean regions.

It later spread throughout Europe, with countries like Italy, Spain, and France developing their own regional variations of the confection.

On the other hand, marshmallow has its roots in ancient Egypt, where it was made using the root of the marshmallow plant (Althaea officinalis) as a thickening agent.

Modern marshmallows no longer use the marshmallow plant and instead rely on gelatin for their characteristic texture.


One of the primary differences between nougat and marshmallow is the ingredients used to make them.

Nougat is a sweet mixture of sugar, honey, roasted nuts (such as almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts), and sometimes dried fruit.

On the other hand, marshmallow is made by whipping together sugar, water, gelatin, and air.

The ingredients used in each confection give them their unique characteristics and flavors.


The texture of nougat and marshmallow is another notable difference. Nougat can range from soft and chewy (white nougat) to hard and crunchy (brown nougat or nougatine), depending on the type.

Its texture is denser and chewier than that of marshmallow, which is light, fluffy, and spongy.

This difference in texture affects how they’re used in various sweet treats and desserts.

Production Process

Nougat and marshmallow are made using entirely different production processes.

To make nougat, sugar and honey are cooked together, and then the nuts and dried fruit are added.

The mixture is then poured into a mold, allowed to cool, and cut into pieces.

Marshmallow, however, is made by whipping together sugar, water, gelatin, and air to create a fluffy, airy mixture.

The marshmallow mixture is then set in a mold, cut into cubes, and dusted with a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar to prevent sticking.

Uses in Confections

While nougat and marshmallow can be found in various confections, they’re typically used differently.

Nougat is often found in candy bars, providing a dense, chewy layer that contrasts with other ingredients like chocolate and caramel.

Marshmallow is more commonly used as a filling for desserts like whoopie pies or as a topping for hot cocoa or ice cream sundaes.

It’s also a popular ingredient for making s’mores, a classic campfire treat.


Both nougat and marshmallow have several variations that showcase their versatility and adaptability to different tastes and preferences.

Nougat Variations

As mentioned earlier, there are two main types of nougat: white and brown.

White nougat is soft, chewy, and often made with almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts, along with optional dried fruit.

Brown nougat, also known as nougatine, is harder and crunchier, with a deeper caramelized flavor.

Nougat also comes in various regional variations, each with its own unique characteristics.

Marshmallow Variations

While marshmallow may not have as many regional variations as nougat, there are still several different types and flavors to explore:

  • Flavored Marshmallows: Marshmallows can be infused with various flavors like vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, or even more exotic options like lavender or matcha. These flavored marshmallows can be used in a wide range of desserts or enjoyed on their own.
  • Marshmallow Fluff: This spreadable version of marshmallow has a creamier, softer texture and can be used as a filling for sandwiches, cookies, or cakes. Fluff also great for making s’mores dip or topping off a hot cocoa.
  • Marshmallow Creme: Marshmallow creme is another spreadable version of marshmallow. Fluff differs to creme in terms of the ingredients it is made from, and resulting texture and taste.
  • Vegan Marshmallows: Traditional marshmallows contain gelatin derived from animal collagen. Vegan marshmallows use plant-based alternatives like agar-agar or carrageenan to achieve the same fluffy, spongy texture without any animal products.

Are There Similarities Between Nougat and Marshmallow?


One of the most apparent similarities between nougat and marshmallow is their shared sweetness.

Both confections are primarily made from sugar, which gives them a distinct sweetness that appeals to those with a sweet tooth.

While their flavor profiles differ, as previously discussed, their common base of sugar means that they both deliver a satisfyingly sweet experience.

Confectionery Applications

Another similarity between nougat and marshmallow is their widespread use in various confections and desserts.

Both ingredients can be found in candy bars, often paired with other ingredients like chocolate, caramel, or fruit.

They’re versatile sweets that can be enjoyed on their own or used to enhance and complement other flavors in a wide range of treats.

Texture Variation

Although nougat and marshmallow have distinct textures, they both offer some degree of variation in texture depending on their preparation.

White nougat, for example, is soft and chewy, while brown nougat or nougatine is harder and crunchier.

On the other hand, Marshmallow can range from the classic fluffy, spongy texture to a smoother, creamier consistency found in marshmallow fluff.

This range of textures allows both nougat and marshmallow to cater to different preferences and applications in the world of confections.


Nougat and marshmallow both enjoy widespread popularity as confections enjoyed by people of all ages around the world.

Their longstanding presence in the candy industry speaks to their universal appeal and the satisfaction they bring to those with a sweet tooth.

Whether enjoyed as a standalone treat or incorporated into a variety of desserts and confections, both nougat and marshmallow have earned their place as beloved sweets.

Is Nougat Better Than Marshmallow?

It’s impossible to definitively say whether nougat is better than marshmallow, as personal preference plays a significant role in determining which confection is more enjoyable. Both nougat and marshmallow have their unique attributes that appeal to different tastes and preferences.


Nougat and marshmallow are two unique and distinct treats, with different ingredients, textures, flavors and uses.

So, what one will you be – a nougat nut or a marshmallow maniac?

Well, over to you.

Or perhaps you could be both!