Simple Meringue Cookies
Meringue cookies are light, ethereal cookies made with only 4 ingredients! These egg white cookies will melt in your mouth and tantalize your sweet tooth!
This easy meringue cookie recipe will become one of your favorites. Make a batch whenever you have leftover egg whites! I’ll guide you through the process so your first attempt will be perfect!!
Why You Should Make
- This meringue cookie recipe can be jazzed up with food coloring and flavorings, but these are the most basic, simple meringue cookies.
- Only 4 ingredients and a few steps and these gems will be ready to eat!
- Spotting this elegant Strawberry Meringues Recipe from Pint Sized Baker reminded me that an ordinary meringue cookie recipe can be the base for an amazing dessert as well as scrumptious egg white cookies!
- Egg Whites – make sure they’re at room temperature
- Cream of Tartar – the acid helps stabilize the egg whites. PRO-Tip: Use twice as much white vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute if you don’t have any cream of tartar.
- Pinch of Salt – salt is crucial to enhance the flavor of desserts
- Superfine Sugar – superfine sugar is preferred as it dissolves into the egg whites a bit easier, but I’ve had success numerous times with regular, granulated sugar. If your market carries Domino sugar, you can find their superfine sugar in the baking aisle. You can also make your own by processing sugar in the food processor for 30 seconds (but there is some research that says making your own will not result in the same quality as purchased superfine sugar).
A Versatile Easy Meringue Cookies Recipe
These meringue cookies will be incorporated into a fabulous Strawberry Eton Mess dessert to be revealed on Sunday, so I didn’t add any vanilla to keep them a beautiful, pure white color. But just think of all the options with these egg white cookies: green for St. Patrick’s Day, pink with peppermint extract for Valentine’s Day, pastel colors for Easter! A fun cookie any time of the year!
I’ve been making meringue since I was a teen. Lemon meringue pie was one of my specialties, and my family was brave enough to eat it! I’m not certain I knew all the tricks for making the best meringues in those days, but I have learned a few tips along the way. Use these guidelines for your own simple meringue cookies as well as to top cream pies, make pavlova, and more!
- Room temperature egg whites will give your meringue cookies more volume and help the sugar dissolve more easily.
- Make sure to whip the egg whites to soft peaks before adding any sugar.
- Superfine sugar (affiliate link) will dissolve more easily than regular granulated sugar.
- My mom taught me to rub some of the whipped meringue between my fingers to feel for sugar granules. You may feel a few, but most should be dissolved for the best results.
- For perfect meringues, add the sugar slowly. Don’t rush the process. Add one tablespoon at a time and give it a minute or so before adding more.
- PRO-Tip: Make sure your mixing bowl and beater are scrupulously clean. Any speck of oil (this includes any egg yolk) will prevent the whites from becoming white and billowy.
- So that you don’t get any egg yolks in your whites when separating your eggs, make sure to crack them on a flat surface (not the edge of your bowl) and separate them while cold (right out of the refrigerator).
- It’s also wise to not separate them over a bowl of egg whites as that almost always guarantees that a little yolk will contaminate the other whites and you’ll have to start over!
- To keep your egg white cookies a pristine white, not even a splash of vanilla was added, but feel free to include a little if that’s your preference. Vanilla meringue cookies are also wonderful to eat on their own or use in a recipe!
- Cooled Vanilla Meringue Cookies can be stored 2 weeks or longer in an airtight container at room temperature and longer if they’re in the freezer.
How to Make
- Whip egg whites until foamy.
- Continue beating whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add sugar and beat to form stiff peaks.
- Pipe or drop meringue onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake as directed.
Use your simple meringue cookies to make this layered Strawberry Eton Mess, made with crushed meringues, whipped cream, and berries.
What to Make with Leftover Egg Yolks:
You can always add some extra yolks to a big batch of Sunday morning scrambled eggs, but here are some more egg yolk recipe ideas for you. Any creme brulee recipe will work like my Classic Creme Brulee which uses 7 egg yolks or my White Chocolate Creme Brulee which uses 4 yolks. Irish Cream Pots de Creme uses 6 egg yolks. You’ll be set with two marvelous desserts if you make these simple meringue cookies, then a rich dessert made with the leftover yolks!
Frequently Asked Questions
The goal is to keep your cooled and baked meringue cookies away from humidity. They should be packed in airtight containers and can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.
When stored in a cool dry place, meringue cookies stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. If frozen, they can last a couple of months.
Meringue can be very finicky. The most common reason for meringue failure is getting oil or grease into the egg white mixture. This can be from a little grease in the mixing bowl or beater or even a small speck of egg yolk contaminating the egg whites.
Plus, before beginning to add the sugar, the egg whites should be beaten until just foamy. Overbeating the egg whites until they look dry can also cause a meringue failure.
You May Also Like:
Here are some more recipes for what to do with extra egg whites. Plus, some other favorite desserts.
- Strawberry Meringues Recipe from Pint Sized Baker
- Lemon Souffle (Uses 9 egg whites)
- Layered Chocolate Meringue Cake (Uses 6 egg whites)
- Chocolate Velvet Pie with Meringue Crust (Uses 3 egg whites)
- Strawberry Souffle Recipe (Uses 4 egg whites)
- Fresh Strawberry Meringue Cake (Uses 7 egg whites)
- Chocolate Meringues (Uses 6-7 egg whites)
- Classic Lemon Meringue Pie
- More Best Dessert Recipes
- More Best Cookie Recipes
There are only four ingredients in these simple meringues! They’re really super easy to put together and will deliciously thrill your palate. I do not add vanilla as it will make these cookies less than pure white, but if that doesn’t bother you, add a quarter teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Other flavorings will work, too.
Simple Meringue Cookies
Sweet, ethereal, easy meringue recipe made with just 4 simple ingredients.
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- A pinch of salt
- ½ cup sugar, superfine preferred, but not necessary
- Preheat oven to 225º Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper.
- Place egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, and the pinch of salt, and beat until soft peaks form.
- With the mixer running, slowly add sugar, one tablespoon at a time until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form.
- Pipe or scoop tablespoons of the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing approximately 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off.
- Without opening the door, let the meringues stand in the oven for 1 hour (so the total time in the oven is 1 hour and 45 minutes but it's only turned on for the first 45 minutes).
Egg whites will not whip properly if any grease is on the beaters or the bowl. or if any egg yolk has contaminated the whites.
Once your meringues have cooled to room temperature, store them in an airtight container.
Yield varies depending on the size of your meringue cookies.
Note: Meringues bake best on a dry day. Avoid baking on a humid day as the meringues can absorb the moisture from the air and become soft and/or sticky.
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Serving Size:2 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
154 Comments on “Simple Meringue Cookies”
Your tips and notes are always top-notch! Even for an experienced baker like me, they are a helpful reminder. And look at those perfect meringues! Such a lovely, light little bite.
Amazing recipe, turnout perfect!
Thank you very much!
The recipe seems to have worked really well, the meringue is light and crisp, but I’m not sure if I over salted them or not. Is there any reason otherwise why my meringues might’ve come out with a salted after taste besides adding too much salt? Is it normal for it to have a slightly salted aftertaste?
Yes, I think your “pinch” may have been a bit too generous. I’ve never noticed a salty taste. I hope you still enjoyed them as it sounds like your technique was spot on.
Can you use egg whites instead of fresh eggs?
Great question, Betty. I have not tested this, but it sounds like you can make meringues from those pasteurized grocery store egg whites. You will have to beat them much longer and you won’t get the same volume as from fresh egg whites. If you try please let me know how it goes.
Interesting that you mention this, I have not had good success with the grocery store egg whites, i always thought it was me!
hi, i was just wondering is could i use powdered sugar instead of regular sugar. thanks!
Good question, Bella. There are a couple of things to consider. First of all, the cornstarch in powdered sugar may make drier meringues. Plus you’ll need to use more powdered sugar for the same amount of sweetness. 1¾ cups of powdered sugar is needed to equal 1 cup of granulated sugar so you’ll need almost twice as much (that might be why the meringues are drier). You can certainly give it a try, but regular sugar is your best bet.
I had some leftover meringue from making lemon meringue pie. The only change I made in the recipe was cooking it at 275F (I skimmed the recipe and misremembered the temperature), and adding the sugar (granulated) at soft peaks per the pie recipe.
When they were done they tasted like slightly burnt (in a good way) toasted marshmallows.
10/10 recommend it
SO glad you made use of your leftover meringue!! Thanks for letting me know!!
I love how easy these are to make!! One of our favorite treats!!
What if I don’t have a mixer.Just have a hand mixer. I have 4 eggs whites in fridge. How do you measure 2 egg whites. Really want to make these. Please answer. Thank you.
A hand mixer will work. Just make sure everything is very clean! Oil is the enemy of meringues. I usually break a whole egg and separate it into the yolk and the white by going back and forth in the shells over a bowl. I’m not sure what you mean about having 4 egg whites in the fridge? If they’re in a bowl, you could whisk them together, pour them into a measuring cup and eyeball what half that amount is….and use that much. Or one egg white is about 2 tablespoons so you can measure out 4 tablespoons of what you have. Does that make sense?? Good luck!!!
First time making these! Was hoping to use up the surplus of our farm fresh eggs and found it only takes 2, just TWO, eggs to make these! I also put a little vanilla and lemon extract in the mix and they are SO GOOD!!! Kinda weird, but good. My description would be really stiff cotton candy-ish! I’m going to make more and use more flavors!
Hi, Jen! So glad you enjoyed your meringues—and have fun playing with different flavors 🙂
Mine came out very soft and squishy, not stiff and crunchy like they should be. Maybe next time I should raise the temperature and see how that works. The taste was good, but they seem to not be cooked through inside. Despite the fact I baked them for almost and hour.
Hi, Eva, There are a couple of reasons this could happen. If your egg whites didn’t come to soft peaks before you started adding the sugar, they may not get crisp. Also, if you made them on humid day, they could have absorbed some of the moisture in the air and gotten sticky. You can try to salvage the sticky ones by putting them in a low oven (225) for an hour or so to see if some of the excess moisture will evaporate. Hope that helps!
These turned out perfect! I can’t wait to try out variations, like flavored meringue cookies! Thanks!
My cookies are sticking to the parchment paper
You can spray your parchment with Pam, Sandy. That should help. I use parchment from King Arthur Flour which has almost a glazed coating and nothing ever sticks.
these meringues came out perfectly crunchy and my kid loved it!
What is there not to love about meringues? Yours are exquisite. Your tips are always so helpful.
The meringues brownd to quickly… they tasted half decent but I wouldn’t make them again
Is your oven calibrated? I bet it runs just a little hot. Hope you give them another try as this is a terrific recipe 🙂
I made these tonight I had 3 left over egg whites from making Aioli Mayo I used Erythritol instead of Sugar. A diabetic keto treat. They came out perfect even with the adjustments I made. Mahalo for sharing. Aloha
Thanks for the easy recipe! I made them abs they were perfect
So glad you enjoyed! Thanks for reporting back!!
Making meringue is so fun. I love how smooth and glossy it gets. Thanks for all the helpful hints. The cookies are so cute!
These meringues turned out fabulously. Made sour of the moment for a Valentine’s Day luncheon. Light. Crisp. Delicious!!
I made these cookies yesterday, and they were amazing. The taste of meringue was divine, and the texture was crunchy. My kids loved them.
I’m so glad, Gloria! Thanks so much for taking time to pass along your review 🙂
I love how simple these are, and delicious looking. I can’t wait to make them for my family. Thanks for sharing!