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Meringue Cookies are crispy and light cookies made with only 4 ingredients that are perfect for using up leftover egg whites! This easy recipe works for any amount of egg whites and uses no Cream of Tartar.

Making these cookies is always a good idea if you have leftover egg whites from other recipes like my Easy Creme Brulee RecipeLinzer Cookies, or Oreo Banana Cream Cake.

Meringue Cookies in a glass bowl.

Meringue Cookies are one of my favorite cookie recipes to make for the Holidays but these cookies are also perfect to make all year round! You can easily make different flavors of Meringue from this Vanilla Meringue Cookies recipe like peppermint meringue cookies by adding a few drops of peppermint extract or lemon meringue cookies by adding lemon extract.

What are meringue cookies?

Meringue cookies are crispy, delicate cookies made from whipped egg whites and sugar. The cookies are shaped using a piping bag so you can make any shape you want.

How to Make Meringue Cookies

This Meringue Cookie Recipe breaks making these cookies up into easy steps so you get the best results.

A meringue cookie sitting on a grey surface

Tips and Tricks for Making the BEST Meringue Cookies

  • Use the freshest eggs possible! Fresh eggs are acidic and create a stable foam that doesn’t need too long to form without the need for adding cream of tartar or lemon juice.
  • The egg whites need to be at room temperature for the best results!
  • Crack each egg in a separate bowl before adding them to the mixer bowl when separating the whites! This way you avoid ruining a whole batch of egg whites because of a tiny bit of yolk.
  • Don’t reduce the amount of sugar! The sugar makes the meringues crispy.  If not enough sugar is added to the meringue, the mixture will not be stable enough, and not enough moisture will evaporate during baking so they won’t crisp up.
  • Don’t add sugar too soon! Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form then add the sugar otherwise the mixture might not hold its shape
  • Add the sugar gradually! To be on the safe side, add 1 Tbsp about every 1 minute, whisking well between each addition
  • Whisk on medium-high speed, not on high speed! This way the mixture will get lots of tiny, uniform bubbles and will be easier to shape
  • Avoid over-whisking – only whisk until the sugar just dissolves
  • Bake the meringue as soon as possible after mixing to prevent it from splitting. Preheat your oven before starting to whip the egg whites and prepare your baking sheets.
  • Meringues should not get dark or get color during baking. If this happens make sure your oven has the right temperature. Some ovens run hotter.
  • Moisture is the biggest enemy of baked meringues! As soon as they are cooled put them in an airtight container and avid making Meringue cookies on a very humid day

How to scale this Meringue recipe

Use at least 1/4 cup sugar per egg white if you want to make this recipe with less or more egg whites. For example, when using only 4 egg whites use 1 cup (or a little bit more) sugar, 6 egg whites use at least 1.5 cups sugar. 

Three meringue cookies sitting on a grey surface with some Cranberries

Can you make meringue cookies without cream of tartar

Yes, you can make meringue cookies without cream of tartar. You can leave it out completely if you use really fresh eggs or you can substitute it with some lemon juice which has the same effect if you don’t know how old the eggs are or you’re using eggs that are not fresh.

Cream of Tartar (or lemon juice) lowers the eggs pH and makes them more acidic (similar to fresh eggs) which makes them more stable. Add 1 tsp lemon juice for 5 egg whites or 1/2 tsp cream of tartar for 5 egg whites before whisking.

How long to bake meringue cookies

Bake for 60 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the cookies in the oven but don’t open the door completely until they are cool. This way they dry out completely.

When are meringue cookies done?

The cookies are done when they are crisp on the outside, lift from the baking sheet without sticking. and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

How to Store Meringue Cookies

When the Cookies are completely cooled down transfer them to an airtight container. They keep fresh and crispy for at least 2 weeks.

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5 from 32 votes

Meringue Cookies

Meringue Cookies are crispy and light cookies made with only 4 ingredients that are perfect for using up leftover egg whites!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 50

Ingredients 

  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon slice

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 220F.
  • Make sure your bowl and whisk are completely clean and the egg whites don’t have any egg yolk in them. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Wipe the inside of the stand mixer bowl and the whisk with the lemon slice.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and vanilla extract at medium-high speed until the mixture forms soft peaks.
  • Slowly add the sugar, about 1 Tablespoon at a time, with the mixer running and beat well after each addition until all the sugar is incorporated.
  • Once all of the sugar has been added, beat until sugar has just dissolved and the mixture is glossy and stiff about 4 minutes. The sugar should be completely dissolved and the mixture should not be gritty if you rub it between your fingers. It should not be dry, avoid overmixing.
  • Spoon the meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 1.5-inch cookies onto the lined baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between each cookie. They will increase in size a little bit as they dry out.
  • Bake for 60 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the cookies in the oven (don’t open the door) until they are cool so they dry out completely. The cookies should be crisp on the outside, lift from the baking sheet without sticking. and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • As soon as the meringue is cool, transfer the cookies to an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 4mg | Sugar: 6g
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About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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40 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! My cousin made them for Saint Paddy’s Day and I’ve been dying to try them ever since. I’m planning on whipping up a few batches in red, white, & blue while down the shore over the next week or so… Some (or plenty! lol) for me, and enough to share with the rest of the family down at the shore house for Memorial Day Weekend!

  2. I don’t have a piping bag or attachments. Suggestions, please? Also, Ihave Dr. Oetker lemon zest packets and fresh lemon. How would I incorporate the zest and would I still coat the bowl and mixer? One more question. Sorry! Lol I have 8 egg whites. Should I double the recipe?

    1. I would definitely recommend using a piping bag with a star tip but you could try using a ziplock bag and cut off a corner. I have never added lemon zest, but you could fold it in just before piping the cookies. You should still coat the bowl and mixer with fresh lemon. Regarding doubling the recipe, check out the post, there are instructions for scaling the recipe depending on how many egg whites you want to use.

    2. I love this recipe! I don’t do piping bags either, but I just used 2 teaspoons to place them on the cookie sheet and they looked fine – homemade, but fine. I actually made meringues and they worked! Wow. Amazing!

    1. This meringue cookie recipe is made without cream of tartar because it uses really fresh eggs or a little bit of lemon juice instead. But in general, butter is not a substitute for cream of tartar. Cream of tartar has nothing to do with cream made from dairy, it’s just the commercial name for potassium bitartrate.

    2. I suspect that meringues might be a bit too technical for someone who (based on having no clue what cream of tartar is and that any fat will absolutely destroy whipped egg white structure) has little or no baking experience. Maybe start with something like a box cake mix and move on to sugar cookies, eventually.