These easy 5-ingredient Meringue Cookies are lots of fun to make! Get your kids involved in making these sweet treats.
Easy Vanilla Meringue Cookies
This is one of my favorite cookies to make (and eat!). They turn out so beautiful! I love the soft white color of them and their pretty cloud-like shape.
These cookies are great for any occasion but they are perfect for wedding showers, baby showers, brunches with girlfriends, or a cute gift for a neighbor or friend.
These vanilla meringue cookies are very easy to make. Only 5 ingredients and just a few steps to make these beauties!
How to Make Meringue Cookies
Don’t be intimidated by making these cookies – they’re really quite simple.
Begin by preheating the oven to 225 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on low speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high, and gradually add the sugar (1 tablespoon at a time, waiting 15-20 seconds between each addition).
Beat the egg mixture until stiff peaks form, and the mixture is thick and shiny. The sugar should be completely dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine.
Add the egg white mixture to a large piping bag with a large open star tip. Pipe the meringue onto the prepared cookie sheet in desired shapes. Bake 1 hour at 225, then turn off the oven and let cool completely for 1-2 hours. The finished cookie should be crisp.
- Use older eggs since they make fluffier higher merengue than fresh eggs. Put the egg in a glass of water. If it floats, it’s too old. If it lies on its side, it’s too young. If it stands on one end, it’s just right.
- Separate the whites from the yolk when the egg is cold. Then let the whites come to room temperature. Room temperature whites will whip to a greater height.
- Make these cookies on a dry day. Moisture from humidity or rain can cause the merengue to be sticky and limp instead of making sturdy peaks.
- Be sure the bowl you use is completely clean from any kind of residue. I suggest metal or glass, as tupperware type bowls can sometimes “hold” onto oils even after they have been washed.
- If beads of perspiration form when the meringue is baking, then the oven temp is too low.
- Leave 1 ½ -2 inches between the cookies on the baking pan.
Recipe FAQ + variations
How can I tell when the peaks are stiff enough? When whipping up the merengue, you’ll see it change in different stages.
- First, it will bubble and get frothy.
- Second, the color will continue to lighten and the bubbles will tighten, leaving whipped ribbons.
- Next, it will continue to stiffen. When you lift a beater up a peak will form, but the tip will fold over.
- Finally, you know when the meringue is ready when you lift the beater and the tip stays nice and pointy.
Reasons why merengue fails:
- Any kind of contamination can cause failure. Any yolk that sneaks in can affect the meringue. Any left over oil in the bowl or on the beaters can cause failure too.
- Be sure to begin beating the white before you slowly add the sugar
- Not beating long enough, or beating for too long.
What to do with yolks?
- Add the yolk to scrambled eggs
- Make hollandaise sauce
- Mix into egg salad, potato salad, or on top of a green salad
- Beat and use to brush over the top of baked goods
- Freeze yolks in an ice cube tray to be used later
Variations: There are so many ways to change up these cookies, but here are some of our favorite variations:
- Substitute the vanilla extract with other flavors such as along or mint
- Add a drop or two of food coloring before you start whipping the eggs
- Gently fold in chopped nuts or mini chocolate chips. However, you cannot pipe it. Instead drop by spoonfuls onto the baking pan.
- Gently add sprinkles to the top of newly piped meringue before baking
How to Store
STORE the cookies in an airtight container. Add a dry paper towel to the container to help with moisture control. Cookies should keep for at least 2 weeks.
You can also FREEZE these cookies. Use a sturdy sided freezer safe container so the cookies don’t get crushed by other frozen foods. You can also use freezer Ziplocs, just store them away from other heavy frozen foods. Freeze for 2-3 months.
for More beautiful Cookies:
- Easy Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Snowball Cookies
- Turtle Thumbprint Cookies
- Strawberry Lemonade Sugar Cookie
Meringue Cookie Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 225 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on low speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high, and gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting 15-20 seconds between each addition. Beat the egg mixture until stiff peaks form, and the mixture is thick and shiny. The sugar should be completely dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine.
- Add the egg white mixture to a large piping bag with a large open star tip. Pipe the meringue onto the prepared cookie sheet in desired shapes. Bake 1 hour at 225, then turn off the oven and let cool completely for 1-2 hours. The finished cookies should be crisp. Store in an airtight container to prevent the cookies from getting soggy.