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Swiss Meringue Shells

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + standing Bake: 1 hour + cooling


8 servings

Folks will know you fussed when you bring out these sweet, cloud-like cups topped with fresh berries (or a tart fruit filling if you like). Crispy outside and chewy inside, this Swiss meringue recipe from the American Egg Board makes an elegant ending to a company dinner.
Swiss Meringue Shells Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Whipped cream, optional
  • Berries of your choice
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional


  1. Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add vanilla and cream of tartar; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
  2. Drop 8 mounds onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape into 3-in. cups with the back of a spoon. Bake at 225° until set and dry, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Turn oven off; leave meringues in oven for 1 hour.
  3. Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container. If desired, fill shells with whipped cream. Top with berries. Top with confectioners' sugar as desired.

Swiss Meringue Shells Tips

How do you store Swiss meringue shells?

Swiss meringue shells are best eaten on the same day they’re made. But they can be stored in a very tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How thick should the meringue mixture be before baking?

The meringue mixture should be glossy, slightly thickened and stable enough to create stiff peaks when you lift the beaters from the mixture.

Are there any helpful tools to use when making Swiss meringue shells?

This recipe is quite easy and only requires a stand or hand mixer, parchment-lined sheet trays and a spoon to create the cups!

What does cream of tartar do to Swiss meringue?

Cream of tartar stabilizes and adds height to egg whites to assist in making the perfect meringue. Other recipes made with cream of tartar include Amish Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chiffon Cake and Blue-Ribbon Doughnuts.

Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
Strawberry Meringue Cups: In a chilled large bowl, beat 2 cups heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Just before serving, spoon into meringue shells. Top with 1 pint sliced fresh strawberries. Mocha Meringue Cups: In a heavy saucepan, melt 2 cups milk chocolate chips with 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules; stir until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Transfer to a small mixing bowl; refrigerate until chilled. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spoon into meringue cups.

Nutrition Facts

1 each: 80 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 21mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

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