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Vanilla Meringue Cookies

Want to learn how to make meringues? This meringue cookie recipe creates light, airy morsels. It's the perfect fat-free treat to really beat a sweets craving. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min. + standing
  • Makes
    about 5 dozen


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons clear or regular vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar


  • Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 250°. Add vanilla, cream of tartar and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes.
  • Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag; insert a #32 star tip. Transfer meringue to bag. Pipe 1-1/4-in.-diameter cookies 2 in. apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Bake until firm to the touch, 40-45 minutes. Turn off oven; leave meringues in oven 1 hour (leave oven door closed). Remove from oven; cool completely on baking sheets. Remove meringues from paper; store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Vanilla Meringue Cookie Tips

Why are my meringue cookies flat?

Flattened meringues are typically the result of too much air collapsing out of your meringues. To prevent this collapse, make sure that you have your egg whites at room temperature before you begin. Start whisking the egg whites in your mixer slowly until they are foamy. Gradually increase your mixer speed and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, not all at once. When the sugar is completely added, continue beating to incorporate more air, bringing the mixture to stiff, glossy peaks.

What are the different types of meringue?

There are two different types of meringue: soft and stiff. The difference between the two is the proportion of sugar to egg whites. For soft, billowy meringues appropriate for topping pies, you would use a lower amount of sugar to egg whites. For a stiffer, crisper meringue that can stand on its own and be baked, such as with meringue cookies or pavlova, you would use a larger proportion of sugar to egg whites. Learn more about making meringues and our favorite meringue desserts.

How long do meringue cookies last?

Meringue cookies will last for up to 2 weeks when stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Use parchment between the layers.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 10 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 5mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Free food.
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  • Samantha
    Jul 12, 2020

    Somehow the 2/3 cup of sugar is no longer showing in the list of ingredients. Either way, this is my go to recipe for meringue cookies, they're a huge hit in my house and we almost always have them on hand.

  • Lydia
    Jun 23, 2020

    Can you substitute Stevia or another sweetener for the sugar?

  • Kat
    May 1, 2020

    Abbie, did you whip the eggs as directed?

  • Joseph
    Feb 22, 2020

    Excellent recipe. Definitely use an electric beater. I paid this recipe with gnocchi so I can use the egg yolks leftover from the whites.

  • Abbie
    Jan 26, 2020

    Did not work trued it three times very disappointing

  • crystal.a.magill
    Dec 23, 2019

    So easy to make but takes quite a while to bake/cool. My daughter eats GF so these were perfect for her to have cookies. I'll add these into my Christmas cookie list for next year.

  • Rachelle
    Nov 17, 2019

    So far so good! Except I didn’t have another pan to pipe out the rest of my batter, will it still be okay if I remix it in 1h40 min so I can put the rest in the oven when my first batch is done? Or am I screwed? This is a first for me! I’m using them to decorate a birthday cake

  • kguillaum1
    Nov 4, 2019

    It only takes a second to touch test..than close oven and let cool. It's not rocket science. I don't have a pastry bag so I put Tablespoon mounds and swirl a little at the top on the parchment paper

  • Pamela
    Jun 19, 2019

    For those who are asking how to determine if they are firm to the touch because the recipe says to keep the door are reading the recipe wrong! My 10 year old makes these almost weekly. They always turn out PERFECT! We cook them for 43 minutes then see if they are firm. Then you turn off the oven and let York cool down in the oven for one hour with yer oven door closed during that cooling time.

  • Cindy
    Jun 1, 2019

    How do you know if they are FIRM TO TOUCH if you can't open the over door!!