Nothing wows a crowd like a delicately swooped lemon meringue pie—but what’s meringue anyway? The French treat made from whipped egg whites and sugar is often served as a candy or part of a dessert. It can be baked for a long time at a low temperature to turn hard and crispy, or baked briefly at a high temperature to stay soft and fluffy. It can also be torched until brown and toasty, like a marshmallow. Whether you start with store-bought meringue cookies or whip up your own, here are 20 meringue recipes that prove the sweet deserves a spot on your table.
20 Meringue Recipes That Are as Tasty as They Are Surprising
- Time Commitment: 1 hour and 45 minutes
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, special occasion-worthy
Doesn’t this stunning confection look like it was plucked straight out of a fairy tale? Make the all-butter pie dough ahead to break up the project or use store-bought—we won’t tell.
- Time Commitment: 50 minutes
- Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
Don’t stress over the presentation. Simply apply the meringue with a very casual swipe to avoid putting too much; you want to the ideal ratio of sweet and sour in every bite. Go the extra mile by toasting the tops with a kitchen torch.
- Time Commitment: 3 hours and 25 minutes (includes drying time)
- Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser, gluten free
The best thing about these teeny-tiny meringue cookies? You don’t need flour to make them, so your gluten-free friends can scarf down as many as they’d like. (The whipped cream topping is infused with cardamom, BTW.)
- Time Commitment: 1 hour and 40 minutes (plus cooling time)
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, special occasion-worthy, <10 ingredients
Yup, fluffy, silky meringue can be baked directly atop a cake, including this mocha-inspired one. Not only does it give the dessert a photo-ready marbled look, but it also creates a light, crisp shell that complements the rich crumb.
- Time Commitment: 4 hours (includes chilling time)
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, kid-friendly
All the flavor of its namesake in a non-fussy, approachable package. Instead of working with pie dough, you’ll top each mini with a flurry of buttery graham cracker crumbles.
- Time Commitment: 2 hours and 20 minutes (includes drying time)
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, gluten free
Never heard of this English dessert? Eton mess is made by layering crispy meringue, whipped cream and fruit. It’s traditionally made with strawberries, but this version calls on homemade blood orange curd for a wintry spin.
- Time Commitment: 2 hours and 30 minutes (includes drying time)
- Why We Love It: kid-friendly, make ahead, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients
These dangerously poppable sammies are only six pantry staples away (yes, the cult-favorite chocolate-hazelnut spread is definitely a pantry staple in our house). Feel free to make the puffs ahead; just leave them un-sandwiched until the day you’re going to serve them.
- Time Commitment: 1 hour and 50 minutes
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, kid-friendly
An autumn delicacy if we’ve ever seen one. Be gentle when whisking the cinnamon-brown sugar filling: Too much aeration may result in bubbles on the pie’s surface. (Worst case scenario, cover ’em with meringue and let the compliments roll in.)
- Time Commitment: 2 hours
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly
Complete with press-in coconut shortbread cookie crust. Round up all the summer apricots you can at the farmers market to make the easy stovetop filling (and rev up your kitchen torch to toast the meringue).
- Time Commitment: 3 hours and 15 minutes (plus cooling time)
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, gluten free, beginner-friendly
No one at the dinner party will see this saucy, marshmallow-y masterpiece coming. Even better, the meringue base is simply spooned into a circular shape—no piping or pastry chef skills required.
- Time Commitment: 2 hours
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly
Rich lemon custard meets sugar cookie crust and swirly toasted meringue, all in the cozy quarters of a muffin pan. You’ll never guess the filling’s decadent key ingredient. (OK, we’ll spill: It’s mascarpone cheese.)
- Time Commitment: 2 hours
- Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients
These Cadbury Mini Egg-topped cuties > chocolate bunnies, don’t @ us. The picturesque treats will last up to two days in an airtight container, so feel free to make them ahead. They’ll be a hit at Easter brunch or any spring soirée.
- Time Commitment: 30 minutes (plus freezing time)
- Why We Love It: no cook, make ahead, kid-friendly
For the uninitiated, baked Alaska is a towering combo of pound cake and ice cream wrapped in torched meringue. This version is especially easy to tackle, since the recipe calls for store-bought cake and ice cream; all you’ll have to make from scratch is the meringue.
- Time Commitment: 3 hours and 30 minutes (includes drying time)
- Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, gluten free, beginner-friendly
This indulgent dessert requires little more of the chef than turning on a stand mixer and opening the oven door. The toppings—fresh whipped cream and finely chopped chocolate—make the pavlova look as impressive as a tiered cake.
- Time Commitment: 3 hours and 45 minutes (includes drying time)
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, sheet pan recipe, beginner-friendly, gluten free
Mary Berry would be so proud. This old-school British treat features crispy rounds of meringue, generous dollops of whipped cream and lemon-kissed berries, all on an easy-to-serve sheet pan instead of in a crystal-cut bowl.
- Time Commitment: 2 hours and 40 minutes (includes drying time)
- Why We Love It: gluten free, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly
This double-decker delight is one for the books. The filling is as easy as combining whipped cream with store-bought lemon curd and raspberry jam. Fresh raspberries and lemon zest bring the presentation to life.
- Time Commitment: 3 hours (includes drying time)
- Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, gluten free, beginner-friendly
Think of these citrusy stacks as a cross between meringue pie and pavlova. The meringues’ thickness will keep their interiors soft and pillowy. Be sure to use freshly squeezed grapefruit juice to make the curd; the bottled stuff doesn’t compare.
- Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes
- Why We Love It: kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy, make ahead
This beauty is the definition of impressive yet attainable. The lemon filling (which can be nestled in a homemade or store-bought pie crust) is topped with lilac-colored meringue, which gets its color from freeze-dried blueberries instead of food dye.
- Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly,
Bless this mess. If you love eating pumpkin pie but not making it, consider this dessert a tasty compromise. Go ahead and use store-bought meringue cookies to save time; the real stars here are the pumpkin cream and caramel sauce anyway.
- Time Commitment: 3 hours
- Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, make ahead
It’s way prettier than the tree bark-inspired O.G., no? Here, meringue is used to create a snow-like exterior and decorative “mushrooms,” epic finishing touches on the rolled cake stuffed with raspberry-white chocolate buttercream filling.
Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.
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