Simple Meringue Recipe

Plain meringues on a sheet of parchment.

If you love vanilla meringue cookies from the store or bakery, you’ll really love this Simple Meringue Recipe. Now you can make these easy meringues at home with a handful of ingredients for about a dollar per batch!  BAM!

Ingredients for making meringues.

My mother used to make vanilla meringue cookies often when I was a kid.  They were light, very crispy and a little sweet.  Her simple meringue recipe is one I use all the time as the starting point for other meringue-based treats.  Sometimes as a base for fresh berries or with a custard or curd. Hers were always free-formed.  One never looked like another.   In a world where uniformity is king, these easy meringues were beautifully different.

Beating the egg whites and adding sugar and cream of tartar.

My husband, Scott’s experiences with meringue were isolated to the fluffy topping on lemon or chocolate pies.  

When I mentioned that I’d made a batch of vanilla meringue cookies, he didn’t seem interested.  

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In fact, he was decidedly dis-interested.  Oh well.

 I didn’t even offer him one that first night, because it was clear he didn’t want it.

The egg whites after beating until stiff.

Later, I was annoyed.  How could he not like this?  They crunch when you bite into them and then practically dissolve with just a faint sweetness as soon as the light-as-a-feather egg white hits your tongue.  They’re like magic.

Reasons To Love Vanilla Meringue Cookies:

And this simple meringue recipe is a sweet treat with virtually no guilt… They’re gluten free, fat free — heck, if I didn’t add sugar, you wouldn’t even know they were there…

Showing the peak of the meringues.

The next night, our friend Nola joined us for dinner and before we sat down to eat, I brought out the meringues for her to sample.  Scott peered at the offering and said, “That’s a meringue?”  

“Yes,” I shrugged.
“I didn’t know they were like that — I thought it was like the meringue on a pie.
“No, this is like a cookie.”
Suddenly he was interested…  “They’re so light and crunchy — and they just melt in your mouth.  Why didn’t you tell me?”  I just shook my head.

Dolloping the meringues on parchment to bake.

The trick to making crispy, vanilla meringue cookies is a cool, dry day  (that’s hard to find in Florida)  because meringues don’t like humidity.  They’ll get soft and mushy quick — and that’s something Scott doesn’t like.  It also requires some patience to let them cook slowly and without interruption in a very low oven for a few hours.   Cool the easy meringues on the baking sheet and transfer them to an airtight storage container.  They’ll keep for 2-3 days, if they don’t get eaten first.

Baked meringues are light and crispy.
Crumbling the meringues.

More meringue cookies:

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A stack of homemade meringue cookies.
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3.50 from 4 votes


A crispy, light dessert.  Make them on a cool day with low humidity.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword cookies, meringue
Dietary Restrictions Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  • Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or use a brown paper grocery bag. Set aside.
  • Add the egg whites to a mixing bowl. Using electric beaters, beat the egg whites until frothy and foamy. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and beat on high speed for 1 minute. Sprinkle on the powdered sugar and beat on high for 1 – 1½ minutes, until soft and glossy. Sprinkle on the granulated sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form, another 2 or so minutes.
  • Drop spoonfuls of meringue onto the parchment paper or brown paper bag, about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 2 hours until meringues have dried out and set. Remove from oven and cool.
  • Store in an airtight container.


Meringues are persnickety if the air is humid. If you live in Florida, like me, choose a day when the humidity is at a minimum and preferably cool.


Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 30mg | Sugar: 22g

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This simple meringue recipe gives you light as a feather vanilla meringue cookies. These easy meringues literally melt in your mouth! Naturally gluten free! #easymeringues #vanillameringuecookies #simplemeringuerecipe #eggwhites #glutenfree #glutenfreecookies

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  1. Veena Azmanov says:

    Oh love meringues… love how they just melt in your mouth. Much lighter and so much cheaper too ! Thanks

    1. That’s probably why we had them so often growing up — funny, because I never thought of it like that, but you’re probably right!

  2. Mmm meringues! What a great idea for a lighter cookie option. I love the your mother had the idea of putting flavoring in them with berries or curds. i can just imagine how delicious some lemon curd would be – yum!

    1. Thanks, Holly – I’m glad you like them. These are a delicious light cookie.

  3. Very nice, simple idea. I think I’ll drizzle a little dark chocolate and add a few chopped hazelnuts when I do these. Thanks for the idea. It’s nice to have a treat that doesn’t cost $20 to make!

    1. Chocolate and hazelnuts sound great — I have a chocolate mint version, too!

    1. Thank you, Marsha – yes, I love a meringue, too!

    1. They wouldn’t float — they’d dissolve immediately.