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Vanilla Meringue Cookies

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Vanilla Meringue Cookies are magic in the form of a dessert, turning simple ingredients into light-as-air bites. 


Main image for Vanilla Meringue Cookies


This recipe creates fluffy, sweet, and crisp treats that dissolve in your mouth, making them a heavenly indulgence at any time of the year.

When you take a bite, you will be met with a rush of sweet vanilla flavor, followed by the light, slightly chewy texture that meringues are famous for. 

Plus, they’re incredibly easy to make, which is a bonus for busy bakers!

These meringue cookies are made with simple, everyday ingredients found in your pantry.

The recipe is incredibly easy to follow, making it perfect for beginners.

The vanilla flavor is subtle yet mouthwatering, and pairs wonderfully with a cup of hot cocoa.

These meringues are light as air, making them a guilt-free dessert.

You can store them for a long time, perfect for always having a sweet treat on hand.


All ingredients laid out, ready to make cookies


What are Meringue Cookies?

Meringue cookies are a type of dessert made by whipping egg whites, sugar, and usually an acidic component like cream of tartar or lemon juice, to create a light and airy texture. 

They are then slowly baked at a low temperature, resulting in a crispy and slightly chewy cookie.

Originating from French cuisine, they are a classic treat enjoyed all around the world!


egg whites, salt, cream of tartar and vanilla extract all added to a clean bowl


What Ingredients are in Meringue Cookies?

Here are the primary ingredients for our chewy meringues, each serving a unique purpose in creating these delightful treats:

  • Egg whites: They provide the structure for the cookies, forming stiff peaks when beaten.
  • Salt: It enhances the flavor of the cookies.
  • Cream of tartar: This ingredient helps stabilize the egg whites, keeping them firm.
  • Vanilla extract: Adds a rich, comforting flavor to the cookies.
  • White sugar: Sweetens the cookies and helps them hold their shape when baked.

Pro Tips:

  • Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature. This helps them reach their maximum volume.
  • Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Superfine sugar dissolves more easily into the egg whites. If you don’t have any, you can make your own by processing regular sugar in a food processor.
  • You’ll also want to grab a pastry bag for piping the meringue batter.


white sugar slowly being added to egg white mixture


How to Make Meringue Cookies

Creating meringue cookies might seem intimidating, but with these simple steps, you’ll have perfect cookies every time.

These are the perfect airy cookies to have on your cookie tray at any time of year. Here’s how to make them:

  1. Combine the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract.
  2. Blend until you achieve soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar.
  3. Continue until you reach stiff peaks.
  4. Pipe onto baking sheets using a star tip and bake cookies at a low temperature.
  5. Cool in the oven to prevent cracking.

Pro Tips:

  • Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment for best results. You can also use a hand mixer.
  • Be patient. It may take a long time, but it’s important to wait until you have stiff, glossy peaks before piping.
  • Use a preheated oven and bake the cookies at a low temperature. This helps dry out the meringues without browning them.
  • Let the cookies cool inside with the oven door cracked open. This prevents the sudden change in temperature that can cause the meringues to crack.


piping bag with a star tip filled with meringue batter piping out stars on a line cookie sheet


How Long Do Meringue Cookies Last?

One of the best things about meringue cookies is their long shelf life. 

Stored properly in an airtight container, they can last up to two weeks. 

But with their delectable taste, they might not last that long!


Piped stars on lined cookie sheet ready for the oven


How to Store Meringue Cookies

Store your classic meringue cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Avoid areas of high humidity as moisture can make the meringues lose their crispness.

I also recommend not making these on a humid day.

They can easily lose their airy texture on a humid day.


baked vanilla meringue star cookies in a bowl


Can You Freeze Meringue Cookies?

Yes, you can freeze this easy meringue cookie recipe. 

To do this, place them in a freezer-safe airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. 

They can be frozen for up to a month.

This makes them some of my favorite cookies for serving at the holidays.

Add in a few drops of food coloring, and you can even have different colors to suit your holiday!


zoomed in image of meringue stars in a bowl ready to serve


What Do Meringue Cookies Taste Like?

Meringue cookies taste predominantly sweet with a hint of vanilla. 

While they are simple cookies, they’re ever little bit as good as any other kind of cookie.

They have a crisp exterior with a slightly chewy center and dissolve almost instantly in your mouth, leaving a lingering sweet taste.

Are Meringue Cookies Healthy?

While “healthy” can be subjective depending on individual dietary needs, meringue cookies can be a better choice compared to other cookies because they are low in calories and fat-free. 

They are primarily made from egg whites, which are a good source of protein. 

However, they are high in sugar, so they should still be eaten in moderation.


meringue cookies baked


Are Meringue Cookies Gluten-Free?

Yes, these easy meringue cookies are indeed gluten-free. 

They are made without flour or any other gluten-containing ingredients, making them a great dessert choice for anyone following a gluten-free diet.

Additional Cookies You’ll Love…


With these pro tips, you’ll be able to create the perfect meringue cookies every time. They are a great addition to your holiday cookie plates and are an excellent use for leftover egg whites. 

Plus, they are one of the easiest cookies to make. Good luck, and enjoy your baking!

Yield: 40 cookies

Vanilla Meringue Cookies

zoomed in image of meringue stars in a bowl ready to serve

Perfectly sweet, light, and crisp Vanilla Meringue Cookies recipe – the best way to use leftover egg whites.


  1. Preheat oven to 225*F ←- not a mistake
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick foil, parchment paper or a baking mat.
  3. In a glass or metal bowl combine egg whites (make sure there are NO YELLOW bits), salt, cream of tartar and vanilla extract.
  4. Blend well until egg whites have fluffed up and are at soft peak stage.
  5. As you continue to blend, slowly add sugar ¼ cup at a time mixing well between each addition.
  6. Continue to blend until mixture reaches stiff peaks.  This could take up to 10 minutes so don’t give up!
  7. Once the mixture reaches stiff peaks, your dough is ready to go.
  8. Fill a piping bag with the mixture and a star tip.
  9. Pipe stars onto both baking sheets and place in the oven (one on each rack) and bake for 1 ½ hours.
  10. After the timer goes off, crack the oven door and let meringues sit in the oven until fully cooled to room temperatures - this will prevent cracking.
  11. Once fully cooled, and room temperature, remove from baking sheets and store in an airtight container.


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