If you love decorating roll-out cookies or piping flowers, chances are you’ve used meringue powder to make your icing. Often used as a substitute for raw egg whites, meringue powder is a must for making royal icing, meringue cookies and stabilizing marshmallow or whipped cream icing.
But how does it work? What’s the magic formula for using meringue powder in place of egg whites? Well, let’s crack into it!
WHAT IS MERINGUE POWDER?
Made mostly of dried egg whites, meringue powder is a baking substitute that you can use instead of raw egg whites. It’s used mostly in making meringue, frosting and royal icing.
HOW DO I USE MERINGUE POWDER AS AN EGG WHITE SUBSTITUTE?
To use meringue powder as a substitute, follow this simple formula:
2 teaspoons meringue powder + 2 teaspoons water = 1 large egg white
While you can use meringue powder to make frostings, buttercreams, icings and meringues, we suggest not using it as a baking substitute for eggs in a recipe. If you’re making cake batter, brownies, cookies or breads, you’re better off using real eggs. Meringue powder is really meant as a substitute for eggs that need to be beaten to stiff peaks, so some of the ingredients in meringue powder may actually prevent baked goods from turning out as planned.
HOW DOES MERINGUE POWDER DIFFER FROM CREAM OF TARTAR?
Though they look almost identical, meringue powder and cream of tartar are quite different in terms of composition and functionality. Meringue powder, made mostly of dried egg whites, can be mixed with water to create a meringue. Cream of tartar is a stabilizer and is sometimes used in making meringue to keep the eggs from collapsing. In fact, some meringue powder even has cream of tartar in it already to help in stabilizing your meringue.
So while you can’t use cream of tartar as a substitute for meringue powder, you can use cream of tartar to stabilize meringue if you’re using real egg whites.
HOW TO STORE MERINGUE POWDER
Store your meringue powder in a cool, dry place. While it does contain eggs, meringue powder does not require refrigeration.
Since this is a dehydrated product, meringue powder has a long, healthy shelf life, so it should last you a good long while!
HOW TO MAKE FROSTING OR ICING WITH MERINGUE POWDER
Perhaps the most famous use for meringue powder is in royal icing. Used for piping flowers and decorating cookies, royal icing can be poured or piped and dries hard for easy packing and storing.
Royal icing is made by beating meringue powder with water and confectioners’ sugar. At stiff consistency, royal icing can be used to outline cookies or pipe flowers. Adding more water to royal icing will cause it to thin, making it easy to flood cookies or pour over treats.
Meringue powder can also be used to stabilize other frostings, particularly those made with whipped cream. Adding meringue powder to your frosting will prevent it from drooping, which is useful if your treats will be sitting out at room temperature for an extended period of time.
Here are a few tasty icing and frosting recipes using meringue powder:
- Royal Icing Recipe
- Snow White Buttercream Frosting
- Whipped Buttercream Frosting
- Marshmallow Icing Recipe
- Cookie Icing Recipe
HOW TO MAKE MERINGUE COOKIES OR TOPPING WITH MERINGUE POWDER
Not surprisingly, you can also use meringue powder to make meringue cookies and pie topping! Our Basic Meringue Cookie recipe is easy to customize with flavor and color, and you can pipe your cookies using any large tip you’d like!
Check out these cute meringues for some inspiration!
- Colorful Kiss Meringue Cookies
- Bright and Bold Meringues
- Winter Wreath Meringues (great for Christmas!)
- Cute Cacti Meringues
- Meringue Unicorn Horns
To make a meringue pie top for pies or cakes, try our Easy Meringue Topping recipe. Use a kitchen torch or your oven broiler to give your meringue topping that beautiful golden-brown finish.
We’d love to see how you’re using meringue powder to decorate your cookies! Share a picture of your treats on Instagram and tag us @wiltoncakes. Happy baking (and decorating)!