16 Heavenly Meringue Desserts

Sweet potato meringue pie
Photo: © TINA RUPP

Meringue is an indispensable component in an array of desserts, lending its airy lightness to everything from pavlovas to baked Alaska to classic French macarons. Ethereal and cloud-like, it can be swirled and brûléed to produce crispy caramel peaks atop a pie. You can also fold in nuts or chocolate and bake it slow and low to yield delicately crisp, melt-in-your-mouth pillows to be enjoyed on their own or layered with cream. Here are 16 of our most magnificent meringue desserts.

01 of 16

Cornhusk Meringues with Corn Mousse

Cornhusk Meringues with Corn Mousse
© Con Poulos

This beloved dessert from chef Enrique Olvera features shatteringly crisp charred cornhusk meringues. They're served with a luscious cream mousse made from fresh corn-infused cream and mascarpone cheese; the result is ethereal and unexpected.

02 of 16

Raspberry Macarons

Raspberry Macarons
Michael Turek

These are among the simplest classic French macarons, made with only sugar, almond flour, egg whites, red food coloring — and a filling of raspberry jam. The jam is the star of the show, so be sure to purchase the finest seedless raspberry jam you can find.

03 of 16

Frozen Chocolate Chip Meringata

Frozen Chocolate-Chip Meringata

Meringata — Italian for "meringue cake" — is an elegant yet homey frozen dessert of whipped cream sandwiched between meringue rounds. Italian fine food importer and cookbook author Rolando Beramendi serves it with a warm chocolate-espresso sauce.

04 of 16

Hazelnut and Chocolate Meringue Cake

Hazelnut-and-chocolate meringue cake
© Stephanie Foley

This extraordinary dessert, made with crisp chocolate-hazelnut meringue and whipped cream, is simple to make. But pastry chef Daniel Jasso has nicknamed it "the beast" because slicing it can be tricky — the meringue tends to crumble. The solution: Freeze the cake, cut it with a serrated knife, and let it return to room temperature before serving.

05 of 16

Summer Berries with Cumin Meringues and Crème Fraîche

Summer Berries with Cumin Meringues and Crème Fraîche

A touch of cumin gives these crisp meringues a welcome warmth that pairs beautifully with a trio of sweet and juicy summer berries and a dollop of tangy crème fraîche. Aromatic and floral ground cardamom or fresh and herbal ground coriander may be substituted for the cumin, or the spice can be omitted altogether.

06 of 16

Not Your Usual Lemon Meringue Pie

Not Your Usual Lemon Meringue Pie
© Quentin Bacon

In her variation of lemon meringue pie, pastry chef and cookbook author Gale Gand forgoes a traditional crust for quick-baked sheets of sugared phyllo dough, which she layers with housemade lemon curd and a brown sugar meringue. For an easier version, use good quality store-bought phyllo dough and lemon curd.

07 of 16

Chilled Grapefruit-Caramel Meringue Pie

Grapefruit-Caramel Meringue Pie
© Tina Rupp

Most pastry chefs love lemon and orange, but for this recipe Deborah Snyder champions grapefruit. In one cold, creamy dessert, she layers pink grapefruit curd in a crunchy graham cracker crust with caramel cream, caramel sauce, and a delicate topping of fluffy meringue.

08 of 16

Brutti ma Buoni (Spiced Pecan Meringues)

Spiced Italian Pecan Meringues
John Kernick

"Don't judge the taste of these cookies by the crags and cracks," says Los Angeles-based chef Merrin Mae Gray. (The Italian name means "ugly but good.") The pecans and potent grappa are unexpectedly elegant, and the crisp outsides and chewy centers make these meringues seriously irresistible.

09 of 16

Mom's Citrus Meringue Pie

Mom's Citrus Meringue Pie
Greg DuPree

In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best. It starts with a crust made with fresh orange juice, that's filled with tangy lemon-lime curd, then gets dressed up with swirls of sweet meringue that caramelize in the oven.

10 of 16

Sweet Potato Meringue Pie

Sweet potato meringue pie

This dessert from 2000 F&W Best New Chef Andrew Carmellini looks like a pumpkin pie, but the filling is actually made with sweet potato. It sits on a spiced graham cracker-pecan crust and is topped with billowy meringue instead of the typical whipped cream.

11 of 16

Maple-Meringue Doughnuts

Maple Meringue Donuts Recipe
Tara Donne

The secret to doughnuts at home is in the dough: Retarding the shaped doughnuts allows a more complex, yeasty flavor to develop. Pastry chef Joanne Chang's recipe is filled with marshmallowy meringue; use an intense, robust, high-quality maple syrup to ensure lots of maple flavor.

12 of 16

Double-Decker Meringue Cake with Summer Berries

Double Decker Meringue Cake with Summer Berries Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The meringue topping expands as this stunning cake bakes, so be careful not to spread it all the way to the edges of the cake batter to make removing the cake from the pan easier. Top with whatever berries are in season at your market, or use your favorite sliced stone fruit.

13 of 16

Swirled Meringue Roulade with Praline Whipped Cream

Swirled Meringue Roulade with Praline Whipped Cream
© John Kernick

Cookbook author Malika Ameen rolls her cocoa-laced meringue around pillowy whipped cream and crunchy, nutty praline for an utterly delectable, totally elegant roulade. A garnish of blackberries or pomegranate seeds makes this dessert even more eye-catching.

14 of 16

S'mores Bars with Marshmallow Meringue

S'mores Bars with Marshmallow Meringue
© Con Poulos

These amazingly delicious bars from cookbook authors and baking duo Cheryl and Griffith Day feature a salty, crunchy graham cracker crust topped with a rich chocolate filling and fluffy marshmallow meringue.

15 of 16

Strawberry Baked Alaska

Strawberry Baked Alaska
© Con Poulos

Chef Andrea Reusing makes every part of these lovely individual baked Alaskas from scratch — even the graham crackers for the base. Our recipe calls for store-bought grahams, and if making homemade ice cream isn't your thing, you can sub in a good prepared brand. Use a pastry torch to brown the meringue topping and serve with macerated strawberries.

16 of 16

Spiced Pavlovas with Oranges and Mulled Wine Caramel

Spiced Pavlovas with Oranges and Mulled Wine Caramel
Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee

In this recipe, the aromas of a Bavarian Christmas market — glühwein, toasted almonds, spiced cookies — are infused into the components of a classic pavlova: Sweet cinnamon meringue is topped with tangy quark and crowned with bright citrus and mulled wine caramel.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles