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Meringue Powder - All Your Questions Answered

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If you enjoy baking, chances are you have come across meringue powder at some point. Meringue powder is a staple ingredient for many bakers, but it can be a little intimidating if you have never used it before. In this post, we will answer all your questions about this unique product, including what it's made of, how to use it, and when to use it. So whether you’re making buttercream frosting, royal icing, or meringue cookies, you can be confident that your recipes will be top-notch.
whipped meringue in bowl and piped

What is Meringue Powder?

collage of macarons, meringues, royal icing cookies, etc.
Meringue powder is a popular baking ingredient used in making meringue pies, royal icing, buttercream frosting, macarons, fondant, and meringue cookies. It is often used in baking and confectionery to replace fresh egg whites in recipes that call for them. Meringue powder acts as a stabilizer, helps to create a fluffy texture, and increases the volume of baked goods. It is a staple ingredient for cake decorators due to its ability to stabilize buttercream in warmer temperatures.

What is in Meringue Powder?

Meringue powder consists of dried egg whites, sugar, preservatives, and stabilizers. Some common stabilizers you will find include corn starch, cream of tartar, citric acid, and gum arabic. These stabilizers help keep the egg whites from collapsing when baking. The powder is easily dissolved in water or other liquids to create a thick paste or liquid mixture and is a great substitute for egg whites.

What Does Meringue Powder Taste Like?

Meringue powder has a subtle sweet taste, with a slight hint of vanilla. It does not have a strong eggy flavor like fresh egg whites. The sweetness level depends on the brand and type of meringue powder you are using. Some brands add additional ingredients such as cream of tartar or almond extract to give the powder added flavor.

Why Use Meringue Powder?

  • Flavor: Meringue powder adds a light sweetness that can enhance the taste of your recipe.

  • Gluten-Free: Meringue powder is free of gluten, so it is a great option for those who are gluten sensitive.

  • Convenience: Meringue powder is a convenient, time-saving alternative to using fresh egg whites. It eliminates the need to separate eggs and ensures a consistent result every time.

  • Shelf Life: Unlike fresh egg whites, meringue powder has a long shelf life and requires no refrigeration. This makes it a great option for bakers who want to keep a supply on hand in instances when a recipe calls for it.

  • Food Safety: Since it contains pasteurized egg whites, meringue powder is safer to use in recipes that do not call for cooking. It eliminates the risk of foodborne illness associated with using raw egg whites.

What are Some Tips for Working with Meringue Powder?

sifting meringue powder into a bowl
First, always sift your meringue powder before using it to ensure that it is free from clumps. When working with meringue powder, it’s important to remember that it’s very sensitive to moisture. This means you should always ensure your hands and tools are dry before using the powder. Finally, when mixing the powder with other ingredients, mix it slowly to avoid over-mixing.

What is the Best Brand of Meringue Powder?

group photo of all types and sizes of meringue powders Country Kitchen SweetArt carries
Country Kitchen SweetArt’s customers have a strong preference when it comes to choosing a favorite brand. Many professional cookie decorators love the flavor and workability of Genie’s Dream meringue powder. Celebakes meringue powder is another popular brand that is cost-effective for beginners. Both Genie and Celebakes are available in bulk quantities for professionals. Wilton, a well-known and trusted brand in the baking community, are solid choices as well. For the best results, try the different brands to compare workability and flavor.

Where Can I Buy Meringue Powder?

Right here at Country Kitchen Sweetart! Visit our online store or walk-in store in Fort Wayne, Indiana to see a variety of brands and sizes of meringue powder. Country Kitchen SweetArt offers competitive pricing and fast shipping to the United States and many countries. We also have a knowledgeable staff that is always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Does Meringue Powder Expire?

Many wonder how long meringue powder lasts. Each package will have the best buy date printed on the package. Meringue powder has a long shelf life and typically lasts up to two years when stored properly. For the best results, keep meringue powder at room temperature in an airtight container as meringue powder absorbs moisture from the air. Do not use it if you notice any change in smell or color.

Can You Freeze Meringue Powder?

Yes, you can freeze meringue powder for up to one year. Store meringue powder in an airtight container and place it in the freezer to freeze it. When you’re ready to use the powder, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw at room temperature before using it. Make sure to check for clumping before adding the powder to any recipes. If there is any clumping, use a sifter to remove clumps.

Is Meringue Powder and Cream of Tartar the Same?

Although both ingredients are used for making meringues, meringue powder and cream of tartar are not the same. Cream of tartar is a stabilizer and prevents egg whites from collapsing when whipping them into a meringue. Meringue powder is a substitute for the actual egg whites. Do not use cream of tartar as a substitute for meringue powder (and vice versa).

Meringue Powder & Dried Egg Whites - What's the Difference?

powder meringue next to whole eggs
Meringue powder and dried egg whites are similar in that they are both used as substitutes for fresh egg whites in recipes. But there are some differences between the two. Dried egg whites are simply dehydrated egg whites that have been ground into a powder. They contain no added stabilizers, preservatives, or sugar like meringue powder. This makes powdered egg whites better suited for recipes where stability is not as critical.

How Do You Substitute Meringue Powder for Egg Whites?

Many recipes call for egg whites, but meringue powder can be a great substitute if you don’t have any on hand or are looking for an alternative. Meringue powder should only be substituted for egg whites in recipes that require a stiff peak such as royal icing or meringues. Do not substitute meringue powder in baked recipes as recipes may not bake as expected if meringue powder is substituted for egg whites. The following recipe can then be used to replace one egg white.

Meringue Powder Substitution for One Egg White

  • 2 Teaspoons Meringue Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Warm Water
Whisk meringue powder with warm water until fully incorporated.

How Do You Use Meringue Powder in Royal Icing?

colored royal icing in piping bags ready for cookie decorating
The most common use of meringue powder is making royal icing. Royal icing is perfect for assembling gingerbread houses, creating beautiful piped flowers that dry hard, or decorating cookies with a smooth, professional finish. Royal icing has minimal ingredients with powdered sugar, meringue powder, water, and cream of tartar. Gum arabic is optional and can be added to help with the elasticity, which is ideal when piping.

When making royal icing, it is important to bring the icing to a stiff consistency to set the meringue. At this point, the icing can be used to assemble gingerbread houses or pipe flowers. If decorating cookies, the royal icing is taken in its stiff form, then thinned to a medium consistency to pipe onto cookies.

Royal icing is not used to ice cakes or cupcakes as it dries hard.

If only making a batch or two of royal icing a year, check out our royal icing mixes. It may be more cost-effective as it has meringue powder already added.

Royal Icing with Meringue Powder Recipe


  • 8 Cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted

  • 4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder

  • 1 Tablespoon Gum Arabic

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

  • 2/3 Cup Water


In a small mixing bowl, combine water, meringue powder, and cream of tartar; beat until stiff peaks form.

In a separate bowl, combine powdered sugar and gum arabic; mix thoroughly, then add to meringue. Beat on low, then medium speed until stiff peaks form.

Royal Icing needs to be whipped for a long time; whip until fluffy and will hold shape when piped. Keep covered with a damp towel. Store in an airtight, clean, greaseless container and re-whip when ready to use.

Royal Icing Tip

When working with royal icing, keep bowls, beaters, bags, tips, etc. grease-free. Grease will break down royal icing.

Why Do You Add Meringue Powder to Buttercream Frosting?

batch of buttercream icing with meringue powder in steal bowl
There are a few reasons one might add meringue powder to their buttercream frosting. First, adding meringue powder helps to stabilize the icing, making it hold its shape even in warmer temperatures. Additionally, it can help to give the buttercream a lighter, fluffier texture making it easier to pipe and ice cakes. This makes it perfect for creating a smooth finish to your buttercream iced cakes. Finally, it can help cut the sweetness of your icing.

Buttercream Icing with Meringue Powder Recipe



Cream the butter and high ratio shortening on medium high speed until light (almost white) in color. This will take 5-7 minutes. Whisk together powdered sugar and meringue powder and slowly add to butter & shortening mixture. Stop and scrape the sides while adding the powdered sugar and meringue powder mixture. Once fully incorportated add vanilla extract, almond extract, liquid, and salt. Mix on low until fully incorporated.

Buttercream Tip

Due to the addition of high ratio shortening and meringue powder this buttercream is more heat stable than other recipes.