Italian Meringue

Italian meringue is a versatile dessert, often used as frosting for cakes and pies. However, this light and airy dessert can also be used for mousse, parfaits and much more!

Prep Time:
15 min
Cook Time:
10 min


  • 1 cup ( 250 mL ) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup ( 75 mL ) water
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp ( 1.25 mL ) cream of tartar


  1. Combine sugar and water in small saucepan; bring to boil. Boil to soft ball stage (235˚F (110˚C), using a candy thermometer for accuracy. (Mixture will form a soft ball when small amount is dropped into cold water.)
  2. Beat egg whites in large bowl with electric mixer until frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Very slowly, while beating, pour hot syrup in very thin stream over beaten whites. Beat until whites are stiff and glossy.
  3. Spread meringue over cake or pie and bake as directed.
  4. Makes about 4 cups (1 L).


Makes enough meringue to ice a two-layer (8 or 9-inch/20 or 23 cm) cake or one 10 inch (25 cm) tube cake. Or, meringue can be formed into twelve 3 inch (8 cm) shells on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 250°F (120°C) oven until a wooden pick inserted near centre comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Italian meringue is used primarily as a cake frosting, but also forms the basis of divinity, mousse, and parfaits. It can also be used as a pie topping or be baked into hard meringues.