Mar 4

How to: Make Meringue Shells


How to: Make Meringue Shells Final Tutorial Recipe

As much as I love entertaining, there are times when the thought of making a full meal, from appetizers and cocktails to entree, side dish and dessert, seems overwhelming. Of course, I could make things a little easier on myself by buying a dessert from a pastry shop, but that is not in my masochistic nature. That is where these easy, freezable meringue shells come in. Made of whipped egg whites and sugar, the shells can be made ahead of time and stored in airtight containers in the freezer. They take a matter of minutes to defrost at room temperature, and can be filled with ingredients such fresh berries, whipped cream, chocolate mascarpone cheese, or ice cream.

This post is part of my weekly how-to series. Be sure read through the other tutorials for more kitchen tips and skills.

How to do it:

*It is very important to use a bowl and beaters that are well-cleaned and dried. Any grease on these items can prevent the egg whites from achieving stiff peaks.

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.

Prepare two large baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. On each piece of parchment paper, trace six 3- to 3 1/2-inch circles with a pencil.

Pour 8 large egg whites into a very clean, large bowl or the bowl of a mixer.


With a hand or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat at low speed until the egg whites are foamy.

Increase speed to medium and gradually pour in 2 cups sugar. Continue beating until the egg whites form stiff peaks when you lift the beaters out of the egg mixture. You now have a meringue.

How to Make Meringue Collage

Take care not to overbeat the egg whites, as they can become grainy and dry.

Using a rubber spatula, gently transfer the meringue to a clean pastry bag fitted with a large circular or star tip, depending on the look you want to achieve.

Starting at the center of each circle, pipe a circle of meringue. When you reach the outer rim of the circle, pipe 1 to 2 additional layers on top of the border. Obviously, the more you pipe, the deeper each shell will be.


Put the baking sheets in the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, then turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven for 30 additional minutes.

Gently peel the meringues off of the parchment. Cool completely and put the meringues in an airtight container. Freeze the meringues if you will not be using them in the next 3 to 4 days.

How to: Make Meringue Shells LS

Printable recipe

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Explora Cuisine March 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm

They are so beautiful!!! lovely dessert, I love it :) Have a great weekend!


2 Daydreamer Desserts March 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Great tip post Dara, a very simple yet elegant dessert! Love it!


3 Lisa@Pickles and Cheese March 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Thanks for this great tutorial! These look beautiful and delicious and I never imagined that you could freeze them…Even better! I will be making these very soon. Thank you.


4 Pegasuslegend March 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Very pretty, I think I will try these in Green for St Pattys Day! thanks for the tutorial!


5 Sue March 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Your meringue shells are perfect and beautiful! Thanks for the great tutorial.


6 marla March 6, 2011 at 8:52 am

Dara, these are so great fro entertaining. Love the idea that you can freeze them ahead of time. Looks like so much more effort than is actually required. Thanks for this helpful tutorial.


7 Lizzy March 6, 2011 at 9:57 am

Dara, you have mastered these! Beautiful~


8 Barbara | VinoLuciStyle March 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

I love all things meringue. Meringue cookies, meringue layers in lieu of cake layers and yes, meringue shells…which I haven't done for such a long time and now wondering why. Beautiful job.


9 Torviewtoronto March 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I like making meringue at home you have made them beautifully looks delicious


10 Cookin' Canuck March 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Thank you for all of your comments! These were a lot of fun to make and I'm happy to have a stash sitting in my freezer.


11 warmvanillasugar March 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm

These are just lovely! I'm so happy I know how to make them now :)


12 Katrina March 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I'm scared of meringue but I just may have to try! These are beautiful! ♥- Katrina


13 Rose&Thorn March 7, 2011 at 2:22 am

What a great tip – I would never have known you can freeze meringues. I will certainly be trying this soon.


14 Rose&Thorn March 7, 2011 at 2:22 am

What a great tip – I would never have known you can freeze meringues. I will certainly be trying this soon.


15 Rose&Thorn March 7, 2011 at 2:22 am

What a great tip – I would never have known you can freeze meringues. I will certainly be trying this soon.


16 Vivienne March 7, 2011 at 4:36 am

this is gonna be soo useful to me for when i have to make terrible at it coz seems like i always overbeat or underbeat.. which resulted in my latest pavlova disaster;)
your shells look so elegant and pretty!


17 RecipeGirl March 7, 2011 at 7:45 am

Great tutorial! I never have much luck w/ meringue. It either turns brown in the oven, or the air here is too damp and it turns into a mushy mess instead!


18 Darla @ Bakingdom March 7, 2011 at 7:57 am

Looove these. I only recently learned that I love meringue so much, and the idea of filling it with more deliciousness is great! Plus, it's so much easier than you'd expect…for something visually impressive. Thanks for the idea!


19 Mary at n00bcakes March 7, 2011 at 8:20 am

How cool! These are very attractive, and I love the fact that you can freeze them to use later. It's a great way to decrease the time needed to make a classy dessert. Thanks for another great how-to!


20 Soma March 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

I had always been so scared to make meringue. Don't know what keeps me away from even giving it a try. This step by step is bookmarked and I WILL try it, sometime. Thanks Dara.


21 Kulsum@JourneyKitchen March 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

I must admit – I suck at meringue. I have tried at least 3 times with bad bad results. Yours look perfect. Sigh! makes me want to give it another try.


22 Cooking Rookie March 7, 2011 at 11:25 am

What a beautiful post!


23 One of Ottawa's Real Foodies March 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I just made some nests and would have preferred that they weren't so beige in colour. I did 250F for 1 1/2 hours and then left them to sit in the oven. I like the idea that you had success at 225F. I will try that next time and hope that they stay a bit more white. I only use 1 1/2 cup sugar for 8 whites instead of the 2 you use. Do you think that is affecting my colouring? They already seem so sweet!


24 Wilde in the Kitchen March 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Such a handy trick! Meringue shells look so pretty filled with fruits, an amazing dessert in no time!


25 5 Star Foodie March 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm

These meringue shells are picture perfect! Sounds like a perfect project for 5 Star Foodie Junior, thanks so much for the great tips!


26 Nancy March 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Great tutorial Dara – These are like the perfect "little black dress" aren't they? They go with just about everything are are appropriate for almost any occasion!


27 Angie's Recipes March 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm

An easy to understand and detailed tutorial!


28 Seizing My Day March 9, 2011 at 11:40 am

Those look SO amazing!! I made them once… many moons ago at a women's time out group in BC.. back when we lived in BC!! =) We made chocolate ones too… do you make chocolate ones??! Yours are WAY fancier than the ones we made… ha ha!


29 Sarah March 9, 2011 at 11:56 pm

OH wow, these are lovely!


30 A Canadian Foodie March 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Great tutorial. Glad to own you as a fellow countrywoman. 😉
Love pavlovas, too… I sometimes put less sugar in my meringues. Have you tried that? I find it doesn't hurt the crunch. Or, I just add no sugar to the whipped cream over them… instead of a custard and lots of fresh fruit. There really is nothing better.
WONDEFUL tutorial


31 Jennifer March 14, 2011 at 9:30 am

Just found your blog! I’m Canadian too!
These look great, do you have any recipes with ways to fill them?


32 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 14, 2011 at 9:36 am

Jennifer, it’s always good to meet another Canadian.

Here’s a link to one of the first recipes I ever posted (so please excuse the photos). The meringue shells in this recipe are filled with chocolate mascarpone cheese and strawberries.


33 Julia July 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I just confessed my fear of meringues on twitter, and then saw this post. I WILL conquer them, I will!!!! I’m so glad to know I can freeze them too, wow, who knew?! You, obviously 😉


34 verena November 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I cannot find a Bakery in Victoria,BC to buy some Meringue shells and was really disappointed, Finally I found your site with the recipe for meringues and I am anxious to give it a try.
In Europe we have them on Easter,X-mas and any other occasion.
Thank you


35 Rachel June 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Mine came out looking very nice, but I’m not sure if they were baked enough. They were sticky on the bottom, very marshmallow like and the sides were crispy. Can you tell me if they’re supposed to taste crispy all the way through, or chewy and slightly soft with crispy exterior?


36 Shereé February 27, 2015 at 9:21 pm

These are very pretty. I don’t use a pastry bag but a pastery plunger type thing with like ten tips. The pastery tube doest ways hold as much as I might need but I will try it. I do pretty much the same thing except I was taught to always use Cream Of Tarter when making Pavlova (meringue shells). How much you use depends on how many eggs you use. For six eggs I add 1/8 teaspoons, for eight eggs I would add 1/4 teaspoons. Cream Of Tarter gives the meringue more volume resulting in the whipped texture you get that you don’t get without it. You can not only fill your Pavlova with fruit or fruit compote you can fill it with custards, puddings, lemon curds, pastry fillings, fruit fillings, preserves, jams, pie fillings, etc.. All can be topped with whipped cream or Redi Wbip and covered with warm white or dark chocolate, caramel, lemon, cherry and other delectable easy to make sauces. Hope this helps the person who asked for suggestions.
Thank you for your lovely tutorial.


37 Marianne March 19, 2015 at 10:26 am

What a great tutorial this is and my family loves them! Whenever we have a get together, they are the top request! I fill them with whipped coconut cream, drop raspberries on top and drizzle them with a raspberry coulis! So wonderful on a cold Canadian day!


38 S Logan April 11, 2015 at 9:46 pm

My mother would use this recipe for meringue and draw the out line for Swan neck & head, then another outline for the swan wings. Usually about 3-4 inches in size. Then bake. Then in a shallow bowl would would arrange a round scoop of sorbet or ice cream with the head and wings around it to present a beautiful Swan Dessert.


39 S Logan April 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm

For those comments regarding stickiness, or marshmellow like insides it might have to do with humidity at the time of baking. You would like it to be a dry warm day for best results.


40 Tracey April 22, 2015 at 4:13 pm

I made these Meringues , just the other day. My first time ever making them.. And they were the BEST I HAVE EVER HAD. Not to mention EASY. Thanks for sharing. Tracey


41 Nancy May 29, 2015 at 11:21 am

These would be great for my daughter’s wedding. How long do they hold up in the freezer, do you know?

Thank you for sharing this tutorial too!


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