Want a fancy-pants way to impress guests at dessert time? Whip up a batch of homemade meringue cups. For this recipe, meringue gets baked in the form of an edible bowl. It looks every bit as pretty when stuffed with fresh berries (like in our favorite Easter Meringue Cups recipe) or a bright lemon curd.
Though it takes a bit of coaxing to get the meringue to form stiff peaks, the end result is well worth the effort. The sugary-sweet shells bake up to form a texture that’s hard on the outside and soft on the inside. They’re lightweight and will melt in your mouth, making them a good option for ending a particularly filling dinner or enjoying a balmy summer night.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making masterful meringue cups:
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
Step 1: Make the Meringue
Kick things off by heating the oven to 250°.
Put your egg whites in a clean mixing bowl. Beat them on medium speed until they start to turn foamy. Then, gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. It’s important to do this slowly to achieve the perfect texture. Beat on high after each tablespoon is added. Continue until the sugar is dissolved and glossy peaks form. It should feel silky smooth between your fingers.
Test Kitchen Tip: For the best results, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.
Step 2: Shape the Shells
Scoop out the meringue and drop into eight mounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Then, with the back of a spoon, begin to shape them into cups. Do this by gently pressing a well into the center of the meringue. You’ll want them to be about 3 inches in size.
Test Kitchen Tip: For added crunch, consider sprinkling with a favorite topping like chopped nuts or rainbow sprinkles.
Step 3: Bake
Pop the cups into the oven and bake until they’re set and dry. This will take about 45 to 50 minutes. Then turn off the oven. Don’t open the door or remove the meringues. Instead, let them sit inside the oven as it cools. Leave them there for about an hour. This will continue cooking the meringues very gently and will make sure their final texture is just right.
Step 4: Cool
After the hour, remove the meringues from the oven and let them cool completely on their baking sheets. Serve them right away or store in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll keep for about 2 days.
Because meringue cups have a plain flavor, they can be stuffed with lots of fillings. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Fresh fruits: Chopped strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or other seasonal fruits. Add a spoonful of frozen yogurt or vanilla ice cream for a frosty twist.
- Chocolate: Load ’em up with chocolate ganache, Nutella or pudding. For a pretty presentation, finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.
- Keep it light: Sweeten a few dollops of whipped cream with your favorite extract. Try vanilla, hazelnut or peppermint. Pipe it in a swirl on top of the cups.