What is meringue powder?
Meringue powder is a powdered dry ingredient that adds structure, volume, and tenderness to meringue-based recipes such as meringues, macaroons, and pavlova. The meringue powder is created using egg whites, whipped into a foam, dried, and then pulverized into a fine powder. With this powder, you can quickly achieve the desired appearance and soft and tender feeling you can only get from raw eggs.
If you’ve ever tasted meringues made with meringue powder, you know that they are delicious. And if you can’t find meringue powder in the store, you can easily make your own.
How healthy (or unhealthy) is it?
There isn’t a food in the world that is without the potential to be unhealthy if you overeat it. Although generally considered to be a healthier alternative, meringue powder is not without its controversies. There are many different variations of meringue powder, including a liquid variety that you can use in various recipes.
The” healthier” alternative to ingredients like butter, oil, and sugar, meringue powder is calorie and fat-free. It’s most commonly used in desserts, including meringue-based desserts, hot chocolate, and mixed drinks. Meringue powder is made from dried egg whites, sometimes combined with vinegar, and a powder made from cornstarch and cream of tartar.
Meringue powder is a powdered food for preparing meringue dessert or toppings.
One can usually find meringue powder in the baking aisle of your supermarket. It’s the backbone ingredient in your favorite meringue pie, dessert, or topping.
Meringue powder is a convenient option for anyone who loves meringue dessert but doesn’t want the fuss of whipping egg whites or the mess of mixing egg yolks and sugar by hand.
Two tsp of Meringue powder contain 20 Calories, 4g Carbs (4g net carbs), 0g Fat, and 2g Protein.
In what recipes is meringue powder used in?
Meringue powder is one of the extremely few food additives that mix ingredients that are good for you.
Meringue powder is used to give baked treats the signature light, fluffy structure that’s the perfect balance of crisp and chew. Meringue powder is most commonly used in meringue and is a leavening agent for dessert soufflées and deviled eggs.
The most popular meringue powder is made from egg whites. However, in areas with laws related to egg safety, some people may wish to use an egg-free meringue powder. There is a non-egg option available on the market called "Perfect Meringue Powder" that is soy-based. It is commonly used in meringues and similar desserts but would work equally well as a leavening agent for custard.
Why do we need meringue powder substitutes?
Meringue powder combines finely ground egg whites and cornstarch, which stabilizes and improves the meringue’s ability to retain moisture. When making a meringue, you can also use it in place of regular baking sugar, which gives the meringue more stability and helps it keep its shape when used in pies, cakes, and even cookies.
Meringue powder is a commercial product added directly to the whipped egg whites and helps stiffen them even more. It contains a combination of cornstarch and sweetener and is considered to be a stabilizer. You can find the powder in the baking aisle of most grocery stores, as well as in some craft stores, and it’s used to make meringues, marshmallows, and other desserts that have a whipped, fluffy consistency.
Fresh egg whites are the best substitute for meringue powder. Just separate the egg whites and whip them until stiff peaks are formed. Add cream of tartar or lemon juice to stabilize the whole mixture and prevent it from collapsing. One egg white can be used as a substitute for two tablespoons of meringue powder.
Egg White Powder
You can use egg white powder as a substitute for meringue powder to make meringue cookies. We've tested it and confirmed that the egg white powder tastes almost the same as meringue powder.
The packet of egg white powder you will need will depend on the size of the cookie recipe you are trying to make. But, generally speaking, you will use a 1:1 ratio of egg white powder to meringue powder.
Recently, people discovered a fantastic vegan ingredient to be an excellent meringue powder substitute is Aquafaba (also known as "bean juice"). The canned bean liquid, also called Garbanzo Bean Liquid or Chickpea Liquid, is the key to creating the perfect vegan meringues. The liquid is generally discarded in cooking, but instead, you can save it, mix it with sugar, and prepare the perfect fluffy, creamy vegan meringues.
It’s relatively easy to find cans of bean liquid in most grocery stores. If you are using aquafaba to make meringue, you will have to add cream of tartar to stabilize the mixture and create stiff peaks. To substitute 1 cup of meringue powder, use 1 ½ cups of aquafaba.
Agar is a gelatinous substance derived from red algae and is commonly found in Japanese and European cuisine.
Most bakeshops and pastry stores that cater to the Japanese market have agar available for sale today. It is available in blocks and powdered form. Agar powder is preferred over agar powder blocks because it dissolves quicker and is easier to measure.
Agar powder has a similar texture to meringue powder and can be used interchangeably. Mix equal amounts of agar powder and water and bring it to a boil for about five minutes. When the mixture is set, whip it and use it as a substitute for meringue powder.
One tablespoon of agar mixed with one tablespoon of water is the amount you can use as a substitute for two teaspoons of meringue powder.
Gelatin is a product made from the collagen found inside the bones, connective tissues, and skin of pigs, cattle, and other animals. So, if you are vegan or vegetarian, this is not the right product to use as a substitute for meringue powder in your recipes.
Gelatin is by far the best and the most common meringue powder substitute. It’s also widely used as a thickener for puddings. The reason it’s used so frequently in meringues – and often considered the best and the most popular meringue powder substitute – is that it gives the meringues the fluffy, marshmallow-like texture that is the trademark of a high-quality meringue.
To substitute for the powdered form of gelatin, you would have to use a package of unflavored gelatin. Before using unflavored gelatin, however, you would need to warm it in water to dissolve it. You would also need to add the warm gelatin mixture to the bowl containing the other meringue ingredients. You would want to thoroughly stir to ensure that you didn’t leave any lumps.
Mix 1 tablespoon of gelatin with three tablespoons of warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes. Whip the mixture and use it as a substitute for two teaspoons of meringue powder.
The Bottom Line
You can use meringue powder to make meringue, royal icing, and for decorating many sweet treats. But if you don’t have it, you can substitute it with some of the ingredients mentioned in this article. Try them and let us know how they worked in your recipe.
Top Vegan Picks
Meringue powder is used to make meringue as well as some other baked goods. Cornstarch, gelatin, and tapioca can be used in some recipes to substitute meringue powder, but none of these ingredients will serve you if you are a vegan. The best vegan pick for you is Aquafaba. It is a fantastic vegan ingredient that got discovered to be an excellent meringue powder substitute. The canned bean liquid is the key to creating the perfect vegan meringues.
Top Healthy Picks
One healthy substitute for meringue powder is Agar powder. It has a similar texture to meringue powder and can be used interchangeably.
Top Convenient Picks
Meringue powder is a very versatile baking ingredient. But if you’ve found yourself without bakers’ meringue in your pantry, will you be able to find another component that you can use to make a substitute? The answer is yes.
Fresh egg whites are the best convenient substitute for meringue powder. Just separate the egg whites and whip them until stiff peaks are formed.
Top Convincing Picks
Gelatin is by far the best and the most common meringue powder substitute. It’s also widely used as a thickener for puddings. If you are not a vegetarian, gelatin is the most convincing option to replace meringue powder in your next dessert recipe.