Lemon Drop Meringues

A batch of lemon drop meringues bring instant sunshine.

Lemon Drop Meringues
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Cool Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs

A light, lemony sweet, these Lemon Drop Meringues are like a ray of sunshine. We've taken the classic Meringue Kiss and turned it into a tart, sunny spring dessert that look impressive and taste great. Our Test Kitchen describes these Lemon Drop Meringues as "fancy Lemonhead candies," and if that doesn't convince you to give this recipe a try, we don't know what will.

It all starts with our Basic Meringue recipe, which can be adapted to create any number of cute confections. The meringue gets spiked with a light, delicate lemon flavor from either lemon extract or lemon zest; lemon extract will give them more of a tart, citric acid punch, as opposed to the more floral lemon zest. From there, we paint four yellow stripes on the inside of the piping bag, which gives the meringue a lovely two-tone stripe. It's important to paint the food coloring very lightly if you want soft, muted colors. We like to pipe these meringue kisses with a round tip to give them smooth, round sides. Sprinkle them with nonpareils for an extra-special touch.

These meringue drops are light as a cloud and gluten free, making them the perfect sweet to complement any dessert spread. They can be made up to a week ahead of time, minimizing your day-of prep time and making them a perfect, elegant dinner party dessert. You can bet you'll find a bowl of these sunny Lemon Drop Meringues on our Easter table, but they'd also be perfect for a Mother's Day brunch or any warm-weather celebration.


  • Basic Meringue, divided

  • Food coloring gel (such as Wilton Lemon Yellow)

  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract or 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon) 

  • 1 tablespoon tiny white nonpareils


  1. Preheat oven to 200°F with rack in lower third position. Spread about ⅛ teaspoon of the Basic Meringue into each corner of 2 unrimmed baking sheets. Line each baking sheet with parchment paper; press into meringue to hold parchment in place. Set aside.

  2. Using a food-safe paintbrush, paint 4 thin, very light lines of food coloring gel lengthwise along the inside of 2 large (about 18-inch) piping bags; fit 1 of the bags with a ⅓-inch round tip (such as Ateco 804). Gently stir lemon extract into remaining Basic Meringue in bowl. Transfer half of the mixture to 1 of the prepared bags. Pipe meringue into dollops (about 1 ¼ inches wide at the base) spaced at least ½ inch apart on prepared baking sheets. When bag is empty, transfer round tip to remaining bag. Add remaining meringue mixture to bag; repeat piping process. You should have about 96 meringues total. Sprinkle with nonpareils.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until dry, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Turn oven off; let meringues cool completely in oven until crisp, at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

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