Lemon Meringue Cookies

These simply sweet and slightly chewy meringues will melt in your mouth.

Lemon Meringue Cookies
Photo: Micah A. Leal
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
4 dozen

Meringues have the hard won reputation of being a challenge in the kitchen. Though the methods required to make successful meringues are technical, they're surprisingly not difficult to master. Several steps ensure your success in the meringue-making process. First, use a completely clean and dry mixing bowl to prevent any contaminates from weighing down the meringue and forcing it to deflate. You can also use superfine sugar. It helps the sugar dissolve into the egg whites. Also, be sure to slowly add the sugar to the egg whites while they gradually whip at higher speeds over the course of eight minutes. This elongated whipping time gives maximum opportunity for the sugar crystals to completely dissolve which is essential in a successful meringue. Lastly, these special meringues use lemon extract and yellow food coloring to set apart these delicate confections from their vanilla counterparts. The lemon meringues are crisp on the outside and give way to a slightly softer inside that is delicately flavored with sweet lemon. Because lemon juice cannot be used without hindering the integrity of the meringue, the lemon flavor coming from the lemon extract is not tart at all. Instead, these meringue cookies are simply sweet and bright on the tongue and dissolve in your mouth as you chew.


  • 3 large eggs whites, room temperature

  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Pinch of fine sea salt

  • ¾ cup superfine sugar

  • ¾ teaspoon lemon extract

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste, optional

  • Yellow food coloring gel, optional

  • Powdered sugar for dusting, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 225°F. Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit perfectly into two standard-size rimmed baking sheets. On each parchment piece, trace twenty four 1½-inch circles; set aside. Fit a piping bag with an open star piping tip and set aside.

  2. In a completely clean and dry stand mixer, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and sea salt. Beat on power setting 2 and slowly stream in 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Allow to beat for two minutes before increasing the speed to setting 4 and slowly adding another 3 tablespoons of sugar; allow to beat for another full two minutes. Slowly add another 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat at setting 6 for two minutes. Add final 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat at setting 8 for final two minutes.

  3. Add lemon extract and vanilla bean paste and yellow food coloring and beat on high for 30 seconds until well incorporated. Transfer meringue to piping bag.

  4. Set parchment paper inside each baking sheet and use piping bag to fill the circles with meringue. Pipe by squeezing the bag with the nozzle in the center of the circle and at a 90° angle, allowing the meringue to fill out the circle from the center. As you pipe, slowly pull the bag up as the circle fills to create a little dome of meringue; stop squeezing and pull the nozzle up to finish the meringue with a vertical peak. Repeat with remaining circles and meringue.

  5. Place baking sheets in preheated oven and bake for 1 hour without opening the oven. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door closed, allowing the meringues to cool in the oven for a final two hours. Gently lift the meringues off of the parchment paper and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

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