These meringues are big, pillowy sugary treats. The method of adding hot sugar to the egg whites means that once cooked, the insides of the meringues stay chewy and marshmallowy while the outside is crisp. The meringues are delicious eaten on their own or with lightly whipped heavy cream and maybe a scattering of raspberries.–Annie Rigg

What is the trick to making meringues?

There is no single trick. Successful meringues take just a little more effort than whipping. But it’s simply attention to detail. Always use egg whites from fresh eggs rather than packaged whites. Ensure they’re at room temperature. It’s also imperative that you don’t get any—ANY—yolk mixed in. Keep careful watch of the whites while beating, starting on medium speed and working up to foamy before increasing the speed. You’ll be rewarded for your vigilance with light, fluffy clouds of delight.

Four chocolate and cinnamon swirl meringues on a piece of parchment on a rimmed baking sheet.

Chocolate and Cinnamon Swirl Meringues

5 / 6 votes
Chocolate and cinnamon swirl meringues make a lovely, delicate dessert. When you just want something light and sweet, these airy meringues are just the thing.
David Leite
Servings4 to 6 meringues
Calories344 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 3/4 cups superfine sugar, (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)
  • 4 to 5 large (5 1/2 oz) egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa , (either natural or Dutch-processed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
  • Pour the sugar into a small roasting pan and place in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes, or until the sugar is hot to the touch and just barely starting to melt at the edges. Remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 225°F (107°C).
  • While the sugar is in the oven, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the salt and whisk until frothy.
  • Quickly pour all the hot sugar onto the egg whites in one go and continue to whisk on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, until the meringue mixture is very stiff and white.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa and cinnamon. Pour the cocoa mixture into the meringue mixture and, using a large metal spoon, very lightly fold it in, using just two or three strokes. The trick is to keep the mixture quite marbled in appearance.
  • Spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in 4 or 6 equal-size peaky meringues. Cook on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours, until the meringues are dry and crisp throughout. (Yes, we know, that’s quite the range in time. It all depends on the size of your meringues and the humidity in your kichen.)
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. (The cookies will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. Find more information on storing your cookies here.) Originally published December 06, 2011.
Gifts from the Kitchen

Adapted From

Gifts from the Kitchen

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 344 kcalCarbohydrates: 89 gProtein: 1 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 0.2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1 gSodium: 13 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 87 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Annie Rigg. Photo © 2011 Catherine Gratwicke. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These make for a beautiful dessert. They come out crunchy on the outside with a chewy center. When warming my sugar, I noticed it began to melt a bit on the edges, but this did not have any effect on the finished product.

My meringues took about two hours in the oven. They had a light, sweet flavor that would go great with some fruit. I served mine with frozen yogurt and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. They were a nice follow-up to a heavy meal.

Everyone loved the flavor and texture. I thought the new method of baking the sugar was really interesting. Pay attention to the sugar—I pulled it out to look when I noticed that the edges were looking like liquid; it took only five minutes. Also, my stand mixer must be strong, because my whites and sugar were ready in about four to five minutes.

My meringues took about one hour to bake. The range in time could be due to a few factors—aside from oven variations, how thick the meringue is placed on the sheet can determine the amount of time it takes to bake. I’m not sure about three hours, but I could see up to two hours.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. I‘ve made it a number of times now and it always comes out great. I make 20 meringues from the recipe dropping them on the baking sheet with a tablespoon, as I prefer the smaller size. They take about 1.5 hours in my oven. Highly recommend. And great for gluten-free people, too.

    1. And we love your photo, Monika! Greatly appreciate you sharing it and your wee meringue trick. I agree that a smaller dollop of loveliness can be exactly what is needed. And yes, don’t you love recipes that are just naturally gluten-free? No hoops. No hurdles. No wondering if your substitutions will work. Just goodness.

  2. These look fabulous to serve as a light crunchy complement to a richer more substantial Passover dessert. Just what I needed! Question: what kind of cocoa? Sweetened or not? Dutch-processed or “natural”? Many thanks and Happy Passover and Easter!

    1. Lynn, glad you found these! They are definitely fabulous! And excellent questions. You want to use an unsweetened cocoa powder. As for Dutch-processed versus “natural,” either will work here since it’s nat a recipe that requires leavening (and, hence, the chemical reaction that involves acid). We’ve added mention of this in the ingredient list so as to anticipate other readers asking the same question. Many thanks for taking the time to ask and for helping us improve the recipe for others! Happy, Happy Passover to you and yours!

  3. Is there any rule of thumb for how much sugar is required to get egg whites to turn into meringue, some proportion? Because I love meringues, but they are just too sweet for me. This flavor combination really calls to me, but that sugar. Ick. I’m not a big sweets eater, mainly because anything very sweet nauseates me. One reason I never got on the mad macaron bandwagon a couple years ago. Loved all those colors and flavors, but those little sugar pills…

    1. ruthie, you need a minimum of 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar per egg white to get a stable meringue.

      1. Thank you, David! Good to know. Unfortunately, that’s not going to work for me. Sigh. Oh, well. It’s not as if there aren’t a ton of other things to bake. 😉