Meringue powder is a dried and powdered form of beaten egg whites. Chefs and culinary professionals use meringue powder to achieve heightened texture and delicate sweetness in baked goods such as cakes, pies, cookies, mousses, and souffles.
The best substitutes for meringue powder include fresh egg whites, aquafaba, flaxseed, chia seeds, gelatin, bananas, and agar-agar powder. These substitutes have a similar flavor and texture to meringue powder.
Best Substitute for Meringue Powder: Fresh Egg Whites
The best substitute for meringue powder is fresh egg whites. Egg whites are an excellent replacement because they contain similar proteins to meringue powder. Whipping these proteins creates a stable foam that helps baked goods to become light and fluffy.
- 3 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar or lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
To prepare a substitute for meringue powder using fresh egg whites, beat the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar or lemon juice until the mixture forms soft peaks. The lemon juice helps stabilize the egg whites and collapses when heated. Gradually add sugar to the mixture and beat until stiff peaks form.
Substitute two tablespoons of meringue powder for one egg white.
Other Meringue Powder Substitutes, Alternatives, and Replacements
This section discusses some popular foods you can use in place of meringue powder.
Aquafaba is a vegan replacement for eggs, made from the brine or cooking liquid of chickpeas. The thick foamy liquid is a perfect replacement for meringue powder because aquafaba creates a stable foam when whipped, and helps baked goods become light and fluffy.
- 8 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups chickpeas (dry)
The easiest way to access aquafaba is to drain the liquid straight from a can of chickpeas into your recipe.
Alternatively, to make your own aquafaba, soak the chickpeas in water for at least 8 hours. Drain the chickpeas and discard the water. Add the chickpeas to a pot of freshwater and bring to a boil. Simmer for about an hour or until the beans become tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chickpeas from the pot and allow the aquafaba to cool at room temperature.
Pour the aquafaba into a container and store the liquid in the refrigerator overnight to achieve a gelatinous consistency. Add the chickpeas back into the container if you don’t want to use the aquafaba immediately.
The ideal substitution of aquafaba for meringue powder is three tablespoons of aquafaba for one tablespoon of meringue powder.
Flaxseeds are nutritious and versatile seeds high in fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. When ground into a fine meal, the seeds make an excellent replacement for meringue powder. Flaxseeds contain a mucilaginous compound that, when mixed with water, creates a sticky gel that imitates the consistency of egg whites.
- 1/2 cup flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup water
Grind the flaxseeds into a fine meal. A grinder or blender is the best tool to use, but you can also use a mortar and pestle. Add the milled seeds to water and stir thoroughly for one minute. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for a few minutes and place the ground flaxseeds in a refrigerator to form the gel.
A ratio of one tablespoon of flaxseed gel to two tablespoons of meringue powder is accurate.
White Chia Seed Gel
White chia seeds are tiny seeds high in fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds have a nutty flavor and form a sticky gel when mixed with water. The seeds act similarly to flaxseeds and make an excellent substitution for meringue powder.
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup water
Place the chia seeds in a grinder and grind the seeds into a fine meal. Add the ground chia seeds to water and stir thoroughly for one minute. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for a few minutes, then place in a refrigerator to allow the gel to form. Use white chia seeds to ensure consistent color in your recipes.
To substitute chia seeds for meringue powder, you should use a ratio of one tablespoon of chia seed gel to two tablespoons of meringue powder.
Gelatin is a versatile ingredient used as a thickening agent in various desserts, including puddings and cakes. Gelatin provides structure to baked goods in the same way that meringue powder does. Gelatin is an animal product derived from collagen, making it unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Gelatin is readily available in local grocery stores and comes in granule or powdered form. Once it dissolves in liquids, gelatine features a tasteless, colorless, and odorless consistency.
Mix three tablespoons of warm water with a tablespoon of gelatin to form a slurry. Add the gelatin slurry to your recipe as you would meringue powder.
An ideal replacement for meringue powder is 1 1/2 tablespoons of gelatin for every one tablespoon of meringue powder.
Bananas are sweet, flavorful fruits that contain pectin, a natural thickening agent. When mashed into a puree, bananas act similarly to meringue powder and give a distinct flavor in recipes. Bananas add volume and moisture to baked goods, making the fruits ideal for vegan recipes.
- 1/2 cup mashed banana or 1 large ripe banana
Place peeled and chopped bananas in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Use a blender for a creamier consistency.
For every quarter cup of mashed banana, substitute one tablespoon of meringue powder.
Xanthan gum is a powder often used as a gluten-free thickening agent. This food additive blends well with other ingredients when used in recipes. Xanthan gum is an excellent substitution for meringue powder because xanthan gum adds structure and flavor, resulting in rich, creamy vegan desserts.
Xanthan gum is readily available at health food stores or online retailers like Amazon. The additive comes in a powdered form, which you can easily add to recipes. Too much xanthan gum can make your recipe taste overly gummy or slimy, so this ingredient should be used in moderation.
Mix 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum with two tablespoons of water until the mixture turns into a thick, creamy gel. Add the gel to your recipe as you would meringue powder.
A ratio of one teaspoon of the xanthan gum mixture for two teaspoons of meringue powder is ideal.
Agar powder is a vegan alternative to animal gelatin. This powder comes from algae paste and has a jelly-like consistency when dissolved in water. Agar powder is an excellent thickening agent and an ideal substitute for meringue powder.
Agar powder is available online or at specialty food stores. Agar powder has a slightly sweet taste and helps to give structure and elasticity to vegan desserts.
- 1 tablespoon agar powder
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix one tablespoon of agar powder and one tablespoon of water to form a thick mixture. Boil the mixture for a minute and let it cool. Whip the agar mixture into a foam and add the lemon juice to stabilize the foam.
Substitute one tablespoon of agar powder for every one tablespoon of meringue powder.
Meringue powder is an excellent thickening agent and provides structure to baked goods. Meringue powder isn’t a staple in all recipes, but this ingredient can be helpful in vegan or gluten-free baking.
The best meringue powder substitutes are fresh egg whites, chia seed gel, gelatin, agar powder, and bananas. These substitutes provide a similar consistency and structure to meringue powder in recipes.