Best Substitutes For Meringue Powder

best substitutes for meringue powder

Meringue powder is an essential ingredient for creating light and fluffy meringues, frosting, and other baked goods. However, it is not always readily available in every kitchen pantry. If you find yourself without meringue powder, don’t fret. There are several substitutes that can yield excellent results and give your desserts the same airy texture and stability that meringue powder provides.

In this article, we will explore different substitutes for meringue powder, discuss their characteristics, and provide tips on how to choose the right substitute for your recipe. We will also share some delicious recipes that can be made using these substitutes.

Key Takeaways

  • Meringue powder is a common ingredient in meringues, frostings, and other baked goods.
  • Meringue powder can be substituted with alternatives such as cream of tartar, vinegar, lemon juice, or aquafaba.
  • Each substitute has its own unique characteristics and may affect the taste, texture, and stability of the final product.
  • Choose the right substitute based on the desired outcome and flavor profile of your recipe.
  • It is important to read and follow recipe instructions carefully when using substitutes for meringue powder.

Why You Need A Substitute For Meringue Powder

Meringue powder is made from dried egg whites blended with sugar and stabilizers. It is commonly used to stabilize and add structure to meringue-based desserts. However, there are a few reasons why one might need a substitute for meringue powder:

  1. Unavailability: Meringue powder may not be readily available in all grocery stores or regions. If you are unable to find it or have run out, having alternatives can save the day.

  2. Allergy or dietary restrictions: Some people may be allergic to eggs or follow a vegan diet, making meringue powder unsuitable for their needs. Using substitutes allows them to still enjoy meringue-based desserts.

  3. Preference: Some individuals may simply prefer the taste or texture of desserts made with certain substitutes over meringue powder.

  4. Experimentation: Trying out different substitutes can be a fun and creative way to explore new flavors and textures in your baked goods.

Types Of Substitutes For Meringue Powder

White meringue powder

When looking for substitutes for meringue powder, it’s essential to understand the characteristics of each alternative. Here are some common substitutes:

  1. Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is an acidic byproduct of winemaking. It is often used as a stabilizer in meringues and whipped creams. Cream of tartar helps to give structure and stability to whipped egg whites and can be used as a substitute for meringue powder.

  2. Vinegar: Vinegar is a versatile ingredient that can be used in place of meringue powder. It provides the necessary acidity to stabilize and volumize whipped egg whites.

  3. Lemon Juice: Lemon juice, similar to vinegar, adds acidity to egg whites, helping to stabilize and create volume. It also imparts a subtle citrus flavor to the final product.

  4. Aquafaba: Aquafaba is the liquid that comes from a tin or can of chickpeas. It has a similar protein content to egg whites and can be whipped into a foam with similar properties to meringue. Aquafaba is an excellent substitute for meringue powder in vegan recipes.

Best Substitutes For Meringue Powder

White meringue powder

  1. Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is an excellent substitute for meringue powder as it helps to stabilize and add structure to whipped egg whites. To use cream of tartar as a substitute, add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar per egg white to your recipe. Whip the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.

  2. Vinegar: If you don’t have cream of tartar on hand, vinegar can be used as an alternative. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar per egg white to your recipe. Whisk the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.

  3. Lemon Juice: In the absence of both cream of tartar and vinegar, lemon juice can be used to stabilize the egg whites. Use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of lemon juice per egg white, depending on your taste preference. Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

  4. Aquafaba: Aquafaba is an ideal substitute for meringue powder in vegan recipes. To replace meringue powder, use 3 tablespoons of aquafaba for every egg white required in the recipe. Whip the aquafaba until it holds stiff peaks, just like you would with egg whites.

Choosing The Right Substitute For Meringue Powder

White meringue powder airy

When choosing a substitute for meringue powder, consider the following factors:

  1. Flavor: Each substitute has its own taste profile, which may affect the overall flavor of your dish. Cream of tartar has a neutral flavor, whereas vinegar and lemon juice can add a subtle tangy or citrusy taste to the finished product.

  2. Texture: Meringue powder provides stability and creates a light texture in recipes. When choosing a substitute, consider how it will affect the final consistency of your dessert. Cream of tartar, vinegar, and lemon juice all help to stabilize egg whites and create fluffy meringues.

  3. Allergies and dietary restrictions: If you or someone you are baking for has dietary restrictions or allergies, consider using substitutes like vinegar, lemon juice, or aquafaba, which are suitable for vegan diets or are allergen-free.

  4. Recipe compatibility: Ensure that the substitute you choose is suitable for the recipe you’re making. Some alternatives may work better in certain dishes, so it’s important to read through the recipe and understand the function of meringue powder before selecting a substitute.

Remember, experimentation is key when it comes to finding the ideal substitute for meringue powder. It may take some trial and error to achieve the desired results, so don’t be afraid to tweak recipes and try different alternatives.

Pro Tip: When using lemon juice as a substitute for meringue powder, add a small pinch of salt to enhance the flavors and balance the acidity.

Cooking With Substitutes For Meringue Powder

White meringue powder airy

When using substitutes for meringue powder, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Follow the recipe: Be sure to read the recipe instructions carefully and understand the role of meringue powder in the dish. Adjust the quantities of the substitute accordingly to ensure the desired results.

  2. Whipping technique: Whether you’re using cream of tartar, vinegar, lemon juice, or aquafaba, it’s crucial to beat the substitute vigorously to incorporate air and create the desired texture. Use a clean, dry bowl and whisk or a stand mixer for best results.

  3. Gradually add the substitute: When adding the substitute to your recipe, do so gradually. This allows for better control over the final consistency and stability of the whipped mixture.

  4. Be mindful of acidity: If you opt for vinegar or lemon juice as substitutes, especially in delicate recipes like angel food cake, be mindful of the acidity level. Too much acid can interfere with the leavening agents in the recipe and affect the overall structure and rise.

Recipes Using Substitutes For Meringue Powder

meringue powder

Here are two delicious recipes that showcase substitutes for meringue powder:

Lemon Meringue Pie


  • 1 pre-baked pie crust
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 egg whites


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, water, and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring continuously until mixture thickens and comes to a boil.

  2. Remove from heat and slowly whisk about half of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Return mixture to the saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Stir in butter, lemon zest, and lemon extract. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Allow the filling to cool.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). In a clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar (or substitute) until soft peaks form. Gradually add in 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

  5. Pour the cooled lemon filling into the pre-baked pie crust. Top with the meringue mixture, making sure it touches the edges of the crust to prevent shrinking.

  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown. Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.

Vegan Pavlova


  • 1 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar or 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 200°F (95°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk aquafaba and cream of tartar (or substitute) on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla extract. Continue to whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture becomes glossy.

  3. Spoon the meringue mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, forming a circle or individual meringue nests. Create a well in the center of each mound.

  4. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 2 to 2.5 hours, or until the meringues are crisp and dry. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside for an additional 30 minutes to cool gradually. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

Storage And Shelf Life Of Substitutes

meringue powder

The storage and shelf life of substitutes for meringue powder vary depending on the substitute used:

  • Cream of tartar: Store cream of tartar in a cool, dry place, tightly sealed. It has an indefinite shelf life if stored properly.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar has a long shelf life, especially if stored in a cool, dark place. It can typically be kept for up to two years or more.
  • Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice should be stored in the refrigerator and used within two to three days. Bottled lemon juice may have a longer shelf life but check the expiration date for guidance.
  • Aquafaba: Aquafaba can be refrigerated for up to a week, or it can be frozen for longer storage. If freezing, pour the liquid into an ice cube tray and freeze, then transfer the cubes to a freezer bag or airtight container.


While meringue powder is a common ingredient used in various recipes, it is not always accessible or suitable for everyone. Thankfully, there are several substitutes available that can mimic the texture, stability, and flavor of meringue powder. Cream of tartar, vinegar, lemon juice, and aquafaba are all viable alternatives that can be effectively used in meringue recipes.

When selecting a substitute, consider the flavor, texture, allergies, and compatibility with your recipe. Remember to experiment and adjust the quantities to achieve the desired results. By following the guidelines and recipes provided in this article, you can confidently create delicious meringue-based desserts without meringue powder.


What Is Meringue Powder And Why Would I Need A Substitute?

Meringue powder is a mixture of dried and pasteurized egg whites and other ingredients that is commonly used in baking to make meringues, royal icing, and other desserts. Some people may need a substitute because they have a food allergy or intolerance to eggs or certain additives in meringue powder, or may simply prefer to avoid using it for personal reasons.

What Are Some Good Substitutes For Meringue Powder In Baking Recipes?

There are several alternatives to meringue powder that can be used in baking, including cream of tartar, cornstarch, arrowroot powder, xanthan gum, and aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas). These ingredients can help to stabilize and aerate egg whites or whipped cream to achieve similar results to those obtained with meringue powder.

How Much Substitute Should I Use For Meringue Powder In A Recipe?

The amount of substitute needed will depend on the recipe and the desired result. As a general guideline, it is recommended to use about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar or cornstarch per egg white, or about 2 tablespoons of aquafaba per egg white. It’s important to note that substitutions may affect the texture, flavor, and appearance of the final product, so some experimentation may be needed to get the best results.

Are There Any Downsides To Using Substitutes For Meringue Powder?

While substitutes can be a good option for those who cannot or choose not to use meringue powder, they may not always give the exact same results. For example, some substitutes may alter the taste or texture of the finished product, or may not be suitable for certain types of desserts. Additionally, some people may have food allergies or sensitivities to the alternative ingredients used in substitutes, so it’s important to read labels and check for any potential allergens.

Where Can I Find More Information And Recipes Using Meringue Powder Substitutes?

There are many resources available online and in cookbooks for finding and adapting recipes that use meringue powder substitutes. Some helpful websites to check out include,, and Additionally, experimenting with your own favorite recipes and ingredients can lead to delicious and unique creations.

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  • About the Author Jenny

    I'm Jenny, a housewife with an unwavering passion for food. My culinary journey began with my grandmother's kitchen, and it's now a full-fledged food blog. I've turned my love for cooking into a creative outlet, sharing recipes and stories with a global community of fellow food enthusiasts. It's proof that being a housewife can also mean pursuing your passions and savoring life's delectable moments.