How To Fix (And Avoid) Runny Meringue (2023)

If you've been mixing your meringue for what seems like forever and your mixture still looks runny, don't despair! You can store even the most runny meringue mixtures as long as you have a little patience working with the dough.

To set a batch of liquid meringue, whisk the meringue for up to 15 minutes and the meringue should set. If that doesn't work, adding extra snow whites can provide extra stiffness. You also have the option of adding a small amount of cornstarch.

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This article describes how to fix runny meringue and provides tips for resolving some other common issues. With a little practice, you can make great meringues every time.

Why is my meringue getting watery?

How To Fix (And Avoid) Runny Meringue (1)

The main reason your meringue is getting watery is that your whites weren't whipped enough. Meringues get all their volume from the air that is whipped into a mixture of egg whites and sugar, and people often underestimate how long it takes to whip them.

It's also possible that you simply whipped the meringue well in advance before baking. If a meringue mixture is left to stand for more than ten minutes, any air that was introduced during the mixing process will begin to escape and the meringue will wilt.

Watery meringue can leave you with a burnt, creamy mess in the oven. Fortunately, there is an easy solution to this problem!

What should I do if my meringue doesn't set?

The best thing to do if the meringue mixture doesn't set and starts to come apart and become watery is to whisk it quickly. You should do this for as long as necessary, which can take up to 15 minutes. This also works if you've already whipped the mixture and the meringue is flat.

This technique works for all types of meringue, including French, Swiss, and Italian styles. If all else fails, whisk the mixture and you will find that in most cases this does the trick.

What can I add to hard meringue?

If hitting as hard as possible doesn't work, you have a few other options to try before throwing out the meringue mixture and starting over, including adding another egg white (for French meringue) ormaize starch.

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It's possible to rework the meringue and it's best to try a different route rather than whipping the mixture for half an hour.

Add another egg white (French meringue only)

If you have another egg white on hand, beat until fluffy and fold into the meringue mixture. This may take some time, so be patient. If your meringue mixture is too fluffy, adding that extra egg will give it some lift.

Keep in mind that this only works if you are making French meringue. For those who aren't sure whether or not to make a French meringue, it's simply egg whites and sugar beaten with an electric mixer. These are the most common and easy to make meringues.

  • ItalianMeringue is made by pouring boiling sugar into the egg whites as you beat them.
  • SwissMeringue, on the other hand, is made by beating eggs and sugar in a double boiler. These methods are a little more difficult to prepare than French meringue and involve boiling the eggs while they are being beaten.

Because of this, you cannot put another raw egg white into a cooked Swiss or Italian meringue mixture to stiffen it up. In most cases, however, adding that extra egg is sufficient.

(If you're worried that French meringue won't measure up to Italian or Swiss meringue, thislearnof the Journal of Culinary Science & Technology found that French meringue has the highest foam stability of all three techniques. French meringues are the most stable meringues.)

Add corn starch

Perhaps you live in an exceptionally humid climate and no amount of whipped cream or extra egg whites can save your meringue. CorrespondingI like, adding 1 tsp (5.69 g) of cornstarch to a meringue mixture in humid weather will help it keep its shape better. Mix the cornstarch well to avoid pockets of dust.

Don't add cornstarch to your meringue unnecessarily "just in case," as you may end up with a chewy, grainy, or uncomfortable end product when you don't need it.

How to Fix Other Potential Meringue Problems

How To Fix (And Avoid) Runny Meringue (2)

Making meringue can be tricky for a beginner as it's not always clear what this simple mixture should look like. If you encounter other problems with your meringue, here are some other possible solutions.

How do I make my meringue thicker?

Maybe your meringue isn't watery, but it will always come out thinner than you'd like, no matter how hard or how long you spend beating. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent the meringue from getting thin in the first place.

Buy a good quality stand mixer or whisk

If you're mixing by hand and just aren't getting the results you want, consider using aelectric blender. These are much faster and provide the desired results much more consistently.

(Video) Troubleshooting Meringue | MOST COMMON PROBLEMS | Meringue Mastery Part 5/5

If you're not ready to invest in a stand mixer, make the effort to find a large this, with thin wires instead of small and more compact ones. This will catch most of the yolk as you beat it, allowing more air to get in.

Use egg whites at room temperature

Many people assume that to get the hardest meringue they should use eggs straight from the fridge, but room temperature egg whites peak much higher than cold ones. So let your eggs sit for ten to fifteen minutes before starting.

(Video) How to fix soupy or runny swiss meringue buttercream

How do I stop meringue from sweating in the oven?

If your meringue gets "sweat" or crystallized sugar on the sides when baking in the oven, it's overcooked. To avoid this, check your meringues regularly. Well-cooked meringues have a light, fluffy texture, and that perspiration robs them of some of that moisture.

How do I stop the meringue from crying on my cake?

If you put meringue in a lemon pie and notice that a layer of jam has formed between the pie and the meringue, you are probably letting the filling cool too long before adding the meringue.

To prevent meringue from soaking through a cake, consider layering the meringue on top while the cake is at room temperature or slightly reheated. This heat helps bond the center of the meringue to the cake and ensures it cooks evenly.

Useful articles for thickening pies

  • How to Fix (and Prevent) a Runny Pecan Pie
  • How to Fix Runny French Silk Pie (and Avoid It Next Time)
  • How to Fix Runny Sweet Potato Cake (and Avoid It Next Time)
  • When is sweet potato pie ready? (to avoid overcooking)
  • How to fix (and prevent) liquid meringue
  • How to fix runny pudding in 3 easy steps
  • How to Fix (and Prevent) a Runny Pecan Pie

final thoughts

Defining the liquid meringue is usually as simple as adding more air to the mixture and waiting for it to settle.develop hard peaks. You can also add another egg white or a teaspoon of cornstarch to bring the mixture to the desired consistency. If you have issues like sweating or crying, make sure you don't overcook the meringue and always add it to warm pies.

Fortunately, meringue is just egg whites and sugar. So if your first three batches fail, it's cheap and easy to hit another batch and try again.

Thanks for looking!

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(Video) How to Fix Curdled or Broken Swiss Meringue Buttercream | Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

don't miss anymoreDoes the cake need to be refrigerated? | ingredients are important.

How To Fix (And Avoid) Runny Meringue (4)

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I hope your visit here was pleasant.

(Video) How To Make PERFECT Meringue | Mistakes to Avoid!


How do you fix runny meringue? ›

If the meringue mixture becomes flat or runny when the sugar is added then it usually means that the egg whites were not quite whisked enough before the sugar was added. It sometimes helps to whisk the whites, then add a tablespoon of sugar and whisk the whites back to medium peaks before adding the rest of the sugar.

How do you stiffen meringue? ›

You have to beat the meringue in a mixing bowl so that it can stiffen up properly. When you do this right, it will have stiff peaks and the sugar will dissolve. It takes about five minutes to do this with a hand mixer on average.

Why is my egg white meringue not getting stiff? ›

There are several reasons why your meringue may not have peaked well; these include not adding tartar to the mixture, your meringue mixture was exposed to fat or oil, you simply haven't beaten the eggs enough, you added the sugar in too fast, your eggs might have been too cold, to name a few.

Can you fix weeping meringue? ›

If your meringue does weep, you can try to absorb some of the moisture by gently blotting it with a paper towel. This works especially well for removing beads of moisture on top of your meringue.

What happens if you over whisk meringue? ›

Over whip the egg whites and you risk making them too firm and they will risk losing the moisture that they hold. This will affect your meringue's crispness, as well as making it more likely to collapse or weep beads of sugar.

What ingredient helps stabilize a meringue? ›

Acid. Whether it be vinegar, lemon juice, cream of tartar, or a combination, an acid will greatly improve the structure of meringue. Acid not only helps meringue whip up and aerate more quickly, it also keeps it stable. Without acid, meringue is more likely to collapse either during or after mixing.

Why is my meringue not whipping to stiff peaks? ›

One of the most common mistakes is not beating the eggs long enough, or on too slow a speed, which means the egg whites won't reach stiff peak stage and instead only reach a soggy droopy stage.

How do you know if you over beat meringue? ›

Notice if the whites blend smoothly into the batter, or form dry clumps that resist blending. If clumps are stubborn, egg whites are over beaten.

Should you whisk meringue fast or slow? ›

Beat the meringue on low and steady speed. I usually go for speed 2 or 4 on my KitchenAid mixer. I know it's tempting to just blast the speed and get the volume up quickly, but the meringue won't be as stable! Make sure to add the sugar slowly, allowing it to dissolve before adding more.

Why won't my egg whites and sugar form stiff peaks? ›

Any amount of grease or egg yolk will keep your whites from beating to stiff peaks properly. So while you're waiting for those whites to warm up, clean and dry your bowl, beaters, and spatula by washing in hot, soapy water.

Why is my sugar leaking from my meringue? ›

The fix: Alex: “If you notice sugar syrup oozing out of your meringues while they're baking it's because the sugar hasn't dissolved properly.

Do you put meringue on hot or cold pie? ›

Make sure you're spreading your meringue over a hot — not cooled — pie filling. Otherwise, your meringue will bake on top, but the cooled pie filling won't get hot enough to cook the meringue on its bottom in the short 15 to 20 minutes needed to bake a meringue.

Can you save over beaten meringue? ›

Don't be tempted to continue: Go too far and the meringue will start to weep (a.k.a. release water) and form clumps that can't be easily incorporated into a batter. To fix broken, over-beaten egg whites, you can add an additional white and whisk briefly, just to incorporate its moisture into the original group.

How many minutes do you beat meringue? ›

It can take a while for a meringue to reach stiff peaks and for the sugar to dissolve—about five minutes with a hand mixer. If the sugar has not dissolved (for example, if it tastes gritty), keep beating.

Can you put meringue back in the oven? ›

If you've found that your meringues have gotten soft after you finished baking them, you can actually pop them back in the oven at 225F for another 10-20 minutes (watch them, if they begin to turn golden brown around the edges turn off the heat immediately) and then let them cool in the oven for another hour, this has ...

Why is my meringue watery? ›

The watery layer between the meringue and the filling (weeping) is usually caused by undercooking. This is where it is important to put your meringue onto hot filling so it can begin cooking right away.

What are the three rules for making a successful meringue? ›

Use eggs at room temperature. Cold egg whites tend to reduce meringue volume. Never let any yolk get into the whites. Don't overbeat egg whites.

What does vinegar do to a meringue? ›

An acid, such as a vinegar, can be added to a meringue mixture to help create a more stable foam when the meringue is mixed. In scientific terms the acid helps to denature, or break down, the coils of amino acids in the egg white's proteins so that they become long strands instead.

Why do you put cornstarch in meringue? ›

The cornflour and vinegar that is added strengthens the egg white and make it more stable and you get the marshmallowy centres from the shorter cooking time.

What happens if I over beat egg white? ›

There is such a thing as too strong. If your whipped egg whites become curdled and dry, they have gone too far. After excessive whipping, the proteins can get so close to each other, they essentially suffocate and expel the water contained within their circle, causing your foam to separate.

When should you add sugar the sugar when beating meringue? ›

Adding the sugar after a brief amount of whipping gives the protein network time to form while leaving enough time for the sugar to dissolve. TAKEAWAY: For ideal volume and stability, add the sugar to whipped egg whites after the eggs have started to get foamy but well before they have started to form peaks.

Can you fix soft meringue? ›

It is possible to fix chewy meringues even after the initial baking time. Return your meringues to the oven and bake them for a short amount of time, usually 10 or 15 minutes, at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Placing them on a parchment sheet will help you pull out more moisture and get a better texture.

Does vinegar stabilize meringue? ›

An acid, such as a vinegar, can be added to a meringue mixture to help create a more stable foam when the meringue is mixed. In scientific terms the acid helps to denature, or break down, the coils of amino acids in the egg white's proteins so that they become long strands instead.

What does a pinch of salt do to meringue? ›

First, salt promotes the coagulation of proteins, which means you have to beat the egg whites longer to unwind the bunched up (coagulated) protein strands and stretch them into the thin films that encase air bubbles and create foam.

Why add vinegar and cornstarch to meringue? ›

The cornflour and vinegar that is added strengthens the egg white and make it more stable and you get the marshmallowy centres from the shorter cooking time.


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