These whimsical meringue pops on a stick are the perfect party pick-me-up. Made with simple pantry ingredients like egg whites, cream of tartar, and granulated sugar, these pops are a breeze to whip up. Add a dash of vanilla for that sweet aroma, a drop or two of your favorite food coloring for a pop of color, and don’t forget the sprinkles for that fun, festive touch. Let's get this sweet party started!
As an avid baker, I am constantly trying new recipes and learning new baking techniques. One of the latest trends that has caught my eye are these adorable meringue pops.
These pops are not just any treat; they're like a party on a stick! With their vibrant colors and sparkly sprinkles, they're an instant hit at any celebration.
They're wonderfully light and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
What is meringue?
Before we dive into the recipe, let's talk about what meringue actually is.
Meringue is made by whipping egg whites with sugar and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. This creates a light and airy mixture that can be used in various desserts such as pavlovas, pies, and of course, meringue cookies!
Meringue could also be used as a base for a buttercream frosting, giving it a fluffy and delicate texture. I've actually made a Swiss meringue frosting for my strawberry Jello cake and strawberry cupcakes.
It's a game-changer, I tell you!
Why you'll love this recipe for meringue pops
- Fun and festive cookie recipe!
- Sweet and airy meringue texture.
- Easy to customize with different colors and sprinkles.
- Perfect for parties, birthdays, or any special occasion.
- Simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
- A unique twist on traditional lollipops or cookies!
- Great for those who love a sweet but light treat.
- Gluten-free and nut-free, making them a good option for those with dietary restrictions.
Key ingredients and why we use them
This recipe for meringue pops uses only 6 ingredients, but each one plays an important role in creating the perfect treat.
Here's a breakdown of the key ingredients and why we use them:
- Egg whites: The main component of meringue, egg whites provide structure and volume to the cookies. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature for best results.
- Cream of tartar: This ingredient helps stabilize the egg whites and prevents them from deflating. It also gives meringue its classic shiny texture.
- Granulated sugar: Using thin granulated sugar instead of thick and coarse sugar ensures a smooth and even mixture. The sugar also adds sweetness to balance out the tartness of the cream of tartar.
- Vanilla extract: Just a dash of vanilla adds a lovely aroma to the cookies. You can also substitute other extracts like almond or peppermint for different flavors.
- Food coloring: To make these meringue pops truly pop, add a couple of drops of your favorite food coloring. I recommend using gel-based food coloring for a vibrant and consistent color. Get creative and add your personal touch!
- Sprinkles: Last but not least, the sprinkles! These are optional, but they add a fun touch to the dessert and make them perfect for any celebration.
You'll need the following pieces of equipment to make this meringue pop recipe:
- Electric Mixer: While a hand mixer can work, an electric mixer will make your life much easier and give you more control over the consistency of your meringue.
- Lollipop Sticks: These are used to create the classic popsicle shape of meringue pops! Make sure to get sturdy ones so that your pops don't fall apart.
- Piping Bag: This is essential for creating beautiful swirls on top of each pop. If you don't have one, you can use a plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner instead.
- Piping Tip: A large open star tip is best for creating the signature swirls on top of each pop. I recommend Wilton's 1M piping tip!
- Baking Sheet: You'll need this to bake the meringue pops in the oven. I used a 19 x 13-inch half-sheet baking pan, but any size will work.
- Parchment Paper: This will prevent the meringue pops from sticking to the baking sheet.
Heather's helpful hints
Make sure your mixing bowl and beaters are squeaky clean. Any hint of anything can mess up the egg whites from whipping up properly.
It's easiest to separate egg whites when they're cold, so I recommend doing this right after you take them out of the fridge. The egg whites whip up best after being at room temperature. Let them sit for 30 minutes before you start the recipe.
When separating your egg whites, be careful not to get any bits of yolk mixed in. Even a tiny amount can mess with the texture of your meringue.
When adding sugar to your meringue, take it easy and add it gradually. This will help avoid any clumps and keep it nice and smooth.
For the best results, go for gel food coloring instead of those liquid drops. Gel food coloring won't mess up the texture of your meringue like the liquid drops can.
Patience is key when making meringue! Take your time and don't rush the process, especially when adding in the sugar. This will give you a smooth and stable mixture.
You can draw two-inch circles on the back of your parchment paper to help shape the lollipops.
You can also pipe different shapes other than circles. Hearts, stars, and even letters of the alphabet are all fair game!
Step 1) Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 225°F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
Step 2) In a clean, dry bowl, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy (1-2 minutes).
Step 3) Gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while whisking on medium-high speed. Allow sugar to fully mix in between each addition. This gradual process ensures a stable meringue mixture.
Step 4) Continue whisking until egg whites become glossy and form stiff peaks. They should stand straight with a slight bend at the end. Check for grittiness.
Step 5) Remove the egg white mixture from the mixer and gently fold in gel food coloring (2-4 folds).
Step 6) Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a 1M tip. Pipe 2-inch swirls onto parchment paper, inserting popsicle sticks and sprinkles. Pops can be placed close together.
Step 7) Bake at 225°F for one hour. Turn off the oven and let them bake for an additional hour with the door closed. Finally, garnish with ribbons or bows.
Make ahead and storage tips
Meringue pops can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to one week. They're also perfect for gifting! Simply place them in a clear bag tied with a ribbon or a bow and give them as a sweet treat to friends and family.
They will stay fresh for several days.
Frequently asked questions
Can I make these meringue pops without a piping bag and tip?
Yes, you can spoon the mixture onto the parchment paper and shape them into swirls using a spoon or spatula. However, using a piping bag and tip will give you more control over the shape and size of the pops.
Can I use different flavors or add-ins?
Absolutely! You can experiment with different extracts, such as lemon or peppermint, to change the flavor. You can also add in mini chocolate chips, crushed candies, or other fun toppings to customize your meringue pops.
What can I use in place of the cream of tartar?
Cream of tartar helps stabilize the egg whites and create a fluffy meringue. If you don't have cream of tartar, you can substitute it with an equal amount of lemon juice or white vinegar.
In the mood for more party-worthy desserts? Check out the cookie recipes below, or head on over to our recipe index for more inspiration!
- 20 lollipop sticks
- 19 x 13-inch half-sheet baking pan
- parchment paper
- piping bag
- Wilton 1M piping tip
- 4 egg whites room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 drop gel food coloring
- sprinkles for decoration
- Place a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking pans with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean, dry bowl. Begin whipping your egg whites on low-medium speed until frothy (approximately 1-2 minutes).
- Increase speed to medium-high, and add the sugar very slowly, about one tablespoon at a time. Wait 10 seconds between additions, allowing the sugar to incorporate completely. Adding the sugar slowly is the real key to a stable meringue mixture.
- Add the vanilla extract and continue whipping the egg whites until glossy, stiff peaks appear. They should stand up straight with a slight bend on the end. Rub a small amount between your fingers to ensure there is no grittiness from the sugar.
- Remove mixture from mixer and add gel food coloring. Gently fold in using 2-4 folds at most.
- Gently transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip and pipe 2-inch swirls onto the parchment paper. Insert popsicle sticks and add sprinkles. The meringue pops will not spread, so they can be close—about half an inch apart.
- Bake meringue pops in the oven at 225 for one hour. Afterward, turn the oven off and continue baking for 1 additional hour with the door closed. Garnish with ribbons or bows.
Notes and Tips
- Egg Whites: It's easiest to separate egg whites when they are cold, so I recommend doing this right after you take them out of the refrigerator. The egg whites will whip up best after being at room temperature, so allow them to sit for 30 minutes before you start the recipe.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar will work in this recipe. Superfine sugar makes a more stable meringue and can be made using a food processor. Pulse granulated sugar in a food processor for 1-2 minutes for DIY superfine sugar.
- Vanilla Extract: Feel free to substitute almond extract or use half-vanilla and half-almond in this recipe.
- Piping Tips: You can draw your two-inch circles on the back of your parchment paper to aid in shaping the lollipops.
- Shapes and Sizes: You can also pipe different shapes other than circles. You can do hearts, stars, and even letters of the alphabet!