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Traditional Italian Meringue Recipe

Meringue is a special type of dessert that is made in a wide variety of methods, such as the French, the Polish, the Swiss, and lastly, the Italian.

The fluffy white stuff is made by whipping egg whites along with sugar and a dash of an acidic ingredient, which is usually lemon or cream of tartar.

In today’s article, we’ll focus on the traditional Italian meringue recipe: how to make it, what makes it’s best for, and valuable tips to make a one of a kind Italian meringue. Let’s hop in!

The Traditional Italian Meringue Recipe

The Italian meringue is excellent for cake frosting because it’s stable and tastes great! If you want to make the authentic Italian meringue, here’s the traditional recipe to make beautiful glossy peaks:

The Traditional Italian Meringue Recipe

Keyword: italian meringue, italian recipe


  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • cup water
  • 5 room temperature egg whites
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar


  • Combine the sugar with water in a small clean pot over very low heat. Make sure that the sugar has all dissolved in water without stirring it. Instead, swirl the water inside the pot.
  • Once all the sugar melts, raise to medium heat and use the thermometer resting in the pan to read the temperature, which should be about 230 to 240 degrees.
  • To prevent sugar crystals from forming up around the sides, wash them down with a wet pastry brush. Leaving crystals in the sides is enough to make the meringue unstable.
  • Meanwhile use a hand or bowl whisk to whip the egg whites on low speed until they’re foamy.
  • Slowly add the cream of tartar, and gradually raise the speed to about medium. Keep going until the meringue forms those soft sparrow peaks as you put the whisking attachment out of the mixture.
  • Continue beating the eggs on medium speed and very slowly start pouring the hot sugar syrup over the egg whites. Make sure to do that in a very thin stream and continue beating until the egg whites become glossy, stiff, and ready for use.

Italian Meringue Buttercream Recipe

Keyword: buttercream recipe, meringue


  • 1 patch freshly prepared traditional Italian meringue
  • ½ cup unsalted butter sliced


  • To make meringue buttercream, you’ll need to prepare Italian meringue as in the previous recipe and refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
  • After that add the meringue in a bowl, then cut half a cup of butter into cubes and add them gradually to allow time for each one to fully combine with the mix while beating it with a whisk attachment. When the mixture is ready, transfer it to a piping bag for frosting.

Chocolate Italian Meringue Buttercream Recipe

Keyword: buttercream recipe, italian meringue


  • ¾ cup milk or dark chocolate
  • ½ cup unsalted butter sliced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee (optional)


  • To make meringue buttercream, you’ll need to prepare Italian meringue as in the previous recipe and refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bowl by microwaving until mostly melted, then set aside to cool down a bit
  • Gradually add butter cubes to the meringue bowl while mixing on a medium-high speed beating to prepare the buttercream. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Gradually add the melted but not hot chocolate to the buttercream while mixing.
  • Gradually add the melted but not hot chocolate to the buttercream while mixing.
  • Dissolve the vanilla extract with the instant coffee and pour them over the frosting.
  • Mix all the ingredients on a medium to high speed until they have a homogenous stiff mixture of buttercream frosting.
  • When the mixture is ready, transfer it to a piping bag for frosting.

What is the Difference Between Italian, Swiss, and French Meringue?

Italian meringue is known for being the most stable type of the three. As you now know, it’s made by drizzling a stream of 240 to 250 degrees sugar syrup over whipped egg whites.

The Italian meringue is also a bit easier to do than the other two. For instance, the French meringue, which is the standard meringue, is known for being the least stable until it’s baked.

Swiss meringue, on the other hand, is made by beating the egg whites and sugar over a pan of boiling water. Yet, the water doesn’t come in contact with the mix.

Once the sugar fully dissolves in the egg white, the mixture is taken out and beaten on high speed until it attains full volume then lowered to a medium-low speed to make it fluffy and stable. Swiss meringue is the densest and smoothest of the three. Yet, not as stable as the Italian one.

What is Traditional Italian Meringue Used for?

Italian meringue can be used to make almost all kinds of meringue desserts. However, since it’s much more stable and stiffer than the other types, it’s mostly used in cake standalone frosting or in the form of buttercream frosting. It’s also added to sorbets, mousses, and ice creams.

Tips to Make a Stable Italian Meringue

1. Make Sure that Everything that the Eggs Touch is Clean

Before using any tools, bowls, or pans, make sure that you clean them thoroughly. Although Italian meringue is stable, it can still fail if the bowls had oily stains or food remains on their walls.

2. Patience is Key!

Making meringue is all about patience because beating the eggs takes a long time. Don’t rush the process or become tempted to use high speed all the time because this won’t allow the meringue to reach the desired stiffness.

3. Use Ultra-Fine Sugar for Meringue

Large sugar crystals will take forever to dissolve and will form a lot of residue that can make the meringue fail.

Always use the finest type of sugar you can find, such as caster sugar, while making Italian or any type of meringue.

Wrap Up

The traditional Italian Meringue recipe is one of the easiest styles for making meringue dessert because it’s more stable than most types and tastes remarkably great!

Remember to apply the previously mentioned tips that professional chefs use to make the best Italian meringue there is!


Written by Pauline

Pauline is a mother of four, when she isn't cooking up new dishes for her family and friends, she likes to dine out at newly-opened restaurants (especially tapas!) and review them in her blog posts.

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