Grab a skinny taste of fall with this Cinnamon Spice Meringue Cookie recipe. They are as light as air, fat-free, delicious on their own or as a decoration on other desserts.
We've taken classic meringue cookies and given them a warm fall flavor with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. These easy delicate cookies have no flour or fat.
They are crisp and light with a tiny bit of chewiness.
These are the perfect meringue cookies for fall celebrations without guilt!
What is a meringue cookie?
Airy, light cookies made from beaten egg whites, white sugar and some spices. Stiff glossy peaks form and they are baked in a low temperature oven. They turn into weightless confections with a beautiful matte exterior.
This meringue recipe actually bakes in a low oven temperature that is turned off. This is the method my grandmother taught me. The oven is heated just to 300 degrees, turned off then the recipe prepared.
The cookies sit in the oven and cool in the oven. This baking method allows them to set without cracking.
Some types of meringues actually sit in a previously heated oven overnight to set. Low temperature is a key technique to make the best meringues.
Don't make on a humid day if possible.
Meringues are easy to make but do require some specifics for best results. See our Pro Tips below.
NOTE: the meringue cookies in the photos were made using vanilla bean paste which will make them slightly darker. For the final recipe version we opt'ed for vanilla extract which more people would use. The meringues will be an off white tawny color (not as dark as these) with flecks of spices.
What makes this skinny?
Meringue cookies are a great skinny dessert option because they are very low in calories!
- No flour, no fat
- Egg whites only (no egg yolks which have more fat)
- It has less sugar than most meringue recipes
- They are a light and airy cookie
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
Egg Whites. Start with room temperature egg whites for the best result. They will develop more volume than cold egg whites.
Cream of tartar. This ingredient is key to add stability to the egg whites making a sturdier meringue and helps protect the egg whites from being over beaten.
How to Make Meringue Cookies - Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet (or cookie sheets) with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
When the oven reaches 300 degrees, turn it off.
STEP 2. Beat egg whites
Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites to a clean, dry bowl or bowl of a stand mixer (photo 1)
Beat on medium-low speed just until foamy; 2-3 minutes.
Add the cream of tartar (photo 2). Beat 10-15 seconds to mix in.
While continuing to beat the egg whites slowly pour in the sugar in small amounts (a tablespoon at a time)(photo 3). After the sugar has mixed in and dissolved, increase mixer speed to medium-high speed. Beat until forming stiff peaks form (photo 4).
STEP 3. Add spices
Hand whisk in the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract just until combined (do not aggressively whisk which will deflate the egg whites)(photos 5-6).
STEP 4. Pipe and bake
Spoon meringue batter into a regular or disposable piping bag fitted with a large star tip (we used a Wilton 2D tip)(photo 7).
Pipe 11/2-inch diameter meringues onto the prepared baking sheet leaving an inch in between them (photo 8).
STEP 5. Bake and cool
Set in the hot oven for 2 hours. DO NOT open the oven door while the cookies are in the oven.
Piping alternatives. If you don't have a pastry bag cut the corner off a plastic Ziplock bag, add the batter and pipe them onto the prepared baking sheet. They will not be in a star pattern but this works!
They can also be spooned onto the baking sheet.
- Make sure the bowl is clean and has no traces of fat or water!
- Do not use a plastic bowl.
- Use fresh eggs. They will build volume better than older egg whites.
- Use room temperature eggs.
- Do not let any yolk get into the egg white.
- Add sugar slowly. This makes a big difference in the final meringue cookies. Take your time and don't add more than a tablespoon at a time.
- Do not open the oven while the cookies are in it. This helps avoid cracking from a temperature change.
How to Store
Place the fully cooled meringue cookies in an airtight container in a single layer, separating layers with a piece of parchment paper. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
They need a dry environment. Moisture will make them sticky so ensure the container is well sealed and dry.