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If you’ve ever had meringue cookies, a meringue pie, or royal icing made with meringue powder, you know how utterly delectable these goodies are. However, if you’ve recently switched to a gluten-free diet for health or medical reasons, such as Celiac’s disease, you may be wondering whether you can still enjoy treats made using meringue powder. So, is meringue powder gluten free? Let’s take a look at the answer to this question in the next few sections. Then, you’ll understand whether you’ll be able to enjoy meringue pies, cookies, and other treats while still keeping with your gluten-free diet.
Table of Contents
What is meringue?
Before we talk about whether meringue powder is gluten-free, let’s step back for a second and talk about what exactly meringue is. While other ingredients can be used to make meringue, the two necessary components are egg whites and sugar. When you add sugar to egg whites and beat the two ingredients with a hand mixture, the eggs begin to foam up and eventually form stiff peaks.
The resulting mixture can be used for a variety of baking applications, from baking meringue cookies, adding the topping to lemon meringue and other types of pies, making royal icing, and more.
Is meringue gluten free?
Are meringues gluten-free? The basic meringue recipe shared above, which uses just sugar and egg whites is gluten-free. There is no gluten in either egg whites or sugar, so individuals with a gluten allergy or intolerance can safely eat meringue made with egg whites and sugar.
There are other variations to a standard meringue recipe, which may or may not be gluten-free. Cream of tartar is frequently added when making meringues to help the egg whites form stiff peaks more easily. Cream of tartar is also gluten free, making it a safe addition for those who are allergic or intolerant to gluten.
With so many other ingredients that could be added to meringues, such as food colorings, flavorings, chocolate chips, and more, you should always check the safety of each ingredient before making or eating variations of meringue. If you find a recipe that calls for an ingredient that isn’t gluten-free, you may be able to find a suitable alternative without gluten.
Those with severe gluten allergies should also take care not to choose ingredients that are processed in facilities where gluten products are also handled. The potential cross-contamination could be serious for some individuals.
What is meringue powder?
Now that we know what meringues are, let’s discuss what meringue powder is. Meringue powder is designed to take the place of the raw egg whites used to make meringue. There are some benefits of using meringue powder instead of egg whites when following a recipe.
First, egg whites can be very unstable. Beating them to form stiff peaks can take a long time, and the peaks don’t always hold. Meringue powder, on the other hand, is much more stable. It will form and hold the stiff peaks necessary for a good meringue much more easily.
Meringue powder is also pasteurized. This can be especially beneficial when you’re trying a recipe that isn’t baked at a high enough temperature to fully cook the eggs.
Another benefit of using meringue powder is that it is shelf-stable. You can buy meringue powder and store it in the pantry, rather than worrying about refrigeration, as is necessary for egg whites.
Meringue powder is just easy to use. You don’t have to do anything to prep it or worry about ruining your whole batch of meringues due to the tiniest presence of egg yolk when cracking and separating the eggs.
Meringue Powder Ingredients
While the ingredients found in meringue powder may differ slightly from one manufacturer to the next, there are a few key ingredients that most contain. These include
- Dried egg whites
- Cream of tartar
- Citric acid
- Calcium sulfate
- Gum arabic
Is meringue powder gluten free?
So, is meringue powder gluten free? Yes, many meringue powders are gluten-free. As with anything else, if you have a gluten sensitivity or allergy, you should always confirm that the specific product you are looking at is made without gluten or in a gluten-free facility.
The key ingredients needed to make meringue powder, namely the dried egg whites, cornstarch, and cream of tartar, are naturally gluten-free.
Gluten Free Meringue Powder
If you’re looking for the best gluten free meringue powder, here are a few of the top options to try.
Judee’s Complete Meringue Powder Mix
I really like the Judee’s Complete Meringue Powder Mix for those who are looking for a truly gluten-free product. The meringue powder is produced in a dedicated facility that is kept gluten-free and nut-free to eliminate any fears of cross contamination.
In addition to being a gluten-free friendly product, this meringue powder is easy to use and can help you create delicious treats. It has a short ingredient list that doesn’t contain any unnecessary fillers.
For a basic meringue, you just need to combine 1 cup of the meringue mix with ½ cup of water and whisk the two ingredients together until stiff peaks form. Then, you can use the mixture to top pies, bake meringue cookies, or whatever else you have in store for it.
Chefmaster Deluxe Meringue Powder
The Chefmaster Deluxe Meringue Powder is another gluten-free option that can help you make delicious royal icing, meringue cookies, pies, and more. This shelf-stable powder is easy to use and won’t have any negative impact on the texture of your meringue or the way the finished recipe tastes.
Plus, because this powder is pasteurized, unlike egg whites, you don’t have to worry about the potential risk of food-borne illness. If you’ve tried making meringues with fresh egg whites, you’ll also notice how much more quickly you’re able to whip up this powder.
LorAnn Meringue Powder
You may also want to give the LorAnn Meringue Powder a try when you’re looking for a gluten-free product to help you make scrumptious treats. The ingredients found in this meringue powder are not only gluten-free, but they are high-quality to help you make the best-tasting treats possible.
LorAnn recommends using their meringue powder for making a classic meringue recipe for cookies, pies, and other treats or for royal icing. Their directions for use are easy, calling for just the meringue powder, water (boiling for classic meringues or cold for royal icing) and sugar (granulated for classic meringues or powdered for royal icing).
Vör Vegan Meringue Powder
Last, but not least, take a look at the Vör Meringue Powder. In addition to being gluten-free, this meringue powder is also vegan. It is made using plant-based ingredients, with aquafaba powder standing in for the egg whites. It is soy-free and dairy-free, and comes in BPA-free packaging.
The back of the bag includes easy-to-follow directions for making royal icing, classic meringues, and buttercream frosting. This shelf-stable product can last for up to two years in your pantry too.
Is meringue safe for people with severe gluten allergies?
If you have severe gluten allergies or Celiac disease, you know how careful you need to be to choose products and ingredients that are produced in gluten-free facilities. The same will be true when eating meringues or using meringue powder.
As long as you confirm that the meringue powder or all of the ingredients in the meringue were produced in the gluten-free facility so you don’t have the fear of cross-contamination, you should be fine to enjoy meringue.
Gluten Free Meringue Powder Substitutes
If you want to try meringue powder, but don’t have any on hand right now, there are some meringue powder substitutes you may like. Many of these substitutes are also gluten-free, so they may be just what you’re looking for to help whip up a batch of tasty meringue cookies, make a batch of royal icing, or make a yummy meringue pie.
Just remember, some of these substitutes may also require a few additional ingredients to deliver all the benefits and taste that meringue powder offers. Here are some of the top gluten-free meringue powder substitutes:
- Egg whites
- Egg white powder
- Chia seeds
- Mashed bananas
How to Use Gluten Free Meringue Powder
Meringue has a very delicious flavor and lends itself well to different baking applications. There are four main ways to use meringue powder:
- Meringue Cookies: Meringue cookies are as easy to make as they are delicious. Just whip up some meringue powder, add in any desired flavorings or colors, and bake them in a low oven. You can even use pastry bags to create uniquely-shaped cookies.
- Meringue in Deserts: Cookies may be a popular way to use meringue, but they are far from the only way meringue powder can be used. Meringue is also used in a variety of other sweet treats, including lemon meringue pies, macarons, baked Alaska, strawberry Pavlova, and more.
- Meringue as Decoration: Meringue can also serve as a decorative accent for a cake. Some bakers even use a torch to brown the edges of the piped decorations.
- Royal Icing: Royal icing is a special type of icing made using meringue powder. Unlike other types of icing that stay moist, royal icing becomes hard when it cools. This makes it an optimal choice for making gingerbread houses, decorating cookies, and more. You can use meringue powder to make your own gluten-free royal icing.
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies Recipe
If you want to make your own meringue cookies, this is my favorite recipe to use. You can substitute one of the gluten-free meringue powders for the egg whites, if you want.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 ½ hours (plus additional 2 hours in the oven to cool)
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 225 °F. Spread parchment paper over two metal baking sheets.
- Add the egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and salt to a metal mixing bowl. Beat the ingredients using a hand mixer at a medium-high speed. Continue mixing until soft peaks begin to form in the egg whites, which may take several minutes.
- Add in the sugar very gradually, beating well after each addition on a low speed.
- After all the sugar is mixed in with the eggs, return the mixer to a medium-high speed and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Add the chocolate chips and gently fold them into the mixture using a spatula.
- Use a tablespoon to drop the mixture onto the parchment paper-lined sheets. Aim to use approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mixture for each cookie. Meringues do not spread out as they bake, so you don’t need to leave too much space between each cookie.
- Place the baking sheets in the oven for approximately 60 to 90 minutes, or until the cookies appear dry. Rotate the baking sheets after 30 or 40 minutes.
- Once the cookies appear dry, turn the oven off, but leave the baking sheets in the oven. Let the cookies cool in the oven for approximately 2 hours.
- Remove the cookies and store in an airtight container.
Gluten Free Meringue Powder
As an individual with a gluten sensitivity or allergy, there are many sweets and treats that you can’t enjoy. Fortunately, those made using meringue powder are not off-limits to you! What are you planning to make using one of the gluten-free meringue powders I shared above?
Is meringue powder gluten and dairy free?
Yes, many meringue powders are both gluten and dairy free.
What are the ingredients in meringue powder?
The ingredients in each brand of meringue powder may vary slightly, but the most common ingredients include:
- Dried egg whites
- Calcium sulfate
- Citric acid
- Cream of tartar
- Gum arabic
Is meringue powder mix the same as meringue powder?
Yes, meringue powder and meringue powder mix are the same thing.