This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure page.
Table of contents
Don’t be scared or disgusted by the word “meringue”. It's easy to make and makes for a gorgeous topping on things like brownies, cupcakes, etc. Marshmallow meringue is everything you love about marshmallows, but in semi-liquified form; think of it as homemade marshmallow fluff without all the artificial ingredients/flavorings. When toasted, it tastes just like a marshmallow roasted over a campfire!
Marshmallow Meringue Frosting Ingredients
You only need 4 ingredients!
- Egg Whites: For best success, I recommend using fresh eggs instead of carton egg whites.
- Granulated Sugar: This helps with the structure of the meringue; don’t skip out on it or reduce the amount!
- Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites and helps the mixture hold its stiff peaks.
- Vanilla Bean Paste: Adds a wonderful flavor, not to mention those beautiful vanilla bean specks.
How to Make Marshmallow Meringue
If you've ever made a Swiss meringue before, this process will be very familiar to you. You'll start by whisking the egg whites, granulated sugar, and cream of tartar together in a double boiler. This step serves two purposes:
- It helps the sugar dissolve into the egg whites.
- It heats the egg whites to a safe-to-eat temperature without them getting cooked like they would over direct heat.
Once the egg whites and sugar are combined and reach 160°F (70°C) on an instant-read thermometer, it’s time to let your stand mixer do all of the work. You'll add the vanilla bean paste and whip the mixture on high for 4 to 5 minutes, and before you know it... you'll have a glorious, marshmallow meringue. You can toast homemade fluff using a kitchen torch (this is the torch I own and love) like I do in my s’mores cupcakes, hot chocolate cupcakes, and s'mores brownies. Try not to eat it all before you use it!
Tip: Grease or fat (like egg yolks) will prevent egg whites from whipping up to their fullest potential and could leave you with a soupy mess of a frosting. Before separating the egg whites, wipe down the mixing bowl with lemon juice to get rid of any residual grease.
And when separating the eggs, crack each on a flat surface instead of the side of a bowl. That way a shard of the shell is less likely to puncture the yolk.
Troubleshooting & FAQ
Is the Marshmallow Meringue stable?
Because of the addition of cream of tartar, the topping is relatively stable. It can definitely be piped, and it holds its shape relatively well! However, you may notice that it might lose a little of its volume over time; especially if you choose not to torch it.
Can I use marshmallow meringue to frost a cake?
I wouldn't recommend it as a filling for layer cakes as it's a little too soft and would squish out between layers. But you can absolutely use it to frost the outside of a cake!
Ways to Use Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
- frosted on chocolate cupcakes or pumpkin cupcakes
- swirled & toasted on top of s'mores banana bread
- spread & toasted on homemade fudgy brownies
- as the filling for homemade oatmeal creme pies
- wherever you would use marshmallow fluff!
Remember to tag me @mikebakesnyc on Instagram and leave a rating + review below if you use this Easy 15-Minute Marshmallow Meringue Frosting recipe for any of your baked goods!
Easy 15-Minute Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
- 3 large egg whites (≈ 90 g)
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites, granulated sugar, and cream of tartar, then set the bowl over a saucepan filled with just two inches of simmering water over medium heat. Do not let the bottom of the egg bowl touch the water.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar constantly until sugar is dissolved and the mixture has reached a temperature of 160°F (71°C), about 4 minutes. The mixture will be thick and tacky at first, then thin out and become frothy.
- Transfer the hot egg mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and add the vanilla bean paste. Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping back or mound the meringue on top of cooled brownies or cake, swirling it decoratively. If desired, torch it with a kitchen torch for a delicious toasted marshmallow topping. (Do not place in the oven under the broiler– it will melt.)
- Cover and store leftover frosting for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Baked goods topped with this marshmallow meringue can be left at room temperature for up to 8 hours. After that, it’s best to refrigerate or the topping will wilt. For the best taste, texture, and appearance, I do not recommend freezing this.