What Type of Sugar Should be Used in Meringue?

Meringues can be tricky and using the right sugar can help ensure success, says Baker’s Dozen member Carolyn Weil. An ultrafine pure cane sugar, such as our Baker’s Sugar™, works best because it dissolves faster and leaves no gritty texture. It will help prevent the egg white and sugar mixture from being lumpy. Depending on your mixing method, it can take up to 10 minutes for regular granulated sugar to blend in and dissolve to form glossy, stiff peaks. Ultrafine Baker’s Sugar will blend in faster—usually in only a few minutes.

Weil suggests adding ultrafine Baker’s Sugar when the egg whites reach the thick foam stage (just before they form soft peaks). As a rule of thumb, it’s better to add sugar earlier rather than later and to underwhip rather than overwhip your whites. Overwhipped meringues will be dry and gritty looking; using an ultrafine Baker’s Sugar that blends quickly will keep you from overbeating.

Sweet Facts

  • The more sugar in a meringue, the drier and stiffer the meringue will be.
  • No one knows for sure when or where meringue was invented. According to some accounts, an Italian baker named Gasparini from the Swiss town of Meiringen gets the credit; others say a Polish chef was responsible, and that “meringue” comes from the Polish word “marzynka.” The earliest documented recipe (1604) comes from England. On one point everyone agrees: that the French perfected the recipe during the reign of Marie Antoinette.
  • Use ultrafine Baker’s Sugar for meringues and other baked goods – it dissolves faster than regular granulated sugar.
  • Use ultrafine Baker’s Sugar to help prevent “weeping” or sogginess. Meringues will weep if there’s any undissolved sugar.
  • Don’t put granulated sugar in a food processor to achieve a finer grain. Pulverized sugar created in a food processor or grinder results in chopped-up sugar crystals that will not perform well.