Chocolate Swirled Meringue Cookies

These chocolate swirled meringue cookies are made from just 5 ingredients. Delightfully crisp on the outside with a melt-in-your-mouth texture inside, these naturally gluten free chocolate meringues are simply irresistible. Follow the recipe closely because these require precision. Use my video tutorial, step-by-step photos, and success tips as your guide.

chocolate swirled meringue cookies

Welcome to day 10 in Sally’s Cookie Palooza! On the last day of my Christmas cookie countdown, I present you with chocolate swirled meringue cookies. These piped swirls take us right back to day 1 when I published my beloved (and also piped!) butter cookies.

We’ve truly gone full circle this year.

What are Meringues?

Though they’re enjoyed throughout the year, meringues are extra special on holiday cookie trays. Made mostly from egg whites and sugar, meringue cookies are piped onto baking sheets and baked at a low temperature for a considerably longer time than most other cookie recipes. The low temperature guarantees the shaped meringues won’t immediately melt. Rather, they’ll crisp up on the edges while remaining puffy, light, and cloud-like in the centers. Think of a meringue cookie as an extra mini pavlova. Perfect for tea parties, paired with coffee or hot chocolate, and lovely as a decoration on cakes! 🙂

Though I have a recipe for classic fairy-like meringues in Sally’s Cookie Addiction, I wanted to publish a meringue cookie recipe with swirls of real chocolate. If you’ve enjoyed regular meringues, wait until you taste them with chocolate baked and swirled throughout.

chocolate swirled meringues

These Chocolate Swirled Meringue Cookies Are:

  • Light-as-air
  • Sweet & swirled
  • Naturally gluten free
  • Delicate, yet crisp
  • Swirled with real chocolate
  • Topped with sprinkles

Each bite is light, yet irresistibly crisp. The centers are hollow in spots and literally melt in your mouth. That’s why these cookies have been loved for so long– they’re just that good.


Meringue Cookies Video Tutorial


chocolate swirled meringues

Meringue Ingredients

  1. Egg Whites: Beaten into stiff peaks, egg whites are the base of meringue cookies. Just as I recommend when making French macarons, use fresh eggs instead of carton egg whites. Here are all my recipes using egg yolks. Eggs separate much easier when they’re cold, but room temperature egg whites whip into a higher volume. Separate the eggs right out of the refrigerator, then let the egg whites sit for about 30 minutes before starting.
  2. Cream of Tartar: The acidity in this crucial ingredient helps the egg whites hold onto air and, like the sugar, helps prevent the egg whites from collapsing. If you’re making snickerdoodles or angel food cake, you already have this ingredient on hand. It’s sold with the spices. Because the chocolate can weigh down the batter, I use a little more cream of tartar in today’s recipe than the recipe in my cookbook.
  3. Salt: Salt offsets the sweetness.
  4. Sugar: Without sugar, the protein molecules in egg whites will collapse. Additionally, sugar helps achieve the delightfully crisp texture. (Sugar is so much more than a sweetener!) You can use regular granulated sugar in this meringue cookie recipe.
  5. Chocolate: You need 2 ounces of pure melted chocolate. Pick up a 4 ounce baking chocolate bar, such as Bakers or Ghirardelli, then melt half of it. You can even melt the leftover 2 ounces and dip your cooled meringues into it. No waste!

I strongly recommend using an egg separator (isn’t it cute?!). You don’t want any egg yolks in the bowl– the slightest drop of fat will prevent the egg whites from properly stabilizing. An egg separator is an inexpensive but super handy tool in the kitchen.

egg separator

How to Make Chocolate Swirled Meringue Cookies

  1. Melt the chocolate. I recommend doing this first because the chocolate needs to cool down before folding into the meringue batter.
  2. Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt together. On high speed, beat these ingredients into soft peaks, pictured below on the left.
  3. Gradually add the sugar. Beat on high speed into stiff peaks. Stiff peaks hold their point when you lift up the whisk attachment. See picture below on the right.
  4. Fold in the melted chocolate. You want swirls all throughout the batter.
  5. Pipe onto baking sheets. I recommend using an open star tip and piping little 1.5 inch swirls. You can watch me do this in the video tutorial above. Feel free to add sprinkles on top of the piped cookies.
  6. Bake at a low temperature. These cookies take 1 and 1/2 hours at 250°F (121°C).
  7. Partially cool the meringues in the oven. Turn off the oven and let the cookies sit in the cooling oven for about 30 minutes.
  8. Cool the meringues completely. Remove meringues from the oven. They can cool completely right on the baking sheets.

Soft peaks, then stiff peaks:

beaten egg whites for meringue cookies

Fold in the chocolate:

chocolate in meringue batter

You can even drizzle some of the melted chocolate right into the open piping bag before spooning in the meringue batter. That’s what I did for this particular batch:

piping meringue batter

piped meringue cookies

chocolate swirled meringue cookies

Success Tips for Chocolate Swirled Meringue Cookies

  1. No fat in the mixing bowl. Though we’ll add chocolate to the batter after the egg whites have reached stiff peaks, we can’t have ANY fat in the mixture prior to that. As you may remember from my lemon meringue pie, fat will prevent the egg whites from reaching those crucial peaks. Use a glass or metal mixing bowl. (Plastic can hold onto fat residue.) Wipe your mixing bowl completely clean and use an egg separator. Separate the egg whites one at a time and place the egg white in the mixing bowl before separating the next. This way, if a yolk breaks in one of them, you don’t waste the whole batch. (If an egg yolk breaks, use that for scrambled eggs the next morning!)
  2. Follow the recipe closely. Each ingredient is crucial. No substitutions.
  3. Don’t make meringues on a humid day. Weather can affect how your meringues set up before and during baking. Make meringues on a dry day to help guarantee they’ll beat into stiff peaks and crisp up in the oven.

chocolate swirled meringue cookies

What is Sally's Cookie Palooza?

Sally’s Cookie Palooza is my annual Christmas cookie countdown tradition. First starting in 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row. Over the next two weeks, I’m publishing 10 new cookie recipes. This is the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Sign up for instant updates and you’ll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new recipe. 🙂

Click to see Sally’s Cookie Palooza over the years!

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chocolate swirled meringue cookies

Chocolate Swirl Meringue Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 3 dozen
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These chocolate swirled meringue cookies are made from just 5 ingredients. Follow the recipe closely because these require precision. Use my video tutorial, step-by-step photos, and success tips as your guide.


Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (55g) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 large egg whites (120g), at room temperature (see note)*
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
  • optional: sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F (121°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate first so it can cool down before folding into the batter. You can melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave: place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 20 second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a completely clean residue-free large glass or metal mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt together on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running on high speed, slowly add the sugar and beat until stiff glossy peaks form, about 2 more minutes. Do not over-beat.
  4. Gently fold in the chocolate. To maintain swirls, you don’t want to completely mix it in. Don’t worry if you don’t use all 2 ounces– you can add some to the piping bag in the next step.
  5. Add an open star piping tip (I recommend Wilton 1M) to your piping bag. Drizzle any leftover chocolate along the inside of your piping bag (this is optional). Add the meringue batter. It won’t all fit, so only use half to start.
  6. Pipe 1.5 inch swirls until you use up all the batter. See the video tutorial above if you need a visual. The cookies don’t spread, so you can pipe them just 1-2 inches apart. Top each with sprinkles, if desired.
  7. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours. (You can bake both baking sheets at once.) Do not open the oven as the meringues bake. Turn off the oven after 1.5 hours and let the meringues sit inside as the oven cools for 30 minutes or until the oven has cooled completely.
  8. Remove meringues from the oven and cool completely on the baking sheets. Once cool, use a flat spatula to remove the meringues from the baking sheets.
  9. Cover and store meringues at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Meringues stay fresh and taste wonderful for up to 2 weeks, so they’re a great cookie to make a week or so ahead of time. Baked meringues freeze well for up to 1 month. Since they are delicate, I recommend carefully arranging them in a sturdy freezer-friendly container instead of a freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature inside the container.
  2. Chocolate: For the best results, use half of a 4 ounce “baking chocolate” bar found in the baking aisle. I prefer Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. You can use semi-sweet, bittersweet, or even milk chocolate. Do not use chocolate chips, as they contain stabilizers preventing them from melting into the proper consistency.
  3. Egg Whites: For best success, I recommend using fresh eggs instead of carton egg whites. Here are all my recipes using leftover egg yolks. Eggs separate much easier when they’re cold, but room temperature egg whites whip into a higher volume. Separate the eggs right out of the refrigerator, then let the egg whites sit for about 30 minutes before starting. Separate the egg whites one at a time and place the egg white in the mixing bowl before separating the next. This way, if a yolk breaks in one of them, you don’t waste the whole batch.
  4. No piping tip or piping bag? No problem! Simply use a spoon to spoon 1.5 inch mounds 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  5. Special Tools (affiliate links): Piping Bag (Disposable or Reusable), Open Star Piping Tip, Egg Separator

Keywords: meringues, chocolate, meringue cookies

112 Comments

  1. Hi Sally,

    I love your recipes and tried to make this one the other day. I followed the recipe exactly and within about ten minutes of them being in the oven they were completely flattened. I have no idea what I did incorrectly. I did notice that when I piped them onto the baking sheet they didn’t seem as firm or to hold their shape as well as yours did in the video. Any thoughts? My house is so dry (ugh!!) so I don’t think humidity was the issue.

    Lauren

    1. Hi Lauren! A few factors could be the culprit here. Unfortunately, meringue is finicky– did you follow the recipe exactly including each ingredient and the careful directions? Some other factors include not beating long enough, beating too long, adding the sugar too fast, a drip of egg yolk in the mix, or grease residue in the mixing bowl. Perhaps any of those?

    2. Mine did the same thing. I’ve made a lot of meringues this year (a family favourite) and I was looking for something different. I think the chocolate melted in the oven, flattening them 🙁

      1. This happened to me too. Completely flattened in the oven. I bake meringues 2-3 times a week and always add chocolate chips, but adding the melted cooled chocolate just does not work. Will not try this recipe again.

      2. Nora S August says:

        Hi Sally,

        I am baking cookies to sell during festives seasons
        I saw this cookies and bravely told my customers, I can make this. Bought all the ingredients and make them right now and praise the lord it came out beautifully. No hard chocolate or melt in the oven incident. Thank you for your beautiful recipe. I added vanilla extract and double the ingredients. It is also not too sweet because I added a little extra salt . It is scrummy .Thank you Sally!!

  2. I followed this to a t and mine are just not peaking. I got the soft peak and after sugar added they never came back up. I added it slowly as it said. I am in the middle of doing this. Do I have any recourse for remedy or must I throw it all out? Was so excited to serve them to my grandkids for Christmas.

    1. Hi Julie! A few factors could be the culprit for the egg whites never reaching those stiff peaks. Unfortunately, meringue is finicky– did you follow the recipe exactly including each ingredient and the careful directions? Some other factors include not beating long enough, beating too long, adding the sugar too fast, a drip of egg yolk in the mix, or grease residue in the mixing bowl.

  3. hello. can i just double the ingredients if i want to make 6 dozen? and how long should i beat the egg? looking forward to your reply!

    1. Hi Christine, You should be able to double this recipe. It may take longer to beat the eggs but go by look instead of time!

  4. Nancy Mcleary says:

    Hi Sally!
    I hope you and you baby are well
    I made these for the first time and they turned out so delicious !
    Instead of swirling chocolate I folded in chocolate chips.
    I also added a teaspoon of vanilla.
    I found a great tip for ensuring there is no fat in the mixing bowl. I thought I would share it with you. Wish I could remember where I read it.
    Wipe the bowl and whisk attachment down with a clean paper towel and vinegar.
    It was so much fun making the meringue !

  5. Tim buckthewe says:

    Can chocolate be replaced with preserves jam jelly etc?

    1. I don’t recommend it.

    2. Maybe an extract?

  6. Hi Sally. I followed this recipe exactly, but when I folded the melted, cooled chocolate into the meringue it hardened immediately and did not allow me to pipe because the chunks of chocolate were so big it clogged the pipping tip. Is there a reason my chocolate hardened?

    1. Hi Kari, what type/brand of chocolate are you using? I’ve never had the chocolate harden so quickly. I usually use ghirardelli or bakers baking chocolate bars.

    2. Hi this happened to me too, were you able to come up with a solution? If so could you share it with me??

      1. Hi there. I did not figure out what went wrong. I was using baking discs and it just did not work. The chocolate hardened immediately. I ended up making ugly blobs, but they did taste good.

      2. Hi! I just read this comment thread. It sounds like the chocolate seized. That could be from a little water in the bowl or from the type of chocolate used. Melting candy discs firm up faster in room temperature air vs melted chocolate chips or a chocolate bar. I used the Enjoy Life chocolate chips due to allergy reasons and the chocolate stayed liquid and folded in easily.

  7. Hi! I have extra meringue. How should I store them and can i re-whip them since they flatten a bit when I stored them in a container.

    Oh, and I also used a sweetener instead of sugar… idk if it will play a factor on the deflation of the meringue.

  8. I have made meringue cookies many many times, but when I found this recipe we were excited to try adding some chocolate. Followed the recipe exactly, and the first cookies I piped looked great, and they gradually lost stiffness as I continued. After a little time in the oven, the majority of the cookies flattened out, and were completely hollow inside by the end. Crispy and crumbled to bits.
    I think the chocolate ruins the meringue when it gets too incorporated, or just in general. Meringue needs the long slow bake to dry out the mixture.. chocolate does not need to be baked for that long.

    I also may have under beat the mixture, as the recipe says “about 2 more minutes”, so I was scared of over beating it. I usually beat it for several more minutes once the sugar is all added. Should have trusted my gut!
    This recipe is also very small. Didn’t make many cookies. Just filled one big baking sheet. Which is frustrating, because you can’t make another batch for over an hour. Lol

  9. Is there a way to make this recipe using cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate? Perhaps substitute some of the sugar for cocoa powder? I also had the chocolate harden and not work with the cookies. That, and cocoa powder is sugar free.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Izabela, We haven’t tested this recipe with cocoa powder so I can’t say for sure. I don’t recommend reducing the sugar as it is a key ingredient in making meringue. You can certainly try folding in some cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate at the end – let us know if you try it!

  10. Nuraini Salleh says:

    Hi Sally!
    Would like to ask if its ok to sub the choc with Nutella? How would you recommend to fold it in the meringue or use two piping bags to create a two tone meringue?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nuraini, Unfortunately we haven’t tested this recipe with Nutella and I fear it wouldn’t set up properly since it’s not completely solid at room temperature (like chocolate is). I recommend sticking with the recipe, but let us know if you try it!

  11. I just finished making these and they came out absolutely perfect! Would you happen to know if another batch with less sugar (maybe 1/2 cup instead) would affect how they turn out? Thanks so much for another great recipe!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Susannah, I don’t recommend it. Sugar is so much more than a sweetener in this recipe – it’s necessary to stabilize the egg whites and is responsible for the texture of the cookies.

  12. Can I use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar?

    1. I recommend sticking with granulated sugar.

  13. Hey Sally,I don’t have access to cream of tartar……is there any substitute for it???

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Zuwaina, It’s best to stick with cream of tartar for these. Sometimes using a little more lemon juice works, but I recommend using cream of tartar. It’s found in the baking aisle with the spices.

  14. Hi sally,
    When is the best time to sprinkle the cookies? Will the sprinkles stay in place after the cookies have cooled?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christina, It’s best to add them in step 6, after piping and before baking. They won’t stick after the cookies are baked.

  15. Made two batches of these last week and they’re delightful! Much easier than I expected. Thanks for the detailed instructions. My family wants to try these on top of hot cocoa soon. They have a perfect mild and creamy chocolate flavor and melt in your mouth!

  16. How long will they store? What is the best type of container to store them?

    1. Hi Rita, I recommend storing them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

      1. Thank you

  17. Valerie Stoner says:

    I’ve never made meringue cookies ever. I ran across your recipe and decided I was feeling advantageous lol. I made the recipe but realized that I’d have to refrigerate it because I already had something in the oven. Four hours later, I pulled out the batter from the fridge only to discover, the chocolate had all hardened. It was heck to pipe but I managed to be able shove out some of the bigger chocolate chunks. I had filled up a whole pan and then my ziploc bag exploded because of the pressure I was applying to it. I was so upset! I was convinced that these were not going to turn out at all but I put ’em in the oven anyway. Let me just tell you…they turned out DIVINE!!!!!!! They were perfectly crisp and light and ohhhhhhhhhh so yummy! The chocolate was perfectly melted throughout. I will be making again tomorrow but without putting them in the fridge first this time lol. Thank you for a wonderful recipe with all the tips!!! Merry Christmas!

  18. I wanted to make vanilla merengues (trying to cut down on fat in my diet). I assume the same recipe will work and just substitute a teaspoon of vanilla instead of the chocolate?

    On a side note, maybe some of them I can add chocolate chips instead of sprinkles?

    1. Hi Jon, you can simply leave out the chocolate. No need to replace with anything, though 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract would be tasty. You can add it with the cream of tartar and salt. Mini chocolate chips should be just fine instead of sprinkles.

  19. Hi Sally! Do you think these would turn out without the chocolate? Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You bet!

  20. Hello! i made these cookies today, and let me just say, these were melt in your mouth good, buttery and creamy. But in the oven, they all went flat, and when i bit into one, there was a huge air bubble at the top of each one, they became flat, and thin. Do you know of any ways that that could happen? Thank you so much for all of your wonderful information and recipes, my absolute favorite is the pumpkin cinnamon chip cookies. Merry Christmas!

  21. A+ recipe! I made these today with leftover egg whites; so delicious! Followed the recipe exactly – it was very simple. Thank you for the great details and easy to follow instructions. The cookies baked up crunchy and light as air with good chocolate flavor (I used bakers chocolate; once melted/cooled it was easy to fold in). I was too lazy to use a bag for piping so I just used my cookie scoop – worked great. Mine won’t win any beauty contests (no pretty swirl) but they taste divine!
    *Also made Sally’s Buchê de Noel for Christmas- holy cow that was fantastic!

  22. Next tiime I will get a bigger piping bag and barely mix in chocolate. I’m a little bummed that over time the chocolate seemed to dissipate and I lost the ripple effect. I added a little mint to chocolate, the taste is amazing. The meringue held up so well. I washed the bowl in hot soapy water right before making and made sure to get stiff peaks. Meringue is tricky. Thanks for breaking down the instructions so well. I might skip the chocolate altogether and dye with natural food coloring for Easter treats.

  23. Gonna try these this weekend, but I do not have a silicone mat. Can I use parchment paper instead?
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Absolutely. Enjoy!

  24. Hi! I’m making these for the first time and wanted to share my observations. I live in a dry, desert climate. The mix reached both the soft peak and stiff peak form in a matter of 30 seconds. I’m not sure if it’s due to the dry air but I watched the mixture instead of going by the time. I melted the Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (due to allergies) and they folded in perfectly. They are still in the oven but they are holding their shape so I am excited to try these. I’m always looking for treats that can be adapted to a soy, gluten, and dairy free option. Thanks for the recipe!

  25. So something interesting happened when I made these. I love Sally’s recipes and I have made well over a dozen of her recipes. This time I forgot to let the eggs go to room temperature. As a result the batter was runny. I decided to add powdered sugar because I always do that when my cake frosting is too thin. Well, I kept adding and adding until in was finally thick enough. It was probably 1 cup of unsifted powdered sugar. By this time the chocolate had cooled and it incorporated easily. I piped them and put them in the oven. Thirty minutes later when I checked on them they were done and they look like and taste like macaroons! Delicious! So happy about this happy accident.

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