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. For success, I recommend using 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

78 Comments

  1. Hi! I’m trying to make a different batch of cookies every couple days and freezing a few of each for cookie tray on Christmas. Can the cookies be made and frozen or bake closer to the day of eating them?

    1. Sure can! See my make ahead instructions. 🙂

  2. Thank you Sally, and Happy Holidays to you, Kevin, Noelle and the pups! Your recipes make baking easy all year, and it is ALWAYS so helpful that you include instructions about storing/freezing/making ahead (if applicable).

    1. Thank you so much, Margot! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season 🙂

  3. Sally if using a convection oven will that affect the cooking time on these cookies? I always use my convection oven when baking with larger pans or with a three-layer cake and I worry that it will affect the results.
    Love the sprinkles on top!

    1. Hi Martha! It will, yes. Lower the oven temperature by 25°F. Bake at 225°F (107°C) for about the same time– maybe even closer to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the exterior of the meringues is no longer sticky.

  4. Hi Sally,
    Happy Holidays! Is it OK to bake both trays at once on different racks given the long baking time? I wasn’t sure if this would affect the bake since I wouldn’t want to open the oven door to rotate the pans. Thanks!

    1. Hi Desiree! That’s exactly what I do– two sheets at once. In fact, I’ll add that note just in case others are wondering the same thing. Thank you!

  5. I’m tired of making meringue mushrooms every year and can’t wait to try these! Should work fine with egg whites that have been frozen, do you think?

    1. Hi Ro! 3 frozen and thawed room temperature egg whites should be just fine.

      1. Great thanks Sally!

  6. Charlotte Moore says:

    These are so dainty looking. I have never tried meringue cookies.

    Thank you for all you do. You made it all look so much easier.

    1. Thank you so much, Charlotte! I hope you’ll give these a try 🙂

  7. HI SALLY,
    I’m so going to make this today.
    They look delicious
    Thank you for posting this.

    1. Happy baking, Zoe!

      1. You too SALLY
        Happy holday.
        ☃☃❄️❄️

  8. These look amazing, and oh-so cute! I bet they would be delicious with some crushed candy canes sprinkled overtop 🙂

    1. Crushed candy canes would be such a festive addition on top!!

  9. I live in New Orleans so I will have to try and make these on a day where it’s only 65% humidity as opposed to the usual 90% DX

    1. I hope you love these, Audrey!!

  10. Do you think melted Nutella or cookie butter/Biscoff spread could be used instead of chocolate? Or would it firm up too much to be cool enough to add to the meringue mixture?

    1. Hi Carrie– unfortunately I haven’t tested this recipe with either and I fear neither would set up properly since neither are completely solid at room temperature (like chocolate is). I recommend sticking with the recipe, but let me know if you try it!

  11. I’ve always loved meringue cookies, and these look extra delicious with that chocolate swirl! I was wondering if I could do white chocolate, with finely crushed candy canes instead if sprinkles? Thanks 🙂

    1. Absolutely! Those would be so good. You could even add about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract.

  12. Sally – I so look forward to your Cookie Palooza every year. I always find a cookie or two that become favorites. I can be confident that your recipes will turn out great. There is nothing more frustrating than trying a recipe, especially during the Holidays, and you are disappointed with the results. Thank you for doing the hard work of testing and formulating to give us the best recipes and directions. Your cookies make lots of people happy.

    1. What sweet words, thank you so much Julie! I truly appreciate your readership- thank you for including my recipes in your holiday celebrations! Happy baking 🙂

  13. Hi Sally! I probably can’t but am i’m not able to replace the Cream of tartar with anything right?

    1. Hi Grace, 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. Sally, could this recipe be used with white chocolate? Thanks!

    1. Absolutely!

  15. Beautiful cookies! What is the number of the tip you used to pipe them?

    1. Hi Dora! I prefer using the Wilton 1M piping tip. Any open star tip is great.

  16. I attempted to watch the video since I’ve never made meringue cookies, after about 7 commercials, 3 that were 30 seconds each i abandoned that idea. I get you have sponsors but when ads are longer that the tutorial that’s a bit much. I was getting ads between egg whites.

    1. Hi Kathy! This video tutorial on my post should only show 1 advertisement and not interrupt the video. We block those. (There should also be a Skip Ad button that eventually shows up too.) Were you watching it on Facebook? Unfortunately, I have no control over the frequency or timing of those ads. So sorry for the trouble.

      1. No worries, watched it through the website and there was no option to skip. Love you and your recipes

  17. Hi Sally! I’ve been following your blog for the past couple of years, and you’ve helped me grow so much as a baker. Whenever I need to make something extra special, I always turn to you! Thank you for everything. Wishing you and your family an amazing Christmas!

    1. What kind words, thank you Bella!! Wishing you a wonderful holiday ahead 🙂

  18. I tried these this afternoon- the flavor was awesome, but they did not hold their shape and when fully baked, they were hollow. Can you help please?

    1. Hi Jillian! Meringue cookies have hollow spots inside, that’s expected– see the photo. Did you follow the recipe exactly including each ingredient and the careful directions? There could be a few factors why they didn’t hold their shape including humidity, 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?

      I’m glad you enjoy the flavor!

  19. I haven’t made meringues in a while and have never tried chocolate meringues. This has inspired me. I usually let mine stay in the warm oven over night. Any comments about that?

    1. Hi Lazy! You can leave these in the cooling oven for longer. Just don’t forget they’re in there when you go to pre-heat it again. I’ve done that before. Whoops!

      1. I drape a towel over the stove to remind myself that there’s something in the oven because , yes, I’m the kind of person that would forget!

  20. I just made two batches of these for 3 different parties next week. They are so easy and really so good! I am really pleased my results! They look really professional!

    1. YAY! Thrilled you enjoyed these, Stefanie! Thanks for your positive feedback 🙂

  21. So good. I am going to make another batch though because the insides weren’t chewy at all and it was crisp all the way through. I’m thinking I need to slow the sugar down a little and beat a little longer. Regardless..the flavor was incredible..pretty sure my son ate like 5 of them before I even realized it..haha.

    1. Thrilled you loved these, Jessica! 🙂

  22. I was so excited to try these but like others, mine came out totally crispy and hollow inside; they were just a hard shell of meringue when I took them out of the oven. I live at 6100 feet in Colorado, so humidity is definitely not a problem, and I followed the beating times in the recipe and got nice stiff peaks, so I’m not sure why they collapsed during baking. So bummed!

    1. Hi Courtney! Meringue cookies have hollow spots inside, that’s expected– see the photo. 🙂 It sounds like the cookies did set up in your oven if they were crispy. But you also noted they didn’t hold their shape? A few notes about meringues not holding stiff– did you follow the recipe exactly including each ingredient and the careful directions? There could be a few other factors including 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?

  23. I was so excited to make these cute cookies to add a gf option for my Christmas party! I added a small amount of peppermint extract and topped with crushed candycanes. They turned out a little crispier than I was expecting, but seemed to soften a little by day 2. Either way- they looked festive and were eaten up quickly at the party! Thank you for another great recipe, Sally!!

    1. YUM! Thanks for your positive feedback, Lauren!

  24. Made these and turned them into a Christmas wreath dessert with whipped cream and berries. They were delicious. Loved the chocolate flavour. Will be making them again as gifts this weekend. Thank you for the recipe!!

    1. What a wonderful idea- I love it! So happy you’ll be making these again!

  25. HI Sally,
    I made these today and the taste was terrific. I need to practise a bit more with the piping but they were dried out all the way through and not chewy in the centre. Would it help to either reduce the temperature or bake for a slightly shorter time?

    1. Hi Lorraine! The center of meringue cookies is supposed to be a bit crisp, but melt on your tongue. 🙂 These are not chewy in the center. So glad you enjoyed them!

  26. These are amazing! I followed all instructions carefully, only I let the chocolate sit too long! I didn’t realize until I poured it in and it clumped up. I made them anyway, they didnt look pretty but oh man are they so good. Crisp yet melt in your mouth. I will consider it the “first pancake” and will be making more as soon as my egg whites are room temp. I never thought to make these as it’s intimidating (and to wait 2 hours to see how you did!!) but you walked me through step by step and now these will be a staple.

    1. I just made another batch, didn’t let the chocolate sit as long and it seized again when going in and also when lining the bag.

  27. Very simple dessert to make. I barely had to do anything! It came together very quickly and I love how they turned out!

    1. So happy you enjoyed these, Zoe! Thanks for your positive feedback 🙂

  28. Without the chocolate, we call these “Forgotten Cookies”.

    Regarding the chocolate, what should I use if I don’t have a baking chocolate bar? I have regular Hershey’s Bars and I also have Wilton melting wafers. Will either of those work?

    Thanks & Merry Christmas!

    1. Love that!! For chocolate- Wilton melting wafers would be the best choice 🙂

  29. Hi Sally! I have been following your blog for years now and it has really helped me grow as a baker. I always turn to you when I need to bake something and your recipes never let me down. Fantastic recipe and wishing you and your family happy holidays!

    1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment, Emily! I’m so glad that you enjoy my recipes and have been learning lots 🙂 Happy holidays to you as well!

  30. Sandra Pontius says:

    Merry Christmas Sally,
    So enjoy your recipes!
    This is the year of the meringue, and have bee named using your recipe, but experimenting with different flavorings/colors. I get the whites whipped to stiff peaks that are lovely, but seem to lose these with the addition of either the flavor and/or color (gel). I try to fold them in as gently as I can, but still end up with droopy peaks by the time they’re incorporated. Wondering about adding these at the beginning, before the aeration occurs. Or do you have other thoughts/suggestions?
    Appreciate your feedback,
    Thanks, sandee

    1. Hi Sandra! Sometimes the slightest addition to the carefully meringue formula can disrupt those stiff peaks. The cookies still bake up wonderfully if all the other directions/recipe were followed. I’ve never tried adding the color before whipping the whites, but that’s definitely worth a shot. I can’t see any issue there.

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