The 2-Ingredient Dessert You Need to Know (and 5 Amazing Ways to Eat It)

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

There’s a dessert that, at its core, requires just two basic ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now. It’s simple, yet so impressive and wonderfully versatile. Once you have this sweet — not to mention gluten-free — dessert in its most basic form, you can eat it as is, but with a little extra work, it can also be transformed into so much more.

What I’m talking about is meringue; all that stands between you and this delightful dessert are egg whites and sugar. Now let’s see all the things it can do.

1. Meringue Cookies

Meringue cookies are quite possibly the most simple and beautiful two-ingredient dessert around. Make them plain, or swirl with food coloring or chocolate. Drop them with a spoon for a rustic look, or pipe them for more shape. Serve them plain, dip the bottoms in chocolate, or sandwich two meringues together with chocolate buttercream or your favorite filling.

(Image credit: The Kitchen McCabe)

2. Meringue Dessert Bowl

Talk about the perfect ending to your next dinner party! Use meringue to make an edible bowl for desserts by piping it onto a baking sheet, then baking it until it’s crisp and sturdy. These adorable meringue bowls are perfect for serving something like chocolate mousse, pudding, or fruit curd with fresh whipped cream and berries.

→ Recipe: Meringue Nests with Lemon Curd Mousse via The Kitchn McCabe

(Image credit: Top with Cinnamon)

3. Meringue Cake

It’s time to trade in your layer cake for a stunning meringue cake. Here’s the thing about this gluten-free dessert: it’s deceptively easy to make! It looks totally impressive, which may give you the impression it’s fussy and tricky to make, but it’s not at all.

→ Recipe: Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Stack Cake via Top with Cinnamon

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

4. Pavlova

This sweet dessert is almost like a work of art, and almost too pretty eat. Pavlova is a light, airy treat that hails from Australia and New Zealand. Unlike a layer cake, this dessert has one large layer of sweet meringue that’s delicate and crispy on the outside but soft as marshmallow on the inside. It’s generally topped with fresh whipped cream or fruit curd and fresh fruit.

(Image credit: Gourmet)

5. Meringue Sticks

For a different take, pipe meringues out into sticks about a few inches long. Leave them plain, or jazz them up with coloring, flavored extracts, or a little bit of chocolate coating. They’re especially fun served with hot cocoa or coffee, or used as a garnish for your favorite dessert.

More on meringues!