Home Substitutes 7 Best Meringue Powder Substitutes (+ Vegan Swaps)

7 Best Meringue Powder Substitutes (+ Vegan Swaps)

When creating heavenly desserts and confections, meringue is often a key ingredient. And having a list of meringue powder substitutes is always a good idea. 

After all, what if you find yourself without the essential ingredient, meringue powder?

7 Best Meringue Powder Substitutes (+ Vegan Swaps) featuring Bowl of Xantham Gum - Meringue Powder Substitute in a Bowl
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Luckily, there are more substitutes for the ingredient than you might think. Some, like egg whites and gelatin, are available in many kitchens. 

Others, like xanthan gum and agar powder, might be harder to come by.

But you have options if you’re in a pinch and need a meringue powder substitute. Let’s talk about them.

What Is Meringue Powder? 

Most people know that meringue powder is a vital ingredient in making meringue. Beyond that, though, it is a mystery to many. 

Meringue powder is a powder featuring three key ingredients: 

  • Dried egg whites
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch

Some versions of meringue powder feature dried egg whites only. (Without the sugar and cornstarch.) These powders have no flavor on their own. 

The versions made with sugar are, of course, much sweeter. 

Meringue powder dates back to a 19th-century chef, Chef Vincent La Chin. He was a French chef who used the powder the same way we use it. 

To stabilize the meringue. 

Of course, that isn’t its only use. It also lends itself well to other sweet treats. We’ll discuss that in the next section. 

Common Uses for Meringue Powder

Besides making meringue, you can also use meringue powder in donut glazes and cookies. 

Marshmallows, pavlova, and royal icing also benefit from it.

You can even use it to help stabilize whipped cream and frosting! Or as a thickening agent in some recipes. 

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(Though, if you use meringue powder with sugar, it may sweeten your dish.)

You can use meringue powder in any recipe requiring whipped eggs. 

Meringue Powder Substitutes

There are seven different substitutes for meringue powder. However, some are better than others.

The trick is picking the substitute that works best for your needs. For example, egg whites and gelatin are excellent binding agents. 

Need meringue powder to act as a leavening agent? One of the other possibilities may work better. 

Separated Egg Whites and Yolks into Two Glass Bowls on a Wooden Table

1. Egg Whites

Egg whites and egg white powder are excellent substitutes for meringue powder. That is basically all meringue powder is, after all. 

Fresh egg whites will taste the same as meringue powder. They also have a similar nutritional profile. 

You can use them in any recipe instead of meringue powder. 

Substitute 1/2 an egg white for every 1 required teaspoon of meringue powder. 

  • Mix them with powdered sugar and cornstarch for a DIY meringue powder!
  • Whisk it together, then substitute it in any recipe.

If you have egg white powder, swap it out teaspoon-for-teaspoon for meringue powder

  • Rehydrate the egg white powder before adding it. 
Chickpeas in a Strainer, Draining into a Glass Jar of Aquafaba with More Chickpeas in a Bowl in the Background

2. Aquafaba

If you need a vegan substitute for meringue powder, try aquafaba. (The leftover liquid from cooking chickpeas.) It works quite well. 

Combine it with sugar and a little cream of tartar. Whip the mixture until it becomes light and foamy. 

Substitute 1-1/2 teaspoons of aquafaba for every 1 required teaspoon of meringue powder

Gelatin Cubes and Powder in Two Ceramic Bowls

3. Gelatin

If you’re using meringue powder to make icing, gelatin is one of the best substitutes. It also works well as a thickening agent. 

It is not vegan, however, so take that into consideration.

Stabilize icing by mixing 1- 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin with water. After letting it sit for several minutes, whip it until it resembles meringue. 

This mixture will replace 1 teaspoon of meringue powder in icing. 

You can use gelatin in candy, puddings, and other sweet treats, too. 

Substitute 1 tablespoon of gelatin + 3 tablespoons of warm water for every 2 tablespoons of meringue powder. 

Xanthan Gum on a Wooden Spoon and in a Brown Bowl

4. Xanthan Gum

If you use meringue powder as a thickening agent, xanthan gum is a great substitute. 

It’s also a decent binding agent that will keep ingredients from separating. It’s tasteless and easy to use. 

But you’ll need much less than meringue powder. 

About 1/8 of a teaspoon will replace an entire teaspoon of meringue powder

  • Mix it with equal amounts of water. 
  • Whip it until it gets thick and foamy. 

It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. 

Spoonful of Chia Seeds in Focus with Bowl of Chia Seeds in Background

5. Chia Seeds

Like the flaxseed below, chia seeds are a nutritious, vegan replacement for meringue powder. All you have to do is soak them in water. 

They will expand and take on an egg white-like texture. 

Substitute 1 “chia egg” to replace every 2 required teaspoons of meringue powder. 

Here’s how to make a chia egg:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 2 tablespoons of water. 
  • Let it sit for 10-15 minutes until a thick gel forms. 
  • Whip the gel until peaks form. 
  • Use the whipped chia seeds to replace any 2 teaspoons of meringue powder. 

Chia seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They are even a decent source of protein! 

That is why they’re one of my favorite meringue powder substitutes. 

They will, however, sometimes change the color of your desserts. Consider purchasing white chia seeds to avoid this issue. 

Bowl of Agar Powder with a Spoon Dipping Into Agar Powder

6. Agar Powder

You can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of agar powder for 1 teaspoon of meringue powder. It, too, is vegan-friendly, as it comes from algae. 

It makes an excellent thickener and can replace meringue in any recipe. 

However, it requires a few steps.  

Here’s what you’ll do: 

  1. Combine 1/2 teaspoon of agar powder with 1/2 teaspoon of water. (Or any other 1:1 agar: water ratio, depending on how much you need.) 
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Wait until it becomes foamy, then whip it into peaks. 

It takes some extra work, but I would not call it difficult. 

Flax Seeds on a Wooden Spoon with a Small Glass Bowl of Oil in Background

7. Flaxseed

Flaxseed is another vegan meringue substitute. (It also works well as a replacement for eggs.) 

The seeds make excellent binding agents and have many health benefits. 

They’re also high in fiber and pretty versatile. 

You can use them in place of meringue powder for multiple recipes. (Including waffles, pancakes, cookies, and more. )

The substitution ratio is 1/2 teaspoon of flaxseed for every 1 teaspoon of meringue powder

  • Soak the flaxseed in water for 10 to 15 minutes first. 
  • Then, whip it until it becomes foamy. 

Can You Substitute Cream of Tartar for Meringue Powder?

Cream of tartar is an excellent stabilizer and leavening agent. 

And you can combine it with various ingredients to make an even better meringue substitute. 

However, you cannot use it by itself to replace meringue powder. 

It won’t work. Keep a little on hand to mix with your other replacements, though. 

7 Best Meringue Powder Substitutes (+ Vegan Swaps)

Looking for meringue powder substitutes? Look no further! From egg whites to aquafaba to flaxseed, these alternatives will fulfill all your baking needs.


  • Egg Whites

  • Aquafaba

  • Gelatin

  • Xanthan Gum

  • Chia Seeds

  • Agar Powder

  • Flaxseed


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious recipe with a meringue powder substitute in 30 minutes or less!
Meringue Powder Substitutes

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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