Filled with tangy lemon curd and topped with luscious Chantilly cream, these meringue nests present a delightful medley of flavors that your guests will love. As Easter approaches, it’s the perfect time to create a stunning and delicious treat for your family gathering. With this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to craft festive meringue nests that are sure to dazzle your guests.
We put these exquisite nests together to make a meringue wreath that is a show-stopping Easter dessert and also perfect for other holiday celebrations. The art of making meringue may be simple, but you’ll end up with a gorgeous dessert that folks will be raving about for days!
If this is your first time making a meringue dessert, we strongly suggest reading through all the steps and tips before getting started. While this is an easy recipe, it does require precision in the measurements and can quickly go awry if not done correctly.
Ingredients and tools needed
Scroll down for printable recipe with full ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.
- Egg whites – use room temperature egg whites for best results.
- Superfine sugar – aka caster sugar, this will dissolve better than regular granulated sugar.
- Lemon curd – buy the best quality that you can find, or make your own.
- Heavy cream – keep the cream cold until ready to use it.
- Powdered sugar – you’ll use this to make the Chantilly cream.
- Vanilla extract – use clear vanilla extract.
- Mini chocolate eggs – any mini candies will work.
- Selection of edible flowers – see our tips on working with edible flowers.
- Large piping bag
- Large star tip – we used a Wilton 1M.
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Substitutions and variations
If you need a substitute for egg whites in the meringue, you can try using aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) to make vegan meringue nests. You can also substitute granulated sugar for superfine sugar, but it will take longer to dissolve.
Feel free to get creative with the filling and decorations. You can use different curds, creams, or fresh fruits. This meringue nest recipe is meant to be a great base for your imagination! We love these homemade meringue nests for other holidays and special occasions, and the possibilities are endless:
- Fresh berries are a great addition to turn these nests into a Christmas or Valentine’s treat.
- Try a filling made with white chocolate instead of lemon curd.
- Play around with the nest shapes—you could make shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day.
- Use these meringue nests for a gender reveal party with a pink or blue filling.
- Orange curd or almost any fruit curd would also be delicious. How about passion fruit?
- Toast fresh coconut flakes to make coconut meringue nests. Just sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top of the finished nests.
- You can substitute cool whip for the Chantilly cream but we don’t recommend this. Homemade whipped cream is so easy and tastes so much better!
- Instead of a wreath, you can make mini meringue nests with just a dollop of filling for a gorgeous bite-sized treat.
How to make meringue nests
Read through all the detailed steps in the recipe card below and have all of your ingredients measured and tools ready.
- Preheat the oven and prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Make the meringue by whisking the egg whites and gradually adding the sugar.
- Pipe the meringue onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet to create a wreath shape.
- Bake the meringue in the oven, then allow it to cool completely, minimum of 4 hours. You can leave the oven door open overnight for the best cooling experience.
- Prepare the Chantilly cream by whisking the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Place meringues on a serving platter.
- Fill each meringue shell with lemon curd and top with the whipped cream.
- Decorate the nests with mini Easter eggs and edible flowers or fresh fruit.
Pro tip: Use a lemon wedge or a little white vinegar to wipe down your mixing bowl and whisk attachment before starting the meringue.
FAQs for meringue nests
The total time, including preparation, cooking, and cooling, is about 6 hours. The great thing about this recipe is that individual meringue nests can be made days or weeks ahead though!
Yes, you can make the meringue the day before serving and leave it in the oven to cool overnight. Or as stated below, you can even freeze the nests.
Undecorated meringue keeps really well for several weeks if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It’s also suitable for freezing and you don’t need to defrost before serving.
Just use them all to make meringue and then make Eton mess – crumbled crunchy meringue with fresh strawberries and soft whipped cream.
While growing your own edible flowers is the best route, you can also try and find a local organic farmer. And we found a few reputable sites online where you can order edible flowers: Gourmet Sweet Botanicals, Cherry Valley Organics, Melissa’s, Marx Foods, Farmer John’s.
Tips for making meringue
- Make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are spotlessly clean. Any grease can make a meringue fail so wipe the bowl and whisk over with a wedge of lemon or a little white vinegar.
- Weigh the egg whites and sugar for precise measurements.
- Keep whisking the meringue until it feels completely smooth with no graininess.
Tips for using edible flowers
- Only use flowers that are known to be edible or listed as safe for human consumption (see the list of edible flowers below).
- Be sure to wash and dry the flowers before using them as decoration.
- If you are unsure if a flower is edible, do not use it.
Suggested edible flowers
- Begonia Tuberosa
- Chive flowers
- Corn flower
- Courgette flowers
- Wild Primrose
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For the meringue
- 150 grams egg whites (approximately 5 egg whites)
- 300 grams superfine sugar (approximately 1.5 cups)
For the filling
- 6 tablespoons lemon curd
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- 18 mini Easter eggs
- Selection of edible flowers
- Preheat the oven to 200ºF.
- Draw a 6-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper, then draw 6 smaller 1-inch circles around the outside edge of the circle. Flip the paper over so it is pen/pencil side down on the baking tray.
- To make the meringue, add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl fitted to a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on a low speed until they are frothy. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Once frothy, turn the speed up to medium and whisk to stiff peaks.
- Add sugar a tablespoon at a time, allowing each addition of sugar adequate time to dissolve. This will take 15-20 minutes.
- When all the sugar has been added you will have a bright white and glossy meringue. Feel the texture of it between your fingers. If it still feels grainy keep whisking until it feels smooth.
Making the wreath
- Take a small amount of meringue and use it to secure the corners of the baking parchment to the baking tray. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle (we used a Wilton 1M).
- Starting in the center of each small circle pipe the meringue in a circular motion. Make sure as you pipe all six of the circles that they are all touching so that you have a wreath that is joined as opposed to separate nests.
- Next, pipe a border on top of each circle to make the sides of the nests.
- Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes. When they are done, turn the oven off but don’t open the door. Leave the meringue in the oven until it has completely cooled. This will prevent cracking.
- When the meringue has cooled, transfer the wreath to a serving plate.
Making Chantilly cream
- To make the Chantilly cream, put the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla into a bowl. Whisk together until softly whipped.
Filling the nests
- Fill each nest with a tablespoon of lemon curd and top each with the whipped cream.
- Add 3 mini eggs to each nest and decorate with edible flowers.
- Before you begin make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are spotlessly clean. Any grease can make a meringue fail so wipe them over with a wedge of lemon or a little white vinegar.
- We have given the meringue measurements in grams because baking meringue needs to be precise. The sugar should weigh exactly double the amount of the egg whites and this can’t be measured in cups (volume).
- 150g egg whites is approximately 5 medium egg whites but it really is best to weigh them just to be sure.
- If you don’t have superfine sugar you can substitute with granulated sugar, however it will take longer to dissolve.
- If you bake meringue when it still feels grainy it is likely to leak sugar and become unsightly looking. Be sure to keep whisking until it feels completely smooth.
- We usually make meringue the day before serving because that way we can leave it in the oven to cool overnight. You can make this dessert in one day but please ensure you leave at least 4 hours cooling time otherwise your meringue may crack and be difficult to remove from the baking parchment.
- The baked meringue will be crisp on the outside and slightly foamy on the inside (like the topping of a lemon meringue pie). This doesn’t mean it isn’t cooked!
- Please only use flowers to decorate that you know are edible. See list in post for your reference along with buying sources.
- Storage: Undecorated meringue keeps really well for several weeks if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It is also suitable for freezing and you don’t need to defrost before serving.