This simple and easy Italian meringue recipe is sweetened with honey and perfect for topping pies, cakes, and cookies! It's a delicious frosting that's SCD and Paleo friendly.
Italian meringue is one of those frostings that used to strike fear in my heart!
There's A LOT that can go wrong when trying to make Italian meringue, but if you follow the directions and take my tips into consideration, you'll have success!
What is Italian meringue?
Italian meringue is the most stable of all the meringues (Swiss and French are the other types).
Traditional Italian meringue is made by beating egg whites to firm peaks and then slowly whisking in hot sugar syrup.
Meringue can be used to top desserts or baked until crisp!
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What is a honey Italian meringue?
Since I follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) to help manage my autoimmune symptoms, honey is the only sweetener I can use.
So, the only difference between this recipe and a traditional Italian meringue is that hot honey is poured into the egg whites as opposed to hot sugar syrup.
Ingredients for honey Italian meringue
- egg whites
- lemon juice
When it comes to the honey, I highly suggest using one that's light in color and sweet.
How to make the Meringue recipe
Pour the honey into a medium saucepan and set over medium heat (photo 1).
Stir the honey occasionally until a candy thermometer reaches a temperature of 240F (photo 2). Keep an eye on the honey while on the stove as it will be frothy and bubbly...you don't want it to boil over.
While the honey is on the stove, place the egg whites of two large room temperature eggs in the bowl of a clean and dry stand mixer (photo 3).
Whisk on high speed. Once the egg whites begin to form soft peaks, add the lemon juice while continuing to whisk (photo 4).
When the egg whites have formed soft peaks and the honey has reached 240F, slowly pour the honey down the side of the bowl into the egg whites with the mixer still running on high speed (photo 5 & 6).
Continue mixing until the meringue has doubled in volume and is glossy. If you stop whisking too soon, the meringue will weep (that's when the honey separates from the egg whites).
Only stop whisking once the meringue is shiny/glossy. In my stand mixer it takes anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes to reach that stage.
8 Tips for making a perfect honey Italian meringue!
- It's easier to separate the yolks from the whites when the eggs are cold, however, allow the egg whites to reach room temperature before attempting to make the meringue.
- Make sure the egg whites are free from any little bits of egg yolk.
- Egg whites from eggs tend to make consistently better meringue than liquid egg whites from a carton.
- Your mixing bowl and whisk must be completely clean and dry without any oil or food left from previous baking.
- Don't stop mixing the egg whites! If the egg whites are ready but the honey is not, reduce the mixer speed to low until you're ready to add the hot honey.
- Cooking the honey to the correct temperature is crucial when making the meringue. If it's not hot enough it won't cook the egg whites, if it's too hot it will turn the meringue into scrambled eggs. Use a candy thermometer to measure the temp of the honey!
- Mix until the meringue is glossy. If stopped too soon, the meringue will deflate and the honey will separate from the egg whites.
- If you don't have a stand mixer, a handheld mixer can be used.
What to do with the meringue
- Top Coconut Cupcakes with it!
- Use it in a Blueberry Lemon Trifle.
- Decorate a Lemon Tart with the meringue.
- Spread it on a Vanilla Almond Flour Cake.
If you’ve made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below! It's the best way you can help support me and this blog!
Honey Italian Meringue
- stand mixer with whisk attachment
- medium saucepan
- candy thermometer
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature should equal about ¼ cup
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup honey choose a sweet light colored honey
- Add the room temperature egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until the egg whites become frothy. Add the lemon juice and continue whisking until soft peaks have formed.
- While the egg whites are being whisked, place the honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. The honey will begin to boil and become bubbly. Keep over the heat until a candy thermometer reads 240F.
- Remove from the heat and SLOWLY pour the honey down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg whites. The mixer should still be running on high speed while adding the honey!
- Continue whisking on high speed until the meringue has thickened, doubled in volume, is at room temperature, AND is shiny/glossy. In my mixer this generally takes 15 to 20 minutes.
- This Italian meringue is best used immediately after making.
- Many things can go wrong when making Italian meringue. The post above has an entire section filled with tips and notes on how to make a perfect meringue. Please make sure to reference it!