orange-vanilla meringue swirls

A little sweet, a little crispy and a little chewy. These Orange-Vanilla Meringue Swirls are a perfect little treat. It’s amazing what a few great ingredients can become when combined with simple techniques.They taste almost like one of those delightful orange creamsicles.

Featured in the May issue of Martha Stewart Living, I’ve been looking forward to making these meringues for weeks. But first, I needed to find a half-inch plain pastry tip. After searching many stores, I had to settle for a half-inch star tip. And to be honest, I kind of prefer the look of the meringues with the decorative ridges.

The recipe calls for half of a vanilla bean’s seeds. I threw the other half and the seeded bean into the jar where I’m making homemade vanilla extract. I’m still about a month or so away from it being ready. More on that in another post, on another day.

Finally, I love the design left on the parchment paper after I removed the baked meringues. I’m thinking about framing the design. You can see a portion of the meringue imprint in the lower left image of the collage below.

Orange-Vanilla Meringue SwirlsMartha Stewart Living, May 2012

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Large pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • Gel-paste food color, orange

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place egg whites in a heatproof mixing bowl. Add vanilla seeds and sugar, and whisk by hand to combine. Set bowl over a pot of simmering water, and whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm, about 3 minutes. Add salt and cream of tartar.

Beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and meringue is mostly cooled, about 7 minutes. Beat in orange zest.

Using a small paintbrush, paint 3 vertical stripes of food coloring inside the pastry bag fitted with a half-inch tip. Fill bag with meringue, and pipe 1 3/4-inch circular shapes 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake meringues until crisp on the outside but still soft on the inside, about 75 minutes. (I baked mine an additional 15 minutes.) Let cool completely on a wire rack.


58 Comments Add yours

  1. Kendra says:

    Those look awesome! I am definitely going to have to try this… my great grandmother called these baked meringues “schaum torte” (which I am told means foam cake in german) and our family has made them with ground hazelnuts and espresso powder mixed in… also great plain with fresh fruit/preserves. Thanks for the orange idea – very pretty too!

  2. michael says:

    Thanks Kendra. They were a lot of fun to make. And I love your idea of espresso powder. I’ve thought of adding peppermint extract for some Christmas favors.

  3. Learner Londoner says:

    Oh wow, thank you for following but these put my cupcakes to shame! They’re beautiful!

    1. michael says:

      I thought that your banana-chocolate cupcakes were just lovely. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That’s a great idea to paint the pastry bag. The design is amazing!

  5. Thanks for the visit and the stamp of approval! If you hadn’t visited me I would have probably never known your blog…that would be a major miss for me, cause this is one hell of a good blog you got here. Great pictures and great recipes.
    Thanks again! Hope to see you again sometime! 🙂

    1. michael says:

      Thanks! And your blog is a real delight, and your photos are amazing. What kind of camera do you use?

      1. Thanks again! 🙂
        I use a Nikon D5100, and that’s about it. I don’t own a tripod yet nor do I have a macro lens(wish list) .Very new to this whole photography thing and I’m still learning by myself. I must say I absolutely enjoy it.

  6. musingmar says:

    These look amazing, more like works of art than something to eat! I’ve made meringues before, and even blogged about them recently, but they look like Plain Janes next to these! Let’s face it, plopping them onto the tray with a spoon, no matter how carefully, just looks careless next to using a piping bag. And those stripes! I never would have thought of that — leave it to Martha to think of a way to do that! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Nate Celnik says:

    Hi! I’m new to your blog (thanks for the comment on mine). I saw these in MSL and really wanted to make them. I’m afraid of meringues though. There are a few in the iPad app that I’ll make…eventually.

    Do you subscribe to the iPad version of the magazine? I loved the video cover for this issue!

    1. michael says:

      Hey Nate. Thanks for stopping by.
      I do subscribe to the iPad version of MSL. And that cover video really inspired me to give the meringues a try.

  8. Gorgeous! You will love homemade vanilla, by the way. I started making it 1 1/2 year ago and I can’t go back to store bought. I have made it with vodka, rhum and bourbon…all good! 🙂 Have a sweet day!

    1. michael says:

      Mine’s rum based. I’m really looking forward to it!

  9. Hi! Thanks for liking my whoopie pie post. I get Martha’s magazine too and your meringues look just like the cover, kudos!

  10. These are gorgeous! Love the creativity in your desserts. They look wonderful!

  11. I also saw them in Martha Stewart’s and thought they were terribly cute. Meringue are one of my favourite snacks. I think you sold me on making them soon

  12. Mike, these are soooo beautiful! The one time I’ve made striped meringues, I got teary-eyed when I saw how pretty they were coming out of the pastry bag! (I’m a baking nerd, big time.) Yours are even prettier! Wow!

    1. michael says:

      Thank you so much. You are very sweet.

  13. So pretty! I like how they look with the fluted tip.

    1. michael says:

      Thanks! PS, I’ve been following your blog for some time. I really enjoy it.

  14. these look almost too beautiful to eat…but I’m sure I’d get over that 🙂

  15. Starr says:

    These meringues are absolutely gorgeous! They make me think of creamsicles, only fancy 🙂

  16. veghotpot says:

    These look fab I love the contrast in colours!

  17. FoodBabbles says:

    These are absolutely gorgeous!! They sound delicious too. Love them!

  18. Hi Mike! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m a newbie to the blogging world, and have only recently begun checking out some of the fabulous food blogs out there. These meringues are gorgeous! This is the first time I’ve seen a striped version, and they’re so impressive. Maybe this will prompt me to replace my hand-held mixer which died a few months back. Looking forward to hearing about your homemade vanilla extract (something else I’ve never tried).

    1. Thanks Kelly. Great start to your blog. The Lemony Zucchini Bread looks amazing!

  19. inherchucks says:

    These are the coolest things I have ever seen! Trippy 🙂

  20. beti says:

    they are such a great idea!! they also look fun to make

  21. I saw these in the magazine, but have too afraid to try them, yours are gorgeous!

  22. Slaw&More says:

    Thanks for visiting our blog and the positive feedback you left. I really love the design of the meringues and definitely think the star tip was the way to go. I’m always looking out for recipes involving whipped egg whites so I’m quite excited to try this!

  23. Pingback: foodjuice
  24. These are so pretty! I always seem to have leftover eggs whites lying around after making things like ice cream, so next time I will give these a try.

  25. swift soul says:

    These look like they’d be perfect for a dutch feast – lots of luscious orange!

  26. Wow, these look great, so pretty! I think it’s so cool that you’re making your own vanilla extract, will be looking forward to that post in the future 🙂

  27. ricekernel says:

    Thanks for folllowing my blog. These are beautiful! Look forward to flipping through your kitchen creations.

  28. Sara says:

    Is it sad I actually recognized these from the magazine? Yours are gorgeous–so impressed that you got them to come out so nicely!

  29. Catherine says:

    these look amazing! Can’t wait to try them

  30. Boomdeeadda says:

    I think these are fabulous looking and I can’t wait to try some. Good pics in you post too, I could almost taste them.

  31. Looks fabulous!
    I’ve no luck with Swiss / Italian meringue, I may just whip one up with French meringue. 🙂

  32. Hi Mike, thanks for following my blog, only just moved it to WordPress and you’re my follower no 2 🙂 These meringues look scrumptuous and I’m going to give them a go! I use the same kind of striping in the piping bag when making my chocolate and vanilla marble cakes with marbled icing, my customers always comment on them as they would these…

  33. Catherine says:

    These are so pretty! I must try that technique with food colouring painted on the bag.

  34. babu says:

    They really are beautiful. Both the meringues AND the pictures!

  35. Angie C says:

    Wow! Just amazing and just gorgeous photos!

  36. carlasue says:

    wow! these look amazing! such pretty colours 🙂

  37. I am so jealous that your meringue is so white, I make delicious meringues but they are also slightly brown!

  38. thanks for liking my blog! I’m excited to see your posts and what deliciously awesome things you make

  39. Victoria says:

    i have been anxious to try these. They are so pretty! Awesome job!

    1. Thank you! That’s quite a compliment coming from someone who takes the most gorgeous photographs on her own blog.

      1. Thank you, that’s very kind of you to say!

  40. Sinclair 3168 says:

    ….. These have stunned me, very beautiful! Thanks for the follow, will be checking back here regularly for more original tasty treats 🙂

  41. I wanted to make these as soon as I saw them! I was afraid they might be too difficult – since I’m just learning to cook, but you make it look so easy!

  42. impressive!! I agree, yours do look better than Martha’s! thanks for the post.

  43. glitterfringesunshine says:

    Just gorgeous – loving the little imprint left on the parchment, too!

  44. fabmomkt says:

    These look amazing!

  45. trishlee75 says:

    These are so beautiful! And they look almost within my skill level!

  46. andmorefood says:

    thanks for stopping by my blog! this looks really good – i might try it sometime! although I’m torn between taking a torch to the meringue and getting some colour from that.. or whether to use food colouring..

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